Us And Them

Album: The Dark Side of the Moon (1973)
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  • Lyrics
  • This began as a piano piece Rick Wright came up with while working on the soundtrack to the 1970 movie Zabriskie Point. It didn't make the soundtrack, but they worked with it at the Dark Side of the Moon sessions and it eventually became this song. The director of Zabriskie Point, Michelangelo Antonioni, rejected the song for being "beautiful, but too sad... it makes me think of church."
  • Zabriskie Point was one of the first soundtracks Pink Floyd worked on. They put a lot of work into it, but the director ended up using only 3 of their songs. Floyd also worked on soundtracks for the movies More, The Valley, and Tonight Let's All Make Love In London.
  • The band refereed to this as "The Violence Sequence" because they worked on it for a very violent scene in the movie.
  • Dave Gilmour sings lead, but this song was written by Roger Waters and Pink Floyd keyboard player Rick Wright. Some of Wright's other songwriting credits include "Breathe," "Great Big Gid In The Sky," and "One Of These Days," but by the late '70s Waters ended up doing most of the writing himself, and he wrote all the songs on their 1983 album The Final Cut. Talking about Wright's compositions, Waters said in a 2003 interview with Uncut: "He would write odd bits. He secreted them away and put them on those solo albums he made and were never heard. He never shared them. It was unbelievably stupid. I never understood why he did that. I'm sure there were two or three decent chord sequences. If he'd given them to me, I would have been very, very happy to make something with them."
  • One of Pink Floyd's first uses of female backup singers. They brought in Liza Strike, Leslie Duncan and Doris Troy to sing harmonies. Troy had a hit on her own with "Just One Look."
  • Like other songs on the album, this contains the ramblings of random voices. Roger Waters made flashcards with questions on them and recorded different people around the studio answering them. He showed one to a weird roadie for another band named Roger The Hat, who got the question "When was the last time you thumped somebody." His answer made it onto this song, which is the part about giving someone a "short, sharp shock."
  • Along with "Money," this was one of 2 songs on the album to use a sax, which was played by Dick Parry.
  • The engineer for the album was Alan Parsons, who also worked on The Beatles' Abbey Road album. Some of the production techniques on this are similar to the suite of songs at the end of that album, especially "Sun King." Parsons went on to form his own band called The Alan Parsons Project, which had a hit in 1982 with "Eye In The Sky."
  • Pink Floyd's record company was originally hesitant to release this track because it was felt that the signature melody line was extremely depressing. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Joe - Piscataway, NJ
  • In the Dark Side of the Rainbow theory (that Dark Side of the Moon acts as a soundtrack to The Wizard Of Oz), the line, "And who knows which is which and who is who," occurs after the Wicked Witch of the West appears and she is first seen with Dorothy and Glinda, the good witch on the opposite side of the screen. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Adrian - Brookings, SD
  • When this was recorded, Rick Wright played the song's jazz-influenced grand piano to what he thought was the rest of the band playing in the next studio. In fact they weren't present and it was a recording made earlier. What started as a prank became, according to Alan Parsons in Mojo magazine, "one of the best things Rick ever did."
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Comments: 88

  • Mjmcnult from Vancouver, BcReplying to: David of Toronto: "Tea and a slice" refers to a cup of tea and a slice of bread or toast, which was a mainstay meal/snack for many in Britain during wartime and other tough times. George Orwell makes numerous references to "tea-and-two-slices" in his book Down and Out in Paris and London, so it's at least possible that Pink Floyd was influenced by that book.
  • Brann from AustraliaUncanny sense of world events...
  • Dale from Leander, TexasAnyone else notice an uncanny similarity between this song and Alan Parsons' later hit single "Time"?
  • Jim from Columbus, MsCould be cake, but apparently having a piece of fried bread is an English thing. Considering that a cup of tea and a slice of bread would likely be the cheapest item on the menu, it fits the basic idea of the lyric.
  • Jodie from XxWhat does slice mean? Tea and a slice. Do they mean Lemon? Slice of Lemon? Bread?
  • Kimberly from Landing, NjFor our country. Science seen and heard for what its worth are the values. Trust in our times of trial. And let's all remember our truth.
  • Drake from Huntington Beach, CaThe lyrics tell about the battle between the different factions of time, I think? The first few stanzas tell about how men would do things to be invincible, but their all the same. Both second and thirds stanzas tell about the British against the colonies.
  • David from Toronto, OnLove this song but I've always been puzzled by "for want of the price of tea and a slice, the old man died" SLICE of what? Is pizza by the slice in the English jargon?
