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Pink Floyd: Brain Damage Meaning

Brain Damage Lyrics

The lunatic is on the grass
The lunatic is on the grass
Remembering games and daisy chains and laughs
Got to keep the loonars on the path

The lunatic is in the hall
The lunatics are in my hall
The paper holds their folded faces to the...

  1. 1TOP RATED

    anonymous
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    Sep 24th, 2005 9:48pm report


    Dark Side of the Moon is lyrically a bit disjointed. It has several different subplots that all connect to a common theme. I will cover one of them in detail... hopefully the others will speak for themselves. The first refers to an event that actually happened to Roger Waters. Living in London, at the time, Roger actually walked by an area daily that was being converted from a cement slab into a park by the local authorities. He thought that the idea was inspired and completely unlike a normal government initiative. Upon passing the area for several weeks and noting the daily progress, one day it was finally completed. On that final day he noticed to his outrage, that the area had been chained off and sign had been posted that read, "Keep Off Of Grass". The obsurdity of the idea is actually what inspired the song. That someone would create this beautiful place only to make it off limits seemed sadly typical.

    That is what the song is about, the realization that we as a society have begun to choke-off our own life blood. That our own rules have begun to stunt our own creative spirit... this is the prevailing theme of Dark Side of the Moon-the song and the album. We, as a whole, have created a civilization that's contradictory to the very point of human existance... and this will gradually drive us all insane.



  2. 2TOP RATED

    username
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    Jul 9th, 2005 7:52pm report


    It might sound crazy, but this song really sounds like it's told from the perspective of someone who works in a mental hospital. Finally after all the years as an employee the person goes nuts themself. "Got to keep the looners on the path..."

    This song also mentions none other than Syd Barret. "...if the band you're in starts playing different tunes..." Syd Barret would often go onstage and play a completely different song than the rest of the members were playing. It was rumored that his friends laced his coffee with LSD and that's what drove him crazy.

    "You raise the blade... You make the change... You rearrange me 'till I'm sane..." is obviously in reference to lobotomies.



  3.  

    kooljohn176
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    Feb 1st, 2016 2:53pm report


    Melancholically remembering the simpler times playing on ''the grass'' before it became to mean something more damaging to the mind not to do when being to high seeing ''Keep Of The Grass'' sign for the first time that triggered another song by PINK FLOYD where the Protagonist is thinking and trying to get into the damaged mind of SYD BARRETT to assimilate and understand his condition by walking him in the mind through the hall and the halls of a mental hospital with the rest of the lunatics that ''They''{the press and the shadow government} printed and said, they're crazy loonies to be kept of the grass and on a straight path. Who were programmed with fearful religion and drugs on the outside that turned their own minds selfishly against themselves and Him for The Vultures circulating and waiting in the wings for a fragile burned out mind of a individual to be taken advantage by getting His brains picked being on the innocent path of enlightment that became delusional for Him in the presence of evil for a pure soul to keep it's sanity. Only to be misguided by these hungry and evil ententies that were[are] waiting in the wings to endulge themselves and drag the individual's mind to ''the dark side of the moon'' where The Vultures are waiting to lock Him up there in his mind and then throwing away the key to be thinking about the moon where nobody really went up there to land anyway 'cause there was never any grass on the moon.



  4.  

    anonymous
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    Apr 17th, 2013 4:41pm report


    The dude in the song is sane and everyone else is crazy because they conform to what they are told is 'sane'? What is crazy about playing in the grass and remembering the fun you had as a kid? We are told not to do it because a sign says 'keep off the grass' and you must be crazy if you don't conform.

    Yet they keep sending him a newspaper that is full of insanity and he is crazy because he leaves them there and doesn't read it.

    The lunatics in his head are the 'sane' people making him conform to their insanity. They are rearranging him until he is 'sane'.

    Yes, there is a tribute to Sid about not playing the same tune, which really happened, but in the context of the song, maybe he is sane and the rest of the band members are the ones that are crazy.



  5.  

    anonymous
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    Jun 26th, 2012 6:41pm report


    This song is about drug use and abuse. First of , the loonies are on the grass - that means they're smoking marijuana. Then all of the "loonies" (freaks) are in their house meaning that a lot of people are coming to their parties, groupies in search of free drugs. The folded paper holds their faces to the floor - at the time the song was first released hard drugs like heroine and cocaine were sold in folded paper packets. It was common to buy a "paper' of coke or smack. It holds their faces to the floor because they only think of consuming drugs and it completely obsesses them . They want more. The paper boy is the dealer and he always has more. The blade is the razor which powders the cocaine and spreads it into lines. They are rearranged by the drug until their craving passes. They take drugs to make them feel better or more relaxed - that's making them feel sane again. The song pictures the sadness involved with taking drugs.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway


  6.  

    anonymous
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    Feb 16th, 2012 2:01pm report


    Which side of the moon is dark?? The 'INside' or the 'OUTside' A rotating sphere does not have sides, as matter of fact it's ALL sides...



