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Hey You

by

Pink Floyd



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

This is one of the most mysterious songs on The Wall. It seems to be about the longing for human interaction. The phrase "Hey You" implies calling out to someone (for example, "Hey you over there"). Following that phrase in every verse is a person in some sort of desperate or pathetic scenario. Most of these scenarios are pretty general but some are specific, for example, "You out beyond the wall breaking bottles in the hall," which gives the impression of a rebellious teenager, or "You standing in the road always doing what you're told," which gives the impression of someone who is very timid and indecisive. Following these scenarios in every verse is a question asking for human interaction, and as the song goes on these questions become more desperate in every verse: "Can you feel me?" "Would you touch me?" Can you help me?" In scheme of the album as a whole the song is about how although people put up their "Wall" to keep people out, they desperately but hopelessly long for real human interaction. (thanks, Jarrod - Bolingbrook, IL)
This was not used in the movie The Wall. It was edited out because Roger Waters felt that the lyrics didn't really fit chronologically with the story. (thanks, Achory - Warner Robins, GA)
Like "Comfortably Numb," David Gilmour and Roger Waters share lead vocals on this.
At The Wall concerts (where a wall was constructed on stage dividing the band from the audience), this was the first song from behind the completed wall. (thanks, Dogma - Alexandria, LA, for above 2)
In the 2006 movie The Squid And The Whale, a student performs this in a talent show and passes it off as his own. The theme of alienation and uncertainty fit well with the movie, although the film was set in 1986 and he performed it to an auditorium full of people who did not recognize the song, which seems very unlikely.
In the part after "Open Your heart, I'm coming home," after the first drum fill, part of the bass and guitar plays the same melody as "Another Brick In The Wall (part II)." (thanks, Bella - Pretoria, South Africa)
Roger Waters explained this song to Mojo magazine December 2009: "It's about the break-up of my first marriage, all that misery and pain and being out on the road when the woman declares over the phone that she's fallen in love with somebody else. It's a complete disaster, especially if you're someone like I was. I was flotsam on the turgid seas of women's power (laughs). Hopeless, really, I could do nothing but go fetal and weep. But the song is also partly an attempt to make connections with other people, to say that maybe if we act in consort, some of the bad feelings will go away. In community, there is comfort. The line, 'Hey you, out there beyond the wall/ Breaking bottles in the hall'- that is an exhortation to come closer where I live, so we can help each other."
Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd Artistfacts
More Pink Floyd songs
More songs about loneliness or isolation
More songs about marital problems or divorce

Comments (50):

this song is really mysterious and haunting...

solo jus b4 last chorus

a background voice, a mild sound...

it jus scares me...

