The Trial

Album: The Wall (1979)
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  • This is about the character Pink's complete downfall into insanity. The pressure of being who he is caves in on him and he held on trial for his past internally. He finally cracks under the pressure and "The Wall" which he has created falls, hence the album title. Nobody knows what really happens to him. Did he fade out of reality and lead a life where everybody forgot about what he used to be and just melt away? Did he commit suicide or die in some way? Did a happy ending appear where he gave up his fascist ideas, reconciled with his wife, and continued his music career? Or maybe he found religion and realized the error of his ways? God knows. The album The Final Cut does provide some allusions to what might have happened to Pink, as well as the song on this one, "Outside the Wall," but there is no definite answer to this question. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    J.I. - Pittsburgh, PA

Comments: 46

  • Connor from Memphis, TnJordan from Hammond, LA, I personally think that the 'odd creature in the vague shape of a human with fire for hair' is like the Greek Mythological monster; the Empousai. The Empousai are kind of like vampires, but with the behavior of a succubus. They will attempt to seduce a male, and once he has fallen to its charm, it will bite the male's neck and drink all of its blood. (They have fire for hair)
    This relates to the wife because after Pink didn't pay much attention to her, but rather was busy building up the metaphorical wall in his mind, she eventually started cheating on him (the Empousai's bite) and it caused him to finally complete The Wall by figuring out that she was cheating on him.
  • Connor from Memphis, TnJordan from Hammond, LA, I personally think that the 'odd creature in the vague shape of a human with fire for hair' is like the Greek Mythological monster; an Empousai. The Empousai are kind of like vampires, but with the behavior of a succubus. They will attempt to seduce a male, and once he has fallen to its charm, it will bite the male's neck and drink all of its blood. (They have fire for hair)
    This relates to the wife because after Pink didn't pay much attention to her, but rather was busy building up the metaphorical wall in his mind, she eventually started cheating on him (the Empusai's bite) and it caused him to finally complete The Wall by figuring out that she was cheating on him.
  • Connor from Memphis, TnMy sister and I have been discussing this: Whether the schoolmaster says 'Laughter' or 'Murder' when accusing Pink. When we turned the volume to 100%, we both heard 'Laughter'. (Actually, it sounded something like 'Mlaughter')
  • Pedro from PortugalPay attention to who is Judging pink. What are the persons who are judging Pink. Or to be precise, the whitnesse's
    Well, the witnesses are 1- the school master. 2 - his ex-wife or serious girlfriend. 3- the mother
    The first 2, attack pink. The 3th, defend Pink.
    Well, all of this Trial don't make any sense. That's why the Judge is a...

    And many fails to understand this, since they don't know. Americans and many more :-) The "crown" in the lyrics, is the "State" accusation. Remember that England is a monarchy. Of course the queen is not involved, she have no powers at all. But the "State" is called "the crown, anyway.
    And what is the " crown/state" accusation?
    Pretty serious. Pink was caught showing feelings. Of an almost human nature. And finish "this will not do"
    And the witnesses appeared. That can't go on.
  • Pedro from PortugalI'm sorry to said this, but many of the comments here are wrong. At least partially. You are reading the lyrics has the Wall was an Opera rock, or.. a book. No is not. Don't have a completely flow of events etc.
    The wall begun with the idea Ryan of Detroit said. Separation of Pink Floyd and the audience. But Once a fan asked an autograph and Roger treated him not right. Roger had mixed feelings about that
    But that, was the Spark of the Idea. The wall is not a book. Has a line, but not a completely flow of events.
  • Melissa from Jacksonville, FlI have to show a video for Group therapy, I'm a psych major and I counsel Drug and Alcoholics, so I think this is perfect. I guess I will have to warn the viewers, about the language. I'm going to be a psych major for a second, but has any one noticed that the trial is through Ego, Super Ego, and Id. one who follows rules like an angel, one who has the evil inside them like the devil, and your conscious personally, one must choose the path they want, hince the trial
  • Ryan from Detroit, MiRoger Waters wrote The Wall to describe the separation he was feeling from his audience. Pink is a mix between Syd Barret, and Roger, as Roger felt at the time that he was going to lose his mind like Syd did.
    The character of Pink created a Wall between him and society to protect himself from emotional pain. While the others, teachers, his mother, his wife helped him build this wall around himself, they also were hurt by the distance from him that it created. When the judge orders to tear down the wall, it's the wall of Pink's emotions, not his sanity. Also, if you listen very closely to Outside The Wall, David Gilmour, I think says, "Is This Where..." which creates the idea that Pink is continuously on a loop. He creates the wall to protect himself, then he tears it down, then he builds it back up again. The worms are simply a representation of the Waiting For The Worms motif. We're all just waiting to die, cowering behind our own walls.
  • Terry from Wickford, RiCo-written with producer Bob Ezrin as a deliberate homage to the Kurt Weill/Bertold Brecht style of musical Theater. Listen to Threepenny Opera or any of that ilk and you'll see the influence.
  • Brad from Lexington, Ky"Good morning the worm your honor! The crown will plainly show the prisoner who now stand before you was caught red handed showing feelings - showing feelings of an almost HUMAN nature! This will not do!" This song is by far the most revealing and devestatingly gut wrenching song on The Wall, because of all of Pink's faults are replayed in front of him in his own mind. There is no escape, and Pink is forced to come to the conclusion he lost his mind. The final, definite statement of truth comes from the Judge, who in a way both destroys and possibly unintentionally saves Pink with his sentence to "tear down the wall". It destroys Pink because he must leave isolation and "be exposed before (his) peers". But, as "Outside the Wall" hints, at the same time it saves him because he finally realizes his guilt and now that the wall that had isolated him from society for so long is at last gone and, though as the final track warns, "It is not easy", he will have the chance at a fresh start without the wall. Whether or not he succeeds is never revealed, which is a good thing as the story works better open-ended. That's my interpretation anyway. Thank you Roger Waters for creating a wonderful story, concept, and album that generations of listeners can listen to, interpret and enjoy.
  • Harry from South Bend, InWhen I saw the movie, this was the scene I looked forward to the most; and wow, was it strange. All of it was wacky, trippy, abnormal, but the judge's appearance just took the cake.
  • Michael from Tucson, AzNo. The judge said "I sentence you to be exposed before your peers!"

