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Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd

Album: The WallReleased: 1979
  • Roger Waters wrote the lyrics. While many people thought the song was about drugs, Waters claims it is not. The lyrics are about what he felt like as a child when he was sick with a fever. As an adult, he got that feeling again sometimes, entering a state of delirium, where he felt detached from reality. He told Mojo magazine (December 2009) that the lines, "When I was a child I had a fever/My hands felt just like two balloons" were autobiographical. He explained: "I remember having the flu or something, an infection with a temperature of 105 and being delirious. It wasn't like the hands looked like balloons, but they looked way too big, frightening. A lot of people think those lines are about masturbation. God knows why."
  • In a radio interview around 1980 with Jim Ladd from KLOS in Los Angeles, Waters said part of the song is about the time he got hepatitis but didn't know it. Pink Floyd had to do a show that night in Philadelphia, and the doctor Roger saw gave him a sedative to help the pain, thinking it was a stomach disorder. At the show, Roger's hands were numb "like two toy balloons." He was unable to focus, but also realized the fans didn't care because they were so busy screaming, hence "comfortably" numb. He said most of The Wall is about alienation between the audience and band.
    Exploring further, Mojo asked Waters about the line, "That'll keep you going through the show," referring to getting medicated before going on-stage. He explained: "That comes from a specific show at the Spectrum in Philadelphia (June 29, 1977). I had stomach cramps so bad that I thought I wasn't able to go on. A doctor backstage gave me a shot of something that I swear to God would have killed a f---ing elephant. I did the whole show hardly able to raise my hand above my knee. He said it was a muscular relaxant. But it rendered me almost insensible. It was so bad that at the end of the show, the audience was baying for more. I couldn't do it. They did the encore about me." (thanks, Cody - San Diego, CA)
  • Dave Gilmour wrote the music while he was working on a solo album in 1978. He brought it to The Wall sessions and Waters wrote lyrics for it.
  • Gilmour believes this song can be divided into two sections: dark and light. The light are the parts that begin "When I was a child...," which Gilmour sings. The dark are the "Hello, is there anybody in there" parts, which are sung by Waters.
  • Waters and Gilmour had an argument over which version of this to use on the album. They ended up editing two takes together as a compromise. Dave Gilmour said in Guitar World February 1993: "Well, there were two recordings of that, which me and Roger argued about. I'd written it when I was doing my first solo album [David Gilmour, 1978]. We changed the key of the song's opening the E to B, I think. The verse stayed exactly the same. Then we had to add a little bit, because Roger wanted to do the line, 'I have become comfortably numb.' Other than that, it was very, very simple to write. But the arguments on it were about how it should be mixed and which track we should use. We'd done one track with Nick Mason an drums that I thought was too rough and sloppy. We had another go at it and I thought that the second take was better. Roger disagreed. It was more an ego thing than anything else. We really went head to head with each other over such a minor thing. I probably couldn't tell the difference if you put both versions on a record today. But, anyway, it wound up with us taking a fill out of one version and putting it into another version."
  • This was the last song Waters and Gilmour wrote together. In 1986 Waters left the band and felt there should be no Pink Floyd without him.
  • When they played this on The Wall tour, a 35 foot wall was erected between the band and the audience as part of the show. As the wall went up, Gilmour was raised above it on a hydraulic lift to perform the guitar solo. It was his favorite part of the show.
  • In the movie The Wall, this plays in a scene where the main character, a rock star named "Pink," loses his mind and enters a catatonic state before a show. It was similar to what Syd Barrett, an original member of the band, went through in 1968 when he became mentally ill and was kicked out of the band.
  • This song is the final step in Pink's (Roger Water's) transformation into the Neo-Nazi, fascist character you see in the movie The Wall. Medics and the band manager come in and give Pink a shot to pull him out of his catatonic stupor, the manager pays protesting Meds some cash to shut up and let him take Pink to the concert in the state he's in (obviously a threat to his health, but the Meds, who probably don't make enough money, accept). In the movie Pink begins to melt on the way there, and underneath he finds that he is the cruel, fascist model of a Nazi party representative by the time he arrives at the concert. Supporting this, afterwards are the songs "The Show Must Go On" (Pink realizing as he gets to the show that there isn't really any turning back, and he's forced to go on-stage), "In the Flesh II" (the redone version of the first song on the album, now with Nazi-Pink singing, threatening random minorities), and "Run Like Hell" (after the crowd, loving nazi-Pink, has been whipped into a frenzy, now hunting minorities in the street, much like late 1930 Germany). While it does seem that this is a song about the "joy of heroin," it has little, if any connection to heroin even if it's condition resembles that of somebody who's totally wasted. (thanks, Alex - Town, CT)
  • A dance version by the Scissor Sisters was a #10 UK hit in 2004. It was released as the B-side of their first single, "Electrobix," but drew much more attention. (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France)
  • David Gilmour played this on his 2006 solo tour, where he was joined by Pink Floyd keyboard player Rick Wright. (thanks, Dogma - Alexandria, LA)
  • Van Morrison played this with Roger Waters at a 1990 concert Waters organized in Berlin to commemorate the fall of the Berlin Wall. This version was used in the movie The Departed and also appeared in an episode of The Simpsons.
  • Gilmour's second guitar solo on "Comfortably Numb" regularly appears in Best Guitar Solo of All Time polls. In an August 2006 poll by viewers of TV music channel Planet Rock it was voted the greatest guitar solo of all time. For the solo, the Pink Floyd guitarist used a heavy pick on his Fender Strat with maple neck through a Big Muff and delay via a Hiwatt amp and a Yamaha RA-200 rotating speaker cabinet. Gilmour told Guitar World that the solo didn't take long to develop: "I just went out into the studio and banged out 5 or 6 solos. From there I just followed my usual procedure, which is to listen back to each solo and mark out bar lines, saying which bits are good. In other words, I make a chart, putting ticks and crosses on different bars as I count through: two ticks if it's really good, one tick if it's good and cross if it's no go. Then I just follow the chart, whipping one fader up, then another fader, jumping from phrase to phrase and trying to make a really nice solo all the way through. That's the way we did it on 'Comfortably Numb.' It wasn't that difficult. But sometimes you find yourself jumping from one note to another in an impossible way. Then you have to go to another place and find a transition that sounds more natural."
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Comments: 318

I have actually had these types of fevers as a child, so I understood it the way he wrote it, most of it. I had 104 and up, fevers at least 4 times and I would get a shot, I remember feeling "comfortably numb" and my body parts feeling bigger and counting them, I don't know why, I was sick one time I've even ran out of my home and the police were looking. I was 5 maybe, and it was raining which broke my fever at a neighbors house 10 houses down, and I stood there very small trying to come up w/ a reason as to why I was pounding on their door at 3 am, I said I was being chased and in my state I might have thought I was, it was scary to all.

After the antibiotic shot the doctor would meet us at her practice to give me, I'd feel sick, delirious. Then I would wake up and could go on. This is honest to god what happened to me. Then when I was having my child I was in the 23rd hour of labor and they gave me something for the pain, and I was wasted, in a way that took me back to the days when I had those wild fevers, I told me doctor: "when I am thinking I am talking and when I'm talking I'm really thinking it, coming through in waves."

It's wild but I do believe Waters when he says the song is about that feeling, because it's one you cannot accurately describe because right now I am not that person. When they had to rush me for the C-section because that first shot almost killed my son and me, I swear the man said you'll just feel a little prick like a bee sting, I remember because I said "What kind of Bee you been bit by!"

It didn't work the spinal, they then had to knock me out. Before I went under I remembered that feeling again, but it wasn't scary like it was with the first shot where I was coming through in waves... it was a crazy wild 24 hours.

My son is now in the other room playing Xbox and is 11. It turned out okay, but when I woke I was so drugged from all the above they had to keep putting me back in my bed as I was walking around after just having abdominal surgery. I again felt out of myself as I kept asking over and over the same question about my son. I have been comfortably numb in the way described 20 years after Waters felt them. I came to like Pink Floyd after high school in my 20s but I always liked this song, along w/ wish you were here, and now unfortunately my god daughter did die at 25(3-14) from what everyone does think this song is about, and I can see why. I wish you were here over and over as it was for Syd, who did indeed fry his brain, and died years later, but she just did it faster and harder, and God I wish she were here. And when I found out it was the last time, I felt that out of myself feeling.
Dawn - Warren, Mi
Two awesomely immaculate solos in a song which is utterly perfect in every way! What a story, what a voice, and finally the guitar! Dave's the man and Floyd is the band! gods of music.Darren - Auckland, New Zealand
The song always sounds like its about drugs, but it ain't. From my point of view, it seems like when you're ill or terrified of someone or something you try to find comfort elsewhere, this could be anything from loved ones to friends to objects or materials to God etc. In the wall film its seems pretty accurate to what waters was talking about in his childhood, seeing images of his past durning his delusional ailment. From this it shows just how in dept this song really is and how it affects others mentally or physically in a variety of different ways, its a song you just need to sit down for a good long time and listen to. The part with the injection is still foggy to me, the only reason why their showing this is to drawn a solid line of difference between medication from illegal street drugs such as cocaine and meth.Drake - Huntington Beach, Ca
I remember seeing Pink do the show in L.A. One of the most amazing performances I have seen and I have seen almost all of them. I feel very fortunate to have been able to be a part of this, It was on the birthday if I recall... Funny how you forget stuff like that. I was glad to see Pink go one after Waters decided to leave. Not the same but still there was no doubt that as important as Roger might have been to the band, pink survived beyond him and that means he might have been Floyd but he was not Pink... One of the all time great bands in music history!Mark - Vernonia, Or
Really this is more than music, its a part of my being you know? Its like the song is saying what my soul has been screaming for forever. It speaks to me in ways I cant understand, but I can guiltily enjoy...Prashant - Kathmandu, Nepal
All good art causes the reader, observer, and/or listener to interpret it the way he/she wants to. I am not a Pink Floyd fan, but this song is powerful, hypnotizing, and I can't get it out of my mind since hearing it sung with Eddie Vedder during the 12-12-12 Concert. It means a lot to me......for reasons that are only important to me!Steve - Hudson, Oh
I was 19 when "The Wall" debuted and "Comfortably Numb" meant something altogether different to me then than it does now. I too thought it was about drugs and that was par for the course when it came to my interpretation of the entire album - meaning I got all of it wrong. Having survived a 32 year career of drug and alcohol abuse, I write this opinion as I enter my 101st month clean and ironically, I find the lyrics to this song to be a metaphor which describes my transition from druggie to a recovering addict. This isn't what I think Pink Floyd was writing about, it's just my way of finding inspiration in the lyrics.

The following can describe my state in the midst of my usage which usually involved two seperate types of drugs and sometimes a third. I was for all intents and purposes a social zombie who is now seeking help through psychiatry. I didn't have any inkling of what an addict was - much less suspect I was even close to being one.

Hello?
Is there anybody in there?
Just nod if you can hear me.
Is there anyone at home?
Come on, now,
I hear you're feeling down.
Well I can ease your pain
Get you on your feet again.
Relax.
I'll need some information first.
Just the basic facts.
Can you show me where it hurts?

The following part describes my state further by mentioning "you are only coming through in waves" which is to say that I was very introverted, selfish and off in my head somewhere most of the time. The "fever" is another way of describing my addictive tendencies that began to emerge (in retrospect) when I was just starting elementary school. I was awkward at many things social hence, my hands felt like two balloons. That awkwardness comes back to me every once in a blue moon and for the life of me I can never expect when it will actually strike.

There is no pain you are receding
A distant ship, smoke on the horizon.
You are only coming through in waves.
Your lips move but I can't hear what you're saying.
When I was a child I had a fever
My hands felt just like two balloons.
Now I've got that feeling once again
I can't explain you would not understand
This is not how I am.
I have become comfortably numb.

Here, almost universally, is the part where folks think the song is about drug usage for the purpose of being high. I find the opposite to be the metaphor. The pinprick is the sudden flash of sanity one experiences prior to deciding to make a go of getting and staying clean. Feeling sick is another way of saying one goes through withdrawal symptoms. "That'll keep you going through the show" is the part where I inject the relationship with my Higher Power as an extension of the flash of sanity.

O.K.
Just a little pinprick.
There'll be no more aaaaaaaaah!
But you may feel a little sick.
Can you stand up?
I do believe it's working, good.
That'll keep you going through the show
Come on it's time to go.

I've left out the repeated lines to focus on the closing lyrics which basically describes the missed opportunity of growing up a normal kid. But now that I'm grown, and having survived three decades of drug and alcohol abuse, my relationship with my Higher Power has been such that my restoration to sanity has made that all just what it is - in my past. New life has emerged and money cannot possibly buy this. No drug can supplant it.

