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Brain Damage by Pink Floyd

Album: Dark Side Of The MoonReleased: 1973
  • This is probably about insanity, something the band was quite familiar with. Ex-singer/guitarist Syd Barrett's experiments with hallucinogens caused his unfortunate fall in the late '60s.
  • Many people consider this and "Eclipse" one song because they run seamlessly together at the end of the monumental album, Dark Side Of The Moon. Radio stations usually play them together. (thanks, Matt - Russell Springs, KY, for above 2)
  • The line, "You raise the blade, you make the change" is a reference to frontal lobotomies. (thanks, Eoon - Brisbane, Australia)
  • The line, "And if the band you're in starts playing different tunes" is a specific reference to Syd Barrett's propensity for playing the wrong song on stage during his "episodes" towards his final days with Pink Floyd, which subsequently led to his dismissal.
  • Many people believe that Dark Side Of The Moon synchs up with the movie The Wizard Of Oz (beginning the record just as the third roar from MGM lion is displayed). This song plays while the scarecrow sings "If I only had a brain." (thanks, Ash - Discovery Bay, CA)
  • The lyrics, "The lunatic is on the grass" do not refer to the drug marijuana, but rather actual sod. Roger Waters based the line on the signs that state "Stay Off The Grass" and how he thought anyone who disobeyed the signs was crazy. The line, "Got to keep the loonies on the path" supports this, meaning that people must not get off the path and onto the grass. (thanks, Connor - Stonington, CT)
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Comments: 160

FYI Schizophrenia is not "brought" on by drug use. So, either Syd damaged his brain by drug use, making him unable to care for himself and delusional or he became schizophrenic just because he was predisposed to it, unfortunately. Either way, it's very sad, he was a musical genius and it must have been torture for him, at some level, not to be able to do the thing he loved to do. Hopefully, he was oblivious to what he was missing out on. Hopefully he felt some amount of happiness.Julie - Augusta, Me
The uncredited "stoned" laughter (also used in the background of Speak to Me) is that of Peter Watts, the then-road manager for the Floyd pictured on the back of the Ummagumma sleeve. (Watts sadly died of a drug overdose in 1976, and -funfact- he is the father of the actress Naomi Watts)Viviana - Monterrey, Mexico
I have to make a comment here because I think many of you are missing the beauty of this song. It is an incredibly sad tribute or living epitaph to Syd Barret. Syd's former band mates watched him decline into insanity. Every line in the song refers to something Syd has lost and never will regain. "All that" we take for granted which is lost to someone no longer in control of his thoughts. "All that" is no longer possible when you've become insane. It is a heartbreakingly sorrowful song. I pity the band for having endured their loss. It never fails to jerk a tear.Carl - Chicago, Il
I think this song is about suicide-if the band you're in starts playing different tunes, I'll see you on the dark side of the moon. To me, that means that if things start going bad in your life, and your friends/family (band you're in) don't care/believe you, and the world is so screwed up, then it's not worth living.People think you're crazy because they aren't in your situation & downplay it. You have nowhere to go, no one to turn to for support. Time to get off this planet and go to "the dark side of the moon" (Suicide-death). Funny, Pink Floyd is NOT my favorite group-yet dark side of the moon is my FAVORITE album. If I was going to commit suicide, THIS would be the album I would die to.Zardoz - Dekalb, Il
I think this song is about suicide-if the band you're in starts playing different tunes, I'll see you on the dark side of the moon. To me, that means that if things start going bad in your life, and your friends/family (band you're in) don't care/believe you, and the world is so screwed up, then it's not worth living.People think you're crazy because they aren't in your situation & downplay it. You have nowhere to go, no one to turn to for support. Time to get off this planet and go to "the dark side of the moon" (Suicide-death). Funny, Pink Floyd is NOT my favorite group-yet dark side of the moon is my FAVORITE album. If I was going to commit suicide, THIS would be the album I would die to.Zardoz - Dekalb, Il
Regarding the line "the paper holds their folded faces to the floor, and every day the paper boy brings more" You're all wrong,
Its a reference to Mental Institutions in which often used stereo-typically are things like "Basket Weaving" "Butterfly Catching" and "Cutting Out Paper Dolls"
The latter which when cut, fold out into a "Daisy Chain", referenced in the preceding line.
the "Paper Boy Brings More" refers to just that, they would bring more paper each day.....sit them at a table and leave them to their mental anguish, alone for hours and hours.
Dan - Detroit, Mi
Didn't any of you see the TV series on Pink Floyd in which Roger Glover made reference to his last meeting with Sid Barrett, in which Syd asked him who were really the lunatics, the inmates of the asylum or the people who kept them there. Syd apparently asked Roger to look around him at the signs which forbade activities including the ones that said "Keep of the Grass" and apparently said "How do you keep the lunies off the grass". Every Pink Floyd album had at least one reference to Syd Barrett. He was with the group when he was not.Ken - Newport, United Kingdom
I may not analyze this perfectly, but I'm going to offer my two cents. The song is clearly about insanity and the brain, using Syd Barrett and several band experiences "the lunatic is on the grass" and "if the band you're in starts playing different tunes" as an example, a demonstration of an insane person. When the lyrics say "and if the dam breaks open many years to soon... and if your heads explodes with dark forebodings too... I'll see you on the dark side of the moon." This is talking about if you were to go insane with dark realization about life then I'll see you on the dark side of the moon. The Dark side of the Moon is something said to be there because it is, but we never see it. It is a figment of our imagination, practically. I believe this is meant to be Syd Barrett narrating in first person in a way, or at least an insane person, when this is said. I'll see you on the dark side of the moon. I recently acquired knowledge about the brain (http://jvsc.jst.go.jp/find/mindlab/english/index.html) that demonstrated to me how much at once is going on inside our brains. Our brains fill in gaps to create a logical and rational world, and even sometimes rob away the concept of free will away from us (go to the website.) I was left wondering how much we decide, and how much our brains decide. Just think about it. Perhaps even this whole world could just be chemicals in our brains. Just think of dreams. When you have a dream, your mind is just creating random events... but its all in your head. Maybe the whole world is like that. Which got me thinking: psychedelic drugs (although I've never used any drugs... this is just an from an observational standpoint rather than from experience) might just alter those... chemicals in our brains, and either give show us an alternate reality... one that could possibly be even more real than regular reality. Think about it. "There's someone in my head but its not me." And if you go insane too.... I'll see you on the darkside of the moon... you know, that figment of our imagination thats realer than reality? This is just a possibility and I may sound mad, but again, think about it. "Brain Damage" then leads into "Eclipse." Eclipse is sort of supporting the possibility I state. "All that you touch, feel, smell, love..." Everything that you do. It is all "in tune under the sun-" it all works and you know it all adds up to make reality. We live life like this without questioning it. However, this reality is eclipsed by the moon... blocked out by what could possibly be a truer reality... the dark side of the moon, that Syd Barrett has already discovered possibly... is it all in our heads? The lyrics go on to say "as a matter of fact, its all dark" ...as if its all dark in our head, and nothing exists? Perhaps. As Patrick Star once put it... "The inner machinations of my mind are an enigma."Ryan - Lincolnville, Me
The line "and if the dam breaks open many years too soon" Waters speaks of Barrett's pre-mature insanity. People dont generally lose their mind until they're near the end of their life. The next line "and if there is no room upon the hill" Waters speaks of Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. where politicians reside. Waters is being a smart ass by saying politicians lose their mind early on in life like Barrett. (which is true)Dale - Port Orchard, Wa
i personally think that this songs about how Nixon was putting chemicals in the water supply making everybody crazy and eventually turning them into paper haha no just kidding...or am i?John - Brownsvalley, Ca
OK i have read through all theese comments, and no one has satisfactorily explained to me the meaning of the line "the papper holds their folden faces to the floor, and everday the paper boy brings more" very very dark song by the way love it. And it doesnt synch up twice the first time it synchs up so well its scary u must get stoned and try it.Nicholas - Mount Pleasant, Pa
The lunitics are all of the various stupid people who dominate the world and always have, like Richard Nixon and Tiger Woods. Their constant lunacy makes the news every day, and it is depressing.David - Baltimore, Md
Almast in every album do they talk about Syd Barret, Wish You Were Here: Shine on You Crazy Diamond, The Wall: The Trial ( when he goes "Over the rainbow", and especially in brain damage. In a way they are also talking about brain surgery and how Syd became "Brain damged" himself.Lylah - Grand Junction, Co
In my teen years I thought all albums should be seemless, one continous song from start to finish and it's all because of Dark Side Of The Moon. Still genious after all of these years.Hope - Watertown, Ny
From above: "The line, "You raise the blade, you make the change" is a reference to frontal lobotomies. (thanks, Eoon - Brisbane, Australia)"