listening dis at night..while travelling...jus awesome feeling.!
- amar, new delhi, India
This was featured in the movie Due Date, when Zach Galifianakis' character decides to get high in the car with Robert Downey, Jr.'s character sleeping in the passenger seat next to him. Downey ends up waking up, and due to the secondhand smoke of the weed Galifianakis is smoking he is intoxicated as well.
- Corey, Greensboro, NC
Song's awesome.
- Nate, New York, NY
From listening to this song and really thinking about the lyrics, I believe this song is about Pink reproaching his mistake, the mistake being that he built a mental wall to cut him off from his society and peers. I believe that they shouldn't of cut this song from the movie. I believe it is a vital part of Roger and Syd's story. I just love the feeling that Pink Floyd puts into all of their songs, but this is definitely a favorite of mine. You will notice from listening to this song that "Pink" gets more and more desperate for human interaction. In the beginning of the song it is simply "Can you feel me?" later into the song it goes to "Can you touch me?" and at the end of the song Roger Waters desperately cries "Can you help me!?". This is one of the most beautiful and haunting songs I have ever heard and ever will hear, considering all of today's music is about last nights party. Oh yeah, by the way... I'm only 12.
- Dominic, Chicago, IL
Come on people, He's talking about being a spirit. Hey You can you touch me , Can you feel me. He's breaking bottles in the hall to get someone's attention. Listen to the lyrics.....
- timothy, oklahoma city, United Kingdom
The line ''hey you, will you help me carry the stone'' he means that he longs for someones human interaction to bring him out of isolation, and help him to carry the burden(stone) of loneliness.
- keven , sept-iles, QC
I think this song implies that Pink realizes that he is trapped within the psychological wall he builds around himself, and, for some reason, he wants out. So he's calling out to someone he imagines outside the wall. The specifics are probably the elements he Waters used to add effects to the song...
- Hamdan, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
I absolutely love Pink Floyd especially the wall, my favorite songs being Hey You, and waiting for the worms. I even have a tattoo of a m-16 stuck in the ground with boots, a helmet on top, and dogtags hanging from the grip. Above the helmet it says, together we stand. Underneath the boots it says, divided we fall.
- Donald, Pine Bush, N.Y, NY
I love Pink Floyd, and I love "The Wall" And this song, without a doubt, is my most favorite one. It's so mysterious. And the guitar riff is so haunting and I love his voice at the last chorus when he sings out "Hey you, don't tell me there's no hope at all, together we stand divided we fall." Because it sounds so scared and pleading. He really has talent for being able to act the character out through his voice. I love everything about this song, and I couldn't stop listening to it even if I wanted to.
- Jenny, Indianapolis, IN
if anybody here has seen the movie, or actually listened to the entire album straight through, its become clear. YES, alot of it is about Pink building the wall of self-isolation, & his cries for help, but the line of *it was only fantasy, the wall was too high, as you can see, no matter how he tried, he could not break free, & the worms ate into his brain* in the movie, Pink becomes a fascist Nazi-like character, which is evident in many of the songs, & the worms(these nazi morals & ideals) corrupted him, the madness of which he succumbed to. in Waiting For The Worms, he believes he is safe *here behind my wall* but it is all an illusion, for he is already corrupted by the worms he hated & feared (Mother & Goodbye Blue Sky)
- Kevin, carriere, MS
This song is exactly how I feel while Im deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan. What i see while im here, and what everyone back home thinks about it.
- Kenny, Trenton, NJ
Beautiful fretless work from Dave, great lyrics, and a general mood of melancholy.
btw...the original film clip that wound up on the cutting room floor for the movie is available as one of the extras for the remastered DVD.
- oldpink, New Castle, IN
this song is haunting and painfully beautiful. I disagree with whoever said this song is about world war II- although many of the songs were, I think its more general than that. just a person who has disconnected themself and hidden behind their wall, and is longing for someone to hear them. anyone can relate to that.
- chloe, st. louis, MO
to me hey you is quite simple to define. there is pink who foolishly loses control of his life and situation with his wife and isolates himself from society in anger. pink is clearly very stubborn. the number on thing to understand about this song is, together we stand, divided we fall. its true and has been true since the beginning of human interaction. humans are emotional and social creatures and once you lose control and get stubborn and isolate yourself, you go crazy but also you realize the mistake you made and how you can't change what you did, you threw away social interaction and love and friends to be alone beyond the wall.
- chris, boston, MA
(Attention
- Mat, FWB, FL)

The Line "Hey you would you help me to carry the stone..." is also a reference to Animals, from "Dogs"... This shows that the protagonist, Pink, considers himself a Dog. (greedy, selfish, will take advantage of anyone...). Which is kinda true at the end of the wall.

I just realized the connection 10 minutes ago. I was listening to Dogs, and reading the songfacts for Hey You. When Gilmour said "dragged down by the stone", it clicked
- Jeremy, ventura, CA
Wow, now this song is really mystifying and somewhat disturbing, but that's why i love it. When i hear this song, i imagine a guy in a psych ward or something like that. Very good song by Pink Floyd.
- Myra, Chicago, IL
that last post didnt come out the way i had hoped so it's hard to distinguish between the lyrics and my text. sorry.
- Josh, Westborough, MA
This song is about the Holocaust. Almost, if not every song on The Wall makes some reference to World War II. They are talking about the people outside the concentration camps who did nothing to help those within. The lines:

Hey you, out there on the road
Always doing what you're told,
Can you help me?
Hey you, out there beyond the wall,
Breaking bottles in the hall,
Can you help me?

are asking for help. They're talking about how the citizens just did what they were told, not helping the tortured. The lines:

But it was only fantasy.
The wall was too high,
As you can see.
No matter how he tried,
He could not break free.
And the worms ate into his brain.

