If part of this song is played backwards, you can hear this: "Congratulations. You have just discovered the secret message. Please send your answer to Old Pink, care of the Funny Farm, Chalfont... -Roger! Carolyne's on the phone! -Okay.
Pink was the main character in Pink Floyd's film The Wall.
After this first message, the voice of engineer James Guthrie is heard over an intercom, shouting out "Roger! Carolyne's on the phone!" This is a reference to Carolyne Christie, who was Roger Waters' wife from 1976-1992.
In the movie, an extended version was used, whereas in the album it ends with "How can i complete the wall?" which is only the sixth line.
Suggestion credit: charlie - Thomaston, DC
The version used in The Wall is called "What Shall We Do Now." This shortened version was used on the album because there wasn't enough room for the the longer track.
Suggestion credit: Sarah - Guess, Canada
On the album version, the song is more than half over when the lyrics begin. The first 1:28 of the song are completely instrumental and the song is a total of 2:08. The secret message at the beginning, however, begins at around 1:12, which is also over halfway through the song.
Tameron from Taft , CaBackwards forward it's all Pink Floyd to me.
Zero from Nowhere, NjMushroomhead, a modern metal band that also uses deeply intellectual and philosophical lyrics does a cover of this song leading into their own song "Born of Desire" on their XX album and live performances of the songs.
Christian from Beacon, Nyif he intentionally left the letter s out of 2 words, maybe thats a hint, one of the thing we have to fill in the empty spaces with is the letter s. ? just a thought.
William from Chino Valley, AzI'am not absolutly sure, but I think the secret answer is GRANITE. Like the stone. If you listen to what he is asking to fill the wall with, that is what I have heard. But of course I can't be 100% sure that is what he says.
Terry from Wickford, RiBrian....read through all of the comments...the message is listed here verbatim by Tom...and there's nothing about a fat wife...some hippies lie
Shamomo Apolo Onono from Liverpool, OhOne of the ABSOLUTE best songs on the entire album.
Brian from San Francisco, CaOK, I'm not a huge Floyd fan or anything, but about 25 years ago some old hippie told me something that I haven't seen mentioned yet anywhere. The secret message is actually before the part that everyone talks about. You have to play the whole song in reverse to get it. The brilliance of the song is that Waters wrote a song where the lyrics work both ways, backward AND forward. That's why Waters says things like "empty spaceh", because he had to make words work both ways. I can't remember exactly what the message was, and it's hard to make out, but it was something about the secret being your fat wife. If you listen to the whole song backward you can make out the words "fat wife, yes your fat wife". Play the whole thing backward and you can hear it. I hope someone can figure out the whole thing, you'll be a rock star if you do (or at least impress one).
Chloe from St. Louis, MoTruly amazing album. Especially considering that the band was in the process of falling to pieces and Roger Waters was going a tiny bit crazy with power. I love how perfectly the songs flow together- its not an album, its a story.
Mel!ssa from Pittsburgh, PaPink Floyd (Animals in concert) made me want to try LSD...at 15. I'm 32, so I survived the trip. Sort of...trippy flashbacks though... Anyway. This is a good song. Love The Wall and the movie. Wonder is there is any truth to Rod's song order theory. Never heard that one. Cheers...
Jacob from Hendersonville, Tnmy bad i had a lapse of memory, but the connection is still there, and if you are going to be picky about what waters first name is, then it isn't rick wright. It is richard wright.
Unoalexi from Charlotte, NcArghh!!David Waters?!?! LMFAO!!People, at least get your facts straight before you post!!! Roger fired Rick Wright, the keyboardist, after recording the Wall.(Definitely not Nick Mason, who is the drummer)
Jacob from Hendersonville, Tnno... the wall isn't just an album, it is a rock opera and it all runs together. Sometimes there are breaks between tracks but they are suppose to be filled with other songs from other albums. There is a message, infact I believe that there whole demise as a band is a message in itself. To generalize it, it is about how no one understands the bands lyrics and don't listen to them, and want to hear more of the rock. Roger Waters is getting frustrated with "fans" that think the know what he means when he is really just giving instructions throughtout the song that will piece the album together the way it was really meant to be. I am close to placing the songs together. There is a secret to it, but im not going to tell anyone til I figure it out. Waters also fired Nick Mason after the wall cause he didn't really do much musically for the album, but If you really pay attention there is more piano, string instruments and all that made them so unique, but the fan base wanted the rock music so this was a message that they will not get back together and play the wall the way it was suppose to be played till someone discovers the real message. Not that distraction that everyone reads about. I will give a hint that to start listening to the wall the right way then you have to play disc 2 and make it loop together to disc one. There is actually a song that is suppose to be played between "outside the wall" and "In the flesh" (one the first album). Roger Waters is getting frustrated with "fans" that think the know what he means when he is really just giving instructions throughtout the song that will piece the album together the way it was really meant to be. I am close to placing the songs together. There is a secret to it, but im not going to tell anyone til I figure it out.