This is very wrong. This line represents when Syd Barrett shaved off all of his body hair. He shaved his eyebrows off, hair on his head, and anywhere else. You can also see this is the Pink Floyd film, The Wall, where Pink shaves off his body hair after building his wall and becoming crazy.
Tj - Dallas, Tx
When he says the lunatic is on the grass he's totally talking about pot and gotta keep they lunies on the path he's saying that pot is the way to go. I mean s--t, Pink Floyd and pot go together like.... Beatles and acid. HahahahahaFtguhfdghf - Just, Argentina
As for the implied absurdity of believing the other members weren't very active drug users: "I only did acid once," he admits. "It was very pure... we got access to the real thing. It was quite extraordinary, but it wasn't something that I wanted to repeat.

"It's quite amazing to have your aural and visual perceptions overturned like that - but so what? The only art that lasts is art that comes from people

who experience their connections with their fellow man and woman in ways that are more deeply felt. To think drugs have a part in that is b******s, frankly." -Roger Waters http://www.mirror.co.uk/tv-entertainment/music/2008/05/15/interview-pink-floyd-legend-roger-waters-115875-20418864/
Brian - Fremont, Ca
By the way, Syd Barret was well documented as having been a schizophreniac, or some other mental illness unrelated, but probably symptomatic, of his drug use. Syd's problems were reputed as being the reason why the other members more or less shied away from drug use. "While there has been some confusion in the public's mind about the mental illness Syd Barret suffered from, most of his band members and close associates have identified his mental illness as schizophrenia, and the mental health professionals that we've talked to also believe that he suffered from schizophrenia." - http://www.schizophrenia.com/sznews/archives/003640.htmlBrian - Fremont, Ca
Damn you people who come off like Floydian authorities, when all you're conveying is conjecture and opinion framed as knowledge

"And if the band you're in starts playing different tunes."

"[knocking on door] Time to go." -the Wall

These are obvious direct references to Pink Floyd's appearance on Top Of The Pops. Syd Barrett was locked up in his dressing room, crushing up Mandrax (quaaludes) and mixing it with Brylcreem. Barrett rubbed the concoction into his hair while the band's manager REPEATEDLY BANGED ON THE DOOR, pleading with Syd that it was "time to go" out on stage. When Syd appeared on stage, the band played the planned song, while Syd kept pounding out one chord completely unrelated to the song. Meanwhile, the mess in his hair melted under the hot stage lights, giving Syd a rather monstrous appearance. "And if the band you're in starts playing different tunes" is obviously a witty and sarcastic reference to that incident and other occasions when Syd, probably intentionally, sabotaged performances. The Top of The Pops incident has been well documented in many different articles and books about Floyd. All my books and mag.'s are in storage at the moment, but I believe "Pink Floyd: An Illustrated History" and "Saucerful of Secrets : The Pink Floyd" Odyssey" are two supporting sources that I've read. I believe I refer to the July 6, 1967 performance of "See Emily Play", long believed lost, that was recently unearthed. Perhaps that visual evidence will be available at some point.
Brian - Fremont, Ca
Many have noted this song and album are about despair, hopelessness, and insanity. Not that this is a Christian album by any stretch of the imagination, but it reflects the opening of the book of Ecclesiastes. "Vanity, vanity, all is vanity." I didn't listen to Floyd as I grew up but now find I like them. Better late than never, I guess.David - Birmingham, Al
For what it's worth, I wore out two Dark Side of the Moon LPs. I also have the album on CD and my iPod. This is probably my favorite album along with Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Eclipse and Brain Damage are a fine way to end this album.Pat - Albuquerque, Nm
this whole album is bad as*, back in the early 80's when i was a teen i had taken some acid(lsd), with other substances. i remember i made it home, put the cassette in my boom box(player)and put some headphones on. then i went on a space odyssy. made it to "the dark side of the moom"Fred - Long Beach, Ca
The final line "and if the band your in starts playing different tunes..." is a reference to how Pink Floyds style changed so much after Syd Barret's mental incapacitation. The band would never be the same again.Brian - Warwick, Ny
Not too long ago I put my iPod on shuffle and listened to See Emily Play, which of course Syd wrote, followed by this song, which is about him. It was odd, and kind of depressing. I don't know why people think you have to be stoned to appreciate it. And to those people who said Syd isn't dead...I don't know if you wrote that before, but he's long gone.Chloe - St. Louis, Mo
lukems from ohio. your hypothesis about plants blew my mind. i took a long pause after i read it and i was actaully very impressed by it. and susan from westchesterfieldville. your comment about cheerios is awesome. lol and you should move to a place with a shorter name.Cody - St Joe, Mo
Sakes!
Must EVERYTHING about Floyd be directly attributable to drugs?
This fantastic song was Roger's first real effort ("If" was the very first) to put into words what happened to Syd Barrett.
Oh, and for all you stoners who think Roger was an addict, that is completely false.
Yes, Roger was known to occasionally partake (just look at his face during some of the interviews for the "Pompeii" movie), but he was more of a drinker by far.
He took LSD exactly twice, and the second time was so unpleasant that he never did it again.
Folks, this song is about madness, and how it isolates the afflicted from the rest of society.
Truly a moving bit of tribute for their fallen hero.
Oldpink - New Castle, In
Syd Barrett wasn't in Pink Floyd for Dark Side of the Moon. The scary thing about Pink Floyd without Syd, is that none of them used acid more than once or twice, yet they could still write possibly the trippiest album ever. I'm almost positive that some of the lyrics on this album are made to mess with trippers heads. Many times I have been tripping while listening to this album, and there are little phrases that stick out to you, and that help guide your trip in a good path. Great song by the way, great meaning.Mayy - Boston, Ma
When he says "the lunatics are in the hall, the paper holds their folded faces to the floor, and everyday the paperboy brings more." seems like a pretty obvious reference to there are articles a the newspaper about someone being in the paper for being crazy, and as much as people don't want to hear about it (faces to the floor)everyday they get another-new article about him.Addy - Fort Myers, Fl
This is about the "insanity" of adulthood. The luniatic actually is sane and society is crazy. The lunatic in the grass is someone who wants to relive the happiness of childhood and has the audacity to walk on the grass, even though society is telling him that everyone should stay on the paths created for them and follow the paths blindly. Also, the "lunatic" is ignoring the newspapers (he leaves their folded faces on the floor)that reminds him of the insanity around him. Finally, he gets rearranged until he is "sane", but now there is someone in his head and it isn't him.Mick - Las Vegas, Nv
P.S. I'm not saying I enjoy listening to Alan Menken a lot. It's just an example.Sam - Richland, Wa
I get angry when all that people can attribute incredible music to is drugs. Has the human genius disappeared behind a cloud of marijuana smoke?
Look at classical artists. I'm pretty sure they didn't use drugs. And people say they were the "greatest artists of all time" because of their ability to shape music into something moving. Well, they were also known for their mastery of musical structure. The point is, it is in fact possible to make wonderful music without marijuana. I look at Pink Floyd and see genius. I do not see marijuana. Yes, Pink Floyd is incredible stoned. I've done it! But why is that? It is because their songs move us, their lyrics and musical lyricism are deep, and give us pause to think. As another example, I once listened to The Hunchback of Notre Dame stoned. That was an incredible experience too, because the music built and MOVED you. Does that mean Alan Menken (or whoever composed it) was on drugs? No! Do not be so quick to attribute genius to drugs.
Sam - Richland, Wa
Ok, first of all, Pete from Australia, your as crazy as Syd! And Ric from WI and Jacob from WV...well, DUH! What a geniuses you're NOT! I'm sorry that Syd Barrett flipped out from whatever drugs he did but, in the 70's, I did everything there was; including acid, mushrooms, peyote and mescaline. (mescaline being the best). And I don't know whatever disagreement there was between Roger Waters and David Gilmour but, in my personal opinion, David Gilmour was the best thing that ever happened to Pink Floyd! They would have never made it as big without his incredible lead guitar.R.h. - Pauls Valley, Ok
Why do so many try to read so much into things so simple? "The lunatics are in my hall...the paper holds their folded faces to the floor, and everyday the paper boy brings more..." Who is usually on the front page of a newspaper? The politicians, news-makers of the day, authority figures...in other words, lunatics. Their faces are "folded" because the paper usually comes folded...Ric - Florence, Wi
Okay, I only disagree with people who say Roger Waters was a drug addict and that the song is about drugs. I think The Dark Side Of The Moon is all about the thoughts we have about ourselves and the world that we ignore and repress and refrain from speaking about because we worry that people (including ourselves) will think we are crazy. Well the truth is, we are all crazy, but most of us keep that on our dark side. (Fact: There is a side of the moon we never see, i.e. DSOTM.)Jacob - Redhouse, Wv
actually it is followed by Eclipse but you know what I meanSusan - Westchestertonfieldville, Va
I like that this is at the end of the album, because when it is over, all you can think is "WOW" what a GREAT album, truely innovative and unimaginably creativeSusan - Westchestertonfieldville, Va
"The lunatic is on the grass
The lunatic is on the grass
Remembering games and daisy chains and laughs
Got to keep the loonies on the path"