  7.  

    anonymous
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    Jan 2nd, 2012 1:22pm report


    i feel that the song is loosly based on The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress a 1966 science fiction novel by American writer Robert A. Heinlein and as well as some of waters own experiences in cluding the keep of the grass incident where he probably though that the concept of sending away all the undesirables to the moon and placing a metaphorical keep of the grass sign mainly the space between the cold moon and the lush fertile earth



  8.  

    joycebro
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    Oct 14th, 2011 10:17am report


    This song sounds very calming at first and when you look at the lyrics, you start thinking, "wow how can such a relaxing song have such strange lyrics." After reading the lyrics, it sounds like Roger Waters is talking about being in a mental institute, he uses lyrics like, "The lunatic is on the grass" and "The lunatic is in the hall", to me this just yells mental hospital. Roger Waters may have also been talking about himself going insane, or else there is a hidden meaning that is hard to find/understand.



  9.  

    anonymous
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    Sep 26th, 2011 9:45pm report


    Well, Brain Damage and Eclipse are almost one song in the Dark Side of the Moon. I would say that the "dark side of the moon" is a "good place" for Waters, a place where things are actually bright. This is what it happens during a sun eclipse actually, the Earth is in darkness, but the dark side of the moon is bright. When "the sun is eclipsed by the moon", the dark side itself has sunlight.
    I would say that Brain Damage talks of the process of going "crazy", from the time you were a child, till the time you are an adult. "the lunatic is remembering games and laughs". And "the paper", as the "Newspaper", hold their faces to the floor, and every day, there are more news that hold us to the floor, so we cannot see clearly. But, if somehow one can wake up from these, one would be on the dark side, where it is clear. Waking up can be triggered by several things, i.e. your head exploding by dark forebodings, your band playing different tunes.
    Then, Brain damage matches with the rest of the album, which lists our problems that impede us to see clearly: Not living the present (Breathe and Time), money issues (Money), lack of solidarity and war (Us and them).
    Anyway, lets remember that likely, Waters was under LSD or similar while writing this, so I wouldn´t be surprised if even he doesn´t know what the song was really about.



  10.  

    anonymous
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    Aug 23rd, 2011 8:03am report


    Well, the lunatic is on the grass...What is grass actually? It's just weed. That's what people do when they are facing mentally illness, smoking weeds! But they are not insane because of themself, but because of all around them, and have to escape from it. You lock the door, throw away the key, in fact, they don't want to go outside to see what the world is.



  11.  

    anonymous
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    Apr 6th, 2011 4:56pm report


    This is clearly about syd..



  12.  

    cill
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    Jan 25th, 2011 1:26pm report


    My life, through no forward planning, seems to have followed several Floyd songs. I wonder how many out there have similarly found that life is a retrospective experiment, where one only finds meaning when retreating along one's pathway, picking-up discarded thoughts and memories of old, wondering why they were forgotten or mislaid, and perhaps then understanding better their place in your life.

    Brain Damage is, perhaps, a metaphor for the Waters' look back and understanding life's absurdity, likely through Syd's messages (once completely misunderstood by Waters). This might explain his return to that common theme of Syd and loss, and better interpretations of his life. Perhaps then, in this song and even the Wall, he understands finally what Syd knew yet could not convey with clarity. That is, that Life exists simultaneously on two planes: a physical journey, and a spiritual enlightenment one. Perhaps he understood too that these worlds are often in societal conflict. In other words, in the view of most unelightened humans,one interpretation must be right and the other misguided. And, one is real, while the other is mad.

    I accept Waters' metaphorical observation of a park with man-controlled paths that direct us like lemmings...life's rules and our expected compliance. Enlightenment came to him one day in his observations of such society's "rules", perhaps as a park (as often ideas come to us all from the strangest sources, eh?) Equally, I think he observed that anyone outside of said rules must then also be outside of society, in other words, a "luner". (Funny, the relationship between 'luner/lunar' and 'moon'...but perhaps that observation is for another day's pondering.)