When I was a child
I caught a fleeting glimpse
Out of the corner of my eye.
I turned to look but it was gone
I cannot put my finger on it now
The child is grown,
The dream is gone.
I have become comfortably numb.
Bill - Philadelphia, Pa
Dear, kabrams, Dallas, TX,
Syd Barrett is not a vegetable. Yes, he experimented with drugs, but that was in his earlier years. Before he died in 2006, he was comfortably living in his childhood hometown of Cambridgeshire. By then, he was writing literature, painting, gardening and enjoying his isolated life. I'm almost positive his "endless drug experiments" were over by about 1980-ish.
I'm Syd's biggest and youngest fan. I'm offended that people would say stuff about him like that.
Savannah - Easley, Sc
I hate how everyone thinks this is about drugs, it's not its about when he was a child he got sick and had a fever and as a adult those feelings came back.Megan - Placerville, Ca
This song is just plain awesome. There are two things on the same level as Stairway to Heaven. Chuck Norris, and this song.Nate - New York, Ny
This song was the prettiest ballod, that really wasn't a love song.Wendell - Milton, Pe
The best version of this song (specially the solo part) was played between 1987 and 1989 and is a very well-known secret of die hard fans. I've heard more than 30 versions of Comfortably Numb.Hernán - La Plata, Argentina
The beauty of this song is that - you listen to it when you're sober and you interpret it in one way. You listen to it when you're high, and you interpret it in another way/ways.
Actually that can be said for all Floyd songs. I think everybody here, whether they debate about drugs and Floyd or not, can agree that the band is the closest thing on this planet to what we can call "Pure Unadulterated Genius!"
Katya - London, United Kingdom
The beauty of this guitar solo tends to infinity.
Just the way it is structured , its like Gilmour is showing us that he could continue to do it forever and ever, and it would only get better and better and better...
David - London, United Kingdom
Great song. Reminds me of the great times in high school back in the 70's and 80's..Jim - Long Beach, Ca
This song gets stronger and more powerful for me as I get older; I understand the loss of childhood, and the guitar solo echoes a weird feeling of lost memories for me.

anyway - the live version on "Is there Anybody out there" tops all versions of this song in my opinion; the only one with a better guitar solo was probably the Live 8 performance.
Javi D. - New York, Ny
"My hands felt just like tubaloons" According to Roger Waters.. a tubaloon is a small tuba shaped water bird. Very nice word play.Tj - Boston, Ma
first of all pink floyd is the best band ever and i dont know why you guys argue if it is about drugs or when he had a fever. I belive it is about the fever listen to the lyrics close enough and slow it down mabye you will catch onBrandon - Moncton, Nb
arguably one of pink floyds best songs the rhythem, guitar solo, everything about this song is perfectDarren - Penn Yan, Ny
my brother introduced me to Pink Floyd. Of course this is a classic Pink song, buy my favis " Learning to fly" I also like "Dogs of War" I can remember being in an inebreated state when i heard most of Pink Floyd. My brother bought The Wall and I remember watching it as a little girl and not understanding but knowing it was not good. Very scary just like all things you dont understandDelilah - Orange Texas, Tx
I love to think this song is about heroin cuz it makes it more bad ass then just a autobiograghical story. The music is dark and slow tempoed and really makes sense about heroin.Marcus - Fresno, Ca
i dont know why everyone has to argue about the interpretation of a song, everyone has a different view of it, so why argue? also, it's incredible, but i think its about having an out of body experienceRyan - Orange, Ca
so much critique of others input...songs touch us all in ways based on our life and where we our in our journey...chill and enjoy the views. Obviously a round the globe popular song. i have a mental illness and this has always been a healing song for me. at times illegal drugs and others i view it as the head doc...who i believe is these days more dangerous than the narcotics, etc...and i have visited my fair share of them...zero positiveDodi - Rapid City, Sd
The video for this is very very creepy. I like it.Gary - Kailua, Hi
It's such a wonderful song, which hits me straight in the heart. Especially because I know the feeling it describes... I've often been feverish when I was a child, and one time I was in such a fever that I was delirious and close to death..Budoshi - Sandnessjøen, Norway
For those of you fighting about what this song is about ... just remember this qoute from Syd Barrett himself ....


"I think it's good if a song has more than one meaning. Maybe that kind of song can reach far more people."
Kenzi - Riverside, Ut
I just air-guitared the entire solo while talking to my friend on Skype. It was epic.Chloe - St. Louis, Mo
My mind works in a very different way than that of most in the world. When I first saw the movie The Wall it was unexplainable to me, it was as if someone had reached out and spoken to me. To mentally be in that kind of state... is so REAL and i think a lot of people don't understand that. Anyway when i saw the movie i pretty much became upsessed with all things Pink Floyd, and when i heard this song... it took me back to the REASON i had built my own wall. i can understand why people would think its about drugs i've done my fair share, but to anyone thats seen a laser floyd show... the whole part about "relax i need some information first...." gives me the total impression of someone at a psyciatrists. At the light shows it shows someone sitting down (as you would when at a shrnks) and someone standing up with a clipboard taking down the persons information... basically saying... hey you need help, well i can do that but it doesn't matter whats wrong with you i need to get some FACTS about who you are i.e name address phone number insurance info... and so on. Not even caring about how much pain this person is in on the INSIDE. then it goes on to show this psyciatrist giving the other person a shot... like people being medicated to deal with life. like the shrink is saying... i don't know who you ARE and i don't care... there's this whole world going on out there that you have to be a part of and you can't go out there and be a NORMAL person in this state... so here let me give you some zanax, or prozac, or whatever other s--t they're giving out to keep people "going for the show" the show being a metaphor for LIFE not an actual appearance by the band.Amanda - Detroit, Mi
Cool song. It would be perfect for "House" or even "Nurse Jackie" since both of them take prescription pills to ease pain and become "Comfortably Numb" so they can get on with their day.J.d. - Columbia, Sc
I must say I get a kick out of people who think this song is about narcotics or mental illness or God only knows what other interesting interpretations I've read over the years.

The truth is......exactly what Roger has said the song is about. No more, no less. While lyrical interpretation can be a great thing, in this case it just leads to more unintentional comedy than anything else.
Beth - Winston-salem, Nc
No one has any idea what they are talking. First of all if you haven't done heroin you really have NO IDEA what its like. This song is definatly without a doubt about it and the way it makes you feel.Katie - New York, Ny
You guys go on and bicker about whether or not the song's about drugs or not....I'm just going to listen to this musical masterpiece til I'm "Comfortably Numb"Bernie - Edmonton, Ab
ok most of you have no idea what you are talking about. comfortably numb comes from the wall which was a ROCK OPERA. meaning that the album that tells a story in this case the story of the fictional character Pink. if you actually follow the story of the album (or watch the movie) youd know that its the part of the story in which Pink is trying to be reached by his doctor, manager, etc. but they cant climb over the wall he has built for himself. Pink is too messed up due to his mental state due to his self inflicted alienation (and most likely drugs). the first part (where waters sings) is the doctor attempting to get thru to him believing he has a medical problem. pink answers when gilmour sings and reflects on past experiences and such while he is not in his right mindMike - Freehold, Nj
"In a recent interview Roger Waters admitted he wrote the lyrics while on drugs. And the whole song is nothing but drug references. Also, he was never sick as a child, that's an urban legend (check out snopes.com)."

Oh, of course Jay from Atlanta, he must have never ever been sick as a child! How could we be so silly and thoughtless? No on ever gets sick when they're children!

Personally I think it's about what he says it's about. That tends to be the right answer. If God bent over and told you the meaning of life and the world, would you believe him or would you not believe him because you thought it was about drugs? Lol sorry.
Ian - Paddock Lake, Wi
I never thought this song was about drugs necessarily; but, I have to admit i never thought it was something as simple as a fever state Waters suffered first as a child, then as an adult. I've always thought it was more about Waters struggles with depression-a theme thats constant throughout The Wall. But the solo in this song is the best I've ever heard-and not because Gilmore can fit 100 notes in a 4 beat measure, but because the solo captures the essence of the song-there's a great deal of desperation in this song and you can hear it in the solo-you can actually feel it-I've heard this song hundreds of times, and I still get chills-Mike - Fair Haven, Vt
okay guys waters even says it tons of times the song is about him as a child when he got sick and he once had the experience before a show so the doc had to give him meds, but the crowd was fine and enjoying the show while waters played not so well because of the medsDom - Croton - On - Hudson, Ny
sorry, dom from NY, but there are very, very few pink floyd love songs. i think pigs on the wing might be it, and even thats not your traditional love song. just listen to it in the context of the album, and believe me, it wont be a bummer. its when the entire story turns, when pink has completely severed himself from the rest of the world, and theres no going back.Chloe - St. Louis, Mo
i always thought this song was about love. i honestly thought the whole song was just a huge giant metaphor for a shy person in love. now that i know what the meaning actually is its a real bummer... but i still hear it as a metaphoric song none-the-less.Dom - Niagara Falls, Ny
one of the greatest songs ever. the lyrics are genius, i have a hard time accepting that the solo was created by a human...simply indescribable.
happy birthday david gilmour- he's sixty three today.
Chloe - St. Louis, Mo
okay so for the people who don't actually do any research on things before they speak this song isn't about drugs, it's about insulin shock and other complications from diabetes. First off Roger Waters has said on god knows how many occasions that it's not about drugs so I'm gonna take his word over other peoples. Also the first three verses of the song is about medical personnel trying to talk to someone who is in some kind of disassociated/catatonic state which can happen to people suffering from complications from diabetes like Syd Barrett-lead singer and guitarist for pink floyd from 1965-1967 suffered from since he was very young. On several occasions it has been documented that he had gone into insulin shock before shows which would make him unable to go on stage to perform and seeing as how he was an integral part of the band that obviously wouldn't work too well. So when they say "Ok.Just a little pinprick. There'll be no more --aaaaaahhhhh! But you may feel a little sick." they are talking about getting an insulin shot-becoming ill or sick feeling after is a common side effect- I know because I am diabetic and have gone through this before. When you go into insulin shock you go into a catatonic state where you really feel nothing and don't have very much control of your body-which granted may also be a side effect of heroin use all fits together better with the idea medical complications. When you get a shot of insulin while having one of these episodes you begin to feel again but it's more like that feeling when your foot falls asleep and you start to move it again,and also tend to be very calm hence the term comfortably numb.Victoria - Cherry Hill, Nj
Comfortable and Numb. what else do we all want
to be? Perfection!!!!
And two of the coolest guitar solo's of all time in one song.
Pure and simple, this is what the song's about: dissallusionment gone to the extreme.
Jeff - Casa Grande, Az
I agree with Ashley from canada, its not about drugs.Dave - Moberly, Mo
Sorry to disappoint you, stoners, but this is about illness that mimics the effects of heavy drugs.
Even in the movie, the boy gets infected with something nasty from a dying rat that he touches, again reinforcing what Roger Waters himself (you know, the guy who WROTE it) has said it is actually about.
Now, this is to many people, Floyd's finest work ever.
I personally prefer "Us and Them," but the lyrics to CN are some of their finest, and Dave Gilmour's solo is undoubtedly his best ever, and probably one of the best from ANYONE.
Oldpink - New Castle, In
comfortable numb is about pink completing his isolation from the world and realizing he has come this far and can't turn back. its being comfortable with no emotions and feelings, being numb. its about breaking up homes because of his regret of losing control and running home, its about being so complacent behind the 4 walls and just being content with sadness and loneliness. its about being stubborn and foolish in the worst possible way, choosing isolation over love and social interaction.Chris - Boston, Ma
This is definitely my all time favorite song. This song is just so absolutly amazing. It definitely deserved winning the best solo. I always thought this song was about being high. It's interesting to find out that's it's about something completely different.Lacee - Omaha, Ne
..... and the beatles said that Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds wasn't about LSD....Mitz - Boston, Ma
This song is one of the most AMAZING songs ever made!!!! It is so moving, and just amazing...im speechlessAudra - Columbus, Fl
No. No. No.
Why is it so hard to understand? This is simply the story of chemical medical intervention into a man's brief confrontation with his own natural mortality. "There is no pain, you are receding" He sub-consciously recalls from his youth a similar brush close to death's embrace, and feels a reminisent mortal detachment and confusion.
"I can't explain, you would not understand, this is not how I am"
Numb is the nirvana that comes with full relinquishment. In that context, the coldly artificial intrusion of medicine seems perverse and sinister.
"OK, just a little pin prick" "...I do believe it's working, good." The dream, that harbinger and softener of death, is postponed once again and now numb is the experiance of going through the motions of a life extended.
Jim - Rochester, Ny
i think this song is about one of the members being really sick and the lines "Ok, just a little pin prick" "Can you stand up?I do believe it's working. Good.That'll keep you going for the show.Come on it's time to go." is about giving him a cure or something. i really dont care what its about i love this song.Joe - Norristown, Pa
I love this song it has such a relaxed feel at the start which tends to make you feel fine then it has those to awesome solos. Simple amazing!Adam - Yarmouth, Me
Syd Barrett died on 7 July 2006, either of pancreatic cancer, or of complications from diabetesMartin - Rostock, Germany
Dear Syd isn't at all a vegetable or braindead or any other blasphemous remarks expressed by rude individuals who have no consideration of what toxic blurtouts(without fact, mind you)
could do to a fragile character.

Currently, Syd is dwelling in his childhood domicile(Cambridgeshire, England). He is rarely seen and prefers arts of hand, composing literature as well as gardening far away from foul-mouthed lowlifes with no decency, which is what a some of you have mindlessly displayed.
Whit - Sunshine City,
The last 2 minutes of this song kill me, the guitar is gorgeous, no one can out play that.Chelsea - Wichita, Ks
ok this song isnt about drugs
iv seen interviews when roger says its about being sick

one of the best songs and guitar solos ever
Jacko - Atlanta, Ga
Dar Williams & Ani DiFranco do a beautiful cover of this song.Vicki - Liberty, Tx
Dave Gilmour wrote the music while he was working on a solo album in 1978. He brought it to The Wall sessions and Waters wrote lyrics for it.