As has previously been mentioned, this part refers to "Keep Off The Grass" signs, etc. "Daisy Chains and Laughs" refers to childhood, and ignoring the signs and playing on the grass anyway, but eventually conforming and keeping on the path (adulthood).

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

This is talking about newspapers and the media, and how it further manages to make you conform. Everyday the paper boy brings more newspapers.

"And if the dam breaks open many years too soon
And if there is no room upon the hill
And if your head explodes with dark forbodings too
Ill see you on the dark side of the moon"

I think this is about how Syd Barrett was pretty young when he suffered his mental breakdown, and Water's feels he may sometimes relate to Syd's mental idiosyncrasies.

"The lunatic is in my head
The lunatic is in my head
You raise the blade, you make the change
You re-arrange me till I'm sane
You lock the door
And throw away the key
Theres someone in my head but its not me."

This refers to lobotomy, and the poor state of care for the mentally ill. Also Waters once said, "The lunatic was Syd, really. He was obviously in my head."

Furthermore, in the beginning the lunatic is on the grass, then in the hall, and ultimately in your head. The lunatic is coming closer and closer, until you're finally overcome by insanity, or conformity (Whichever way you see it), and that, is truly a scary thing.
Irma - Vancouver, Bc
OK, so Brain Damage can have your own interpretation if you wish. Roger however was writing about craziness of the world and the human condition...Initially childhood ('daisy chains and laughs') and the expectation that walking on the grass was wrong (you were a loonie if you did). The expectation that society has to keep people off the 'grass' seems wrong - crazy rules (or crazy people making the rules and labelling anyone who breaks them loonies). The 'Papers' probably refers to perpetual newspaper/media indoctrination? 'Dams' could be repressed peoples revolutiuon/war or even reference to the 2nd coming of Christ (judgement day) maybe?? Halls could refer to Cambridge Halls?? 'Dark forebodings' = mental illness? Lunatic is in my head (we all have the potential, or are loonies to some extent). 'Raise
the blade' = lobotomy. 'Cloud bursts' = similar to story of Noah? 'Playing different tunes' = clearly Sid and also possibly some references to members of the Floyd having musical differences.
What do you think?
Pete - Brisbane, Australia
Hang on a minute! Brain Damage.
Someone said "And if there is no room upon the hill"-The hill being a famous counterculture symbol for conformity"

The 'room upon the hill' refers to the Jewish cemetry The Mount of Olives. Don't start making up your own interpretations too much guys!
Pete - Brisbane, Australia
Conor was way off when he made his comment...what Roger meant (referring to "The lunatic is on the grass") is about signs saying "Keep Off The Grass", but roger thinks thats crazy. He said in an interview that we have these lovely plots of grass and we dont let people enjoy them, why cant we go on the grass? The interview is on the DVD 'Making of The Dark Side of The Moon'Ray - Flagstaff, Az
Brain damage is as my friends say it "A song you listen to when you're trashed!" Like Syd Barrett!

I love this song more because of the music, it just helps me to relax, zone out.
Mitchell - Adelaide, Australia
this song is about cheeriosSusan - Westchestertonfieldville, Va
the dark side of the moon album might repesent the dark side of our minds.David - Ashland City, Tn
This song is not about drugs. The verses (Lunatics) are about conformity and media. Steveb from Spokane, WA said it perfectly "it is a symbol of non conformity and the way that people are conditioned in the modern world today, "got to keep the loonies on the path", the supposed neccessity to keep the "psychopaths" such as perhaps timothy leary or john lennon, both noted as the "most dangerous men in america" at one point. "the paper holds their folded faces to the floor, and every day the paper boy brings more" I believe that this is a reference to how the newspaper, or general media and their brainwashing techniques, can help subside these thoughts of lunacy by making you realize that the the state of things is how it should be, even though it isn't. It simply holds them down for a bit, just long enough until the "paperboy"(general media) can deliver the next dose of reassuring conformity." To me this song also has alot to do with depression,
"And if the dam breaks open many years too soon
And if there is no room upon the hill
And if your head explodes with dark forebodings too" is a metaphor for all the things life can throw at you and "I'll see you on the dark side of the moon" is saying that you need to live through all of those things and that your'e not the only one going through it. The same goes for this part:
"And if the cloud bursts, thunder in your ear
You shout and no one seems to hear.
And if the band you're in starts playing different tunes
I'll see you on the Dark Side of the Moon."
Brett - Chilliwack, Bc
by the way... what better ocation to listen this album that a moon eclipse...perhaps that made me started me to listen this...i wouldnt be impressed lolAlvaro - La Paz, Bolivia
I recently started to listen PF, i decided what the heck ill give it a try, o got the album TDOTM (Thinking what has this album i havent heard, man was i wrong), this is a REALLY GOOD album, its so armonic...and this particullar song made me understand my self soo bad...fearless is also an anthem...ill se you all on the dark side of the moonAlvaro - La Paz, Bolivia
I beleive that a song is a poem. There is not a right or wrong way to interpret lyrics. If we respect the band, we should not negate other peoples opinions about this song. When we listen to music, we tend to try to relate to the song, making the lyrics mean something different to everyone. I dont beleive Pink Floyd was necessarily a band who heavily used narcotics, but if they were.. who cares?? All that matters is the music. Every artist has a source of inspiration.

