What does Mother mean?

Pink Floyd: Mother Meaning

Tagged:   No tags, suggest one.
Album cover for Mother album cover

Mother Lyrics

Mother, do you think they'll drop the bomb?
Mother, do you think they'll like this song?
Mother, do you think they'll try to break my balls?
Mother, should I build the wall?
Mother, should I run for President?
Mother, should I trust the...


    #1 top rated interpretation:
    click a star to vote
    Jul 20th 2010 !⃝

    This song is part of the album 'The Wall' which tells the story of Pink, a man who becomes more and more isolated from his feelings and others due to the events of his life. These events are seen as 'bricks' in a wall which he builds between himself and his feelings towards others. This particular song relates how his over-protective mother places the first bricks in the wall by trying to protect him from everything. This is due to his father being killed in the fighting of World War 2. The song particularly relates how his mother attempts to shield him from sex.

    Other bricks are placed as a result of his repressive school, his failed marriage, the fame that comes with his grown up musical career, and so on.

    The album is heavily autobiogaphical and was based on an incident during a show when Roger Waters spat at a fan who was attempting to climb on stage. He said that he wished he could build a wall between the band and the audience, and this idea grew into the concept of a wall between people which can ultimately lead to terribly destructive conflicts such as global war. The idea was enacted literally in the stage show, as an 80 foot wall was constructed on stage during the concert. The finale was the wall being demolished.

    This song also has a brilliant David Gilmour guitar solo which remains one of my favourites to this day.


    #2 top rated interpretation:
    click a star to vote
    May 13th 2011 !⃝

    "Mother" by Pink Floyd in their album "The Wall" (and the movie) is about the main character Pink's difficulties in life due to his up bringing. His father died in WWII and he was raised by his mother who was very loving but sometimes overbearing and domineering. She protected him from everything and therefore built a "wall" of protection around him as a boy. He grew up without any male influence (reference: scene from the movie where he walks up to another father on a play-ground and holds his hand as to say "You'll be my new father"--the man pushes him away). In a sense, Pink is a mommas-boy who is very dependent on her for life decisions and he has been stunted in his ability to face troubles in life.

    Throughout the album, it makes heavy references to a distrust of the government, schools (teachers, principals), the military--any big authoritarian organization. Now, as an adult, Pink is without his mother (is she dead? We dont know) and he has been able to experience life outside the wall, to a degree. He has become very famous, and people go crazy over him. Because he was so sheltered by the wall, he doesn't know how to deal with his adult life, and he begins to deteriorate. So, he isolates himself and rebuilds the wall. He refuses to become a part of big society or a figure for others to follow. He realizes that this "world" of isolation only exists in his head, and he realizes the wall is not going to solve his problems. He goes deeper and deeper into depression and ultimately everything falls apart.

    The album and movie go on to explain why Pink felt this way as an adult. "The Show Must Go On" is a climactic example of how he feels about society, government, etc. He believes that big organizations make people puppets who are unable to think for themselves and live their lives in an automated dictated fashion (reference: scene where the kids are shuffling into the meat-grinder like zombies). The irony is, Pink has done the same thing via his mother and his own wall. This is one reason that being famous clashes with his beliefs--he just wants to be himself and others be themselves.

    If you were to ask Pink if people are good or are they naturally evil, he would say they are naturally evil. He fears the institutionalization of thoughts and independence that take place in society "Reference: "Place them up against the wall!"). Ultimately, he wants nothing to do with it, but is torn by the irony of his situation. He comes to the realization that the wall will hold him back, and he struggles to learn how to cope with life outside the wall. Even though it is difficult for him, he knows it is the right thing to do.

    I do not think the "Wall" is about the soviet union, cold war, bombs, or anything like that in particular. But, keep in mind that this was written at the height of the cold war and these notions undoubtedly helped mold the sentiment and thought process involved with this production. Roger Waters has never spelled out what this album is saying. Personally, I think he refuses to do that because he does not want to be an "institution" that tells others how to think. If he did, he would become all the things he was/is against. "The Wall" is a metaphor, and it can mean a lot of different things. It ultimately represents the isolationism that comes from fear of others (persons, militaries, governments, etc.). That isolationism will tear you apart and destroy you. You must learn to deal with it without becoming a part of it.


    #3 top rated interpretation:
    click a star to vote
    May 3rd 2007 !⃝

    You guys are way off on this one except for the first one. It is not about him being high. It is definitely not anywhere close to being about Russia.

    This song is about a boy that is overprotected or "babied" by his mother. It is that simple. If you listen to the rest of The Wall, you will see the common themes. Waters shows his distrust of the government. He saying that if parents are too protective of their children, then that child will not be able to make choices and figure things out for himself or herself. His mother is another brick in the wall. The wall being a metaphorical representation of isolation.

  4. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Oct 9th 2023 !⃝

    The dangerous thing with manipulative and overbearing people is that they obtain buy-in *post facto*. What the narrator isn't realizing (listening to the CD, not the movie) is that The Wall is already built.

    He just hasn't quite realized it yet.

  5. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Mar 29th 2020 !⃝

    Why do people have to over analysed every song why can it be a bout a bot and his over protective mother?