God Darn Right.
David - Tappan, Ny
All i can say is that the Guitar solo from the pulse album is sick. i think it's about 5 min but he just wails on the guitar..check it out on youtube it's absolutely amazing.Chris - Columbus, Oh
I don't care much for Pink Floyd but this is a great song. I always thought it was about taking drugs but was never sure. I like the melody of the song and the way is is sung. Very lovely.Amber - San Francisco, Ca
Gilmour closed his Royal Albert Hall show (on his Remember That Night DVD) with this song, with David Bowie singing Waters' part of the lyrics. A fantastic end to a great video.Joshua - La Crosse, Wi
superb song,great lyrics,greatest guitar solo by Gilmour not a bad start to Pink Floyd!!!Axl1987 - Mumbai, India
i was driving , listening to this song with my friend the other night and i said what's this song about ? and he said it was about the lead singer being depressed and always disconnected and without energy so the band's managers and whatnot would drug him up before their concerts hense the line " this'll keep you going threw the show" ... not true ?Cera - Kentville, Ns
Their singing is so melodic and relaxing, there's no doubt in my mind what this is about. But the strings and their voices are so lovely and relaxing. Reminds me of myself when my friends say i'm being weird,i just tell them, this is not how i am!!!!!Allie - A Little Ol' Town In, Mi
Great song..Most likely the references that most people mention are drug related. Still though, it brings back great memories from HS, when I didn't have a care in the world. We would just smoke and relax, laugh, and have fun. Life was much more simple and much less complex during that timeDmajtx - Houston, Tx
For me it's always been about the loss of innocence, that clarity and optimism we have before it's lost to the realities of adulthood. What is being administered in the pinprick is a dose of "reality", the hard realities of life. It makes for an interesting twist, because here reality is a "drug" that is distorting or destroying something. We usually think of drugs as something that can distort reality. Roger Waters' lines represent the demands of civilized society with his clinical (but dark) demand for "information" and "basic facts". As the "drug" takes effect innocence fades, and David Gilmour's character begins to lose his grip on youth, hence the reference to a fleeting glimpse of something he can't put his finger on, and finally the statement "the child is grown the dream is gone". Once he is comfortably numb, the drug has done its job, he no longer has the cares and the dreams of his youth. The young protest injustice, and question why things are the way they are, but we get over that and just accept things after a while - that's the numbness. Yes, I would agree that it's a sad song, but a good one too.Steve - Hampton Roads, Va
The song works on both levels. You can interpret it as you see fit.

When younger, I had a severe reaction to some kind of vaccine and was with a high fever, etc. I know I DID see "it" out of the corner of my eye; others have had the same experience. But when you try to look at it directly, it is gone.

At the end, you've lost your childhood dreams, you can't find "it" any more, people don't understand that "this is not how I am" and you've reached the point that you are so un-feeling that the pain is gone and you are left with a sort of don't give a damn despair.

A VERY sad song, actually.
John - Rancho Santa Margarita, Ca
I always assumed the song was about doing heroin.Dave - Lacrosse, Wi
" You know what I learned on a documentary? Adolf Hitler was constantly high on drugs, like cocaine, heroin and amphetemines."
Hahahaha. You should learn about serious events like WW1 and 2, by studying history books, not watching television documentaries. PS Adolf Hitler didn't listen to country and western, either.
Liquid Len - Ottawa, Canada
This song is totally awesome. It really describes what it feels like to be detached from reality and yourself. I <3 pink floydLibbi - Somewhere Secret
its what you make of it, i think it could be about be lost in the world and the struggle of seeing if you are still all there on the inside,Adrian - San Antonio, Tx
GREATTT song, not Floyd's best (nor the Wall's best) but still quite kick ass. But the cover by Patricia Maertens for the tribute album is my least favorite song to date. THAT was awful.Sheeberson - Wrightsville Beach, Nc
You know what I learned on a documentary? Adolf Hitler was constantly high on drugs, like cocaine, heroin and amphetemines. In the story, "Pink" was given drugs to keep going, and he imagined himself to be a dictator...just like Hitler.

Is that coincidence? Or was that done on purpose?
Arianna - Largo, Fl
Awesome guitar!Alan - Chesterfield, Mi
I love this song! It's not about drugs! Why does everybody think this!Andrew - Bartlett, Tn
"When I was a child, I cought a fleeting glimpse out of the corner of my eye, I turned to look but it was gone. I cant put my finger on it now, the child is grown, the dream is gone." How the heck is that inspirational! This is one of Pink Floyds saddest songs. It brings tears to my eyes.Nathan - Willow Spring, Nc
Hey you Guy's, COME ON! I don't claim to be God, don't claim to be particularly bright (I did graduate with a Grad. Degree from Harvard though), but what I DO KNOW I KNOW! The song IS about DRUGS! At least in part, try & reduce it to psychobabble( what I have my Grad. Degree in) YOU MISS THE POINT! Reduce it to any sort of Academia and....YOU MISS THE POINT!Wing - Barton, Vt
I see it as way too overrated song...that, or my station plays it over an over and OVER again. I love their earlier stuff.Jetson - Fort Worth, Tx
Just listen to that guitar. WOWMelanie - Seattle, Wa
I have done my share of drugs, and I have to say that any notion of this song being about drugs is flawed. I can't say I have done heroin, but let me say that if he shot up, he wouldn't be able to move for a good long time, let alone preform. That's on a practical level. Looking at the album as a whole, we see that Pink has grown up with an overprotective mother, abusive school teachers, and no father. He slowly goes insane, alienating himself from society. He tries to conform at first, but his supressed feelings eat away at him. This album is not some story about a junky; it is a meticulous examination of how modern society forces us to internalize our feelings. Further proving this point is the song The Trial, which no one listens to unless they have a genuin interest in Pink's story (most people don't and just hear this song and scream DRUGS). In The Trial, Pink finally must be "exposed before his piers," meaning that this internalization of his emotions was the true cause of his hallucinations and alienation. "The Wall" that Pink builds represents his continued supression of his thoughts. It is also worth noting the conclusive, almost joyous, melody of "Outside the Wall", signifying his ultimate ability to lay bare his true being.Griffin - Weston, Ma
You took the words from my mouth david. This is by far my favorite Pink Floyd song i think most part is because it was song of thiers i heard when i was 6. Everytime i hear i just this wierd feeling of inspirationKris - Wichita, Ks
Posted on 11/1/2007. Just an absolutely awesome song! The symphonic background is so uplifting and David Gilmour's guitar just soars. I can't say enough about what a great song this is. They were truly inspired when they made this masterpiece. Just sit back and let yourself be blown away!David - Deerfield Beach, Fl
The first couple lines are "Is there anybody in there?" and "Is there anyone home?"- both of these are the opposites to earlier songs on the album "is there anybody out there?" and "Nobody Home". It is basically someone answering Pink's call from behind the wall, and making him feel better by numbing the pain. I believe there is a mystery in this song- the feeling he is describing, where he is comfortably number, but there's an altered sense of reality- like something more significant is going on- but he cannot explain it ("I can't explain, you would not understand"). Also, I am wondering if the song could also be about making a deal with the devil - "I need some information first - just the basic facts" (soul?), or "I can ease your pain, get you on your feet again"James - Bedford, Canada
Actually, I heard this song isn't about drugs. I was told that, before a Pink Floyd show, Roger Waters had a pain in his liver. Gilmour and a doctor or something assisted him and gave him sedants. "That'll keep you going through the show".

Of course, I don't think this is what they based on to write the song, since I just heard it from one person. It was my dad though, lol.
Tomás - Buenos Aires, Argentina
I don't know what is this song about so surely, but every time I listen to it I feel relaxed. Sounds like he's trying to help someoneDubravko - Kakanj, Bosnia
roger waters voice is indeed more "scary" than gilmour but gilmour has one power voice.
anyway there's a nice video clip of the song played in that concert ,with a funny frame of gilmour after he finished to scream
Arik - Tel Aviv, Israel
I can believe that Gilmour let out the loud scream. But - "who else... can scream like this?" - it's nowhere near as blood-curdling as ROGER WATERS'S scream in Careful with That Axe, Eugene.Michael - Oxford
Cameron, "delicate sound of thunder" was recorded on a tour that was done without waters (it was after he left the band) . the "Hello" part was sang mostly by the "new" players that play with the main groups members (gilmour mason wright) except for the famous scream that was made by gilmour (well...who else has a voice that can scream like this)Arik - Tel Aviv, Israel
This is one of four songs Pink Floyd (with all four members) performed for their one-off reunion at 2005's Live Aid.Chuck - Joppa, Md, Md
Hey does anyone know who does the lyrics in comfortably numb [delicate sound of thunder] the part that goes hello .... is there anybody in there? . is that roger waters or who?Cameron - Gold Coast, Australia
This is the last great progressive rock songs. Countless people have listened to it for the guitar solo alone, but if you really listen to it, the lyrics are very powerful, too. Hardly anything I've ever heard better conveys how it feels to do self-destructive things, and to have others aid and abet such acts, simply to go on and do what people expect of us. It's that rare rock'n'roll song that actually means more to me now than it did when I first heard it.Musicmama - New York, Ny
the greatest guitar solo ever written by the greatest guitarist ever,
not only is Gilmour the best gitarist ever, he has such a beautiful voice, and Water's lyrics just can never be beaten, it's such a shame the two don't get along, they were brilliant together and i wish they'd just leave the past behind them and play together again, pink floyd could change the world if they wanted to, in a way, they already have
Daferdaty - Leicester, England
this is such an awesome song. david gilmour's guitar solos and roger water's bass is amazing. the chorus is also awesome.Danny - Brockton, Ma
this was in the departed!Jess - Lowell, Ma
drugs or god: it's all biochemistry according to aldous huxley(who i've heard waters cite a few times). huxley too cited hallucinating during high fevers as a child, and being exposed to a psychological state (or 'dream') that he didn't experience again until trying mescaline.
anyone feeling me on this? brnelson@rustoleum.com
Brian - Minneapolis, Mn
look people, plain and simple, here's the sotry behind the song. the day of a concert for the album animals, roger waters had to go to the hospital and get a shot for hepatitis. then when, he got to the concert to perform, he could not feel his arms, whatsoever. so he played through the concert, numbly, and when he got back to the hotel, he wrote this song. at one concert, he spit on a concert-goer. the song is basically about that feeling of numbness/the seperation he felt from his audience. in the context of the movie/the album, it takes on a different meaning, since the movie/album tell a story, but to figure that out, you'll have to go to www.thewallanalysis.com it's too long to explain here.Achory - Warner Robins, Ga
If you WANT there to be deep hidden meanings in this song, satanic backward messages, references to the invasion of Normandy/Phil Collins divorce, WHATever. You win. You are so right, there are deep meanings to the words of this song. Take the first letter of each word, and plot them on an x-y grid, take the resulting image, overlay it with the all-seeing eye on the pyramid on the american dollar (all this while playing the soundtrack to the wizard of oz), and you will begin to see the truth behind these lyrics. Man, I don't know how rockers have TIME to record, with all the intricate deep messages they put in their songs.Liquid Len - Ottawa, Canada
Liquid Len, if your theory is correct then the loud scream should come BEFORE the pin prick!Michael - Oxford, England
One of the BEST guitar solos ever written!Laura - London, England
It is one of the best songs ever done - I have taken some of those online courses where everyone is suppose to meet at a certain time to discuss something in a chat room, you wait and wait, then you type in: Helloooooooo, heloooo is there anybody in there. It leaves me feeling disassociation and floating - sort of in space - comfortably peaceful. Sue, MASusan - Plymouth, United States
Has anyone ever noticed this: Somebody screams in response to the injection but the sound comes in one bar/measure too late. Listen: "Just a little pin prick. [NO scream here] There'll be no more [Owww!] but you may feel a little sick".

You're misinterpreting things and seeing what isn't there. "Just a little pin prick" [and a little A major chord played high up on an electric piano or something similar]

There'll be no more [Aaahh]. The aaaah is the terrible way he feels, and the pinprick is whatever the medics injected him with to relieve the pain, bring him down, whatever.

Great song, with two of the best guitar solos in all of rock.
Liquid Len - Ottawa, Canada
many people here made great points about the song's meaning. here goes my 2 cents: there's a state called depersonalization. everyone experiences it sometimes in their lives. when they are under drug influence. or extremely weary. or when they have a fever. or completely randomly. it's somthing like a total.. separation... from reality. (some people experience it, like, permanently, then it's called depersonalization disorder - I, unfortunately, suffer from this). so. For me, Comfortably Numb is describing this feeling.

I like what Michael from Oxford wrote about the misplacement of that scream. It's something real interesting to realize, i think it was meant both to express "pain" in general and a scream as a response to that "little pinprick". Kind of talks about, well, proportions, perspective.. there's a lot of stuff in this song.

oh, and I also like what John form VA wrote.
Zuzana - Bratislava, Europe
Hmmm, you've got a point there. ... I don't know WHAT to think.Michael - Oxford, England
Michael: I always assumed that the scream was in the right place: There'll be no more [Aaah] -- no more screams in pain -- but you may feel a little sick!Stephen - Portland, Or
Has anyone ever noticed this: Somebody screams in response to the injection but the sound comes in one bar/measure too late. Listen: "Just a little pin prick. [NO scream here] There'll be no more [Owww!] but you may feel a little sick".Michael - Oxford, England
In January of 1985 when asked "Do you have any favorite guitar solos on record? " David Gilmour said: "Both solos on "Comfortably Numb" are pretty good"Chris - Austin, Tx
These posts always start with good facts and then digress into people saying random points they present as a 'fact'. I say a new rule is people have to give references.

- Fact : David Gilmour - Born March 6, 1944

- Fact : The Wall came out in Nov 30, 1979

- Fact : David Gilmour was 35 when he wrote this solo.

