Mother is the sixth song recorded by Pink Floyd in their album The Wall. This album is the story of Pink, the alter-ego of the bassist and writer of the full album Roger Waters.
In this track we can know the overprotective mother of Pink. One of the main bricks that lead to the building of the wall.
I love the way during the song we can see changing the prospective of the young Pink talks to his mother and the way instead the mother talks to him.
The deep difference between the need of Pink for help to silence his fears, and the way the mother want only to make Pink dependent by her. This same thought we can discover inside the song Hey you too.
To know more about the meaning of the song, continue ti read here below after the lyrics.

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?
Ooh ah, Mother should I build the wall?

Mother should I run for President?
Mother should I trust the government?
Mother will they put me in the firing line?
Ooh ah, Is it just a waste of time?

Hush now baby, baby, don’t you cry.
Mama’s gonna make all your nightmares come true.
Mama’s gonna put all her fears into you.
Mama’s gonna keep you right here under her wing.
She won’t let you fly, but she might let you sing.
Mama’s gonna keep baby cozy and warm.
Ooh baby, ooh baby, ooh baby,
Of course mama’s gonna help build the wall.

Mother do you think she’s good enough? For me?
Mother do you think she’s dangerous, To me?
Mother will she tear your little boy apart?
Ooh ah, Mother will she break my heart?

Hush now baby, baby don’t you cry.
Mama’s gonna check out all your girlfriends for you.
Mama won’t let anyone dirty get through.
Mama’s gonna wait up until you get in.
Mama will always find out where you’ve been.
Mama’s gonna keep baby healthy and clean.
Ooh baby, ooh baby, ooh baby,
You’ll always be baby to me.

Mother, did it need to be so high?

Writer/s: WATERS, ROGER/GILMOUR, DAVID JON
Publisher: Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., IMAGEM U.S. LLC

Mother by Pink Floyd and the meaning of 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?
Ooh ah, Mother should I build the wall? 

Pink begins by expressing his fears to his mother, seeking comfort for his fears. He doesn’t get any support at first, and the comfort she does provide is less than ideal. Given the era when it was written (1979), the bomb is likely the nuclear bomb. Nuclear war was a common source of anxiety in the late 1970s. During Pink’s childhood, his mother is overprotective, to the point that he becomes paranoid. This is the first contribution to his metaphorical wall of separation from other people.

 Mother should I run for President?
Mother should I trust the government?
Mother will they put me in the firing line?
Ooh ah, Is it just a waste of time? 

Pink lost his father due to war, and he now fears that he will be drafted by the military and killed in action. Pink could also be questioning whether or not he should join the military as it falls in line with the next question he asks.

 Hush now baby, baby, don’t you cry.
Mama’s gonna make all your nightmares come true.
Mama’s gonna put all her fears into you. 

The overbearing mother doesn’t reassure her son when he is frightened but instead reinforces his fears and puts some of her own into him in order to make sure he will come running to her when threatened so she can protect him.

 Mama’s gonna keep you right here under her wing.
She won’t let you fly, but she might let you sing.
Mama’s gonna keep baby cozy and warm.
Ooh baby, ooh baby, ooh baby,
Of course mama’s gonna help build the wall. 

The idea of being “under someone’s wing” is usually positive, as it implies support and comfort. But here the idea is corrupted by the fact that Pink’s mother ends up smothering him. Because she tries to keep him “cosy and warm,” she ends up preventing him from achieving his full potential. He was worried earlier in the song if “they” would like his song, and the cause is found here. His mother “might” let him sing, implying that he feels the need to get approval for his actions before taking a risk.

Pink’s mother thinks she is warning her son and sheltering him away from a cruel, dark world, but instead, her paranoia and overprotectiveness is only damaging Pink’s self esteem and social skills, making him think he needs her approval for everything.

 Mother do you think she’s good enough? For me?
Mother do you think she’s dangerous, To me?
Mother will she tear your little boy apart?
Ooh ah, Mother will she break my heart? 

Pink’s mother attempts to police his relationships with girls, which of course contributes to “the wall”. Pink becomes afraid to be vulnerable with other people in part because of his mother putting her fears into him.

 Hush now baby, baby don’t you cry.
Mama’s gonna check out all your girlfriends for you.
Mama won’t let anyone dirty get through.
Mama’s gonna wait up until you get in.
Mama will always find out where you’ve been.
Mama’s gonna keep baby healthy and clean.
Ooh baby, ooh baby, ooh baby,
You’ll always be baby to me. 

The mother is trying to keep her son separated from his sexuality and from love because she is aware that these things can be vulnerable and painful. They are, of course, necessary experiences, and in trying to protect him she is ultimately isolating him and preventing him from growing into his own person.

These verses are sarcastic – the mother’s paranoid helicopter parenting is played against the soothing song for effect.

These lyrics are sung by guitarist/vocalist David Gilmour rather than Roger Waters (who narrates most of Pink’s experiences) and are in the words of Pink’s overprotective mother.

 Mother, did it need to be so high? 

Referring to ‘the wall’- why did she need to contribute to its conception as much as she did? Through all her actions and influence mentioned in the song, she built upon Pink’s wall by being as patronising, overprotective and dominant as she was. In this line, he’s asking her- did she really need to be this way? Did she really have to be one of the primary factors of his wall?

Conclusion

Leave a comment or a different vision of the meaning of this song if you want.

Shares
Share This