  • Bonnie from Natick, MaIt's about the Kent State Shootings which took place on May 4, 1970. The Ohio National Guard opened fire on a group of students and activists who had been protesting Nixon's invasion of Cambodia for three days. Four students were killed and Nine others were injured, one of those injured was permanently paralyzed. This song is absolutely about that devastating event in our nation's history.
  • Kevin from San Jose, Costa Ricawar is so pointless i wish we could all go back to the 70s and 80s for a day or two to think of war as the most ubsured thing in this universe
  • Sunny from Calcutta, Indiathe most precious ever comment made on earth would be wrong to judge these people!! m/
    Pink Floyd Lives!!
  • Tomás from Tomi_21@hotmail.com, ArgentinaI´m reading a Richard Hoggart´s book called "Uses of Literacy" (from 1957). Richard Hoggart is considered the founder of Cultural Studies, whose followers are Raymond Williams, Edward Thompson, Stuart Hall, etc. The book is about northern England´s working class, and the development of Mass-media culture in between those people. The third chapter is called "Us and Them", and, when I started reading it, the lyrics of this song came to me. Hoggart says that the working class organizes their world from an estructural oposition, "us" and "them". "Them" are the police, their bosses, the people who sent them to war, the people that make their fortunes making them work. "Us" is the people. I don´t know if Waters read the book, or if he heard about it, but, perhaps, the cosmic burocracy -or the looking for social justice- made them meet. "Up and down", "with, without", are strong metaphores we can´t ignore.
  • Doug from Kansas City, Mowell i just dont do drugs anymore. Dont seem to listen to PF much anymore either. Just a coincidence.
  • John from Zwickau, GermanyIf you want to listen to another amazing creative attempt at Us and Them, listen to the version by Easy-Star All-Stars. As a matter of fact. People should buy Dub Side of The Moon which is the reggae version made by them. I swear I was skeptical but it really is good. Us and Them is one of my favorite songs of all-time and Easy Star did a good job.
  • Alan from London, United KingdomI used to have a cassette tape that I recorded off the radio with the original interviews that contained the over dubs that were put on dsotm .
    As the album was recorded questionaires were handed out , what are your views on life , money death when di you last hit someone etc the interesting replys went on to be interviewed and the rest is history .The Guy 'I've always been mad etc' was a roadie called roger the hat and he features quite a lot .He explains . I was going along near wher my brother lives in Northwood Hills and this bloke called me a long haired git , I wasn't going to be put upon in this manner so I hit him , he got off light cos I could have given him athrashing I mean good manners dont cost nothing .
    The tape was in my player when it got stolen has anyone got a copy or remember the broadcast on Capital Radio with Nicky Horne ?
  • Hamed from Mashad, IranDear Guy, Tel Aviv, Israel
    I really enjoyed your comment. I am Ok with you. I think If Gilmour had any Talent he could show it in his solo Albums which are not at all comparable to Waters'; e.g. Amused To Death is, I think, the best album ever released.
  • Lee from London, United Kingdomremember that roger & crew (and me)were born in England from parents who lived during the war. It left an impact on my generation and my father's memories in the RAF will also be with me.
    That's part of PF's message. Learn from it.
  • Bobbye from Scottsdale, AzI am 75 years old and I think the music is absolutely beautiful and the lyrics profound.
  • Mario Anthar from Tijuana, MexicoPeople come up to me and beg me to tell them what this song is about, I'm the only one around that speaks english, so I tell them... their expression changes as they come to realize that this is not a love or a romantic song.
    On the other hand, I have been witness to lots of people becoming interested in Floyd's lyrics and eventually fans because of this song.
  • Rahul from Chennai, Indiabeautiful....absolutely beautiful.... i think this even beats comfortably numb and wish u were here...
  • Mike from Santa Barbara, CaBeautiful song, it's Pink Floyd's best.
  • Drew from Grand Rapids, MiI think that Linus and Elysia have it right. This song is layered. I'm sure not even the Floyd them selves would want to pigeon hole this one. "Us and Them" is such a great piece of art it can be applied to explain almost anything regarding opposites. differences in opinion, separation, empathy, misunderstanding, conflict of many kinds, etc. I believe the "us and them" theme is relevant on all levels in this world. ie. From the kiddies at school, black culture, white culture, Christianity, Islam, big corporations, factory workers, up & down, with & without, opinion & no opinion. The look of "the other". Difference in opinion. Other minds. Us and well......them. Were not gonna have the same opinions. We were all given minds. You are you, I am me. This blog on "song facts" represents the difference in opinions perfectly. Us and them. Many people are dead set on labeling this song as a war song. It's certainly not us that is labeling it, its them. You dig? Who knows which is which and who is who?