- Fact : "The Dark Side Of The Moon was toured before the album was made. That determined things - they worked onstage before they ever got to record. And I suppose that's the big difference on this thing. It [The Wall] was purely made in the studio" - David Gilmour

- Fact : When commenting on writing a guitar solo Gilmour once said "I tend to go for a solo by just putting on a guitar without even thinking about the key or anything. I just hammer through it until it feels right. I try to get disoriented, if you like. That helps me find an approach which I refine and work on.
"

While it is objectionable whos styles or songs are 'better' than others, this work represents one of the most acclaimed rock songs ever written in terms of emotions conveyed and technique. It is hard to say something is 'better' than something else when opinions can vary, but what *can* be said is none can claim to do it better than Gilmour does here.
Chris - Austin, Tx
saying this song is "about" smack or other drugs is like saying the crucifixion is "about" vinegar or nails. waters denies it is about drugs. why not take HIS word?
when i was child, preschool, i got a fever, so high i had febral convulsions, i.e., halucinations. my description of them to my brothers in that state revealed them to be beautiful/pleasant. like waters, i cannot put my fingers on them now.
anyone who has ever had the dubious pleasure of taking thorazine knows that your hands feel like two ballons. in fact it's very difficult to get them in your pockets. an amphetamine shot would be an effective temporary antidote to that feeling (but see your doctor). but the song transcends any narrow drug message. it concerns loss of the beauty we get a fleeting glimpse of as children and how as artists we struggle to get it back--maybe with drugs, maaybe not. interestingly, the famous abstract expressionist painter de Kooning referred to himelf as the "slipping glimpser."
john kents store va.
John - Kents Store, Va
This song is the epitome of brilliance. I do not think it matters wether this song is about drugs or not. I happen to think that this song is not about drugs. What is more important in this song is not so much what is causing this state of being "comfortably numb" but more about it being the description of a specfic moment in which words cannot fuly grasp the feeling in an accurate manner. In this sense, this song is beautiful. The ability Rogers has in explaining an emotion, a short glimpse in time in which your whole perception of reality changes is amazing. There are glimpses in time in which one feels completley diffrent from what one really is..these moments are rare but mystifying. How one's mind can alter the perception of things around you is shocking, to say the least. These short glimpses of altered reality is something of beauty. If one cannot appreciate the feeling itself, one can certainly appreciate that one is healthy enough not to worry about becoming crazy, as what happened to Syd Barret. I think this is what makes this song so special: Waters has an ability of grasping an emotion and expressing it in a way one can relate to. Also, the plain fact remains, no one can be too sure what this song is about, and this makes the song all the more better...oh, and the solo rocks too!Manuel - Santo Domingo, Other
When I hear the song, I think about all the "pod people" or zombies roaming around too busy to smile or give you the time of day because they're too busy talking on their stupid cell phones or they're just in their own pathetic world where they never think of anyone else. I'm always saying "Hello, is There Anybody in There?" when a rude person runs into me and doesn't acknowledge it, or when idiots talking on their cell phones are swerving all over and can't figure out why people are honking at them! I have to call people numb butts who don't feel compassion, ethics or much of anything for that matter. Sometimes I wish I was "Comfortably Numb," so that I wouldn't care too much about people & important things...but not really. I'd rather feel too much than nothing! This is one of my life's "theme songs."Tammy - Denver, Co
correction: i should have said in my comment you've yet to post, "the painter de Kooning referred to himself as the 'slipping glimpser.'"
same point: his aim was to capture that glimpse that we see but cannot put our finger on!
john of kents store va.
John - Kents Store, Va
pls. post my comment. i typed it all out and then went to the "comment guidelines" to see if "damned" was o.k. i clicked to look but it was gone. i cannot put my fingers on it now. john kents store va.John - Kents Store, Va
Thank you Ben from Fife, Scotland for saying: "Can we PLEASE forget drugs here and just enjoy the song?" Oh YEAH! When I listen to the second guitar solo on that song (which STILL gives me goosebumps after all these years) I couldn't give a rats arse whether it's about drugs or not!
While I'm here, I'd just like to share with you that when I was 16 and sitting in Mum and Dads backyard, I had my first spiritual experience. I was being coccooned by over protective parents and had no real idea about such things. comfortably Numb came onto the radio, and even in such a dead, suburbian scenario, I knew that there was something very very special about that song. When that music was composed, God was there with him!
Christine, Victoria, Australia
Christine - Victoria, Australia
i will always remember this song....... it is one of the first pink floyd song i have ever heard and it's the one song that got me into them.Joe - Chicago, Ar
Man Pink Floyd's music is undescribable, the lyrics give off a mysterious feeling i cannot explainCcr - Fondy, Wi
Hello ( ello ello ello ello) Is anybody in there ( ere ere ere ere).. I LOVE THIS SONGGGGGGGGGG!
just nod if you can hear me!
Cgoober - Olympia, Nh
might i recommend collecting the various versions of this song and compiling a CD. There are at least 5 non-bootlegs ... The Wall, Is There Anybody Out There, Delicate Sound of Thunder, Pulse, Roger Waters: In The Flesh ... for starters. Unfortunately the two versions on David's DVD are sung horribly, and if it weren't for David's vocals and guitar, it would be unlistenable. Bob "Pink" Geldof himself didn't even know the song ... needed lyric sheet and couldn't keep the rythm.Chris - Greenville, Sc
Aw, hell- I had mistakenly misspelled Roger Waters's last name- and didn't realize it until after the posting. But I have also noticed that this song had to require editing 2 takes together, since Roger Waters and Dave Gilmour had a dispute over which to edit. I wonder what the song would have sounded like otherwise? I just can't imagine this song being any better with a different version.Randy - Colerain Twp., Oh
Definitely one of my favorite Pink Floyd songs. Both Dave Gilmour's vocals and guitar solos on this song are totally awsome. Also both the lyrics and music were well-written. Ironically, the best song that both Roger Walters and Dave Gilmour wrote together turned out to be their last... what a damn shame.Randy - Colerain Twp., Oh
First off: as with all great works of art, there is plenty of room in this song for personal interpretation. That said, if you look at Comfortably Numb's context in The Wall, you can see that this song was written to describe the success of the emotional wall Pink had built to separate himself from people who he thought would hurt him. This wall worked so well that even when someone was trying to help him, Pink couldn't even respond. The comments about the feelings in Pink's hands while he was a child were written about not only his physical body, but his consciousness--a feeling of being completely out of touch with reality. The drugs that the doctor gives Pink are to give him the grip on reality needed to play a concert.Ryan - Bismarck, Nd
I strongly believe that the lyrics were written in such a way to let the listener imagine whatever. This song was cut from the Wall movie but I could see where insanity could play a role.
A shot is given to Pink to calm his nerves and so on.
Joel - Columbia, Sc
I felt like this when I was I was 10. I got really sick and had an allergic reaction to a decongestant. I had several panic attacks and bad anxiety for a whole week. My hands did feel like two ballons. Since then about once a year I'll wake up and feel the same way again.Everett - Tuscaloosa, Ak
I saw the Wall in LA, sat. 2/9/80, sec. 14 row 9 seat 4 ..4-channel sound w/speakers in the audience..Also got real sick w/a fever during a deadly flu epidemic in 1959 (I was 3 yrs. old) and my folks were very scared..I thought my hands felt just like 2 balloons.Who knows if it's all about drugs? Could be just a childhood memory of the writer..I'll never forget that show though, and my buddy Ray Greeves got the tix through a lottery but he had to go back to missouri for a court/child support thing so we got his tix..The show was indescribable, fantastic, and I've seen them all except for Hendrix and Zeppelin. We were stone sober too..One of the highlights of my whole life--Hopkorv, N.Troy, VermontHopkorv - Not Troy, Vt
This is a song that invites me to get high regardless of what people may think.I wish I could understand the beauty od that song's message.We miss you badly Syd....I'll see ya on the other side!Francisco - Atlanta, Ga
David Gilmour owned a P-51D Mustang with the nose art "Comfortably Numb" from 1991 to 2003 when he sold it to Terry Tarditi of Lodi California.David - Petaluma, Ca
As a response to anyone who is speculating about whether this song is about drugs, You need to listen to the whole album. It continues the story and most likely has very little to do with any real-life events experienced by any members of the band.

By the way, is the movie good? I was going to rent it but a friend of mine described it as "F***ed up" and said it ruined the album for him so i decided against it.
Wade - Vancouver, Canada
Absolutely the best guitar solo ever.Wade - Vancouver, Canada
Everyone who plays guitar should learn how to play it on the acoustic guitar.Sam - Portsmouth, Va
To Jack Green,

This song could be about what ever the listener wants it be.
Jeff - Lafayette, Ga
Tune in drop out baby. I love this song. Now its time for some red bull and vodka,play Metallica's And JUSTICE FOR ALL. brian va USABrian - Burke, Va
David Gilmore axe work is great. This song makes me want to take bong hits under a black light. BRIAN VA. USABrian - Burke, Va
Comfortably Numb is a great Pink Floyd song. David Gilmour did a spectacular solo to get this song where it is today.Mike - Quakertown, Pa
Roger wrote The Wall to express the wall that his mother built around him after his father died in the war.Echoe - Conversano, Italy
The Guitar Solo at the end are the greatest ever its so perfect and it make mi shiver,David Gilmour is the greatest Guitarist Ever.Joakim - Jönköping, Sweden
OK LETS SET THINGS STRAIGHT

This song is not about drugs, insanity, or sickness (although it can feel like it). It is about a state of conciousness where you feel alienated, isolated, lonley, and lost (even if you are surrounded by people who love you). This song explores the deepest realms of human nature, and can even be compared to certain traits of paranoid or avoidant personality disorders. IN the movie, Pink needs drugs in order to perform. Although this state can be achieved with drugs, it can also be achieved simply through a self-destructive ego building a "wall" around yourself, causing you to not care nor feel anything, not emotions, not from your closest family or friends. It is desolate and similar to a deep depression but there is not much sadness, hence "comfortably". When Rogers says it isn't about drugs, he is right. I know the feeling.
Jack Green - Honolulu, Hi
great, great, great!!!!!!!!!love it!!!!!!Joanna - Kielce
when i was 11 i had cancer that actully made me paralyied for a day and obiously it made me numb...from the neck down...surgens were able to fix it to the point where i am able to walk but i do live in a staggering amount of pain...so when i listen to this song i think about when i was parlyed and how scray it was not being able to feel myself breathbeing "numb" and now wish i was comfortably numb because i live a life of pain...the lyric that touches me most "ok just a little pin prick there be no more..but you'll feel a little sick." cause i had to deal with a lot of needles and alot of times the meds made me sickMadalyn - Greensburg, Pa
I think the best lyric in this is "The Child is grown, the dream is gone", especially for someone at my age (I'm 20) and when you really, really start to realise that many of your old childhood dreams simply will not come true. Another sign at how this song can really mean whatever you want it to.Joseph - La, Ca
One of my favorite pink floyd songs... it's spiritual, mystical, and will do whatever you want it to do, mean whatver you want it to mean.Kelly - Anchorage, Ak
Roger Waters does refer to symptoms of hepititis in this song. He had it when he was a child.Stefanie - Rock Hill, Sc
I love anything Pink Floyd does....they are one of the greatest bands in history and been around since I was a teen .....Vic in Catawba, S.C.Vic - Catawba, Sc
This is a fantastic song. In my opinion one of the best of all time. The music is quite surreal. To write a song like this would have to be done in delusional state of mind! But what a songSimon - Hobart, Australia
In my opinion... the guitar solo inbetween the first and second verse is perhaps the best solo of all time.....gilmoure is just such a great guitarist.Mitch - New York, Ny
There's definitely a drug element here; not just because Pink in the movie has overdosed; this is someone in a self-induced catatonic state cerebrially shifting through different phases of his life wondering how he ended up where he is; if you've done too much drugs at some point in your life (not even necessarily overdosing) you know what I'm talking about.J - Nyc, Ny
sounds like a childhood disease to me, in which you drift in and out of conciousnessKatherine - Perth
Come on. Everything is about drugs. This song no more and no less than any other. The end.Aylin - Montreal
Such a great song. It reminds me of my childhood when my mother used to record her favorite songs off of the classic and oldies stations. This was one of them. I remember not knowing the lyrics at the time, being so young. I do recall the blissful feeling I received from just hearing and feeling the music alone. Now that I am older and have obviously by now learned the words, I realize that my early memories of this song and others like it, are responsible for the person I am today. Not only that, but responsible for the music I have come to love. Thank you mom for passing that on to me. Love ya!Danci - Okc, Ok
sounds like a heroin song but it isnt... in wikipedia online encyclopidia it lists songs that deal with drugs... this was listed under cocaine... im pretty sure its not though... the battle idea is brilliant i wouldnt have thought about it it sounds good to meTyler - Buffalo, Ny
Can anybody confirm or deny that the doctor's voice went into the creation of the character Dr. Chinnery in Britain's League of Gentlemen? I can't separate the two no matter how I try. "Hello..."David - Mesa, Az
David Gilmour has mentioned that the Pink Floyd is (or was) not a drug oriented group. Though it's clear that, given all the hours of mind boggling work they've done professionally that drugs would get in the way... You have to also take into consideration WHERE the lyrics and sounds came from, and what in the world influenced them to write the amazing things they've written.Emily - Wheaton, Il
No, it wasnt written about heroin. but the lyrics still work perectly as a description of the heroin experience. Supposedly coincidental, yet still fascinating.Jack - Oak Ridge, Nc
i would like to point out to everybody that its not a heroine song! Even though it sounds like it, its not. And the whole 'Comfortably Numb' chorus explains how Pink has become so tired of everything around him that he just doesnt care anymore.Gerard Howard - Lone Tree, Co
it's the song that made me fall un love with the pink floyd!it's always on my mind.Hagit - Rishon, Israel
What a great song, im only 15 and find the guitar solo at the end the best part with the choruses adding that bit of sweetness to the song. I prefer the Pulse version to the original as i think it sounds better and the guitar solo at the end makes me listen to it over and over again. Pink Floyd Rock! my fave Floyd song by far!Paul - Sheffield, England
I always thought his hands felt just like two balloons because they were swollen.. interesting. Anyway, the song is what you make it. Greatest guitar solo EVER...George - Hooterville, Ar
before i knew what was this song about i imagine a medic (roger waters part) treating a wounded soldier (david gilmour part) in a beach invasion -"a A distant ships smoke on the horizon", and the comfortably numb feel is as a result from the morfium- "just a little pin prick" and the shock of the battle and the bullet injurey, or mabey this soldier is dying and he is in ophoria or something.Guy - Tel Aviv, Israel
I read a lot of recommendations to listen to the version on Pulse. I would like to suggest the version on Delicate Sound of Thunder, it has more 'inner cry' in it (for lack of better words).

