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Speak To Me by Pink Floyd

Album: The Dark Side of the MoonReleased: 1973
  • In the pre-Dark Side live performances, this song was usually just low drumming and a heartbeat. On the album, it contains the heartbeat, followed by sounds representing things that can drive you to madness: spoken bits, a clock ticking, a cash register, coins clinking, synthesizer, then at the end, a mad shriek. It was Clare Torry that Pink Floyd used for the closing screams as the song fades to "Breathe." She is later heard on "Great Gig In The Sky." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Old Pink, New Castle, IN
  • This is Pink Floyd's only song that gives all composing credits to drummer Nick Mason, who generally didn't write the songs - he called the composition a "color sound montage." At one point Roger Waters claimed this credit was a "gift" to Mason, which didn't help band relations. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Matt - Russell Springs, KY
  • Pink Floyd's road manager Peter Watts contributed the crazed laughter on this song. The father of the actress Naomi Watts, Peter died of a heroin overdose in 1976 at age 30.
  • The title doesn't appear in the lyric - "speak to me" is what the album's engineer Alan Parsons would say when testing a microphone.
  • There are lots of little aural details on the Dark Side of the Moon album that lend it to repeated headphone listening. An example on this track: the heartbeat comes slightly from the right, which simulates the sound of a person's heart if he were standing directly in front of you.
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Comments: 34

Here's my view on DSOTM, although I don't how accurate it is. The story starts with a wealthy business owner who claims he's gone insane. He starts to wonder about his death ( On The Run), what to do next in his life (Time), & his business profit (Money). Then he's thinking about thoughts that are pure and not corrupt and see's things fighting for his mind, like a war in his brain (Us & Them). Finally, he pushes the craziness out of his mind by thinking about other things in life and will do anything to the memory out of him (Brain Damage). Notice near the end of his song, his laughter changed entirely?Drake - Huntington Beach, Ca
I've always thought this whole album was, in a way, for Syd Barrett. Like how it starts off with a man declaring that he's mad, he's always been mad, and other things like that. Maybe i'm jsut too much on Syd's side? The poor crazy thing..Pepper - Athens, Tn
What does "yonks" and "buns" (or "buns off", that is") mean? Sorry; my mother language is spanish, not english. Thanks! (PS: I searched in every dictionary I could). GragzoGragzo - Vina Del Mar, Chile
Waters also releases the F bomb in Pigs (Three Different Ones), but respectfully uses it talking about the 2nd Pig, Margaret Thatcher, saying shes a "f--ked up, old hag"!!! love that songBrendan - Mt. Airy, Md
please, scott from canada, the only floyd song with the f-word? far cry, actually...listen to "not now john", its hard to miss....very wierd song, but a great way to kick off an album. i find it interesting that both dark side and the wall both start and end with the same sounds. on the wall, if you listen to the very end of the last track, you hear "Isn't this where-", then at the beginning of the first song you hear, "-we came in?" I read somewhere that roger waters has some sort of fascination with cycles.Chloe - St. Louis, Mo
its about how some people lose control in life and choose isolation and loneliness to escape reality. its also about how everyone eventually must realize that you just need to breath and relax but also to not be afraid to be yourself and live your own life, be your own person. to finally awaken from the tomb of hiding from society, and yet hiding from yourself.Chris - Boston, Ma
To achieve the crescendo at the end of the piece leading to the opening note of Breathe, a chord was struck on a grand piano and sustained with the loud pedal held down until the note decayed naturally. The recording of this was then played backwards, giving it an eerie building feel under Claire Torry's vocal.Robert - Houston, Tx
Speak to Me contains some characteristic sounds off other songs of the band. It starts off with the heartbeat closing "Eclipse", followed by the ticking clock of "Time". Then come the cash register from "Money" and the lunatic laughter from "Brain Damage". Harbour sounds from "On the Run" follow up and after, Clare Torry's vocals - see "The Great Gig in the Sky" - lead the song into "Breathe". Throughout "Speak to Me", other people's voices, recorded by Waters, are also heard. Nick Mason received the writing credits for this song, which according to Waters was only a "gift".