Rod from Logan, Nji love the war hammers in the movie
Mackenzie :) from Fairmont , Wvpink floyd's songs are all genius! absolutely genius!
David from Ashland City, Tn whats interesting is that some people "serch' for the empty spaces in their lives to feel complete. 'emppty Spaces" list alots of items that some people uses to fill that empty feeling.
Kevin from Albany, OrThis is about David Waters' life? Really? Who's David Waters? Must've been one of those sessions musicians they used. Thanks for the enlightening new information, Kris!
Kris from Wichita, KsActually dude your right and your wrong. This album is about David Waters life but personified by a fictional character and some fictional events. Still Pink Floyd is the greatest
Steveb from Spokane, WaThe empty spaces where "waves of hunger roar" represent insecurities and the song is a contemplation of how those will be filled, and in What Shall We Do Now we hear the many ways that each person on this planet makes themselves feel good.
Achory from Warner Robins, Galook, in the context of the album/movie's story, the backwards message is partially a slap in the face to the people who look for backwards messages in the song, but also, the album is about a fictional character named Pink Floyd. he's what they're referring to with "Old Pink" he went insane in the story, hence "care of the funny farm". as for the controversey over empty spaces/what shall we do now, it is called "What Shall We Do Now", it is a seperate song, it is on the movie, but not the album, and they released an album titled "The Wall Soundtrack" that has it in it.
Daniel from KrylboReally cool backwards message in this,disses all who spends all days and nights looking for backwards messages in songs, or even does it for a living, like myself ^^
Karen from St. Louis, MoReading over all your comments, all I can say is "I get it, you're all fans!" Everyone bickering back & forth about who knows more & who's wrong in their interpretation. That's what's so great about Floyd's music-- it can mean anything to anyone, whatever you hear or feel in it, that's what it means to you. Can't we all just enjoy the music together instead of arguing who's the bigger super-fan? Gosh-golly!
Joey from Hw, United Statesdoesn't this song practically go into young lust?
Dustin from My Home, Inbilly rose was correct welcome to the machine and have a cigar are about syd. Welcome to the machine is about the music industry as is have a cigar the machine was somethign that led to his mental decline look up the songfacts for it that and have a cigar, have a cigar is about the music industry they were both factors in syds mental decline.
Yuya from Kyoto, JapanThis song creeps me out (lol)
Mark from Syracuse, NyRight after the man tells Roger that Carolyn is on the phone you can hear Roger say..."Okay." Just thought I would bring it up...
Jena from Bonner Springs, KsCraig-- Glad you enjoyed the comment. I wondered myself if it was done intentionally or due to technology. But recently we saw The Wall (the movie). He drops the 's's at the end of the lines "places" & "spaces" on it, too! (And if you've ever seen the movie, it's the same songs, more or less , but sung differently, so the soundtrack is completely different than the album.) WTF!!? LOL.
Jeanette from Irvine, Cacorrection billy ross: all of the songs on wish you were here were about syd except welcome to the machine and have a cigar.
Melody from Jacksonville, Flin regaurds of chuck's question-you can find all the lyrics to the movie version on the dvd copy of the movie. just go to the "any title you like" section. then there should be a section with all the lyrics. if you want to spend the money on the movie. i would, it's a good movie and in f.y.e. at your local mall, you can probably catch it for about $20.