    Remember, Pink wants to isolate himself from society. So this is quite a punishment.

    Also, he's insane.
  • David from Ashland City, Tnif the worms are truly evil, then how come the judge told him to "tear down the wall" could the judge give pink a harsher sentence? or mayby the worms arent evil but mercyfull.
  • Dubravko from Kakanj, BosniaMore is myc favourite album from Pink Floyd.
  • Becca from Dayton, Ohpink floyd rocks. true fact.
  • Evan from Philly, PaI just finished reading the entire analysis of The Wall at took me multiple days because it's over 100 single spaced MS Word pages no lie. This song/album is far too complicated to summarize on a stupid comment slot like this. If you really want ALL of your questions answered, you should definitely visit the site and check it out for yourself. WARNING: 12th grade reading level minimal necessary...
  • Michael from Oxford, EnglandWell done, Achory! And no, it isn't in the book, but anyway THE FILM IS MUCH BETTER. (I think the book's about 100 000 words too long.)
  • Achory from Warner Robins, Gaas for all those who look for an explanation on the song, what people here have said is pretty good, but go to for a complete explanation.
  • Achory from Warner Robins, Ga"Roger waters sings all the voices of the different characters because the trial is going on inside his own head.
    - Erik, Cherry Valley, IL" the trial is going on in the head of the fictional charcacter Pink Floyd who the album's story is about.
  • Achory from Warner Robins, Ga"it's rumored that when the judge says "gives me the urge to deficate" someone shouts "Yeah, Judge! S*it on him!" You can clearly hear it though.
    - Patrick, Tallapoosa, GA" it's "No, judge, the jury!"
  • Achory from Warner Robins, Gaactually, michael, i saw the movie the day it came out where i live. i did notice the reference, and laughed histerically in my head at the time. i can't remember if it was in the book or not, though.
  • Michael from Oxford, EnglandHas anyone else noticed a reference to this in the new "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" film?
  • Bryan from New York, NyJordan and Patrick gave great explinations. Listening to 'Outside the Wall' on the live album, the happier tone of that song seems to signify that those people who really care will help to tear down the wall(better for you) but they can't unless you do something.
  • Patrick from Bremen, GaHere is my take on it, even though I agree with most of what Jordon said:

    First of all, who worst to judge you than yourself?