Peace
Olivia
Olivia - San Francisco, Ca
Dave, that's very interesting; i've always wanted to go to the dark side of the moon. i stayed up all night watching a lunar eclipse while listening to dark side of the moon. One of my favorite albums along with the wall and wish you were here!!!!!!!!!Allie - A Little Ol' Town In, Mi
Roger Waters may have been a prick, but he wrote some kickass music.Kate - Burnaby, Canada
My association with this album started when I was 12. My mum had a brain hemorrhage and spent a few weeks in hospital before she died. During this time she went a bit strange to the point of sometimes being phsycic. She used to rave on about being on the dark side of the moon and as my older sister was a fan of Pink Floyd it seemed right. The album seemed to fit with the what I remember of my life growing up culminating with her brain damage and the end of when it says ill see you on the dark side of the moon. I still get emotional when I listen to it and its been over 30 years. In 2003 My older sister suffered the same as my mum but never regained consciousness and died two weeks after. The day we decided to remove her life support we played this album. The great gig in the sky could represent her desperately trying to wake up and say goobye but suffering great anguish because she couldn't. Don't know if she could hear it but it seemed the right thing to do.
The album to me indicates to me that no matter what you do it will all be for nothing because you will die anyway as spelt out in the last track. Didnt want to bring on a downer to you all but needed to say this.

Thanks

Dave
Dave - Adelaide, Australia
This song obviously takes a shot at Syd Barrett. Roger Waters was such a prick.Nick - Pittsburgh, Pa
i think brain damange is awsome its a awsome songBrian - New Florence, Mo
if you sync up dark side and oz...its amazing. And not only does it work once but its works twice. On the second time through on brain damage, The Line "You Raise the blade, make the change" The tin man raises a huge blade as him and the others change their clothes to look like the witches army. this is no accident.
- nick, roswell, GA

You are not joking. The way DSOTM and Oz sync up is insane...but Roger Waters and David Gilmour still argue the topic of whether it was intentional or not
Adam - Poplar Bluff, Mo
Actually this song is not about a hysical "Brain Damage" caused by drugs or anything else . the damage is Symbolic. well this song is influenced by SYD'd vision in life , and by the way SYD is influenced by "Nietzsche" the German Philosopher , and his passion in Power , Ambition , and desire ,. "the piper at the gates of dawn" , this title is not chosen by coinsidence , that story is mentioned many times in Nietzsche's Works , and it express about the self power of a human that had , maybe in politic, art , music , littirature...etc, by this power he can make magical influence on the folks and make them by his magical power,and make them in the right path ,and so Pink Floyd have that influence . also "Niezsche" write about the astronomie , the magnetic relation between the big and the small planets , and the attractive power of the big planets, (astronomie domine). so like the members in thhis band say the DSOTM its samply about the Ambition,the fame, money, . and the insanity is in power and ambition , its the paranoia .Wassim - Beirut - Lebanon, Other
Okay. THe entire ambum is about every aspect of life.
Speak to Me/Breathe- Birth
On the Run- Running away from problems
TIme- TIme cathing up with you
The Great Gig in the Sky-Accepting death
Money- Greed, etc.
Us and Them- Your Friends and enemies
Any Colour You Like- The choices you make
Brain Damage- Senility, old age
Eclipse- Death (THe sun is the source of life and the last line is the sun is eclipsed by the moon)
Drew - Short Hills, Nj
roger waters was a musical genius but a total downer in everything he did. seriously, his sh*t got so depressingNate - Winston Salem, Nc
THE darkside is the side of things we normally dont see its always there but we dont lay an eye to it. ive caught some glimpses of the darkside its scaryLükems - Mentor, Oh
I started to go insaine a little bit and i still very much might be, i have a theory about how plants are killing us and de evolving us and damming us and taking over are minds , i feel this whole album ecspecially this song reflects what im thinking,and it scares me. i feel that the darkside of the moon is an anti drug album about marajauna taking over of human minds and the plant actualy thinking for them.Lükems - Mentor, Oh
Why does everybody assume that Pink Floyd is a drug band? At any rate the song is about bieng nuttier than a fruitcake. Whoever blathered on about authorities and such, take a chill pill will ya? The blade part is a refference to
lobotomy.
J.r. - Columbia, Sc
i like this song even if it is--Ozzy - Fresno, Ca
I think the song brain damage and for example the line (the lunitics are on the grass) to me means that society has produced human robots and that society cant get away from those strict old rules such as staying off the grass, everyone has seen the little signes on the lawn (keep off the grass) and for you to just move along and stay on the path to the ols society rules.( In my head i see robots marching down a concrete path and if one of those robots find its self on the grass i see a police officer or a bureaucrat billy clubing down the robot as punishment to stay off the grass).Paul - Winnipeg Manitoba, Canada
o and steveb listen to stuff from piper at the gates of dawn for a little taste of drugs (:Ozzy - Fresno, Ca
...i know some1 with brain damage, my friend syd barrett... *weeps*Ozzy - Fresno, Ca
I personally think it's about madness that o part of the brain is opened up. 'The Dark Side Of Moon' means the part of the situation or what ever we do not see but it is still their and maybe mad people actually see it. I'm not sure if this makes sence as I'm only 14 but i do not think it has anything to do with taking drugs but being accussed of taking them.Samantha - London, England
As most of Floyd's brilliant work, this is subject to incredible misinterpretation, and it makes me mad.