And, for you length-junkies, it's only 33 secs shorter (that's less than 6%).
Pepijn - Enschede, Netherlands
In a recent interview Roger Waters admitted he wrote the lyrics while on drugs. And the whole song is nothing but drug references. Also, he was never sick as a child, that's an urban legend (check out snopes.com).Jay - Atlanta, Ga
Mandy in Calgary- that's exactly right. It doesn't matter what it's about, its meaning doesn't really affect anyone.Ashley - Moncton, Canada
I am 16. I was diagnosed with ADD wwhen I was 6 and have been taking medication for it ever since. About 4 weeks ago I stopped taking my medication. And oddly, soon followed an extreme fever. I couldn't hear, talk, listen, of even feel my skin, for one week. But it was amazing. I was, comfortably numb.Alan - Cooper City, Fl
Well... quite frankly, I don't really CARE if this song is about drugs or not. It's still a damn good song, so as far as Im concerned- it doesn't matter. xD One of Pink Floyd's coolest songs, in my mind.Mandy - Calgary
This song is about Pink feeling horrible and sick and the like (hes deceding into madness) but the manager gives him a shot to revamp him so hed be ready for the show...the next song is "The Show must go on"..then the concert starts in "In the Flesh?"...orr this could be another thing that helped build the wall...drugs.Jeff - Sothington, Ct
"When I was a child I caught a fleeting glimpse out of the corner of my eye, I turned to look but it was gone, I cannot put my finger on it now, the child is grown, the dream is gone" is one of the saddest parts to any song ever. Sort of like those wishes you had when you were small, then they come to you in flashbacks, and it's sad because you know you'll never feel what you once felt when you were a small child.Ashley - Moncton, Canada
Cool beans song, awesome bass line. It's simple and very trancing...(yes, "trancing" is a word)

Sometimes I feel like in this song. When you have a fever, and you're in a weird state of feeling detached from the world around you. And yet, it feels strangely good...hence comfortably numb.
Spencer - Los Angeles, Ca
I used to do opiates. I actually sat down and listened to this song one day and though "This song describes excactly what I feel." Even the instrumentals of the song reminded me of the feeling of opiates.

The instrumentals can be noticed after he says "Hello.. Hello... hello.." The instrumentals are like a "duuuue" sound that fades away. This to me symbolizes the nodding in and out of alertness while on opiates.

The giveaway to me that this song can represent the feeling of opiates is the lyrics: "Ok, Just a little pin prick" (the pin prick is the syringe containing heroin or some narcotic) "There'll be no more AHHHHHHHHHH!" (The ahhhhh is supposed to indicate pain, heroin and opiates are relievers of pain.) "That'll keep you going for the show, come on its time to go." (Didn't he have to take something to get him up on stage once because he was going through severe pains?)

You may not think this is what the song is about and even Waters says its not about that but to me that is what it means.
Mike - Duluth, Mn
Definately one of Floyds best songs. Its so relaxing and beautiful. And as much as i love the solo, you HAVE to listen the live version on PULSE, if you havent already. Its extended three minutes longer and it easiley surpasses the studio version. Its so beautiful, that you dont want it end. It nearly brought tears to my eyes. And for gravy, the light show is remarkable.John - Boston, Ma
I think that the people who wrote it are the only people who will ever really know what it means. I used to do drugs.. spec. IV, and the lyrics really hit home, for me, about that. But, someone in another situation, might think about it differently. No matter what it is, its a great songErica - Lancaster, Pa
You have to admit it: Dave Gilmour is on a par with the likes of Eric Clapton and BB King with his bluesy guitar playing. One of the living greats. Just listen to him on Shine On You Crazy Diamond, Comfortably numb and Coming Back To Life. Astoundingly accurate and measured in his playing!!Neil - Liverpool, United States
Favorite gutiar solo of all time.Marko - Clarence, Ny
That is one heck of a guitar solo. The ones in "Shine on you Crazy Diamond" are my favorites though.
That's just my opinion.
Stefanie - Rock Hill, Sc
i dont like the wall. i dont like this song. i like the psychedelic floyd, not the prog oneJawsh - G-vegas, Sc
I don't like Pink Floyd (and progressive rock in general) at all, but this song is the only exception, as well as Wish you were here. It's really amazing, a timeless masterpiece. Great melody and great atmosphere. And I like the version with Van Morrison, too.Alberto - Carpi, Italy
This song is my favorite of all time and im only 12 I also like bands like Rush,led zepplin,almond brothers,Green day.... Anyway this song is so cool if they hadnt of made it i dont know what i would do.Sarah - Sandiego, Ca
The Solo is amazing, still debatable whether or not he did it in a wee 50 watt amp, but nevertheless amazing, i was impressed again at the 'Pigs Fly' Live Aid peace. Although not impressed Gilmour sung the whole song. My favourite song easily on The Wall, followed by 'In The Flesh' and 'Goodbye Blue Sky'Will - Near Dunedin, New Zealand
Why do you all think you know better than the writer what the song is about?
It is about an illness he suffered as a child.- he has repeatedly said this is what it was about, why on earth do you think you know better?
David Howard - Cheshire, England
The lyrics are wrong. woah...I just read that every song of Pink Floyd's is about drugs. I think you guys are on drugs. Go and actually buy a Pink Floyd album. It'll do you good.
Oh yeah, they come with lyrics too so you can read for yourself.
Brittany - Westmoreland, Tn
"There's, uh...no the in Scissor Sisters..."
-I'll remember that the next time I give a crap! (Kidding)

"The band states this is not about drugs."
- Let people believe what they want. Don't be a SUBJECT NAZI! (Just kidding...)

I love this song- great band- good times.
Jesse - L.a., Ca
ok lets get this straight. The band state ' this is not about drugs' and yet you people seem to think you know better!. Please could someone enlighten me as to how you know more about the meaning of the song than the creator?.David Howard - Cheshire, England
There's, uh...no "the" in Scissor Sisters...and both Waters and Gilmour say they really like their version. SS rocks.Leon - Waterbury, Ct
i dont really care if its about drugs or not, i just love the song.Jordan - Shokan, Ny
The song can very much be related to drugs because it is true that Pink Floyd was one of the leading LSD bands and stuff like that. I have been reading through A Saucerful Of Secrets, (a pink floyd book) and it says that Syd Barret was the only one who did LSD. It is true though that they did smoke pot but back then that wasn't really a drug.In the movie Pink is Roger Waters. In the song Roger sings about how he got hepatitis B when he was younger and they had to give him booster shots. He sings that he somehow got the symptoms again as an adult and how they had to give a booster shot so he could play for the show that he had to do. Excellent Song. Peace Andrew from TX not VTAndrew - Austin, Vt
"comfortably numb" can be interptered a numerous of ways it just dpeneds on the person interpreting it because(if u love pink floyd) no matter who you are you will put yourself in the song or see it through your eyes if that makes any sense i look at it as a long life of suffering a lost soul somebody who is lonely or lost/ kind of like a teenager giving into drugs bc his mom was beating/ or somebodys wife was killed in a car accident/ like i said just about everybody looks at it entirely different/ there is no right way or wrong way of looking at it/ hope i have made sense.Jeremiah - Burlington, Nc
I think it's less about drugs and more about the state of consciousness that could be achieved with drugs (or without, for some people). I saw a comment on one site that this song can not be tied into religion, which I would disagree with strongly. Look at the following verse "When I was a child, I caught a fleeting glimpse/Out of the corner of my eye/I turned to look but it was gone/I cannot put my finger on it now/The child is grown/The dream is gone." Ever had a dream so ethereal that when you wake up you can just barely remember the feeling, and try as you might to recapture it, it's gone? I think the song, or this verse at least, is about the recognition that this brief glimpse of some deeper reality is gone and the singer realizes he has become "comfortably numb". Also, keep in mind, with all the discussion of drugs, that the Floyd was at the very epicenter of 60's LSD culture before they become famous for their more laconic 70's albums. So if it's about a drug at all, why not acid or something else psychedelic?Pink - New York, Ny
I know i already made a comment but I think the fact that Syd Barret went insane rubbed off on Pink Floyd
and that's what they wrote most songs about, but that's just me
Johnny - Los Angeles, Ca
I believe this is a song about taking drugs to become like a child, and Roger Waters feels like his childhood innocence is gone so he takes drugs to enhance it. The whole song proves it, just look at the lyrics above this post. Anyway, it's a great song.Johnny - Los Angeles, Ca
Wait a sec...I haven't seen the movie, so I'm a bit confused now. Pink sings "In the Flesh" in the movie? But don't the lyrics run "Pink isn't well, he stayed back at the hotel" (or something along those lines)?Aylin - Montreal, Canada
It all depends on how ytou want to interpret the lyrics. As a single, the lyrics sound like they are about drugs. You have to look at song from the whole story of the Wall. Going by the story, Pink has been isolated so long that he has grown numb to everything around him.Erik - Cherry Valley, Il
by the way its Texas not VTAndrew - Austin, Vt
Ashley from Canada, ok i misspelled some names, sorry. I just checked my lyics arnt wrong. If you read any of the books written like pink floyd you will find out that Syd was the only one who did drugs. From an interview i read by Nick Mason, he claims that they did drugs later in there career. also watch the movie and you will understand the song better. I recommend you read the books, Inside Out, by nick mason , and i am soon starting the book Saucerful of Secrets. Well just responding Peace out!!!Andrew - Austin, Vt
Bryant does not get things wrong! We just spell like that up here in Canada! However, I do disagree with some of his comments, and "explaination" is wrong.Ashley - Moncton, Canada
THANK YOU ASHLEY ur right peepul should friggin accept that. fight the power ash lolJeremy - Laffeyette, La
God who ever said syd Barett "became mentally ill" and "they kicked him out, listen up! He did NOT get "kicked out" He became out of touch with the world and stayed in his place and he did not come out when they wanted him to so he just kinda left. and to think they kicked him out!Jeremy - Laffeyette, La
Its about DXM.
I originally thought it was LSD, but when I tried DXM, I read this trip report and totally realized this guys trip report coincided with "Comfortably Numb" by Pink Floyd, Oh, and yes, I was actually ON DXM the moment I figured it out... which was quite cool...

http://leda.lycaeum.org/?ID=5831

More Proof in Lyrics:

"There is no pain, you are receding"
- Pain is less "pain"full, you feel it.. but it isnt really bad.

"A distant ship wil come the horizon"
- Depth perception is skewed.

"You are only coming through in waves"
- Flanging of sound occurs when people talk.

"When I was a child.. I had a fever, my hands felt just like.. 2 baloons. Now ive got that feeeling once again.. I cant explain.. You would not understand..."
- My hands felt "light" and distant, I felt like I was when I was a child, feeling new things in life.

"I have become comfortably numb"
- You feel numb, I felt it particularly in the face, although its not bad.. nor good... but.. "comfortably numb"

"Okay, Its just a little pin prick, there will be no more.. OUCH!...
- Pain is less noticeable, there is no more "OUCH" although you do feel it.

"but you may feel a little sick..."
- Nausia occurs if you take it with the wrong food usually at the start of the trip.