    Second, here is my take on the characters in the song: First, the Lawyer. Possibly Pink looking at himself in the mirror and saying "Wait a minute. What happened to me?" (The Crown presenting the prisoner) and feeling bad about being so emotional (found guilty of showing feelings). Next, the Schoolmaster, the Ex-Wife, and finally the Over-protective Mother. These are people who may have caused Pink to become what he has become now. This "Trial" of himself occurs apparently years after his divorce with his wife. What's interesting to me is the order the witnesses testified: Schoolmaster, then Ex-Wife, then Mother. In most people's lives, they learn the nature of others and how cruel the world can be when they begin school. The other children ridiculing them, and the teachers demeaning them as they saw fit. Next, the Ex-Wife. She could quite easily represent not only herself, but any and all past loves Pink had. They have all said they'd love him at first (the shape of the flowery vagina), but then turn out to be venomous and break their heart (turn into the scorpion and snake). Finally, the Mother. When one goes to therapy for some psychological disorder like depression, bipolar disorder, or anytyhing else, who is the last person (or persons) they blame? Their parents. Very quickly are people to blame those outside their own families (teachers, schoolchildren, past loves, etc.). Most will not admit that their condition can be attributed to their parents and themselves. The judge could probably be seen as Pink's conscience, telling him to get over himself, he's hurt others more than they've hurt him. He needs to get a grip, tear down the emotional wall, and open himself up. This song could be a symbol of self-reflection, and Pink realizes he has no one to blame but himself for the way he is, and that he needs to just get a dang grip.
  • Madalyn from Greensburg, PaI turned my friend who is really into theater on to pink floyd just because of this song...we sing it out loud all the time...i love the different voices
  • Andrew from Wimauma, FlThanx so much, jordan, you really cleared some things up for me that i was confused about to begin with
  • Jordan from Hammond, LaThe song itself is both very simple and very complex, so no one is wrong in their own opinions. This is how I see it:

    The "Worms", as they are so called, are born out of the wall that Pink has created. This is why they object to Pink showing feelings (For the wall itself is supposed to both protect pink from the outside world and oppress him from it). Thus is why he is being prosecuted, for after the wall is built (It is considered fully completed with the birth of Fascist Pink) he regrets ever having built it ("Is there anyone out there?!")

    So, inside his mind, he is having a battle, or trial, between himself and his dementia, personified as the wall, personified as the Worms. As the Worms call their witnesses, they are shown in the manner that Pink views them in his mind: The schoolteacher is being manipulated on strings just as the teachers are manipulated by the schoolboard, and his giant, protruding eyes stare on endlessly at the children.

    Pink's wife undergoes a few different changes throughout her testimony. First, she is the vaginal-shaped flower that is seen earlier in the album, showing Pink might still have physical attractions to her. Then, as she really starts lambasting him, she turns into a scorpion and impales Pink through the chest - signifying that Pink has been wounded by her "betrayal", but at the same time, maybe he feels finally that the pain was deserved, since a scorpion only strikes if directly provoked. Pink's wife was provoked by Pink's emotional distance, thus had an affair.

    Finally, she turns into an odd creature in the vague shape of a human with fire for hair. Personally, it looks to me like Pink is still showing her in a light that she has wounded him, because of her bony structure, and the way that sharp objects are coming out of her thighs, and of course, the fire.

    Then, Pink's mother appears. This one is pretty self-explanatory - she is giant, many many times larger than the Pink she is nurturing, an easy portrayal of her overprotectiveness.

    Finally, the Judge himself appears. Is there any real reason why he is quite literally a giant anus? Probably not, other than a light-hearted jab at the government (This man is an ass.) While the judge seems to be against Pink, angered at his so-called crimes, he actually seems more on Pink's side than any of the others. Forgetting Pink's original crime of showing feelings [of an almost human nature], the judge instead is outraged that Pink caused the suffering of his wife and his mother, and views the wall - the wall built of bricks, many of which were spawned from the damage his mother and wife caused - as the epitome of the suffering Pink has given them. Thus, he betrays the Worms (he is shown to have betrayed them earlier when he proclaims "There is no need for the jury to retire!", taking the judgement into his own hands) and orders Pink to tear down the wall.

    At this point you probably noticed the chorus of disembodied voices shouting "Tear down the wall!" over and over. One has to ask themself if these are the Worms who are saying this, or something else. I think that it is Pink's other personas (He has shown at least three different personalities throughout the movie - the fragmented Pink, who is at once both docile and chaotic, the orderly Pink, who takes the ruins that fragmented Pink created and organizes them to his own design, and Fascist Pink, who is pretty self explanatory.) These different Pinks are all telling the main Pink that it is time to tear down the wall and let them all out. Simple as that.
  • Louis from San Diego, Caits weird that you say that JT becuase i love to sing this song in the shower as well. it is such a climatic ending to a great story.
  • Jt from Hot Springs, Ar"this is definately my favorite part of the movie, this also is the #1 song i sing in the shower (the judge part) "

