This is a sad song about being estranged and isolated. Nobody is there when you pick up the phone to talk to them. It could be a friend, or a boyfriend/girlfriend.
In the Pink Floyd movie The Wall, this is about Pink's wife, whom he seems to have lost contact with.
Suggestion credit: Arianna - Largo, FL, for above 2
Some Pink Floyd fans speculate that The Wall may be the life stories of Syd Barrett, not Roger Waters, and that the movie's character, Pink, is a merging of both Waters and Barrett. A piece of evidence toward Syd Barrett's presence in Pink is in this song. The line, "I've got the obligatory Hendrix perm" could refer to Syd's haircut during his prime in the '60s.
Suggestion credit: Matt - Russell Springs, KY
Roger Waters has stated that the line, "I got elastic bands keeping my shoes on," is a reference to Syd Barrett and how Syd's mental state had gotten so bad that he stopped lacing up his boots and would often just use elastic bands to keep them on.
Suggestion credit: Dogma - Alexandria, LA
At 3:01 into this song, you can hear in the background someone say "Surprise, Surprise, Surprise!" That is from The Andy Griffith Show. It was a catch phrase of the character Gomer Pyle.
Suggestion credit: Trey - Kalamazoo, MT
Roger Waters told Mojo magazine December 2009 about this song: "The Gohills boots are Syd (Barrett), The Hendrix poem is sort of a Gestalt. Rick had one. Syd had one. Eric Clapton had one. It was sort of a thing at the time. The satin shirt is mine: 'The inevitable pinhole burns/All down the front of my favorite satin shirt.' I can see that shirt now, with all the pinhole burns from the burning hash. The coke thing - 'I've got a silver spoon on a chain' - is not about anyone in particular. The main anguish of the unanswered telephone is my experience - nobody home."
When the band performed The Wall, the staged an elaborate show where a giant wall was built on stage, eventually concealing the band. During "Nobody Home," part of the wall opened to reveal a replica of a hotel room, a striking visual.
Thomas from Bellingham Wa.Dogma, I can help you with both questions...The TV scene in Pink's bedroom (the one with the dog who's name rhymes with "digger) is from a movie titled "The Dam Busters" from 1955. I have verified this by watching this flik and it is actually pretty good. Spoiler alert, the dog gets run over by Jeep later in the movie. The dialog between the female and male (It isn't safe to stay here, your father will be picking up our trail....) is from an episode of Gunsmoke titled "Fandango", I have not been able to personally verify this, but it comes from very credible source. By the way, contrary to what is written above, the line "surprise, surprise, surprise" Is NOT from the Andy Griffith show, but from a show called GOMER PYLE USMC. you can tell this to be true because you can here Sergeant Carter yell "PYLE" afterwords.
Jef from Passaic, NjThe voice of Jim Nabors can be heard interjecting his famous Gomer Pyle tag line "surprise, surprise, surprise!" between the lines "when I pick up the phone" and "there's still nobody home."
Pepper from Athens, TnGeorge from Bolivia, Syd was an expirimental person, hence his music, and the cause of his mental breakdown. He liked mixing drugs with other drus to get, naturally, different and more powerful results. He was born with a screw loose already, but then his expiriments shattered him. He was far from a wuss.
Terry from Wickford, RiIn the live versions of this song, there was a stunning guitar solo in the middle
Brad from Lexington, KyThis song is the best song on The Wall, but it wasn't even a hit. Completely underrated. As a 14 year old, this is probably unusual for most people my age, considering most of them listen to cRAP music. (I always thought the "c" was just silent.) But this is probably one of my favorite songs of all time from what is arguably the greatest album ever made.
Chloe from St. Louis, Mooh come on, r.h., syd was not a wuss. it wasnt just the drugs that did it to him, not at all. he was born schizophrenic, and the combination of the pressures of being famous and the fact that his roommates slipped lsd into his coffee every morning made his existing condition worse.
Mark from Alexandria, VaDogma - the TV scene in his bedroom is from a BBC Series about a WWII hero.
I'd post the wiki quote but it might be offensive to some.
George from Blaupunkt, BoliviaDogma, I believe the lines are from an old gunsmoke episode. Well we better get moving it'll be daylight before long. But won't it be unsafe to travel at night? It won't be safe here your father will pick up our trail before long. Can Loco ride? Yeah I can ride..... Don't know if this is true but an old burnout told me this when we were stoned listening to Floyd back in 89.
R.h. from Pauls Valley, OkDon't really know what happened with Syd Barrett but he wasn't able to handle the drugs that came with fame. In the 70's I did every drug there was available. Trust me! Screw the wussie Syd Barrett...David Gilmour was the best thing that ever happened to Pink Floyd!
Matt from Salisbury, MdThis is my favorite song of that album and I have always been touched by the line 'ive got a strong urge to fly but nowhere to fly too', I can really relate to that. I think it means he is ready to be around people again but there isnt anyone for him to go to because he has severed all his ties.
Dogma from Alexandria, LaRoger Waters used incidents from his own life and Syd Barrett's life (and probably from other people's lives too)when writing THE WALL. It's more clear in the movie. Things like young Pink losing his dad in WWII, having an overbearing mother and abusive teachers are from Roger's life. Things like the older Pink spacing out, shaving off his body hair and letting cigarettes burn down to his knuckles are from Syd's life. In the song Nobody Home "plastic bands keeping my shoes on..." is something Syd used to do when he was so far gone he wouldn't even lace up his own boots.
Dogma from Alexandria, LaYeah, Chris, I love that the Gomer line is in there. It's a great contrast to the mood of the album. But I'm trying to figure out the actors and the movie when the man and woman are talking. He says something like, "your father is going to pick up our trail before long..." It happens around the "Nobody Home" part of the album. Anyone know what movie that audio clip is from?
Chris from Lbi, NjWhat famous sitcom character is on this song saying his famous line? Gomer Pyle, with his famous Surprise surprise surprise .......
Sheeberson from Wrightsville Beach, NcGREAT song. You dont get better than Floyd.
Well, except for maybe Zeppelin.
But you get what I'm sayin'.
James from Bedford, CanadaPink seems pretty settled in this song. he has things about him that keep him company, but he is still a little sad that when he tries to make contact with his girlfriend (or anyone), nobody answers. I really like the line "I've got a strong urge to fly, but I have nowhere to fly to". it is as if he has the energy to enter a scene, but nobody is there for him.
Achory from Warner Robins, Gaoh nevermind my last comment. i just realized that the person said it was about Pink's wife in the movie. sorry.
Achory from Warner Robins, Gathe song is not about roger waters' wife. it's about the fictional character Pink Floyd who the album is about's wife who cheated on him earlier in the album's story.
Dom from New York, Nythe song is a veiled reference to "former" Pink Floyd member Rick Wright. Ive got a silver spoon on a chain (his spiraling cocaine addiciton which saw him "booted" from the band during the Wall tour, but still kept on as a session musician playing onstage) and "a grand piano to prop up my mortal remains" as the keyboardest for the Floyd
Michael from Oxford, EnglandI think this is the most underrated song on The Wall.
Jared from Austin, TxThe repeated melody in between the lyrics is a perfect example of how incredibly simple the song is to play, yet it sounds absolutely amazing.
Wade from Vancouver, CanadaThe repeated "fly to" always haunts me.