Someone In My Head

Roger Waters of Pink Floyd wrote the song ‘Brain Damage’ which was released on their 1973 album The Dark Side Of The Moon.  Syd Barrett had just been dismissed from the band for being too spaced out and Waters stated that the insanity-themed lyrics are based on his mental instability.  The line, “I’ll see you on the dark side of the moon”, was a way for Waters to relate to Barrett’s mental issues, which became a metaphor of human irrationality, expressing that madness that is always present but invisible, waiting to be exposed.  The line, “And if the band you’re in starts playing different tunes” references Syd Barrett’s propensity for playing the wrong song on stage during his episodes towards his final days with Pink Floyd, as Barrett would play a different song than the rest of the band in the middle of a performance.

The song starts off with this opening line, “The lunatic is on the grass”, which does not refer to marijuana, it is actual sod like you would find in a park.  Roger Waters based the line on the signs that state “Stay Off The Grass” and how he thought anyone who disobeyed the signs was crazy.  This line always made me about the possibility that some lunatic may have been hiding in the grassy knoll when Kennedy was shot.  The line, “Got to keep the loonies on the path” makes a reference to the attempt to maintain order and establish sanity, thus people should not wonder off the path and go on the grass.  The detached description of a lobotomy is demonstrated in line, “You raise the blade, you make the change.  You re-arrange me ‘till I’m sane.”

Many people consider this and ‘Eclipse’ as being one song because they run seamlessly together at the end of the monumental album, The Dark Side of the Moon.  Radio stations usually played them together.  Roger Waters played bass guitar, sang lead vocals, and provided some tape effects, while David Gilmour played electric guitars and sang harmony vocals. Richard Wright played the Hammond organ and the VCS3 synthesizer and Nick Mason played drums, tubular bells and he also did some tape effects.  Lesley Duncan, Doris Troy, Barry St. John and Liza Strike all   provided backing vocals on this song.  Peter Watts, Pink Floyd’s then-road manager went unaccredited with the manic laughter that is on this song.

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

The lunatic is in the hall
The lunatics are in my hall
The paper holds their folded faces to the floor
And every day the paper boy brings more

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 forebodings too
I’ll see you on the dark side of the moon

The lunatic is in my head
The lunatic is in my head
You raise the blade, you make the change
You re-arrange me ‘til I’m sane
You lock the door
And throw away the key
There’s someone in my head but it’s not me

And if the cloud bursts, thunder in your ear
You shout and no one seems to hear
And if the band you’re in starts playing different tunes
I’ll see you on the dark side of the moon

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie MM Music challenge “19th Nervous Breakdown”.

20 thoughts on “Someone In My Head

  1. It’s funny, but I was never into Pink Floyd all that back in their heyday, but now that I listen to Classic Rock all the time, they have become one of my favorite bands. I’m actually listening to “Another Brick in the Wall” as I type this. Great doing choice, Jim.

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    1. The Dark Side of the Moon was the first Pink Floyd album that I started listening to. I never bought it but my friends had it and I enjoyed listening to ‘Money’ played really loud when it was on a good sound system, as there are a lot of sounds in that song.

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  2. Lots of memories connected to Dark Side of the Moon that would take awhile to share so will skip. I did used to lay in the middle of the floor with a speaker in each corner of the room and “become one with the music” way back in the day. I also used to finger pick this on the guitar (yes used to play the guitar). I knew a little about the song being about Syd, but not all of it. Interesting post, Jim.

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      1. You are welcome. I *can* play, but it’s been so many years now, and my tender fingers would need to get re-calloused to do it again (and the guitar needs strings.)

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    1. I don’t know how high the charts go to but I thought it stops at the Top 100 and I don’t think there is any Classic Rock songs in there. I did recognize some of the artists like Billy Ray Cyrus Ed Sheeran Justin Bieber Khalid Jonas Brothers Drake Taylor Swift Ariana Grande Katy Perry Lady Gaga P!nk Beyonce Miley Cyrus Nicki Minaj but I don’t listen to any of them.

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      1. Oh I meant Dark Side of the Moon…sorry I should have clarified….It was on the charts for 937 weeks….the top 200 album charts

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      2. It is no longer there but I did find Bohemian Rhapsody at #17, 1 by The Beatles at #47, The Best Of Everything Tom Petty at #51, Chronicle The 20 Greatest Hits Creedence at #52, Abby Road at #65, Rumours Fleetwood Mac at #95, Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975 Eagles at #106, The Beatles [White Album] at #151, Hot Rocks 1964-1971 Stones at #152, and several others that I like.

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      3. That makes me feel better… Abbey Road is about to re enter soon because the 50th anniversery comes out this year.
        Dark Side of the Moon will occasionally rise up there again… 937 weeks…that is a long time.

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