One of the facts above is a bit off... Roger obviously doesn't think these people are actually crazy but hates the idea of keeping people off of it, it is a symbol of non conformity and the way that people are conditioned in the modern world today, "got to keep the loonies on the path", the supposed neccessity to keep the "psychopaths" such as perhaps timothy leary or john lennon, both noted as the "most dangerous men in america" at one point. "the paper holds their folded faces to the floor, and every day the paper boy brings more" I believe that this is a reference to how the newspaper, or general media and their brainwashing techniques, can help subside these thoughts of lunacy by making you realize that the the state of things is how it should be, even though it isn't. It simply holds them down for a bit, just long enough until the "paperboy"(general media) can deliver the next dose of reassuring conformity. "If the damn breaks open many years too soon"-that is a metaphor for snapping in the middle of your life, far before the end of it with so much more to deal with. "And if there is no room upon the hill"-The hill being a famous counterculture symbol for conformity, where the sheep dwell happily and just like each other. "And if your head explodes with dark forebodings too, I'll see you on the dark side of the moon"-This one is very literal but said in an eloquent manner that goes beyond most people's heads. If you snap under pressure, while also foreseeing nothing but bad in the future(for both yourself, and the fate of the world), he'll see you on the dark side of the moon, that hypothetical place where all the wide-eyed outsiders who 'get it' will meet and be ridden of the isolation... shame it doesn't exist. "the lunatic is in my head" displays the society getting to the person on hand, and "you raise the blade, you make the change, you rearrange me til im sane" is a reference to a lobotomy, the lobotomy being a metaphor for conditioning by society. "you lock the door, and throw away the key, there's someone in my head but its not me"-this line determines the moment where one has now become part of the society, tossed out his individualism, and as the key is gone there is no turning back, he is them and no longer himself. "If the cloud bursts thunder in your ear"-another metaphor for it all being too much to handle, "You shout and no one seems to hear" the isolation that the outsiders feel as the select few who know whats going on... anyone they try to talk about it to thinks theyre crazy and ignores them... "and if the band you're in starts playing different tunes, i'll see you on the dark side of the moon"-another metaphor for conformity, a reference to the selling out that bands often do.-------------------------I hate saying this but once again all the drug references please stop it and stop spreading the idiotic rumors of Floyd and drugs. Who knows if Rog had ever smoked grass before crafting a song. Its probably happened before. Its COMPLETELY irrelevant to the work, because none of their music is about drugs, or for the sake of drugs.
Steveb - Spokane, Wa
this song IS about insanity. its about messed up syd barrett was by the end of his career. the line "you raise the blade, you make the change, you rearrange me til i'm sane" is about how Syd denied to doctors that he ever did any drugs, so they gave him multiple frontal lobotomies to figure out what was wrong with him, but really it was just that he fried his brain with acid and stuff. and the line "and if the band youre in starts playing different tunes" is about how he would start singing a completely different song in the middle of a show,,,mid-song even. ...this stuff was already said, but not in so much detailSteve - Almont, Mi
Okay everyone, I'm going to explain it to you the way I perceive it...which is probably dead on.
What this song is saying is that the world is full of craziness. You see it (and all the lunatics causing it) everyday in the newspaper (which the paperboy sometimes throws on my grass, sometimes onto the path (to my house). When I bring the paper inside, it sits folded on the floor before I get to it. Once I start reading it, the craziness of the world gets into my head. It would be nice if we didn't have to see it and could go back to having the innocence of children "remembering daisy chains and laughs" but we don't. We live in a screwed up, crazy world and if you let it all get to you, you'll probably end up in a mental asylum getting a lobotomy. On the Dark side of the Moon.
Genius - Toronto, Canada
this song is about being different then everybody around us roger waters stated that in a interview on vh1 classic cuts. he was making a statment that everyone is insane in there on way.Nick - Bristol, Ct
I think that the line "The lunatics are on the grass" refers to the way that people are labled as crazy for flying in the face of convention. The sign says to stay off the grass. No reason. You're just supposed to. "Got to keep the loonies on the path" refers to the way society will try to correct the thinking or such people, even if going so far as to give them a frontal labotamy ( You raise the blade......) The line "The lunatics are in the hall" refers these crazy, non-conventional people infiltrating the universities (the halls) with their crazy new ideas.Bobpape - Austin, Tx
Like good art, most can see someting different in it. Good lyrics are not always clear interpretations of what they mean and what was going on at the time of the writing. DSOTM works so well with the nebulous and poignant lyrics especially with the music. Not enough credit is given to the depth of the music.
-Jim Kehoe, MA
Jim - Worcester, Ma
Who cares if these guys did do drugs or didnt do drugs, there music is still the deepest actually i take that back i cant even explain the quality of Pink Floyd's music.Ccr - Fondy, Wi
Ash, in Charleston, good point, but do you think if they were TOO influenced by drugs they wouldn't have been able to do the intricate electronic experimenting they did in the studio. I don't think the polished sound would've been there.Chris - Greenville, Sc
Echoe in Italy, if you watch the DVD on the making of DSOTM, you'll see Roger himself talk about the sodded field to which the song refers. Ryan is right, and you owe Connor an apology. You're wrong.

Do you really think if they were all doing drugs they'd've had such a problem with Syd?
Chris - Greenville, Sc
the lines "the lunatic is on the grass" and "the lunatic is in the hall" are often interpreted many different ways. i believe that it means that that people who stray are "crazy" but it kind of fits with the assasination of JFK. He was shot from the "hall" of a nearby building and many people speculate that there was a second gunman on a grassy knoll. no way that is the meaning, but it just came into my mind i guess.Skye - Groveton, Nh
Yes, this song does have to do with mental illness. I was a patient in a mental hospital for several months and my roommate used to play this song all the damn time. There is a reference to prefontal lobotomies and schizophrenic behavior.Joel - Columbia, Sc
I think this song is an homage to their friend and ex band member syd, and that see you on the dark side of the moon may represent...see you again when you are sain on the dark side of the moon (in death/heaven)Stopdead - Gold Coast, Australia
awsome song.summarizes the theme of the entire album.the dude laughing in the background makes me trip balls.Kyle - Sarnia, Canada
Connor from Stonnington I do believe that, that iis not anywhere close to what Roger meant in that line.Echoe - Conversano, Italy
James, that phrase appears after Ecplise, after all the instrumentals are over and all you can hear is the heartbeat.Luke - Memphis, Tn
My favorite lyric "You lock the door and throw away the key theres someone in my head but its not me."Madalyn - Greensburg, Pa
I think that this song as well as all songs on dark side are metaphores for life. This song for instance (being near the end of the album) is about the end of an average persons life. They are old; sinility and alzheimers are beginning and they become "crazy". You have all surely seen senior homes where they lead them on walks and make sure they all stay close and in line and they don't argue. Eclipse is a summary of your life and what, in the end, it means: nothing. The end heartbeat that fades is death. The beginning eartbeat is being born. Breath: Take your first breath. This song explains how to live like the rest of us do to a newborn, an innocent child who we infect with our invented problems and conflicts. Each song represents a different thought on or stage of life. Then, when it's over, you notice that it was only 42:57 long. It, like life seem long while they are playing, but they end, shortly and before you know what happened. In short, a beautifully orchestrated album beyond compare with most.Darren - Albany, Or
Can someone tell me which song on DSOTM has the comment : "There is no dark side of the moon. In matter of fact it's all dark." ?? Thanks, James in NCJames - Jefferson, Nc
i think this is one of the greatest songs in history... but i think its about going crazy, maybe not just about syd, but about being able to relate to him. the first verse is talking about straying off to where you shouldnt be, possibly letting your mind go somewhere that it shouldnt. got to keep the loonies on the path is like saying to keep them in line, dont let them go to where they shouldnt. the second part "the lunatic is in the hall, the lunatic is in my hall" this is where i feel he is trying to relate to feeling crazy sometimes, paranoid perhaps.... "the paper holds there folded faces to the floor" is like when someone is reading a newpaper and they never look up... "you raise the blade, you make the change, rearange me till im sane..... all of that part is about going to a psychologist or somewhere for psychological help and they use there medical procedures to correct you..... permanently... it is truely hard to say what any pink floyd song is about, they have such good lyrics and obviously they can mean many different things to many different people... thats why they were one of the greatest bands ever.... everyone just enjoy the music and interperet it however you want.... i dont mind feedback eitherRafael - Lbc, Ca
OR the line "the paper holds their folded faces to the ground" could mean a picture of a lunatic 's face in the newspaper, folded to the ground. Every day the paperboy brings more. I mean come on I think you're looking into that one a little too deep.Thomas - Staten Island, Ny
the lines "the paper hold the folded faces to the floor, and everyday the paper boy brings more
" could possibly mean that the paper is an alice dee blotter, and they were buy that drug everyday from the "paper boy" (drug dealer). Id also say that the lines "The lunatic is my head" describes one of them have mental psychosis while on LSD.
Michael - Ny, Ny
This is a classic song. Yes, it is about insanity and the inability to deal with it. JoelJoel - Columbia, Sc
No actually they took drugs alot, but no all of their songs are about drugs. Like this one, for instince.Johnny - Los Angeles, Ca
oh yes I also wanted to say something about the "grass" comment. I assume you are refering to "the lunatic is on the grass". In a biography (published book, not internet and TV special) it said they were literally talking about the lunatic sitting on the grass. And to the Spectrum 5 comment, in the beginning Syd Barrett did lead the band, he came up with the name Pink and Floyd after his 2 favorite blues/jazz musicians so it is a likely name for him to choose see as he was on acid and went insane because of it!!!Bridget - Montreal, Canada
Brittany from philly who cares is a freaking loser!!! Not everyone in the 60s and 70s were on drugs. The only one who had real problems and used them very often was Syd Barrett (RIP). Roger Waters' lyrics weren't all about drugs. He barely took them!!! They weren't lying! Waters' lyrics have so much maning you idiot!!! Go into it more. He writes about politcal conflicts, war, tragedy, insanitly and some deep themes!! Pink Floyd were amazing musicans and for you and various other people to write they were smoking up is a insult. For the last time PINK FLOYD rarely took drugs!!!!!Bridget - Montreal, Canada
theyve said themselves that they are not and were not avid drug users (other than barret)...why would they lie?Brian - Altoona, Pa
First of all hey everybody this is my first post, now seriously if you really belive they weren't avid drug users your insane i dont think every song is about drugs but i do think once you try each one it gives you a different perspective to life in general so it probably did at least inspire most of them. Also i agree that the grass could represent everything being so regulated and nothing left untouched (this is a major problem i have with society as well) but has no one considered the possibility of an obvious second meaning? How about the fact that gange (grass) is also a pure substance that alows us to remain in a state of bliss and peace that is branded as something it is not as a means of controlling us. Also when your really trippin or you have different ideas than the norm you can be forced into feeling insane because you dont fit in. And Eclipse connecting to Brain Damage also suggests that Brain damage is about life and your personal experiences considering the lyrics to Eclipse. I also however agree with many of your perceptions (and appreciate them since I'm doing a ballet like piece using the two songs for my art school) whenever i write I'm inspired by many things and use multiple metaphors so it doesn't have to be about one thing; music should be interpreted in differing and personal ways i think thats what the great musicians strive for, and if that's not what Pink Floyd did how could this discussion board even exist? Sorry for the length of that rant hope some of you acctually read it!Brittany - Philly, Pa
i am so sick of everyone thinking that the floyd were completely "stoned" when they made this...it is a concept album that deals with deep life and death material and they were aware of what they were doing and it is the best musical production of all time. other than barrett...the rest of the band wasnt deep into drugs. im sick of you idiots dumbing down the best album ever.Brian - Altoona, Pa
I thought this song was called "Dark Side Of The Moon"D - Somewhere, Fl
This song seems like it is about psychosis origionating from drug use - which is possible because of Syd Barrett. Roger Waters, who wrote the song, probably also experimented with drugs (as can be seen in scenes from the Wall, which is supposidly based on his life).Kira - Edmonton, Canada
The second time DSOTM plays in the Oz synch when they get to the witch's castle and the huge ominous hourglass is almost run out, and they break the door in just as Eclipse starts. That's funny.Ashley - Moncton, Canada
if you sync up dark side and oz...its amazing. And not only does it work once but its works twice. On the second time through on brain damage, The Line "You Raise the blade, make the change" The tin man raises a huge blade as him and the others change their clothes to look like the witches army.

