Essay on Analysis of Pink Floyd's Song, Mother

Essay on Analysis of Pink Floyd's Song, Mother

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Analysis of Pink Floyd's Song, Mother

Had Sigmund Freud lived 40 more years (to the overripe old age of 123), he would have been delighted to hear such a wonderful example of his life's psychoanlytic work embodied in the haunting lyrics of "Mother." Or had Oedipus lived a few millennium longer than his fictional death he would have found an adversary in the youthful Pink, a young boy whose desire for maternal acceptance and love is arguably equal to the greatest mother-centered protagonists in the history of literature. Contrary to the eye-gouging antics of Oedipus or even the grandiose melodrama later in Floyd's album, "Mother" is relatively low-key and emotionally subtle. The music itself is interestingly split, though with few if any seams to show for it, between the gloomy and simple verse chords and the effervescent, nursery rhyme-like chorus. Coupled with these seemingly disjointed yet oddly congruent styles are the blistering guitar solo and unsettling lyrics, all of which culminate in a perfect example of Floydian schizophrenia. The simple chord progression and uncomplicated lyrical delivery reflect Pink's childhood innocence at the time the song takes place. The very inquisitiveness emulates those youthful stages when the world is one big mystery. Why is the sky blue? Why does the ocean have waves? Where do babies come from? While the steady stream of inquiries seems to imply that Pink is rather young, with most children going through the "question" phase of development around 3 or 4 years of age, the level of seriousness shrouded behind the questions characterize Pink as being fairly older. The implications of governmental conspiracy and public ridicule indicate Pink's age as being around 12 to 14, that age when one learns that many of the world's most time-honored institutions are nothing more than hollow shells of public hope and dictatorial vanity. Santa Claus isn't real and there are many major religions that worship other deities than Christ. It's an age of discovery and self-recreation, when one must adapt and reinvent himself or herself in light of new knowledge. By this reading, the song's question (Pink) and answer (Mother) technique fits perfectly with this stage of budding self and global awareness. From the great Greek philosophers who used questions and answers to illustrate and promote self-realization and their own philosophical i...


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...Young Lust" on the album) is said to have really taken place, though not fully in the same context. Roger Waters once stated that he made this phone call while on stage, I believe, during a concert. Although the person on the other end of the line was in on the gag, the unsuspecting operator simply thought that this was a real call and so tried her best to patch Waters through to his "wife" only to have another man answer. It's hard to say if this is a true story, though, because Waters semi-refutes it on the DVD commentary, saying that it is either a false story or that he just doesn't remember doing it; both accounts are possible. Here's what Waters had to say back in 1979 concerning the operator, leading me to believe that the gag really did take place and that Waters' memory has become a victim of age: "I think [Young Lust] is great; I love that operator on it, I think she's wonderful. She didn't know what was happening at all, the way she picks up on…I mean it's been edited a bit, but the way she picks up, all that stuff about 'is there supposed to be someone else there beside your wife' you know I think is amazing, she really clicked into it straight away. She's terrific!"

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