My interpretation of this song: As you are in the womb, with no idea of what has to come, you hear sounds of the outside world which give a kind of preview of what's happening in the world. However, as you are in the womb, you still have no idea what these sounds mean.
Joris - Leiden, Netherlands
Best song to kick off an album. Taxman on Revolver by The Beatles is a close second..Rostisado - Cabron!, Il
Posted 10/19/2007. I don't pretend to know the original intent of the creators of this absolute masterpiece (DSOTM) and the meanings behind it, but I only thought of this just now. On "Speak To Me" could the scream be sort of like the scream of a baby coming out of the womb at birth leading into the song "Breathe" (taking your first breathes possibly)? Because this is a big-time concept album seemingly covering all the ranges of life & death in relation to the cosmos, it seems like the album could possibly start out as birth on "Speak To Me", and possibly end on "Eclipse" as death ("but the sun is eclipsed by the moon" - maybe meaning the light of life gets snuffed out at death like the moon eclipsing the sun overshadowing it with darkness). I could easily be wrong, but just an interesting thought I wanted to share.David - Deerfield Beach, Fl
This is the foreshadowing of all things to come in the album, and all the ideas of life that are involved in it. Money, clocks, the climactic scream of death at the end, and the endless banter of madness from his interviewees.Steveb - Spokane, Wa
"Speak To Me" was NOT Nick Mason's only solo credit to Pink Floyd. He also wrote "The Grand Vizier's Garden Party" Parts 1-3 on Ummagumma by himself.Sam - Portsmouth, Va
If you notice...Speak to me is like the tailer for the "DSOTM" album...Theres the "Cha Ching" sound that symbolizes money. The screaming symbolizes "The Great Gig in the Sky." Theres an audible ticking which symbolizes "Time."Keshia - Hutto, Tx
why dont those darned brits get over it and get back together for the music and the fans, not for money or fame just for us?Nate - Mukwonago, Wi
This is an incredibly strange but cool song. I love all of the sound f x all mixed together. So cool.Michael - Tucson, Az
while listening to this song in an 'altered state' of mind, it apparent to me that this seems to be rather like what it might be like for someone with schizophreniaWilliam Sheppard - Penny Lane, Australia
when you synch DSOTM to Wizard of Oz, Speak to Me is exactly the same legnth as the credits. Also worth noting that the word Time is capitolized in the prolouge.Tyler - Petaluma, Ca
i thought it was an intro to breathe, but then i found out the truth. and at first i thought it was waters And Mason talking!Joey - Hw, United States
This song contains one sound effect from every song that has a sound effect. The heart beat from eclipse, the cash registers from money, The sound of a engine from on the run, the mad laughter from brain damamge, and the scream from great gig in the sky. To top it all off, it contains people talking to themselves which can be heard throughout the entire album.Nick - Solvang, Ca
the heart beat that begins the album also ends the album on EclipseNathaniel - Pittsburgh, Pa
All of the speaking voices on Dark Side Of The Moon are people Roger Waters was interviewing in the studio.Danny - Boston, Ma
That's true, Scott Baldwin. It goes,]

"I've been mad for F****** years. Absolutley years, been over the edge for yonks, been working me buns off for bands..."

"I've always been mad, I know I've been mad. It's very hard to explain why you are mad, even if you're not mad..."
Matt - Lab City, Canada
The mix of sounds demonstrates the beginning sound of this ride, the unknown, still dark places, the beautiful and the crazy. I wish I could credit the beauty of this album with words but I simply can't, words are not strong enough to convey it's genius.Elysia - Hamilton, New Zealand
No. It isn't just a heart beat and some drumming. there also the sounds of a cash register like you'd hear in "Money", the sound of laughing a little likee you'd hear in "Brain Damage", and a mad shreak which leads into "Breathe".Stefanie Magura - Rock Hill, Sc
when i first heard it kind of freaked me out1 Especially because of the scream and the laughing it's really creepy. seems like it could symbolize someone going insane to me. like Syd Barrett perhaps? Anyway the first time I heard it, i thought it was really weird.Stefanie Magura - Rock Hill, Sc
It's the begining of the journey of a mans life.Who goes through madness and stress of everyday life.Mark - Moscow, Europe
It's David Gilmore trying to talk to Rodger Waters after the break up of the band!
Donald, Halifax Nova Scotia, Canada
Don - Dartmouth, Singapore
No, it wouldn't be the only Pink Floyd song with an F-word. There's also "Not Now John" and "Pigs (Three Different Ones)."Dan - Olathe, Ks
Mason also got sole writing credit for his efforts on Ummagumma, "The Grand Vizier's Garden Party", a piece which seems to be condemned by almost everybody.Kent Lyle - Palo Alto, Ca
Waters claimed he gave this to Mason as a "gift", and that Nick "had nothing to do with it."Kent Lyle - Palo Alto, Ca
Only song to have an F- word? By pink floyd? at the beginning, a man's voice can be heard saying "I've been mad for f***ing years".Scott Baldwin - Edmonton, Canada
I think that this opening song includes a sound from most if not all of the songs on the album... the register from money; the heartbeat from Eclipse; the laughter from Brain Damage just to name a few.Ben - Philly, Pa
The first time I heard this intro, and the high pitch scream made the transition to Breathe, I felt like being transported. Pretty cool, actually.Corey - Dark Side Of The Moon, Other
I forgot this is even considered a seperate song...

It's like that 5 second thing on Abbey Road that's considered a song at the very end,
Conrad - Los Angeles, Ca
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