Monday, March 1, 2010

Goodbye Cruel World

Goodbye Cruel World 0:48
     (written by Roger Waters)

Goodbye cruel world
I'm leaving you today
Goodbye (3x)

Goodbye, all you people
There's nothing you can say
To make me change my mind

The obvious interpretation of this song, if one does not know the background of the story or the stage show, is that of the last words of a suicidal man. However, this cannot be true because the album continues! In fact, when 'Pink' says goodbye, it refers to the fact that he is finally sealing himself completely behind his wall, and continuing to live, but in total protective isolation.

Roger: "That's him going catatonic if you like, that final [sic] and he's going back and he's just curling up and he's not going to move. That's it, he's had enough, that's the end."

The rest of the album takes place behind Pink's wall, in the depths of his psyche. When this song was performed in the stage show, it featured Roger looking out through the one remaining hole in the wall, until he sings 'goodbye' — at which moment the last brick is inserted.

Roger Waters: "In the show, we've worked out a very clever mechanical system so that we can complete the middle section of the wall, building downwards, so that we get left with a sort of triangular shaped hole that we can fill in bit by bit. Rather than filling it in at the top, there'll be this enormous wall across the auditorium, we'll be filling in this little hole at the bottom. The last brick goes in then, as he sings goodbye at the end of the song. That is the completion of the wall. It's been being built in my case since the end of the Second World War, or in anybody else's case, whenever they care to think about it, if they feel isolated or alienated from other people at all."

In the first few performances of The Wall stage show, the technicians had not completely perfected the synchronized building of the wall with the music. On the few occasions early in the show's run when the wall builders had not caught up to the proper point for Goodbye Cruel World, the band played an extended version of Another Brick in the Wall part 3 which had been rehearsed for just such an eventuality. When the wall builders were ready, the show would then continue with Goodbye Cruel World (which, incidentally, uses the octave alternating bass line from Careful With That Axe, Eugene as its primary instrumentation).

Disc One
In the Flesh?
Thin Ice, The
Another Brick in the Wall part 1
Happiest Days of Our Lives, The
Another Brick in the Wall part 2
Goodbye Blue Sky
Empty Spaces
Young Lust
One of My Turns
Don't Leave Me Now
Another Brick in the Wall part 3
Goodbye Cruel World
Disc Two
Hey You
Is There Anybody Out There?
Nobody Home
Bring the Boys Back Home
Comfortably Numb
Show Must Go On, The
In the Flesh
Run Like Hell
Waiting for the Worms
Trial, The
Outside the Wall

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