Craig from Missoula, MtLOL Jena, when I read your comment about placeh and spaceh I really got a laugh. For 25 years I've wondered about that. I tended to think there was some technical reason that made him decide to drop the S's. Maybe he just turned from the mic and they didn't record. I listen to other singers to see if they ever do it. Seems like some do, but not like that! Hehe, thanks!
Ed from London, CanadaChuck, I've just submitted the lyrics to "What Shall We Do"
Billy Ross from Hagerstown, Mdall of the songs on wish you were here were about syd
Ashley from Moncton, CanadaI just love this song for some reason.
Takashi from Tokyo, JapanWell Said, Andrew.
Robert from Kyle, TxIs There A Pink Floyd Song With The Lyric Tumbling Skies Or Time Keep Twisting Anywhere In It . Cause There Is This Song With That Lyric In It It Sounds Like Floyd But I Dont Know The Title Of The Song It Has Time Keeps Twisting Or Tumbling Skies In It Can Anyone Help Me With This My Email Is Chitowmpimpin_773@hotMail.com
Jena from Bonner Springs, KsThe song should be called "Empty Spaceh" because he drops the S on the first and second line, and sings "spaceh" (instead of 'spaces') and "placeh" (instead of 'places'). Listen carefully...it drives me nuts every time I hear it, because of that!
Andy from Hamilton, CanadaThanks sarah, i have the album the wall, but i couldnt find that song, thanks for pointing that out.
Adriana from St. Louis, MoIn response to nick, they actually wrote a lot about syd barret: shine on you crazy diamond, welcome to the machine, basically most of their work on wish you were here
Rory from Columbus, OhChuck from LA, Calif....Actually NO It's still called "What shall we do now?" and it has been for about 20 years.
Andrew from Tokyo, JapanOh for gods sake, shut up with bloody hidden message already.
Keewa from Fairbanks, AlThis was Roger Waters' Piss-take of all the people who wrecked their turntable stylus's by dragging the record backwards to hear secret messages, he just thought he'd give them something to speculate.
Spencer from South Kingstown, Rii mean the movie
Spencer from South Kingstown, Ridoes anyone know where can you listen to the version on the wall?
Rob from Southgate, MiOk. The song is actually three two songs. The one on the album "The Wall" is "Empty Spaces". The liner lyrics were printed with the song "What Shall We Do Now" because the liner is printed before the final cut of the album. They decided not to use both songs, because they didn't segue well into any other song. On the movie version of "The Wall", they used "What Shall We Do Now". The backwards part was a sarcastic commentary on society's fascination with backwards messages in music. He was recording the "secret message" when the engineer came over the system to tell him that he had a phone call from his wife. Nothing unearthly or secret about it. Just amusing.
Chuck from Los Angeles, CaActually, It's called "With our Backs to the Wall." Does anyone know where I could get the lyrics to this movie version?
Nickc from Ft. Wayne, InThey actually wrote very little about Syd Barret. Roger Waters had his own neuroses and existential angst to work through without dwelling on Syd. Gilmour was much more concerned about broad, societal issues.
Dave from Ottawa, CanadaThe extended version on the movie the wall is called "What Will we do now?"
Alex from Nunya, CaOkay. This is what it says for real. Congradulations, you have just discovered the secret message. Please send your answer to old pink, care of the funny farm, chalfont Voice:Old pink, carolines on the phone
Jus tthought I'd clear that up really.
Tom from Bloomington, MnHaha, the site has it miserably wrong. It's "Congratulations. You have just discovered the secret message. Send your answer to Old Pink, care of The Funny Farm, Chalford, UK." Roger Waters, the man who is saying the message, is interrupted by a man who says "Roger... Carolyn's on the phone!" I believe Carolyn was Roger's wife. The 'funny farm' could possibly mean the insane asylum, where former lead guitarist Syd Barret was. He went insane, after reportedly having his friends line his coffee cups with LSD. Most of their material after he left was about him.
Reed from Hagerstown, Inyeah just go to this site and you can see and hear it for yourself: http://www2.memlane.com/jmilner/stairwaybackwards.htm
Don from Philadelphia, PaNo No No! it says "Congratulations, you've just discovered the secret message. Please send your answer to Old Pink, care of the funny farm, Charlesfort" It makes fun of people who try to find messages in songs.