talk about how one man tried to escape, but the wall was too high, and he eventually died of disease.
- Josh, Westborough, MA
AYA FROM CAIRO!Are you the same Aya as the one that I met on that boat on the Nile?
- Bella, Pretoria, --
This is my favorite song by Pink Floyd. Every time I hear it I imagine myself in a black room singing this song to this one guy I really like.
- Kadie, Corpus Christi, TX
Gilmour is the reason i started playing guitar. I love Pink Floyd so much and all of thier music. I love The Wall but i think my top two songs are Wish you were here and Comfortably Numb
- Kris, Wichita, KS
This and Comfortably Numb are my Favourite songs on The Wall (hey look at theat, the only 2 songs with both Glmour and Rogers doing vocals...) followed by In The Flesh? and In The Flesh (lol) Gilmour's solos are chilling. i Love Them
- Jeremy, ventura, CA
I connect with this song so well, it's so painful! Especially the sentence "Hey you, out there on the road, always doing what you're told, can you help me?!" It's how I feel in school...
- Bella, Pretoria, South Africa
It's hard to tell the difference between Rodger's and David's voice, however, point in being, I believe that Patch Adams said it clearly, "Depression is not the illness as many conceived, it is only a symptom, the real illness is lonliness" (might not be his exact words, but it still as effective)
- Zack, Lancaster, PA
This is a great song. It underlines the desperation one feels when there is a wall between them and out there, where there is freedom. I think it is titled "Hey You", because the purpose of the song is to catch someone's attention. The first verse is trying to catch someone's attention who is feeling sad, and perhaps a little encouraging when he says "don't help them to bury the light, don't give in without a fight"- this is using they, as if doubt comes from an outside source, or higher power. The next verse is about yearning for human interaction, and how there are people in the world who say they want to be with someone, and Pink wants them to consider him, because he is out on his own too. Then the middle part of the song is explaining how all this hope was just fantasy, and since the wall is apparently impassable, he is victim to worms eating into his brain (perhaps worms eat into brain when one has given up?). It might also be interesting to note that Pink says "no matter how he tried", not "no matter how -hard- he tried". The last verse (sang higher than previous verses) really shows his desperation- like 'hey you, you're having a good time but im suffering in misery CAN YOU HELP ME?' it's a pretty sad song.
- James, Bedford, Canada
When I first heard "The Wall," I had just completed a paper on T.S. Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" for one class (I was an undergraduate) and would soon read "Yo no soy yo" ("I am not I") by Juan Ramon Jiminez. Both of these poems are about seperation, and possibly alienation, from one's true self. And the narrator of "Prufrock" backs off when faced with the need to "break through;" as a result, he grows old and regretful. Talk about coincidences! These poems were the perfect complement to "Hey You." And all of them affected me powerfully.
- MusicMama, New York, NY
Is there any way to break or get through the wall?
- Dubravko, Kakanj, Bosnia
The song is about Pink floyd having concerta and they were all about the music and the meaning to it, so Roger Waters is calling out to everyone at their concerts who were getting high and drunk and not listening to the music. He wanted people to listen to the music and find a deeper meaning to itat his concerts, not just go to get high and drunk
- Ozzi, Brookhaven, PA
I get a lump in my throat everytime I listen to this. Bravisimma, Roger Waters and Pink Floyd. Sad they didn't use it in the movie. It would've made it even better. There's something very creepy about the "Together we stand, divided we fall," line. =/
- Shelby, the dark side
Are the lyrics at the end really "together we stand, divided we fall"? Sounds to my ears more like "divided with wall"!
- Michael, Oxford, England
The true meaning of the song is twofold. 1) Pink completes the Wall and realizes his mistake. 2) It's about the feeling of isolation from one's peers, more specifically from Pink Floyd's audience during their concert.