"Can you stand up... I do beleive its working good..."
- I noticed the high ONLY after I stod up. Standing up was much more fun then sitting at my computer.
Dylan - T.o., Canada
If he still feels the feeling does it mean that he still has hepatitis (Spelling check) or that he has a permanent high from other drugs? maybe he has a type b or c hepatitis that will never go away. And yes, you must take you shots before you get the disease or you will never get rid of the virus entirely. I believe that he has that feeling of being totally relaxed like when you get the laughing gas before a surgery. not laughing, but a similar, whole body tingling experience. this is a great song, and does not entirely have to do with drugs. and a coment to Chet from NY, not all Pink songs are about drugs. Many songs, such as Wish you were here. I'm entitled to my opinions, so just post your comment and thoughts, instead of critisizing someone elses ideas, for no one knows exactly what its about, unless you are from Pink Floyd, then you should go ahead and comment on the song.Stephen - Steamboat, Co
the solo gives me goose pimples, played it over and over first time i heard it. Addictive.Corey - Woodstock, Vt
When I was younger I thought the song was referring to a lost youth, with dreams and ambitions. As he got older his dreams faded and he became numb.
But now when I listen to this song I think it is about an addiction to OBE's (Out of Body Expereinces). He talks of having a fever when he was young and his hands felt like to balloons. I relate this to a near death experience, were he is leaving his body. I find these notions in alot of Pink Floyds songs.example "Learn to Fly" and many others.
Gary - Boothwyn, Pa
When I heard the song for the first time, the pictures that went through my mind were of a guy who was a neurotic and was compelled by his friends to go attend a rock show and yes he had to be stoned to that end. :-) Every lyric indicated at the same direction. Later on when I read Syd's story and also about the movie, I felt Roger Waters was a genius lyric writer. If the song were to just mean Pink's mental state, it wont be a universal song. The fact this song is universal is cuz it touches you personally with its lyrics. Roger Waters might not admit it, but he knew where he was going with this song. Pink Floyd's work penetrates you with their lyrics more than it does with their music. With Pink Floyd, I learnt how lyrics can lure you into liking the song so intensely that you feel in love with it. "Time" is an apt example. I read some people writing about Time in another forum that they cry when they hear David's solo in the song. I guess that happens because of the powerful lyrics. And since Roger wrote the lyrics most of the time, I guess its reason enough to call him the force behind Pink Floyd. And somehow I like his vocals more than David's. David is good, he is not bad. But Roger's voice is simply strangely pleasing, like in Brain Damage. I was born in the late 70's. I wish I was born in the mid 50's :-) Better still, I wish I was Roger Waters myself. LOL.Umesh - Delhi
o yeah and um...i think this song might have a solution somewhere in the middle like ashley said. maybe he gets sick so THEN he gets drugs...see then it agrees with BOTH your theories! or he gets sick AT THE SAME TIME as he's on drugs! or it's like ashley said! there's lots of solutions in the middle you guys...Jeanette - Irvine, Ca
Is it Really that important what this song originally was about? As with poetry, everyone interprets it in their own way. And this song IS poetry, as powerful as it gets, both in lyrics as in music. The first notes of the guitar solo give me goose pimples every single time, because I know what's to come, namely a piece of music that'll make me completely stop thinking and simply *feel* the music. And that's what makes it so exceptional.Johan - Gbergen
i may be wrong, but i don't think (post '68) Floyd did drugs as they saw for themselves what acid did to Syd. i heard they each tried lsd a couple of times but not much else. But as i said... i may be wrong! So feel free to enlighten me.Helen - Oxford, England
Andrew in TX- Get YOUR damn facts straight! You spelled 'Syd', and 'Gilmour' wrong and you had wrong lyrics! And plus, no matter how pure you are, you're not in a band like Floyd and have never done drugs, that's just FREAKIN IMPOSSIBLE!Ashley - Moncton, Canada
Why can't it be both about drugs and not about drugs? Is anybody else getting angry over the way these people argue over whether it is about drugs or not and then just keep going in perpetual circles? It's really making me angry! My theory- the first part is about the feeling he got from a medication the doctor gave him when he was a child and he was sick, the second part is about a feeling he got from drugs as an adult. It's about a FEELING that's like being on drugs. Why can't people just accept this theory? Does anybody agree at all?!Ashley - Moncton, Canada
Travis you are an idiot, Booster shots contain drugs. You need to learn not to believe everything you read on a random website or hear from a friend. Figure things out for yourself, take a philosophy course or something. Listen to the song, not just the words, but the music. Think about the thoughts that you would be thinking if you were feeling effects of a serious illness, it would not be relaxing and soothing as comfortably numb is. Certain drugs on the other hand (heroin for example) relax the senses. Now if you've ever written a decent song you would know that thoughts come through more in the music than the lyrics. consider that next time you try to analyse a song.Bryant - Ottawa, Canada
I forgot to say it was a BOOSTER SHOT not HERION or MOROPHINE. The shot was used to take away the pain of the Hepatites. sorry forgot to say that. peace!Andrew - Austin, Tx
The song is not about drugs. It refers to the time that Roger Waters was having a recuring feeling of the symptoms from Hepatites B. He suffered from Hepatites B as a child and he was givin a booster shot to take away the pain of the Hepatites B. Before a show he had to play he suffered the symptoms of the sickness again.The lines,"When I was a child I had a fever, my hands just felt to blue, Now I've got that feeling once again." It tells of the sickness. The fact of the matter is that suprisingly enough, Pink Floyd only had one drug user and that was Sid Barret. He did his last song on Saucer Full of Secrets which was Pink Floyd's second album. He was replaced with David Gilmore.So in conclusion this song is not about drugs. GET YOU DAMN FACTS STRAIGHT BEFORE YOU GO AROUND MAKING ASSUMPTIONS!!! Peace!Andrew - Austin, Tx
assuming you are the same Jeanette from the stairway to heaven room, you have pretty good taste in music. good on you.Bryant - Ottawa, Canada
"The physician gave him a shot and it made him feel very strange" -Rocco, L.A
YOU BLOODY BRAINDEAD F*CKING TOOL! you said that its not about drugs and then you make a comment like that! Guess what most injections contain "Mr musical expert" D-R-U-G-S you fool!
Second of all your explaination is wrong i dont care if you think you work for velvet revolver who by the way shoudve fought harder to keep Axel rose.. they were actually good as guns and roses, which is more then i can say for them as V.R... The song is about drugs.. thats not a bad thing.. most of the world's best song were written while on drugs. its no secret that almost all great bands did drugs (Floyd, Zeppelin, Beatles, Stones, AC/DC). Dont lie to yourself, he is comparing the fever to being high, but it is about drugs and there is no arguement about it. Waters may have said it isnt, but NO good song writers, or poets for that matter, will tell you the real meaning of their work. FLOYD IS GREAT, THEY DID DRUGS, THEY WROTE A SONG ABOUT IT, IT'S AN AWESOME SONG.. END OF F*CKING STORY
Bryant - Ottawa, Canada
Smashing Pumpkins cover of this song is not bad. Corgan's voice makes it kinda cryptic.E - Vancouver, Canada
this is one of the only songs i might actually believe is about drugs and not just claimed to be about it by people on drugs, but i guess it makes sense to be about a fever or something too. whatever does it really matter it makes sense in the album either way! well okay i guess it does matter but whatever its a great song and pink floyd rocks!Jeanette - Irvine, Ca
The greatest ever.Psycodellia and energy flows constantly in this song taking you to your subconscious.Sabo - Bs.as, Argentina
On "Echoes: The Best Of Pink Floyd", "Is anybody out there" Is used as an intro for this song.Takashi - Tokyo, Japan
I'd like to put this topic to bed once and for all. I work with a band called Velvet Revolver, and we tried out a few different producers in order to decide who we should have produce the debut album Contraband. One of the producers we worked with was Bob Ezrin, producer of Pink Floyd's "The Wall". Bob told us that Roger wrote Comfortably Numb about having a fever when he was a boy. The physician gave him a shot and it made him feel very strange.Rocco - Los Angeles, Ca
Okay, I'm a little creeped out. I hadn't heard the Scissor Sisters version of it and I just finished watching the video. What was that all about? Just plain weird and pointless.Ashley - Moncton, Canada
The song is not about drugs! How many times do I have to tell you all, IT IS NOT ABOUT DRUGS!!! The are drug 'REFERENCES' are not the point. It is about a feeling of being 'comfortably numb' and that's the only way to put it. It's true what the song ays, "I can't explain, you would not understand"Ashley - Moncton, Canada
Truly an excellent song... but I would like to point out to "chris, Hamilton, New Zealand" that it is not better than stairway to heaven. I'm not one to say that just because a song is creative it is about drugs, but in this instance, I have to agree that it is about drugs. Before a show, members of Pink Floyd's crew went to the dressing room to get the band as they were late getting out on stage "hello, is there anybody in there"... The band was on depressents and couldnt go on stage "Come on now, I hear you're feeling down, I can ease your pain, And get you on your feet again"... So the crew quickly pumped them full of stimulants "Just a little pin prick" and "But you may feel a little sick"... and finally the band went on "That'll keep you going through the show" due to the fact that they "had become comfortably numb"

If you'd like to know about any lines I didnt include i'd be happy to enlighten you
Bryant - Ottawa, Canada
Can we PLEASE forget drugs here and just enjoy the song?Ben - Fife, Scotland
I believe this song is not about drugs of any kind. The part about "just a little pinprick"is a metaphor for a metaphor. This is the only song that I understand fully and relate to so well. The "feeling" that is the subject of the song is so hard to explain, that's why it says "I can't explain, you would not understand." I put "feeling" in exclamation marks because I don't know what to call it. It's almost a feeling like your soul is gone and a feeling like you're not there or a feeling like you're sick and spaced out and aloof, and almost paranoid in a way. It's almost a form of depression, only you're not sad, just confused and distant. In the song, the feeling he has is compared to when he was a child and was sick and felt just out of it and spaced. I was sick like this a few years ago, and was kind of just drifting in and out of sleep, and laying on the couch with a pounding headache and diziness. When you're sick you don't really think about too much, other than how bad you feel, and you can't talk because your throat is sore, so a lot of thoughts are running through your mind and you tend to over-analyse them, like you do at night when you lie awake in bed. So, I think this whole song is the most beautiful song ever written, and the only one that I can relate fully to. Most people probably have no clue what I'm talking about, but the ones that relate to the song in this way know exactly what I'm talking about.Ashley - Moncton, Canada
Live 8....what a joke. Let's throw more money into the hands of African dictators so that we can feel better about ourselves. Yay.

Anyhow, I am pretty sure that "katy, Eden Prairie, MN" nailed it. I used to think that the song was about heroin, but The Wall lead me to believe that it was a stimulant, not a downer (such as heroin), was used in order to get "Pink" energized enough to play. (Hence the "pin prick" and "feel a little sick" lyrics, stimilants can make on nauseous too, not just heroin does that)

These are just my opinions (re: Live 8 and the song.) If I've ticked you off, remember, just take it with a grain of salt.
Alexis - Tucson, Az
Yes Zach, during Live 8 I bawled my eyes out...
For all of you arguing about the meaning of this song; I think you're probably all right. Naming Pink Floyd a 'Drug Band' is insulting as they are musical geniuses - regardless of whether they took drugs. They are artists who create a masterpeice such as this song, it is a three dimensional piece of work in which we all see from a different angle, if you see drugs then there is proabably an element of that in there, if you see alienation you can probably see into the core of this song...It's personal and the music reaches a spiritual level. One thing I do know from experience, is that their music becomes a divine piece of existence when you take acid (or even just grass) and listen to them - better yet watch the whole movie, it'll blow you away - because they started off in the acid rock phase, they found the path and began it, so whatever you see is your interpretation of this piece of art. I guess they are viewed as a drug band because it so enhances the experience of their music. Try it...you will find everything makes sense and becomes clear..and not just their music.
Elysia - Hamilton, New Zealand
"Is 'The Wall' about bricklayers?" I laughed out loud on that one, Gary. Same goes for some of Helen's comments: "a lot is two words." I wasn't expecting that. And, yes, MTV completely blew the coverage of Live8. Typical.Ash - Charleston, Wv
The second guitar solo is unbelievable, it brings tears to my eyesKevin - Cleveland, Oh
E Gad there is some b***ocks written on here! It is a fantastic song - that is down to the mood you are in / it invokes when you listen to it.

The fact that the film DOES show Bob Geldof (not Roger Waters, whoever typed that) off his face and getting jabbed does not mean that the song is about drugs! Get a grip! Is 'The Wall' about bricklayers?

The song is part of the 'rock opera' that is The Wall - and not to be viewed in isolation. That doesn't mean you can't get blasted to it, or give it whatever meaning you wish it to have as you listen.

Oh (and Helen, you are spot on), Syd (Shine on You crazy Diamond) is not brain dead, in an asylum, or otherwise metally unstable (that isn't to say that he wasn't a touch cuckoo c1968) - he is alive and well and living in a suburb of Cambridge, about 8 miles from my house.
Gary - Saffron Walden, England
Pesonaly I don´t think this song is about Drugs, why? there are so many people like me who don´t take any drug, and once in our lives feel like "Now I got that feeling once again.
I can't explain, you would not understand.
This is not how I am" or what abot this? "You are only coming through in waves.Your lips move but I can't hear what you're sayin" when we feel we are not listened
Ricardo - Mexico, Mexico
Forget any comment, Live 8 Comfortably Numb is the best thing I´ve ever seen before, Don´t you thing so???Ricardo - Mexico, Mexico
Has anyone seen the movie Pink Floyd The Wall? The part in the movie with this song is a little weird....but he is on drugs in the movie...despite what the song really is about...he turns into a big gooey monster kind of. Great movie though!Charlene - Elkton, Md
I have always thought that this song is the musical equivalent of a depressed sigh. And the beat makes me think of a heartbeat. A great, bluesy song. Who said that white men don't have soul?Wes - Springfield, Va
I've read enough... there are way too many sweeping statements here. eg: "this song is about drugs", "this is the greatest guitar solo of all time". People must realise that this is open to interpretation and all opinions are correct - the song means what you want it to, not what Roger Water/Dave Gilmour originally intended.
The majority of the song is in a major key, and this doesn't appeal to me that much, but I must agree that the last solo is incredible. The PULSE version everyone refers to is truly amazing - Gilmour is on fire. Best ever? I wouldn't say so...
Nick - Kalamzoo, Mi
Richard - they don't have BBC in the USA. But i think they showed Live 8 on MTV there instead and i heard a rumour that they missed out some of the end of the show. I was just wondering whether it was true! Of course i watched it on BBC!!Helen - Oxford, England
I think it describes the feeling you've got when you feel tired and you can't move on and he comes telling you you're able to carry on.Alexander - Ciudad Ojeda, South America
If you watched the Re-run of Live 8 on Mtv you could of seen the whole show without commericals.Tressa - Eaton Rapids, Mi
This is such a great song. For all you peope debating and writing three paragraph comments about this song. Forget what it means and accept it for the great song it is. Pink Floyd is super.Mandy - Calgary, Canada
Helen - seeing as Live8 was on the BBC, why watch MTV with all its adverts and annoying jingles in the first place? They didn't miss out anything on BBC. Comfortably Numb was brilliant, not that I could convince my missus of the virtues of that acquired taste, the Floyd.Richard - Newport, Isle Of Wight, England
Is it true that MTV missed out some of the end of live 8? Anyone from usa who cud let me know if that's true? p.s. if it is true GUTTED.Helen - Oxford, England
I don't think this song is easy to understand at all, so many, many theories. Personally, I don't think it is about drugs. Why? Because as many other people have stated, Waters said it wasn't. And if you are not going to believe him..., Then again, I do like to look at what some people think and some are very reasonable.
Zach- I dont have MTV, so I missed it and I feel like I missed something truly great. I can only imagine.
Matthew - Downers Grove, Il
Where do i start? marlow from australia - it's Syd not Sid (sid barrett was an old drummer - syd barrett was the pink floyd guy), the song isn't about him it's about roger waters, a lot is two words, the dvd does not have interviews with "all" the past and current members of the band because Syd (funnily enough) is not interviewed, The Wall is based on Roger too.Helen - Oxford, England
Here is a site that shows how the song evolved.
http://www.neptunepinkfloyd.co.uk/audio/cnumb/Floyd_Comfortably_Numb_under_construction.mp3
Waters sings clearly in the earlier version that he is a physician. Check the site out.
Shankar - Monroe, Nj
Regardless of what it's about, who here watched Live 8 and cried when they had the Pink Floyd reunion, I know I did.Zach - Harrisburg, Pa
-This is just one of my many interpretations of this song. It's not right.-

I believe the first verse is a dealer of sorts talking to the writer of the song.