  6. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Sep 8th 2019 !⃝

    This song is about Pink’s relationship with his mother and him looking to her for guidance and advice,she responds by helping him to build the metaphorical wall that will both protect and isolate him from the world.

  7. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Aug 3rd 2019 !⃝

    I am very confused about it all!

  8. ezeo22790
    click a star to vote
    Jun 6th 2016 !⃝

    This does not have anything to do with Germany or anything in the real world, the wall is all something in his head that has insulated him his whole life because his mother and other people who are other bricks in the wall built it around him, also bricks in the wall shows how people perceive that everyone is the same when in reality we are not.

  9. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Feb 9th 2014 !⃝

    I don't think its so much about an over protective mother as it is about a mother who is teaching her son that life is all bad and that he should fear life. She puts all her fears into him. So he builds a wall to protect him from the evil world on the other side (with her help). His fear of life and his lonelyness leads him to insanity. The last line "mother, did it need to be so high", he comes to the realization that his mother has made his this way.

  10. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jan 19th 2013 !⃝

    When they say mother they are talking about mother Russia I was stuck over there for three years until I got over the wall in a air balloon which nearly the whole album is about that wall and the suffering we listened to jimmy and Floyd all the time back to the song Soviet Union being communist wouldn't let any one without proof of them not originally living there "wont let anyone dirty get through " was referring to the people that made tunnels "mother did it need to be so high " was talking about the Berlin Wall

    Чарльз Тейлор

  11. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Oct 4th 2011 !⃝

    Mother = Russia who controlled Germany after WW2. Baby = eastern Germany who were the welthy ones that saperated from the poor east side = they. Some how nobody seems to gets this.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  12. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Oct 3rd 2011 !⃝

    Interesting what people read between the lines.

    The song is about a condemed man going to the gallows.

  13. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    May 9th 2011 !⃝

    i believe that the song is speaking of the goverment and how the goverment builds a wall around its people. it also presents how the goverment makes all of these promises of protecting us from war and threats just like a mother would, so in more ways than one they are speaking of the goverment when they refer to mother

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  14. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Apr 11th 2011 !⃝

    It's about people in communist Soviet Russia and how they had to be dependent on what 'Mother'(here the mother land Russia) had to say. The first stanza questions will reveal accordingly -
    Mother, do you think they'll drop the bomb? (ref: American Nuclear threat)
    Mother, do you think they'll like this song?
    (ref: total control of free thinking)
    Mother, do you think they'll try to break my balls?
    (ref: Stalin's torture camps and special police)
    Mother, should I build the wall?
    (ref: Berlin Wall)
    Mother, should I run for President?
    (ref: common man's governance)
    Mother, should I trust the government?
    (ref: common man's ignorance)
    Mother, will they put me in the firing line?
    (ref: Compulsory Army drafting)
    Is it just a waste of time?
    (ref: People losing hope on communism)

    The next stanza is a personification of Soviet promise to take care of all her children. Of how 'mother land' is above individual needs. It also shows how she agrees to help 'build the wall' in creating more communist states.

    In the third stanza, the protagonist wants to leave the motherland for USA in hope of better living. It also portrays how well propaganda conditioning for generations work, because he still has questions about what life will be after leaving the motherland. 'She' here is America.

    The fourth stanza is mother Russia's promise to keep her children safe from all evils of capitalism and strife. Of how life with 'mother' is far comfortable than the gauntlet of capitalism.

    The last line :
    Mother, did it need to be so high?

    This is a query that states that free though yet glimmers distant as the protagonist still thinks that was all this conditioning and enforced propaganda of goodness really required if life with the mother was so wonderful? Do her children really need to be so 'high' with propaganda if this was the best life possible?

  15. Bton1233
    click a star to vote
    May 14th 2010 !⃝

    So what i think, is that its making reference to books like 1984 by george Orwell. As they make it sound like mother is big brother. with the protective to the point where "she wont let you fly but she might let you sink" saying that the Gov. trys to help but in the end it does not. Also wit the singer asking mother what to do never fallowing his own free will. There is no more free will. Also it sounds like brave new world that we'v lost All personality and we all rely on what we think we know.

  16. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jan 9th 2009 !⃝

    I think this song is just about "another brick in the wall". And that brick is the high protection by the mother. She handles her child like it was still a baby or something.

  17. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Nov 13th 2008 !⃝

    Good interpretation. The truth is Roger Waters dad died in war. Not just a regular person.

  18. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Aug 12th 2008 !⃝

    This song is a piece from the album The Wall, which is a rock opera about the alienation every person experiences in their life. This particular song is about the main character Pink, whose father died in WW2, leading to his mother being too over protective for his own good. She essentially starts the building of the wall in his life, which separates him from his emotions and the outside world.

‹ prev 12

More Pink Floyd songs »


Latest Articles


Submit Your Interpretation

[ want a different song? ]

Just Posted

Drama Club anonymous
Gravity anonymous
Our First Time anonymous
Nymphetamine anonymous
BOP anonymous
VIBEZ anonymous
Suge anonymous
Baby Sitter anonymous
Alone Again, Naturally anonymous
Census anonymous
Legend of Zelda anonymous
36 anonymous
Parabola anonymous
Just Wanna Rock anonymous
Dark Knight Dummo anonymous

(We won't give out your email)