this is no accident.
Nick - Roswell, Ga
I like this song, probably my favourite off "dark side of the moon". i like the lyrics more than anything, great song!Paul - Sheffield, England
mhmmmm, dain bramage is a great song off darkside of the moon...James - Toronto, Canada
you dun have to be stoned, just lay back with your eyes closed. it feels like you're flyingJoey - Hw, United States
since my brother introduced me to pink floyd( i never knew who they were) the first song and one of my favorites is brain damage. And can someone explain to to about about the laughter?( the lunatic is in MY HEAD)Joey - Hw, United States
Alright, time too clear this whole mess up and tell you all,(well most of you have good ideas, but not correct. And others have the right idea). Roger Waters has stated that the insanity-themed lyrics are based on former Floyd frontman Syd Barrett's mental instability, with the line "I'll see you on the dark side of the moon" indicating that Waters felt that he related to Barrett in terms of mental idiosyncrasies. "When the band your in starts playing different tunes" is about Syd Barrett starting a different song in the middle of a set or during a recording whilst playing, he would also untune his guitar till the strings snapped and walk off stage. The members did some drugs until the saw what happened too Syd and his addiction, The reason Wright got kicked off was "creative differences" between him and Roger Waters, Roger not liking him very much and he critzied Roger on some song writing. The whole album is wrote as a old man talking to an infant about his like. "Speak to Me/Breathe" telling the baby its first commands for life, "On the Run" always running too get through life and get too the next opportunity, "Time" talking about how time slips away in your life and your old and out of time before you know it,"Great Gig in the Sky" talks about religion in life and heaven or the afterlife, "Money" is about money in life and how you need it too live but not too be greedy with it, "Us and Them" is about war and famine in the world, "Any colour you Like" has no lyrics too state what it is about, "Brain Damage" I have already said what it is about but it also is about the newspaper and Syd like people have said,"Eclipse" my favorite song, is about everything life that you do and say and think. it says everything under the sun is in tune but is eclipsed by the moon saying once your crazy everything in your whole life is thrown off. Yeah its a bit much but I like My Floyd.Phil - Kankakeee, Il
I am writing a comic based on this song by the same title of brain damage. Eventually, this will add up to it. I believe however about this song is that my head explodes due to this song. I love it. Brain Damage is in my head.Andy - Apex, Nc
I'm pretty sure one of the songfacts above is wrong. The line "when the band you're in starts playing different tunes" isn't referring to Syd's playing different songs, it's referring to the band playing different songs. Syd's band started playing different songs when they dropped him from the group. He was undoubtedly the dominant creative figure in the band as well as the lead guitarist, lead singer, and songwriter. The line is a sort of melancholy throwback to what Syd must have observed as what used to be essentially his band drifted away. Listen to "Piper at the Gates of Dawn" and "Saucerful of Secrets" where Syd's influence is still there and compare it to Meddle and everything afterward. HUGE difference.Max - Austin, Tx
man i love this song. Now since I got back from India I miss my cousin like hell. God my head explodes.Andy - Apex, Nc
Syd's not dead.
This song is about a patch of grass in a public park (which was correctly mentioned earlier) that Roger Waters expanded out to try and point out how authority figures try to ruin even the simple things like enjoying a field of grass.
The newspaper was another faceless reference to a newspaper Roger had in his lap at the time he was looking at the patch of grass.
Pink Floyd has always said that they never did drugs but if you watch The Wall Live in Earl's Court from 1980 it looks to me like Nick Mason is stoned out of his mind.
Either way, stoned or not, who cares? It is a great song.
Gilmour - Lockport, Ny
How can you read and listen at the same time? And, nobody said ALL of their music was about drugs. for example.. Wish You Were Here, Darkside, The Final Cut 1 & 2. And if you think Ummagumma isn't about drugs, listen to it one more time when you're on something, it'll make more sense.Edmond - Glendale, Ca
Not to burst any of your bubbles but not all Pink Floyd songs are about drugs. If you want to make a real connection try reading George Orwell's novels 1984 and Animal Farm then listen to Dark Side of the Moon, The Wall, and Animals. You wont Regret it.Anon - Pittsburgh, Pa
I think a song can mean whatever you want it to mean,you can disagree all you want,but the song brain damage sounds like its all about syd,(you people no what im talking about.)how syd went off his rocker and left the floyd. -matt,kitchener,ont.Matt - Kitchener, Canada
according to an interview i remember hearing as a kid, this song was about the news. "the lunatic" being a newpaper. it's on the grass til you bring it inside, take it down the hall then put it in your head by reading it... and once you've done that, it's there forever, no matter what you do.Hinge - Melbourne, Australia
First of all, the Floyd refused the use of drugs to the public because of publicity reasons. Every kid and their mom dropped acid in the 60's. Are you kidding me? When Apollo went up into orbit, circled the moon, NASA lost ALL communication with them. Nobody knew what happened for a few hours when they were on the "Dark Side Of The Moon". And to those people that think Floyd was never on drugs... YOU DON'T KNOW FLOYD. Their original band name was SPECTRUM 5... refering to colors seen when on acid.Edmond - Glendale, Ca
Yeah, this is a really cool song and no, Syd's not dead. I love how it goes right into Eclipse.Dillon - Palm Bay, Fl
wow i just realized something. okay...you know how it says the lunatic is in the grass. and you know how a lunatic is like moon and something in latin...so the dark side of the moon logically means you go crazy. pink floyd are pretty crafty.Jeanette - Irvine, Ca
syd isn't dead i don't think. and the lunatic on the grass always makes me think of my friend. i'm not sure whether thats a good thing or a bad thing...Jeanette - Irvine, Ca
I remember seeing a documentary about Pink Floyd once and they had mentioned that Syd Barret isn't dead. Now I could be wrong, but if my memory serves me, Syd's not dead.Justin - San Diego, Ca
This song is clearly about madness, and Pink Floyd has a great perspective on it, as their founder went mad. I think that the band felt after Syd's departure that he had gone to "the Dark Side of the Moon"- representative of a place similiar to death, where Syd could not be contacted or brought back from. This song is from Syd's perspective, and Waters, who wrote this song, felt that if "the dam (in his head) broke open many years too soon" or if "his head exploded with dark forebodings too", then "the band he was in would start playing different tunes"-something Syd was known to do during his decline- and Waters would go mad and see Syd again, on the Dark Side of the Moon.Bill - Erie, Pa
i saw this nick mason quote that pink floyd didn't do many drugs (with the exception of syd barrett) and he tried marijuana once at a concert and usually the most drugs he ever did was half a cup of beer. or something. it might be wrong.Jeanette - Irvine, Ca
I think this song is about people sort of insane before they die. they know they're gonna die soon, so they're more worried about expressing truth or being themselves than being sane. that's why it says "you raise the blade you make the change, you rearrange me till i'm sane. look lock the door and throw away the key. there's someone in my head but it's not me." it's like getting a lobotomy to make you "sane" again but then its no longer that person. although i don't think the album is about a person, i think i'ts about life in general. and of course it is a reference to syd and probably some other stuff thrown in there.Jeanette - Irvine, Ca
I do not think all the songs are intrinsically about drugs but many are heavily influenced by drugs. Insanity..tripping..come on. On a side note, I once accused my friend Alan of being "The lunatic in the grass" while tripping. He responded with "That's right, I am the lunatic in the grass, and you better not forget it!" Scared the hell out of me.Notmyrealemail - Buffalo, Ny
No one said Drugs enhance your intelligence. Your creative thinking, and ability to see things from another prospective. Look at the doors. "If the doors of perception were cleansed, every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite" Floyd was just trying to cleanse the doors of precept ion.Notmyrealemail - Buffalo, Ny
What is rob smoking? Pink floyd did tons of drugs. Syd Barret took acid every morning in his coffee. Ever listen to Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered? Anyway, they did a lot of drugs, especially in the earlier years.Notmyrealemail - Buffalo, Ny
Pink, Hazlett, NJ - In the early days Floyd NEVER played their hits live. They made a point of never playing Arnold Layne or See Emily Play live and it would piss off promoters to no end. Syd's demise was a combination of acid and his own demons. David Gilmour has often said that Syd would have gone mad even without acid.Gilmour - Lockport, Ny
Never play pink floyd songs out of order.Aylin - Montreal, Canada
"If there is no room upon the hill" made me think of The Beatles' Fool On The Hill, from Magical Mystery Tour. Anyone think this could be an intended reference?Ali - East Lansing, Mi
Oops. The first sentence should say "...but that was to prevent the BBC from refusing to broadcast their music". Apologies.Mark - Boston, Ma
Rob,
Pink Floyd may have publicly said in the 60's and 70's that their music was not drug inspired, but that was to prevent the BBC from broadcasting their music. The BBC heavily censored music then, including The Beatles "A Day in the Life" because of the 'made my way upstairs and had a smoke' line. Basically, everyone makes a big fuss if celebrities admit to breaking laws and doing 'bad' things.It is very obvious that drugs tremendously influenced Floyd's sound. They were brilliant, both lyricly and musically, and drugs certainly let their brilliance shine through.
Mark - Boston, Ma
Haha thats so funny RobTakashi - Tokyo, Japan
Every good song is about drugs...
- Elizabeth, Beaufort, SC