The dealer tells him he basically has any drug.
"And I can ease your pain, get you on your feet again."
He asks him what's he looking for.
"I need some information first. Just the basic facts. Can you show me where it hurts?"

I think he probaly shot up some heroin which makes you feel no pain and gives you a sinking into your seat type of feeling.
"There is no pain you are receding."
It probaly hit him pretty hard and he zoned out.
"You are only coming through in waves. Your lips move, but I can't hear what your saying." ~referring to the dealer

Now in the song he's just telling us all that when he was a child he was sick.
He was probaly given a morphine drip which has almost the exact same effects as heroin, just not the rush of shooting it up.
"Now I've got that feeling once again..."

Heroin basically makes you feel VERY comfortable.
"I have become comfortably numb."

Second verse he's just referring back to the dealer talking to him, and him shooting up.
"Okay. Just a little pinprick."
"They'll be no more AAAHHH."
This is the dealer telling him that when he gets on stage the yelling of the crowd won't even seem loud.
When on heroin nothing can really bother you.

The dealer asks him if he's okay and tell's him he'll be cool.
He then says it will last the whole show and that he has to leave.

The second time the chorus comes in I believe when he says:
"You are only coming through in waves. Your lips move. But I can't hear what your saying."
He is now referring to the people at the show. Us.
He then goes back to telling us that when he was a kid, he caught a little glimpse of heroin, (morphine drip).

"I have become comfortably numb." He likes the feeling he is getting.
Michael - Philadelphia, Pa
There is a David Gilmour Live DVD that has 2 performances of this with Bob Geldof singing the part of the doctor in 1 of them (that's the 'dark' part) I actually heard that it was drugs that caused a relapse of Water's childhood disease and he had to communicate with the doctor on pen and paper because he couldn't hear the doc talking. I think the musical contrasts between the doctor and Waters/Pink backs up the idea of alienation from the world, especially since the doctor trying to help is portrayed darklyAaron - Muswellbrook, Australia
i would of thought this song is clearly about what the band thought original band member sid barret would have been feeling like most of his life after one to many binges on strong L.S.D. he left the band because of hardcore drug abuse.. believe me in the early days there was alot of drug taking. (watch the documentry 'the sid barret - pink floyd story) very interesting it has interviews with all past and current members and it is very interesting and the wall (the album and movie) is based on sid barretMarlow - Perth, Australia
My favorite part of the Live8 version is when the crowd fluttered their hands in the air "like two balloons". Both Roger and Dave fluttered their hands in response. I shed a tear, fearing that their Live8 reunion will probably be their last.Bob - Voorhees, Nj
The Live8 performance of "Comfortably Numb" is the first time (in 25 years) the original members did the song without cardboard bricks blocking the stage (The Wall Show).Bob - Voorhees, Nj
The performance of Comfortably Numb on Live8 was brilliant.After all these years, the song was almost as perfect as on the album.But there were still the great meaning and soul behind the song.Pink Floyd is the best band ever!Great guitar solo!Bavo - Oostrozebeke, Belgium
You gotta love Pink Floyd and their psychadelic sound. This song just takes you away.. amazing.Danielle - Swanton, Oh
[Comfortably Numb]
JL: Are there a number of rock and roll doctors that way, in real life? He's kind of a maniacle cat. I mean, he's really kind of evil, this doctor, in a way.
RW: Yeah. I had one guy once who thought I'd got food poisioning for an upset stomach. And he thought I had stomach cramps...he wasn't listening to me at all either. In fact, I discovered later on that I had hepatitis. He gave me this tranquilizer, it was in Philadelphia, and boy that was the longest two hours of my life. Trying to do a show when you can hardly lift your arm. If he'd just left me alone, the pain I could have handled. It was no sweat. I could hardly lift my arms or move any of my limbs. God knows what he gave me, but it was some very heavy muscle relaxant.
Batman - Aa, Pa
One of the most overwhelming songs u will ever hear...it right away makes u horizontal ! The feel to it the music the solos the lyics are all so out of this world .....and what the hell is Scissor Sisters ...they r mad ppl i think whateva u cant help praising Pink Floyd and roger waters !Bobby - Cleveland, United States
good call (two down) awsome solo, awsome songDavid Corino - Hawley, Pa
I heard that to get the guitar sound, he turned every single effect on his effects console up to "1". (I kid you not.) In other words, one of everything.Nessie - Sapporo, Japan
the pulse version has the best guitar solo ever... i dont say this lightly... better than jimmy page in dazed and confused... or anything hendrix did... or even clapton.... nothin has ever knocked my breath out and given me goosebumps like this solo.... and continues to do so everytime i listen to itAndy - Fairmont, Mn
Actually, the lyrics were written by David Gilmour. The songs original title was "Come On Big Bum". Roger asked him to leave it aside for "The Wall", so he did. Roger changed most lyrics to fit "The Wall" but Dave kept the original music.Jonathan - Prestatyn, Wales
This is my favourite Floyd song. Whenever I listen to it, I just sit there and smile and space out. When the first guitar solo comes on it just makes me smile even more. I mean, really, who doesn't love it? Then, when the second solo comes on, it makes me even happier. I think it is the best guitar solo of ALL TIME. Pink Floyd has the longest guitar solos and the best. Their second best is in Time, it's right trippy at the end of the solo. I'm only 14, and I know what kind of music broadcasts the basic messages of the human mind better than most older people, who just look for music with a good beat, rather than music with pure emotion and straight from the heart. Whenever you listen to Floyd, it helps you understand your emotions better.Ashley - Moncton, Canada
Roger Waters brain dead? Where did this come from? Y'all must be talking about Syd Barrett. I herd three different things about him. one is that he lives in a mental institution, another is that he is blind and lives in a hospital ward, and the last thing I heard is that he is a gardener and lives off of Pink Floyd royalties. I guess it's just one of those things we'll never snow. (If any of you is going to read this I lmpw y'all isn't the correct word to use in that context, but I'm from the south and I tend to use words like that sometimes.)
Stef8819" Rock Hill SC
Stefanie Magura - Rock Hill, Sc
actualy its a kind of song that can be written when emotionaly high or stoned beyond jupiter.for me its my anthem i was on heroine for 4 years and everynight that song was the icing on the cake for that days high and i wish i could shake water and gilmore for that song!wat it means? for me its a emotinal thing that u can feel but u cant put it into words, i am of drugs now for 21 years now but when i listen to it now? it takes it me back of the good old days!
without drugs now but am still feel good about it!! so what if its a drug song? tell so ? should artistic talent have limitation they didnt kill any body !! or start a war!!!!!
Gunalan - Kuala Lumpur, United States
i have my own version, couldnt this be bout the feeling one gets when u have been hurt so much, that ur de-sensitised from any such feelings?? then u just dont feel pain(comfortably) cause u dont have feelings(numb)??
is this acceptable??
Karan - Bangalore, India
Doesn't everybody think that the scissor sisters ruined this and are rubbish??Guisseppe - Bradford Uk, England
Why does everyone think that this song is about drugs? Not every damn good rock song has to do with drugs. See past it. I dont believe this song is about one thing, as Waters has said its not about drugs at all. Its about his experiences (as said, he was given enough tranquilizers to numb a horse) and Syd Barrett. Quit trying to apply some retarded drug facade to an amazing song.Lita - Im, Mi
The solo is awsome, but surprisingly not as hard to play as it sounds. This is a good song to cover if your just starting a band.Jordan - Wv
I firmly believe it is about drugs. in an interview pink floyd said that they were not a "drug oriented" band....yea right!Kieran - D.c., Va
Wheather on drugs or not going up or coming down, I always felt this song is about detaching yourself from reality. Philosophically speaking trying to find gears behind the watchface of the known universe. I would imagine drugs would help or maybe "a fleeting glimpse" of something lost as a child.Jason - Everywhere, United States
the scissors sistors version of this song made me feel sick to my stomach.....it is disgustingly awful. i hate it. it is a true shocker, which is a shame cos some of their songs are pretty good (except they sound exactly like elton john). this is one of pink floyds best songs, in my opinion. awesome guitar solo at the end...Murray - Shellharbour, Australia
Greatest Giutar solo ever. chillingBret - Albia, Ia
Roger the doc Dave the patient,Roger wore doc clothes for the live shows.For thoses who think it's about herion you are wrong,pin prick which is given is an adrelenin boost...
Watch the movie a few types of drugs can be seen..
1,the nice piece of smoke,pin hole burns.
2.pills laying around..
3 Young lust at the start Pink wipes his nose after snorting coke....
He needs the adrelenin boost cos he's a blown out rock star,just like Syd was..
Mark - Moscow, Europe
the song has some metaphoric drug talk.....when they say "just a little pin prick" mayeb there talking about narcan...its a anti drug thing for herione...but the second verse of this song i think is about drugs and life.Greg - Atlanta, Ga
This song is so awesome. I've really been getting into Pink Floyd lately. Comfortably Numb is probably my favorite Floyd song right now. This is such a deep song, and eerie, too. The music and lyrics are amazing. There's so much going on. The end solo is amazing, it strengthens the meaning of song, Gilmour did a great job with this. If anyone gets the chance, listen to the version of Comfortably Numb on the Pulse live cd. The solo is extended by almost 3 minutes, and if you can then download the video for it, it's awesome (halfway through the solo you will see), the light show is amazing too.Matt - Providence, Ri
I think that this song, is about drugs, for the simple facts of the deep lyrics. This song really needs to be heard below the surface of what people normally think in these days. This is an awesome song, however, and I reccomend it to jam with. reenybiddle@yahoo.comMaureen - Prospect, Va
and my opinun is that it is about drugs... In the second verse it says " I hear your feeling down, Well I can ease your pain" Waters did drugs so it would ease his pain, because he always felt down. And about the to voices gilmour or waters did the dark voice witch was the drug talking. And the other one is the person taking drugs. Like c'mon ppl this song is soo easy to uunderstand!Greg - Brantford, Canada
accually I have done some research on this song...Greg - Brantford, Canada
The 1993 live version on P.U.L.S.E of this song is the best solo of all time!Mark - Sydney, Australia
its not about drugs...

n it is right up there wit stairway and november rain in solos

1) Stairway To Heaven
2) Eruption - Van Halen
3) Free Bird - Lynyrd Synyerd
4) COMFORTABLEY NUMB -PINK FLOYD
5) All Along the Watchtower - Hendrix
6) November Rain - GnR

