Brain Damage Pink Floyd (1973)

by

The lunatic is on the grass
The lunatic is on the grass
Remembering games and daisy chains and laughs
Got to keep the loonies on the path
The lunatic is in the hall
The lunatics are in my hall
The paper holds their folded faces to the floor
And every day the paper boy brings more
And if the dam breaks open many years too soon
And if there is no room upon the hill
And if your head explodes with dark forbodings too
I’ll see you on the dark side of the moon
The lunatic is in my head
The lunatic is in my head
You raise the blade, you make the change
You re-arrange me ’till I’m sane
You lock the door
And throw away the key
There’s someone in my head but it’s not me.
And if the cloud bursts, thunder in your ear
You shout and no one seems to hear
And if the band you’re in starts playing different tunes
I’ll see you on the dark side of the moon

Roger Waters has stated that the insanity-themed lyrics are based on former Floyd frontman Syd Barrett’s mental instability, with the line “I’ll see you on the dark side of the moon” indicating that he felt related to Barrett in terms of mental idiosyncrasies.

The line “And if the band you’re in starts playing different tunes…” references Barrett’s behaviour towards the end of his tenure with the band; because of his mental problems, there were more than a few occasions where Barrett would play a different song than the rest of the band in the middle of a performance.

The song features a rather famous opening line, “The lunatic is on the grass…”, whereby Waters is referring to areas of turf which display signs saying “Please keep off the grass” with the exaggerated implication that disobeying such signs might indicate insanity.

The lyrics’ tongue-in-cheek nature is further emphasised by Waters’ assertion in the 2003 documentary Classic Albums: Pink Floyd – The Making of The Dark Side of the Moon that not letting people on such beautiful grass was the real insanity. Waters said that the particular patch of grass he had in mind when writing the song was to the rear of King’s College, Cambridge.

– Pink Floyd: Brain Damage Studio Discussion –

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