The song is, in my opinion, one of the band's greatest songs and a true masterpiece. It is one of my favorite Pink Floyd songs, and one of my favorites overall.
- Kurtis, Edmonton, Canada
The song's about how Pink realizes the mistake he has made completely shunning himself from society(though, too little too late), and is attempting to regain contact with the outside world. However, his wall blocks any calls he makes. Pink's call becomes more and more desperate as he begins to realize there is no escape. He first starts with "Can you feel me?" then "Would you touch me?" and at last "Can you help me?" which shows how desperate he was to get through the wall to the other side where people who would relieve him from his growing pain and insanity were!
- Aya, Cairo, Egypt
Pink was obviously going mad. This explains the worms sequence. I was in a mental hospital btw
and some of the drugs they gave us made us have really disturbing dreams. The album btw is all about isolation and madness from bieng so isolated
- Joel, Columbia, SC
great guitar solos great song
- Stephen, Claymont , DE
No, no, no, no, no. This song is merely about Pink, and how he realizes too late that he is cut off from the rest of the world, and tries to get through the wall, but the worms already have him.
- Bill, Erie, PA
This song is about the turmoil the band members were going through. At this point the band was beginning to fall apart. This song was not included in the movie "The Wall" partly because the movie was loosely based on Roger Waters & Syd Barrett. The band was falling apart - hence Together we stand, divided we fall.
- Rey, Mercedes, TX
This is such a desperate song. I think the line "hey you, out there on the road, always doing what you're told, can you help me" may be referring to how impressionable the modern media junkie is. Some people (most people) will do whatever they find easiest (requiring the least amount of thinking). They listen to whatever is popular, and just do whatever TV and music tell them to. The subject of the song (Pink) is brining up the fact that everyone will listen to his music, not because of his skill, but because he's so damn popular. He thinks his fans should understand what he's going through, and wants them to see him as a real person, with real pain. But all they see him as is a rock icon' a method of entertainment, who they couldn't care less about.
- Ashley, Moncton, Canada
This song was given a prominent role in the 2005 award-winning indie film THE SQUID AND THE WHALE. The main character in that movie, a boy whose parents are getting divorced, teaches himself how to play "Hey You" for a school talent show, claiming that he wrote the song. He wins 1st place, but when he is discovered, he has to give back the prize money. Afterwards, his therapist asks him why he said the song was his, and he replies "Because I felt I could have written it." The song accentuates the feelings of loneliness and despair that are commonplace for children going through the divorce of their parents.
- Bill, Erie, PA
I know Roger Waters was probably hard to get along with but he is a brilliant lyricist and the creative force and catalyst behind their greatest work. After seeing some recent interviews (and 2005's reunion performance) it seems he has mellowed a bit. His lyrics on this song are desperate, lonely, haunting and beautiful. All of Floyd's work would have sounded much different without David's muscianship and co-writing. "Hey you, don't help them to bury the light..."
- Dogma, Alexandria, LA
i also enjoy the drums before the second chorus
- joey, hw, United States
the best song i have heard. guitar solos in the middle and beginning are smooth, and it seemed like god told them to play it this way, and they did. and Glimour was pretty awesome on the bass.
- joey, hw, United States
live "is there anybody out there" version is better than all the other ones
- james m, earth, Greece
The interpretation is exactly what I thought it was. The one in the songfacts that is. Btw, that's cool that David Gilmour played the bass. Good guitar solos too!
- Stefanie, Rock Hill, SC
I've also heard 'The Megadeaths'.
- Chris, Dundalk, MD
Jcraveiro is right. The introduction is a fretless bass that Roger Waters could not play. The ever-talented David Gilmour played it. I have been reading Nick Mason's book about the Floyd, and they were known as several names before they picked up Syd Barrett. They went by the Tea Set for a while, but when Barrett joined they changed to The Pink Floyd Sound. The "Sound" and "The" were removed respectively.
- Collin, Midland, TX
does anyone know what pink floyd was called before it was pink floyd, i think it was spectrum 5
- brian, why?, IL
to me this song has references to "animals" the previous album. "Hey you! out there on the road,
Doing what you're told, can you help me" is a reference to the song "Sheep", and the line "Hey you! don't tell me there's no hope at all
Together we stand, divided we fall" referes to how the dogs and pigs need the sheep to prey on, and without the sheep, the dogs and pigs would just fall apart under their own weight.
- Mat, FWB, FL
i love how this song manages to not be annoying when it's stuck in your head. This is the kind of song that never gets old, and whenever I'm doing something and it comes on, I need to just drop everything and listen for a few minutes...
- jared, westmont, NJ
Worth mentioning: bass is played by Dave Gilmour.
- Jcraveiro, Lisbon, Portugal
This is the only song on the album that wasn't used in the Movie "Pink Floyd - The Wall".
- Mike, Garden Grove, CA
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