    Exactly. I second this entire post.
  • Gerard Howard from Lone Tree, CoThe true meaning behind the song 'The Trial' is totally self explanatory. Pink, is facing the everything he ever blocked out, basically, everying on the other side of the wall. Very simple. And as you can see in the movie 'The Wall', Pink was tossed and thrown around like a ragdoll because he has no control over himself, everyone else does. His mother tried to to take him under her wing...again. The schoolmaster tried to punish him, his wife not loving him and trying to take control, and of course, the judge, who puts the blame on pink and takes sides with everyone else (mother,wife,schoolmaster). So in the end, something had snapped in his head, causing him to tear down the wall. Nobody knows what though.
  • Jonathan from TorontoI think there are 2 possibilities of what happened to pink. I believe the entire album is mostly based on Roger Waters, and some of it is based on Syd Barret (let me know if that is true i am not sure). Anyway I think that means that there are 2 possibilities. He may have continued his music career, or maybe he went insane.
  • Dan from Uh Oh, CaThe entire album is about Roger Watters going insane (because he did go insane for a while) and "The Wall" is whats blocking him off from the outside world. All the characters in the trial are the voices in his head and they want him to stay in the show, which is going on behind the wall, and the show is his own insanity. For some reason the judge thought that breaking the wall whould hurt him but it actually helped him regain his sanity.
  • Aylin from MontrealI don't really like this. "Outside the Wall" is nice enough, but this track only gets on my nerves. I find it too...harsh, for the most part.
  • Fkajkfknci from Sfcgsg, Mii like the part were they are taring down the wall beacuase it breaks down the tensoin
  • Fkajkfknci from Sfcgsg, Mii like this song beacuase it really explain how he is going crazy
  • Tom from East Lyme, Ctthis is definately my favorite part of the movie, this also is the #1 song i sing in the shower (the judge part)
  • Sam from Alton, IlLet me begin by saying this: One of my favorite songs for a long time. I wish my school orchestra or band or both would play the music for a performance. I would also like to say the The judge pictured in the orignal album art on the vinyl is a giant butt. He is quite literally a butt!!! I see this as a symbol of what they think of authority. Like the schoolmaster, whose eyes look like headlights to me, whom with his odd eyes watches the children and mocks then.
  • Patrick from Tallapoosa, Gait's rumored that when the judge says "gives me the urge to deficate" someone shouts "Yeah, Judge! S*it on him!" You can clearly hear it though.
  • Paul from Cincinnati, OhWhen the judge says "fills me with the urge to defecate," it sounds like somebody in the background says, "Judge, sit on him!"
  • Chris from Hamilton, CanadaI think that Pink is being judged by the Worms on whether or not he is worthy of them since he showed feelings for others. I believe the ending is the Judge sentencing him to take help from others by tearing down the wall. Great Song! :)
  • Kelly from Burbank, CaThis is the first song I listened to on The Wall. When I first bought the album, I skimmed through most of the songs but stopped to listen to the entirety of this one. I love it. I have since deemed it my second favorite song after the little known "One of my Turns". It is true that this is the climax of the entire odyssey of Pink, because all the characters of his past come back, including his wife, his mother, and my personal favorite, the tyrant school master. The judge sentences him to be "exposed before his peers" and the wall that he built so nicely around himself comes crashing down, and whether this was for the better or not, I'll never know. The conclusion is "Outside the Wall" and overall I like the music because it starts out fast-paced, swells and heightens, then comes lowering down after you hear the wall crash. On "Outside the Wall" it is barely audible, and goes back to that sound (a harmonica, I presume) and very quiet speaking: a perfect, amazing ending to a great album.
  • Erik from Cherry Valley, IlRoger waters sings all the voices of the different characters because the trial is going on inside his own head.
  • Jeanette from Irvine, Cai think this song is just him going insane and having a trial against himself. because you know, you go insane when the worms eat into your brain.
  • Jimmy from Colorado Springs, CoWhat I got out of this song is that since he was in the "lime light" that he couldn't show his true felling and when he did he got scutenized
  • Eric from Milford, PaWhen I first got "The Wall" I listened to a few of the songs I liked but never really listened to the entire thing. One day I decided to listen to this song "The Trial". Oh man is this song out there! but it made me realize that while being a music album "The Wall" is more of a Saga by Pink Floyd. The whole album is a story. They're pretty crafty that Pink Floyd eh?
  • Tormod from OrkangerThis really IS the climax! I totally agree and I think it is one of the best parts of the wall (I call it parts because it is what it is really,, not songs,, its parts of a story) anyway SHINE ON!
  • Jeanette from Irvine, Cawow i'm the first comment! anyway i love this song and it's like the climax of the album, at least in terms of story. i love the voice for the teacher...and as for that makes it pretty clear that he tears down the wall (which he thinks is the worst thing that can happen to him but is really the best) which is something like a happy ending.
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