that is by far the dumbest false commment ive ever read, if you kno anything about anything you would realize that about pink floyd, pink floyd denied the use of drugs, this band wasnt good because they did drugs and such, drugs didnt make there lyrics good, they were lyrical genius and had brilliant minds, you have the wrong idea of pink floyd if you think the good songs are about drugs.
Rob - Commack, Ne
Every good song is about drugs...Elizabeth - Beaufort, Sc
well guys wether this song was about drugs , politicians(DIRTY ONES) or referring to syds insanity,its a master piece, and so is the album DARK SIDE OF THE MOON.this album goes much deeper into the perspective of life death pain greed.Pink floyd are not just performers of music they are true artists, they are an eternal experience to listen to, their music has healing powers to it, i would say PINK FLOYD are a gift of GOD to the world........ kaizad karkaria-aucklandKaizad - Bombay, India
i think this song is about someone who is not necessarily on drugs but crazy, schizophrenic maybe? i mean the song is called brain damage. partly about syd barrett talking about the band your in starts playing different tunes.

but the whole talking about the lobotomie and the locking of the door and throwing away the key i think is talking about like isolating crazy people maybe making an attack at the way people handled mentally unstable people back then in insane asylums because i know they way tehy treated them was awful.

and also theres someone in my head but its not me- could be about acid ORRRR about just being plain crazy.


added note- if you listen to this song stoned with surround sound speakers, it is the scariest thing when the guy laughs in the background. the first time i noticed it i literally fell out of my chair and almost had a heart attack because i thought someone was standing behind me laughing
Haley - Houston, Tx
I've done the Wiz of Oz thing. It is creepy the way it works. : )Rubberduckyofdoom - Atlanta, Ga
"Chas, I believe Nick MAson got kicked ot of the band because he was doing heroin, in conjunction with Rogers not liking him not liking the darker lyrics he was writing" Andrew, it was Rick Wright that got kicked out, mainly becuase of the lack of creative input Wright had around the times of "Animals" and "The Wall" and ongoing tension between the two. The were rumors about Wright having a cociane addiction which he denies. I have also heard from other people than chas' post that the Floyd were recreational users at most, having only done anything stronger than weed a couple times.
And Rob, Syd never passed away, he just went into seclusion after his brief solo career.
Matt - Lincoln, Vt
I'm also pissed at everyone and their dog labeling Pink Floyd as a drug band. In no way do drugs enhance your intelligence. Sure, they do get you thinking in differnet ways and may provide some inspiration, but the point is drugs do not make you smarter and this album is genius. I have read several interviews in which the band states that they didn't do any drugs while making the album, although they were all avid users in the past. However, don't think I'm just ripping on stoners. I am an avid drug user and I listen to Floyd regularly, and find it to be a mindblowing experience. But, I have found that the true beauty of this album is better realized with a clear head.Shane - Sandy, Ut
The song is simply referring to madness and insanity, another one of the pressures that we all experience in our daily lives, which is the theme of the entire album. It's cool to interpret the lyrics your own way and decide how it relates to you, but don't start stating your opinions as facts without doing the research first. Just search on the internet and you will find countless quotes and interviews directly from the source: Pink Floyd.Shane - Sandy, Ut
I hope this clears things up a little bit. Waters: "That was my song; I wrote that at home. The grass was always the square in between the River Cam and Kings College chapel. I don't know why, but when I was young that was always the piece of grass, more than any other piece of grass, that I felt I was constrained to 'keep off '. I don't know why, but the song still makes me think of that piece of grass. The lunatic was Syd, really. He was obviously in my mind."Shane - Sandy, Ut
"The line, "And if the band you're in starts playing different tunes" is a specific reference to Syd Barrett's propensity for playing the wrong song on stage during his "episodes" towards his final days with Pink Floyd, which subsequently led to his dismissal."