  • Oldpink from New Castle, InAustin from Dallas, Texas, kindly go back to your bong, and quit posting such nonsense.
  • Oldpink from New Castle, InThis is my favorite song, from ANYONE.
    The lyrics are absolutely mesmerizing, the vocals are so dreamy/melancholy, and Dave and Rick turn in some of their most beautiful work on their respective instruments.
    It is fortuitous indeed that Antonioni rejected this for the "Zabriskie Point" soundtrack, thus making it possible for the band to do a VERY few live performances of it (only two live recordings exist!) before they incorporated it into what was then called "Eclipsed" suite.
    Eclipsed later became to be known and much loved as "Dark Side of the Moon."
    A true masterpiece.
  • Austin from Dallas, Txthe song, or atleast the second half of the song is directly referring to the boston tea party, the man with the poster is holding a poster that is declaring the unjust tax that the british were putting on the americans, then he tells them to go into the room where there is alot of it (tea) about, which is being thrown everywhere with and without, and it can not be helped to because it is being heaved into the ocean, which is undeniably what the fighting is about. also the final conclusion to be made that the song is about the boston tea party, is in the end when it is said purpose of the fighting was "for want of the price of a tea and a slice" thats why the americans did what they did that "buisy day" boston harbor, to show their hate of the unfair taxes on tea.
  • Billy J from San Antonio, TxI have listened to PF for decades and maybe old age but after the line "haven't you heard its a battle of words" I hear "and most of them are lies" and as one listener previously stated I also hear "Out of the way its a busy day and nothings on my mind
    '.Like I said maybe old age
  • Trey from Kalamazoo, MtThis is my favorite Pink Floyd song. It's awesome to watch to the Wiz of Oz. When (in the song) they say the word "die" the witch appears and a bunch of munchkins fall over dead. That was freaky. The sax part is very moving.
  • Steven from Sparks, NvTo assume that "Us and Them" is solely about war is to draw a superficial conclusion. Yes, "War" serves as a metaphor for the separative mentality that modern day people have. But the "Down and Out" stanza is about our refusal to help others in need, because we have "things to do". Pink Floyd is saying that for the money it would cost for "tea and a slice", an old man died. This song is about closed-mindedness and the majority of peoples' inability to empathize with another's plight, and to furthermore act on this inability, i.e. the general who doesn't fight alongside his men.
  • Nat Scott from Brunswick, Ga"Us and them" is the philosophy of life that enables one to hate. This philosophy is one of exclusivity that can never create anything but strife. It is this principal of comparison that allows us to sit on our teeter totter where we find ourselves Up looking down at those below us or Down looking up at those above us. Either way we lose because with comparison we never find a state of equanimity."Us and them" living is the way of life that ultimately leads to an end known as war. There is no us and them; only we. I think this is what PF was getting at.
  • Jk from Tampa, FlI assume Roger Waters wrote all of the lyrics to this song. "Forward he cried from the rear and the front rank died. And the general sat, and the lines on the map, moved from side to side." have become only too true in this bogus war.
  • Allie from A Little Ol' Town In, Mii love this song, other than Wish you were here, this is my all time favourite pink floyd song!!!!!!!! Good Sax and awesome lyrics, if you listen to the beginning, you can hear one of them say "i don't know i was really drunk at the time" hahahahaha!!BUt this song is awesome, i use this to fall asleep sometimes. I don't know why, i think it's the free flowing sax and piano and the backup singing!!!!!AWESOME SONG!!!!!!!!
  • David from Deerfield Beach, FlPosted on 11/7/2007. Pink Floyd made a lot of great music but this song along with "Comfortably Numb" ranks as one of my all-time favorites by them. Just a classic if there ever was one and a masterpiece in my opinion. This song is just so soothing and relaxing, and down-right hypnotic even! For some reason this song makes me imagine an Apollo capsule traveling silently thru space on the way to the moon, or one of those serene space travel scenes in "2001: A Space Odyssey" when they are playing "The Blue Danube" or something. Maybe I'm imagining this cuz this album came out close to the time when all that was happening, or maybe it's cuz "Dark Side Of The Moon" was just so cosmic. I don't know. Anyways, what a great song!