    So, when we (any of us) begin to question bits of the Earth's and human's physical side and, with that, the rules of the our existence; we are branded as 'odd'. When we question everything we are certifiably insane .... according to the unenlightened masses. Yet are we...and was Syd...mad? Perhaps, with the correct glasses on, we see a more spiritual and colourful and truthful existentialism.

    The song's reference to the brain surgery, and the forced implantation of thoughts ("you throw away the key")....leads to the phrase..."there'is someone in my head, but it's not me...". Those thoughts that were forced into us and which we chant with ritualistic repetitiveness, where implanted and incorrect interpretations. (Like many religious and doctinal efforts....queue Lennon here.)


    So, if you reader/listener also notice certain events happening....like a "band playing signing different tunes", or "you shout and no one hears".... these too are signs of your transformation to the other existence.... and, therefore, you are certifiably "insane" like Syd ..... See you on the dark side of the moon. It is a mystical place where such people's spirits fly.

    Just one last thought for another day.....when that mystical Moon does in fact eclipse the sun (that ball of light by which Earth's physical beings draw life)....is the dark side then illuminated as the true meaning of life? Was Syd right, and (Shine on you crazy Diamond) did he simply reach for the truth too soon?

    See you on the Dark Side of the Moon....



  13.  

    anonymous
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    Jan 18th, 2011 1:14pm report


    Also, unfortunately, she may now get epilepsy. Brain cells can't heal.



  14.  

    anonymous
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    Jan 18th, 2011 1:03pm report


    Why does any sort of brain damage have to mean mental brain damage? That congress woman in Arizona was shot and now has brain damage (damage to her brain). There's epilepsy too, where an area of the brain is damaged. The kind of seizure often depends on the location of the damage.



  15.  

    bagel
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    May 24th, 2010 5:30pm report


    Greetings to the world. This is Bagel again. My shallow and pride installed apologies for a few simple grammatical errors I made trying to decode "Brain Damage/Eclipse. My statement "From Christ to his any of legally encrypted children" was a linguistic stumble I made attempting "From Christ to any of hie legally encrypted children". I also now substitute "I've" for "I,ve". I hope this secures me the forgiveness of creation's editors.



  16.  

    bagel
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    May 22nd, 2010 5:02pm report


    Madness, alienation and lobotomy seem to be fashionable themes in this encouraging appeal to what is left of someone's freewill. In traditional lobotomies, the blade I'm told liberates the isolated madman from his frontal lobe. The intriguing aspect is that neither the individual's practical intellect nor his capacity to enjoy life is damaged in any way. I've heard that there is some autonomic motor decline but some degree of geriatrics is probably expected in making someone a legal dinosaur. It's interesting that someone noticed a single individual walking backwards in a stream of others trying to make their way. I hadn't noticed this in the video but it is rather fitting. From Christ to his any of legally encrypted children, society itself has demanded that the suffering of isolation and a variety of different but reverent medical crucifixions be the prequel to success as an individual. The grand if's that line the bridge of eclipse draw a prophetic and hopeful life in the grass as a victory for the spirit. This faithful empowered bugger might be jesus, darth vader or simply that anonymous ghost of immunity that claims fearlessly all that was abandoned to him, or her for that matter. I,m fairly sure thay petrify and offer alternatives to female outlaws as well. All hail the drooling vegetable.



  17.  

    anonymous
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    Mar 10th, 2010 3:15pm report


    I dunno what they were thinking, but I got this meaning clear:

    The person first notices madness around him and shuns, abhors, condemns and is frightened of it.. But the more he tries to run away, the more it gets closer. See the transitions: on the grass -> in the hall -> in MY hall -> in my head, and the line showing his fear: "(they've) Got to keep the loonies on the path".. one side of him is afraid that he himself might become a lunatic, and the other side is curious to explore this possibility.. He keeps all the lunatic news in newspapers as far away from him as possible, however he can't stop himself from reading them b4 putting those away (everyday the paperboy brings more).

    Then his other (braver) side speaks up: "And if the dam breaks open many years too soon
    And if there is no room upon the hill
    And if your head explodes with dark forbodings too
    I'll see you on the dark side of the moon" telling him to stop being afraid and encouraging him to see what happens if he puts away his defenses against his own 'dark' thoughts.

    The person gradually finds that his defenses have stopped working, and 'stupid' thoughts are occuring in his head inspite of his best efforts to supress them ("You lock the door And throw away the key"). He also tries to explain that these thoughts are very much against his own will "There's someone in my head but it's not me."..

    Then the other side speaks up again.. Saying he is not alone "I'll see you on the dark side of the moon" ..



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