That is not true... They wrote the song before Syd Barrett went crazy...
Mike - Hampden, Ma
i'm prtty sure they WERN'T stoned whilst recording. and it is about insanity. about Syd's decline. and it's interesting how many perople think this track is called "dark side of the moon" - its brain damage!Emmeline - Plymouth, England
This song rocks as much as all the Pink Floyd songs. I've read so many interviews with the band and i must say, they claim to have done no drugs what so ever during the recording/writing of Darkside of the Moon. Syd Barrett did go insane because of acid, not because of the whole industry thing and such. Pink Floyd did a crap load of drugs all the time back in the day, even after Syd passed away. So no way in hell they were "too scared to do drugs" after what happened to him. Sorry I just read all these comments and some just needed to be cleared up. And yes Ash in Charleston,WV...you are right about the whole "time, death, money and insanity" thing.Rob - Pittsfield, Ma
<> Fairly seamlessly. There is that small matter of a 4:4 to 3:4 change in time signature.Nessie - Sapporo, Japan
I, personally, don't believe it's all about drugs. The reasons for Syd's breakdown weren't just because of drugs, it was other things. One of the reasons was this: When on stage, Syd was only aloud to play his popular songs over and over, city after city, month after month. The acid played a big part, but Syd's mind was already unstable enough with his loss of creative control. I think Brain Damage is about Waters's similar frustration with his own loss of creative control. The lunatics being the record producers (pigs?) "re-arrange me 'til I'm sane" being the way Waters was knowingly letting the pigs abuse his creativity somewhat, and from this Waters found similar ground with Barrett and understood somewhat s reason for Barrett's breakdown.Pink - Hazlet, Nj
Folks, there are some instances when a song is only about what it says. Not everything has hidden meanings. Pink Floyd have always maintained that the album is about time, death, money and insanity, not drugs. Having said that, to Chas in Webster, NY, I can assure you Pink Floyd did plenty of drugs in the early days. Watch the movie "Pink Floyd Live at Pompeii" if you don't believe me. Lastly to Daniel in Perth, AK, I'm confused. You're recommending listening to the album stoned, but you've never tried it? Help me out here, bub.Ash - Charleston, Wv
I agree somewhat with the guy from India,also the guy from Canada is right about not being able to walk on lawns.Roger says so himself about lawns in the TDSOTM dvd.
These lines for Syd.
And if the band you're in starts playing different tunes
I'll see you on the Dark Side of the Moon.
Roger will see Syd on the moon or in other ways go crazy..
Mark - Moscow, Europe
Whats wrong with you people cant you'll make out from the lyrics??
The lunatic is on the grass
The lunatics are in my hall
The paper holds their folded faces to the floor
And every day the paper boy brings more

its about the authorities, politicians, the criminals, etc who feature in the news papers
when the paper boy trows the paper, it falls on the grass, then they are brought into the hall,
The paper holds their folded faces to the floor
it says the because the paper is folded , thats why their faces are folded,
The lunatic is in my head, when you read the paper the news about these people get into your head.
thats what this means
Ishaan - Bombay, India
'The lunatic is on the grass' is about beautiful lawns of grass that have no function, you're not allowed to walk on them (keep off the grass signs). No drug references in this song, but the band were still in their drug-taking days, though much reduced from their 60s-era state of stupor.Liquid Len - Ottawa, Canada
This is like Pink Floyds "abbey road" if you would..this song is probably the most influential album of the 70's and still stands as a great album to listen to..Matthew - Indy, In
Roger wrote this song as you probably all know, and it is the only song on the cd that says "the dark side of the moon" Roger did not do drugs when he wrote this cd at ALL. He is too much of a genious to need drugs.Cristian - Brentwood, Canada
my social studies teacher was telling me about syd barrett. he was committed to a mental hospital. while recording a later album, an obese bald man walked into the studio. no one realized at first that it was syd, but they did eventually. he stood up and said "right, when do i put on my guitar?" he didnt have one with him, so the band could only say "sorry syd, the guitar's all done"Anthony - Quincy, Ma
I think the main point is that this song was written -about- a member of the band, who happened to be on drugs. From everything I've read, the members were too scared by what happened to Syd to do drugs.

On another note...this song kicks serious butt. My favorite song of all time. The sound, the lyrics...everything. It's beautifully perfect.
Sary - Whee, Tx
Wow a 16 year old kid (myself) has enough sense to know that not everysong they wrote was influenced by drugs. These songs are way too complicated to interperet to anything other than your opinion. This sort of stuff should tought in schools.Joe - Oshkosh, Wi
thsi think the entire album was about going insane over normal, undisturbed life. Money, Time, Us and Them, Brain Damage, and BreatheSamm - Fairfield, Ct
I wonder why every time someone hears a song with lyrics that they can't understand, they then assume the writer or musician was stoned. Not always the case people.Daniel - Genoa, Oh
will...this song isn't about drugs at all...on the making of the dark side of the moon dvd, waters talks about the grassy field infront of his house that no one was allowed to walk on, and he said that if society looks at a person as a lunatic for walking on a grassy field then things are going entirely down hill...Ryan - Randolph, Nj
Pink Floyd is a great band, but man, how can you deny that saying "The Lunatic is on the grass" and "The Lunatic is in my head" is not about drugs!Will - Portland, Or
Chas, I believe Nick MAson got kicked ot of the band because he was doing heroin, in conjunction with Rogers not liking him not liking the darker lyrics he was writingAndrew - Springfield, Mo
You don't recommend it entirely Daniel? Obviously you've never smoked weed before. When you're stoned Pink Floyd makes so much sense, you can make connections in songs. For example, I was high not to long ago listening to The Wall, and in the song, 'Hey You' theres a verse like this, 'And the worms ate into his brain'. Now isn't that a coincidence that they happen to have a song, 'Waiting for the worms', and 'The Trial'?.. Listen to it and you'll be able to figure it out..Josh - Quakertown, Pa
I dont recommend this entirely, neither have i tried it....listen to dark side of the moon stoned....and youll feel what pink floyd did.....Daniel - Perth, Ak
Just a side note, Pink floyd (excluding barret) didn't do drugs more than once.Chas - Webster, Ny
This song ROCKS!!!!!!! They must have smoked a lot before recording it though.Paul - Mountain, Wy
The song is about authorities and media entering people's heads ("The lunatics are in my head") and changing them to think the way they want, using discrimination as a "blade"("You raise the blade, you make the change, you rearrange me till i'm sane") Sane being what society considers normal.(Note: What i mean by discrimination is when people scoff at ideas such as atheism just because they are not the consensus.)Hac Barton - Las Vegas, Nv
On the late-era Division Bell album, Dave Gilmour asks "Do you want me to make a daisy chain for you?" in reference to the lyrics in this early-era Floyd classic.Joe - Piscataway, Nj