Sunday, March 21, 2010

Waiting For the Worms (Wall album)

Waiting For the Worms 4:04
     (written by Roger Waters)

Audience: Pink Floyd! (8x)   Hammer! (7x)
Pink: Eins, zwei, drei...

Oh, You cannot reach me now
No matter how you try
Goodbye cruel world, it's over
Walk on by

Sitting in a bunker
Here behind my wall
Waiting for the worms to come
  Worms to come

In perfect isolation
Here behind my wall
Waiting for the worms to come
  Worms to come

Fascist Pink:
Testing, one two. We have orders to convene at 1:15 outside Brixton Town Hall where we will be going...
To cut out the deadwood
To clean up the city
To follow the worms
To put on a black shirt
To weed out the weaklings
To smash in their windows and kick in their doors
For the final solution to strengthen the strain
To follow the Worms
To turn on the showers and fire the ovens
For the queens and the coons and the reds and the Jews
To follow the worms

Would you like to see Britannia
     ...Would you like to see us
Rule again, my friend?
All you have to do is follow the Worms
Would you like to send our coloured cousins 

     ...Would you like to send them
Home again, my friend?
All you need to do is follow the Worms

Fascist Pink:
And when we convene at Brixton Bus Station, we'll be moving along about 12 o'clock down Stockwell Road. And then towards the... into the Abbot's Road and we're... and when it's twelve minutes to three we move along Lambeth Road towards Vauxhall Bridge. Now when we get to the other side of Vauxhall Bridge we're in Westminster area. It's quite possible we may encounter some Jewboys... by the way we go. Now evils have been known to...
Hammer! (30x)

Backing vocals: Bruce Johnston, Toni Tenille, John Joyce, Joe Chemay, Stan Farber, Jim Haas

At the beginning of the song, shouts of 'Pink Floyd!' are slowly overtaken by screams of 'Hammer!' In a subtle but clever touch, the former comes through the left channel on the stereo, while the latter is heard on the right channel.

Roger Waters: "After Run Like Hell you can hear an audience shouting 'Pink Floyd' on the left-hand side of the stereo, if you're listening in cans, and on the right-hand side or in the middle, you can hear voices going 'hammer' they're saying 'ham-mer, ham-mer'... this is the Pink Floyd audience, if you like, turning into a rally." 

Roger explains further the meaning of the transition in terms of the band: "The idea is that we've been changed from the lovable old Pink Floyd that we all know and love [into] our evil alter egos." [Schaffner 226]  With this piece we retreat further into Pink's mind, and his fascist fantasy grows more and more extreme. He imagines himself leading rallies and touring the streets with a loud-hailer, gathering support against minorities.

Roger Waters: "Before it goes 'waiting to cut out the deadwood' you hear a voice through a loud-hailer... it's describing the situation of marching towards some kind of National Front rally in Hyde Park. Or anybody, I mean the National Front are what we have in England but it could be anywhere in the world. So all that shouting and screaming... it's just me ranting on."

The National Front is a white supremacist group that makes occasional bids for power in the UK. Pink calls his sect the Hammers, nicknamed the Worms.

Roger Waters: "We've used the hammer as a symbol of the forces of oppression if you like."

'The Worms,' of course, still retain their metaphorical meaning of decay. It should be stressed at this point that the source of this deranged fantasy is not a desire on Pink's part to be a fascist leader, but rather the feeling that this already is his true nature. Like many people who follow a gross mistake with the statement 'I'm so stupid!' or perhaps even 'I hate myself!', Pink's frustration at the state of life and his extreme depression has turned into self-blame and the belief that he has brought it all on himself because he is evil. Therefore, those who at first glance consider this section of the album to be some kind of endorsement of extreme right-wing politics can see after a closer look that the opposite is clearly true. However, during this song, Pink begins to flip back and forth between his more normal persona (at the beginning and end of the song) and his evil alter ego (the whole middle section).

Roger Waters: "Waiting for the Worms in theatrical terms is an expression of what happens in the show, when the drugs start wearing off and what real feelings he's got left start taking over again..."

This leads directly into the next song. After teetering on the brink, Pink finally says stop.

This song features harmonizing from none other than Bruce Johnston of the Beach Boys, as well as Toni Tenille. Johnston is quoted as saying that he found it ironic that though they were known for 'saccharin' and 'fluff,' "there we are, singing songs about worms." [Schaffner 230]

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