Its goes on n on...
Greg - Brantford, Canada
THIS IS MY THEORY
I believe it is about his childhood. Definitely looking back on something that tore a hole in his life. Something that he missed or regreted. He has become depressed thinking about it, probably before a show, and the band cannot get him to do the show because he is so emotional. His friends try talk to him about it to find out what is wrong. But he can only see their lips moving and cannot understand what they say, because of this depression he is having. So they decide to give him some drugs, possibly heroin or something to make him feel much better and make everything like a "distant horizon." Then he goes to the show with no worries and no pain.
Brian - Topeka, Ks
I think this song is obviously about drugs and i think it is wonderful that such an amazing song has been written about the experiences felt when taking heroin. It is fascinating and powerful !Emma - Edinburgh, Scotland
There's a line between mentally ill or insane and BRAINDEAD and it has NOT been crossed! To clear up any misled people who believe that Syd Barrett is in a mental institution or breathing through a straw, HE'S NOT. He lives a quiet, somewhat isolated life in Cambridge England. He reads, paints and walks several miles a day. Is his mind at 100% since the 60's and 70's? NO! But I think we need to be a little more cautious before we start calling a musical genious a vegetable! After all, he's got enough money to do whatever the hell he wants for the rest of his life, and he does! Maybe he's more sane than any of us!Tyler - Orem, Ut
What the comments on the top said about Roger leaving the band in 1986 that is a big pile of bull, he left in 84' he sewed the members of pink floyd from continuing withouthim. I am Roger Waters' BIGGEST fan and I disagree with David doing that to him and the fact that he thought Roger was "evil" but at the same time Roger and the others probably shouldn't have gone on using the same name when Syd went insane.Cristian - Brentwood, Canada
I can't stand when people try to make an argument and they have no idea of what theyr'e talking about. You have absolutely no frame of reference if you listen to just one song off the wall and you think you know what it's about. It's NOT about drugs.Alex - Nunya, Ca
Pink Floyd is not a band to constantly be writing about drugs, plain and simple. They just aren't that type of band. They spoke about everything that was important, when you think about it, almost everything from the Waters-Gilmour era of PF was a story, the recurring character of Pink in The Wall from Wish You Were Here. I believe this song is what Waters says it is about, the performance where he was unable to play. I have to argue though that it may have a deeper more personal meaning to Waters alone. It may have a reflection of his childhood or growing up. The lyrics "When I was a child I caught a fleeting glimpse, out of the corner of my eye/ I turned to look but it was gone..." may be an indication of something that he may have missed in his life.Andrew - Toronto, Canada
I think that the song isn'y about drugs because Roger Waters really persits at denying that it was. I think this guitar solo is truly amazing and i think its up there with November Rain, Staoirway to heaven, Eruption etc...Jp - Kelowna, Canada
Though I enjoy quite a few drugs myself, I refuse to believe this song is just about drugs. I do however think there are some very strong images set by the tone that are at least comparable to an addiction. The song's essentially divided into 6 parts, 2 halves each with the 3 similar verses. Verse 1. Roger Waters is the driving force to take the drug (depression or whatever), which seems dark and malicious. Verse 2. Dave Gilmour is the thoughts of the user once he starts to trip out, and the mood is immidiately a lot lighter. The third "verse" is the guitar solo, which pretty much lets you know how the guy's feeling while he's trippin. Now the set of verses is about the first time you take the drug, Waters offers all these promises(I can ease your pain, get you on your feet again), Gilmour likes the feeling because it takes him away from his depressed life (there is no pain) and becomes comfortably numb, which is better than feeling depressed. The first guitar solo has a light, floating mood, like the first few times you take some drugs, and everything seems alright. In the second section, the guy is pretty addicted to the drug, Waters is no longer promising to ease the pain, but now to simply get him through the day (that'll keep you going for the show). Gilmour once again reflects on his old life, but instead of being glad to have escaped it, he regrets the path he has taken (The Child has grown, the dream is gone). Again, he is comfortably numb, but now it's like he wishes he could feel again, but he's too comfortable with his state to do anything (like stoners often are, haha). The second guitar solo, still signifying his trip, is a lot less carefree and it seems like there's a struggle going on inside him; he's now addicted and in worse shape than before. Those are my thoughts anyway, and I think the whole drug thing may just be an analogy for something else. Who knowsMatt - Toronto, Canada
This song is not about drugs, it's about Pink. Long story short: Pink is supposed to be playing a gig, but he has locked himself in his hotel room. His manager(??) and some other gyus broke in and find Pink sitting in his TV chair alive, but away. I think that Pink has taken some drugs. Maybe heroin, maybe some psychodelics - it doesn't matter. Pink is dreaming ('when I was a child...'). There is a doctor who gives Pink some adrenalin, tripstoppers or something in his vein ('just another pin brick') and Pink starts to woke up ('I do believe it's working good, that'll keep you going through the show...') That's it. Any questions?

There are probably hundreds of lines in pink floyd lyrics, where you can find some drug referances, if you want to find them. This is mostly because most of pink floyd lyrics are quite abstract and because all that Pink Floyd = Drugs hype.

And yes, Pink Floyd and drugs are a great combination...use with caution ;)
Sami - Turku, Finland
I think the song id about a soldier getting shot in a battle and being given morphine or some sort of sedative. The Pin Prick, distant ship smoke on the horrizon, anyway my thoughtsJoe - Oshkosh, Wi
This song it to you, whatever it means to you.
Sometimes songwriters do not want to tell the public what the song was really about. It keeps kind of a mystery about it. Thats what the guy who wrote "American Pie" did.
Jim - Troy, Mo
It's not about drugs. People would rerally have to be stupid to look at the lyrics and still think that. Great song, I feel Gilmore's solo is the greatest ever.Don - Philadelphia, Pa
The Scissor Sisters version only sold 10 000 copies so most people were surprised it got that high.Tom - Trowbridge, England
Definitely one of the most well composed and moving songs ever..i think it should be studied in Music theory...it should be introduced to classicists. i love knowing the music was written first. It is one of the timeless songs..so i don,t care that it gets overplayed on radio. as for the lyrics..i believe it is exactly what Waters says it was. its the music really that slaysTina - Buellton, Ca
In the movie Pink Floyd: The Wall, the main character Pink is overdosing on drugs and the doctor gives a shot, and he still does the show.Harry - Seaville, Nj
Well, since there are more facts proving that it is not about drugs (ex. Waters denying it completely) you have to just take what you want from it. Like when I read it, i thought it was about two friends, one who is sick (maybe depressed) on the floor when his friend arrives, and the second friend doesn't really care if he is ok or not, as long as he gets his medicine. The sick friend is much more mentally indept ("I can't explain.You would not understand..."), and his friend only cares about right now, ("And that'll keep you going through the show..."). So the darker part of waters is a shallow friend who just wants to go to a show, while the lighter part is thinking about his past, and thinking how he is not what he used to be ("The child is grown, the dream is gone) and he doesn't like the way he as became, but he doesn't feel like he is able to change. But... In the movie, after he takes the shot, he becomes a monster (junkie). So it may be about drug use. It kinda depends on The band's creation of the album. If they wrote it with the plot and wrote songs off of it, then it could be about drugs, but if not then it could be whatever. But thats just my veiw of the song.Anonymous
this song has the greatest guitar solo of all timeCharlie - Thomaston, Dc
Pink Floyd is great, but their music is much too deep for anyone to phsycoanalize. The song is what it is; each listener makes it his/her own. That is the mark of all great song lyrics.Tom - Alma, Ga
i think this song is about getting really cold, then being numb, but you like it. thus, "comfortably numb." come on guys, grow up and look at the big pictureCody - San Antonio, Tx
like many great pink floyd songs it can be interpreted on many levels. one may be drugs another alienation. like all songs they can mean whatever you want them to mean, personally i think its not about drugs, but how experieneces can alienate from society. or in waters case from his audience. whatever the intended meaning, the song is still great.Edward - Virginia Beach, Va
Hey, George, I think you're the naive one.

I know what heroin feels like, and yes, on the surface the song may be about drugs. But you have to dig deeper. That's the whole frickin' premise of The Wall. I suppose you think that Goodbye Blue Sky is about drugs? Waiting for the Worms? Run Like Hell? The whole album?
Lacy - Yukon, Ok
In my mind "Comfortably Numb" is about producers who shoot up pink,(or waters)with drugs before to show to keep him going. Hence the, "That'll keep you going for the show, C'mon it's time to go." Then the part Gilmour sings in Pink's mindset as his delirium leads him to near insanity and random thoughts of his childhood moments and hopes. But whatever the song is about, it is definatly one of the best of all time, up there with "Stairway to Heaven" and "Let it Be."Spencer - South Kingstown, Ri
By the way Matt - Roger Waters isn't braindead. Maybe you're thinking of Syd Barrett, who is now a vegetable due to his endless drug experimentsKabrams - Dallas, Tx
How exactly do all you guys know that Waters and Gilmore did all these drugs? Maybe they did, or maybe they're just musical geniuses. You can't just say they did because they're music is creative.Kabrams - Dallas, Tx
Ties with Stairway for the greatest guitar solo everKabrams - Dallas, Tx
i think its about a corrupt doctor assisting a rock star shoot up before a show; the deeper, dark voice being the doctor and gilmour being the rock starKabrams - Dallas, Tx
i think its about morphine. hes all talkin deliriously like a soldier in shock talkin to the medic. the medic asks if he's alive, hence "is there anybody in there?"Scott - Rock Hill, Sc
mike, saying pink floyd is not a drug band is like saying the pope is jewish.Allen - Superior, Wi
I think Roger Waters would be very interested to know that he is brain dead. Last I checked, he was still speaking quite coherently and intelligently in interviews, he's still touring, etc. Secondly, for those of you intent on declaring this song an anthem for heroin use, please read the comment submitted by Dan of Fort Collins, Colo. The boy knows what he's talking about.Ash - Charleston, Wv
Mike, pink floyd WAS a drug band. Roger Waters is now braindead because of his extensive drug use. Drugs,however,did play a large role in the creativity of their music, just as they did in jim morrison of the doors.Matt - St. Louis , Mo
Sure it sounds like if it was about doing heroin, and even if that was the case; still this work of art will remain as my 3rd favorite Floyd tune.Corey - Dark Side Of The Moon, Other
PINK FLOYD IS NOT A DRUG BAND!!! Syd Barrett used drugs heavily but was kicked out after the first three albums. Waters and Gilmour are geniuses, simply put.Mike - Champaign, Il
This song is performed in two phases. The light Phase and the Dark phase. In the light phase gilmour sings about having a fever and the sensation of it. In the dark phase, Waters sings about shooting heroin. The song in effect is a comparison of having a fever and being high on heroin. Quotes such as ''I do bellieve its working good'' support the explanation for the dark phase, quotes such as ''When i was a child i had a fever, my hands felt just liek two ballons now iv got that feeling once again''. The song clearly compares being high and having a severe fever.Anthony - Wantagh, Ny
I think as with a lot of pink floyd songs, this is about insanity. It is almost the transitional song on the wall album were the Pink character becomes overwhelmed by his wall and finds himself not caring(numb) about the outside world. This furthers his seclusion from others and his insanity is revealed soon after. Drug references are found throughout Pink Floyd songs, But I don't believe taking drugs and mentioning them in lyrics makes the songs about drugs. This band is much deeper than that....not that i have anything against "that". WATERS IS GENUIS!!!Justin - Dublin, Ireland
THIS SONG IS ABOUT HEROIN!! just listen to the lyrics....if you've ever done heroin you would understand the song completely...there's the pin prick and you may feel a little sick is referring to dope sickness..."your lips move but i cant' hear what you're saying" someone on heroin is that dissociated with reality..this song is DEFINITELY about smack and anyone that doesn't realize that is just naive!George - Altoona, Pa
I drift away in this song....Pink Floyd lives on for ever.Anthony - Wantagh, Ny
I'm pretty sure this isn't what it's about, but I'm able to really relate to this song when I'm in a deep depression (which happens more often than I'd like to admit). When I don't care if I live or die, there's just this numbness that engulfs all of me, and for the time being, I'm comfortable in it. And I usually think to when I was younger and didn't have a care in the world, and I wonder what made me this way. In fact, just recently, I was driving my car after a big argument, and I got this feeling. I nearly wrecked, but I just didn't care any more. But besides that, I really love this song. Pink Floyd was a great band.Karyn - T'ville, Nc
2 guesses.
1. Insanity could be considered comfortably numb. In the movie, "pink" has gone through so much crap, that without the constant drugs, it could be argued that this is only way he could live out his days. Seriously, does anyone think a 12-step program would help his mind?

2. Not sure the name of the drug, but there is a drug administered in Hospital ER's for overdosed patients to cover/mask the pain of withdrawal. Since most addicts use during "downtime" it would make sensse that Pink would have to be sober enough for a show, and to hell with the rest of the time. Numb = no withdrawal pain? Seems plausible
Jon - Grand Forks, Nd
Sometimes songs have multiple levels of complexity. I would like to consider the group Pink Floyd as a group of "smart people." The song can on the surface be about drugs, so take that meaning, then apply the background info about the lives of the band and stuff. By the way, if it is about an adrenaline shot - last time i checked, that was a drug.

My interpretation is that although it says "pin prick" and "keep you goin for the show" that this is just imagery for a larger picture.

For a real honest interpretation cutting out the sarcasm. I would like to focus on the lines
"I turned to look, but it was gone,
I cannot put my finger on it now
The child is grown, the dream is gone,

I have become comfortably numb."

He grew up and doesnt have the same ideals and dreams as he did as a child. He is comfortably numb with the horrors of the world. He does drugs to relieve the pain of whatever troubles him emotionally.

For example, if one were to go to war and become numb to all the killing going on and just routinely go out there and fight... that's what he is talking about.
B - Philadelphia, Pa
I am pretty sure that this song is about Syd Barrett and an adrenaline injection that he had to recieve to be able to perform before a show. Watch the movie, it explains the album..Katy - Eden Prairie, Mn
the song is definently about drugs' read the lyrics
for example "just a little pin prick" "but yoy may feel a little sick"
Ross - Palmerston North, New Zealand
my alltime fave song. one of the few that is better than STAIRWAY TO HEAVENChris - Hamilton, New Zealand
The song is not about heroin or any other drug. The song is about how all the little things in a rock star's life that alienates him from his audience - in Waters' case, uncaring teachers, fatherless childhood, overbearing mothers, cheating wives, swindling record execs, etc - is never seen or understood, and the audience sees only somebody who makes loud music. Each of these events represents a "brick in the wall" - the wall being this feeling of alienation from the audience. Comfortably Numb is about being forced to ignore all those feelings and act like you like being there. Funny thing is, everybody who insists this song is about drugs is falling right into place with how Waters describes his audience! He's done plenty of inteviews explaining how these drug interpretations drive him nuts.Dan - Fort Collins, Co
Always felt Comfortably Numb was written for Syd, who had his share of unreality. The drugs could easily be thorazine, although the majority of the world has assumed since the first hearing that it was about heroin.Michael - Charlotte, Nc
I've read that Roger Waters used to get sick and dizzy sometimes before shows, and would receive a shot sometimes before playing. I don't remember what of.

Anyway, this is without a doubt one of the greatest songs of all time.
Brian - Paoli, In
one of my favorite floyd songs. in matter of fact, my sn is c0mf0rt4blynum00Lee - Durham, Nc
What a great song!!Zipper - Phoenix, Az
Drugs or not, this my favourite Pink Floyd song!Trevor - Wakefield, England
Not about drugs..DER...every Floyd song is about drugs...come on people get real!Chet - Saratoga Springs, Ny
One of the absolute best songs of all time......a wonderful rhythm, mystical lyrics, totally cool....Susan - Atlanta, Ga
most people say its about him doing heroin- "Ok, just a little pin prick" "Can you stand up?I do believe it's working. Good.That'll keep you going for the show.Come on it's time to go.". That phrase it saying he had to do smack before going on stage cause he could not stand it and he would go crazy.Lee - Durham, Nc