Friday, February 26, 2010

Corporal Clegg

Corporal Clegg 4:09
     (written by Roger Waters)

Corporal Clegg had a wooden leg
He won it in the war
In 1944
Corporal Clegg had a medal too
In orange, red and blue
He found it in the zoo
Dear oh dear, oh are they really sad for me?
Dear oh dear, oh will they really laugh at me?

Missus Clegg, you must be proud of him
Missus Clegg, another drop of gin?

Corporal Clegg, umbrella in the rain
He's never been the same
No one is to blame
Corporal Clegg received his medal in a dream
From Her Majesty the Queen
His boots were very clean

Missus Clegg, you must be proud of him
Missus Clegg, another drop of gin?

Corporal Clegg (13x)
All right men, in you go!
I'm right behind you!
. . . to speak to you about that leg of yours.
No excuse for it, no.
Corporal Clegg

Lead vocals: David Gilmour (lines 1, 4, 7, 8, 11, 14 and chorus)
Roger Waters (lines 2, 3, 5, 6, 12, 13, 15, 16 and chorus)
Backing vocals: Richard Wright
Spoken words: Nick Mason
Guitar: David Gilmour

This track seems to be something the band just did for fun; if one listens closely one can hear them break into laughter while trying to sing 'Corporal Clegg' near the end of the song. The main subject of the song is a WWII service man who suffers from shell shock ('He's never been the same') and imagines receiving medals for his suffering. This is a theme which is treated again 14 years later in Roger's song writing, though much more seriously. Giving the tune a minute touch of realism, 1944 was the year Roger's father was killed in the war. This was not the last time that a song with sobering lyrics would be set to music that seems jolly and upbeat — see also Free Four off the Obscured by Clouds album.

After the last chorus, what sounds like a mad band of kazoo freaks takes up the theme enthusiastically, and dubbed on top of this is a variety of nonsense, crowd noises, band members, especially Nick Mason, doing funny voices (saying things that may or may not relate to the song — a sampling is above), and a chorus of 'Corporal Clegg.'

Let There Be More Light
Remember a Day
Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun
Corporal Clegg
Saucerful of Secrets, A
Jugband Blues


  1. Syd wasn't on this one, it was recorded after they stopped working with him. He only plays on three songs from "SOS": Remember A Day, Set The Controls, Jugband Blues.

  2. Thanks for the correction; entry edited.

  3. I think 21 pilots used this song as reference to write Heathen for the movie Suicide Squad but they never admit it.

  4. When I first heard Heathens, I had a deja vu moment. It took a few times of playing the beginning of the song until I I realized that it actually reminded me of Corporal Clegg. Thanks for confirming that it's not just in my head.