I am going to analyse the second composition of Another Brick in the Wall which I believe is the most powerful part. It is a protest song against the educational system in the form of storytelling but in order to understand the meaning behind this song we have the keep in mind the lyrics, the sound and also the music video that gives up a better picture of what is the producer’s message. All these three elements are all combined to portray this angry feeling in the song.
There are various ways in which one can interpret the song. One can apply these lyrics to Walter’s personal experience in school, but it can also be interpreted as a way of protest against the education system in England at that time. If you go through the lyrics, one can realise that the song is not written in the first person but in the plural, “We don’t need no education.” The choir voice shows that the singer is not trying to share his personal experience, but the song has a deeper meaning. It can be also be that the children are protesting against the government, complaining against the school system but it can also go beyond that; the teacher can be a representation of the government and the children are the citizens that are controlled by the system. One needs to understand the period that this song was written. It was written in the late 70s where England was passing through bad times; poor economy, employment struggles and strikes all over the country. My interpretation is that the meaning reaches more than protesting against the educational system but as a form of protest towards the government.
The music of the 2nd part composition of the song, “Another brick in the Wall”, is more energetic than the other parts. It has a disco beat with a repetition of the lyrics where the sound seems to change from lack of hope to anger. The idea of disco beat came from the group’s producer, Bob Ezrin. It was unexpected for the group Pink Floyd because it was not their kind of music. It took the group sometime in order to accept this kind of music.
The official music video helps the audience understand the meaning behind this song. It is painful to watch but it is important to refer to it as it has a very strong message. In the video, Pink the protagonist is daydreaming about a group of children marching blindly in a boarding school, all wearing the same masks and clothes and acting like robots while they fall into a meat grinder. Then, the children turn into adolescents and regain their power by burning their school and literary destroying the walls of the school. At the end of the video, Pink wakes up from his daydream by a teacher smacking his hand for not paying attention.
‘Another Brick in the Wall’ was produced by Pink Floyd’s producer Bob Ezrin, David Gilmour, Jamie Guthrie and Roger Waters. It was written by Waters based on his own experience at the Cambridgeshire School. Waters grew up in England in the 1950s were the educating system was not at its best. Discipline was strict and it was quite common for a child to be smacked on the knuckles or on the palm of the hand with a ruler if a child disobeyed. There was no room to be creative or to share or discuss an opinion in class. Waters hated going to school, he felt that his teachers were controlling him from experiencing the real world and this is clearly showed in the song. Although he was in favour of education, he hated his childhood years at school. He felt that his teachers were controlling them from experiencing the real world. In an interview on BBC in December 2009, he stated, “this song was meant to be a rebellion against errant government, against people who have power over you, who are wrong. Then it is absolutely demented that you rebel against that.’
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