  • Steveb from Spokane, Wa"forward he cried, from the rear, and the front rank died" As the man in charge, who sits safely at the back of combat cries 'forward' the "front rank" meaning the first line of people perishes at command. "And the general sat, and the lines on the map, moved from side to side" while some commanding politician(IE, president Nixon, president Bush) sits back in their office giving orders, their soldiers who they view as nothing more than fodder, lines on a map, do as they are told for no good reason but obedience. "Black and blue, and who knows which is which and who is who" simply referring to how someone becomes black and blue after a physical confrontation, and how war leaves a wake of death and injury too confusing and chaotic to measure... "Up and Down, and in the end, its only round and round" speaks of the pattern of history, despite wars and triumphs of nations, all civilizations which are on top will fall(yes, even America) as the Greeks did and be replaced by another in a cycle of futility. "Haven't you heard its a battle of words, the poster bearer cried?" an idealistic person tries to get out to the world that it can all be resolved with an ounce of logic and understanding, "Listen son, said the man with the gun, there's room for you inside" he is silenced and recruited by the overwhelming sway of the militaristic agenda. "Down and out, it can't be helped, but there's a lot of it about" Death is all over, and nothing can be done about it as we've made it a way of life.. "With, without, and who'll deny its what the fighting's all about?" Every war ever started has been for the desire of what one nation has and one doesn't, all the death is a result of greed. "Out of the way, its a busy day, and nothing's on my mind" This is from the perspective of the war-mongering politician, or pro-war citizen, who has never seen the line of duty and continues to support it but cannot even begin to comprehend the horror of war and has no worries on his mind about the matter. "For want of the price, of tea and a slice, an old man died" This has always been obscure and hard for me to analyze, but I believe the old man is a reference to Roger's father was fell in combat, and that the price of "tea and a slice" represents how menial these comforts are that lives are taken for, and how each soldier's effort is just in vain.

    Once again, not about drugs, their songs weren't about drugs at all after Syd left, please don't be stupid, just pay attention to the lyrics a TINY TINY TINY TINY bit and maybe you'll understand them as opposed to ridiculously misinterpreting them.

  • Steveb from Spokane, WaUs and Them refers to how there are always two sides to any conflict with their own perspectives, in this case a war. "Us and Them, and after all we're only ordinary men" States that despite all propaganda and misconception, each side of the coin consists of humans, pure and alive as the other. "Me and You, god only knows its not what we would choose to do" if the intelligent and aware persons(those who will meet on the dark side of the moon) had any say in it, we wouldn't be going to war,
  • Jeanette from Plymouth, Madoes anyone think the title "us and them" might be related to genocide?
  • Tim from Chicago, IlKatie from Florida - what a nice note! It's always great to hear that some of your age group are interested in music beyond Britney Spears and 50 cent. But when you added Sweetness to your "list" , well, I am very impressed! Walter was truly amazing to watch, getting something from "nothing", then watching him bounce up after getting brutally gang tackled.
    BTW-this song will always gain energy during times of War.
  • Kim from Corry, Paok....to add to this "pink floyd on drugs" discussion, ever since piper, which is safe to say was highly influenced by LSD, floyd never forgot their roots. ever since syd left the group i think they've tried to make each of their songs kind of space rockish, or psychedelic since thats what they first started out as--a psychedelic band. that doesnt mean that they were on drugs when recording their other albums. you can record psychedelic music and not drop the ole acid bombs all the time.
  • Aya from Cairo, EgyptI beleieve the song describes the tendency of people to partition themselves from those who are different, in cases such as war, politics, and social class. It's definitely about war but i believe it also encompasses different races and social classes. It's also alleged that the song was influenced by Roger Waters' father dying in World War II, and this is created by the fact that the music has the slow jazz style, which is usually related to the 40s.
  • Bert from Cape Town, South AfricaI'm 56 and I can't stop listening to Pink Floyd. Somehow their music places human behaviour in perspective for me. It's loaded with razor sharp social comment and whenever I listen to them I feel re-assured that there is a truth out there.Their music transpotrs me to an unknown place where only I can see and my whole outlook becomes a different colour for quite some time
  • Markemark from Cincinnati, OhShinedown came out with an album called Us and Them
  • Johny from Etw, LaA few things to say. When we hear "Out of the way, it's a busy day, I've got things on my mind..." Does anyone hear "Out of the way, It's a busy day, but NOTHINGS on my mind?" I do, and I think it sounds better the second way, as like a contradiction; Go away, I'm busy... Wait... I really don't have anything planned. Interesting. I love how the organ plays the opening chords to the song at the end of money, then leads into it at the beginning. It sounds like the circle of fifths. Very beautiful. I wonder if anyone knows which organ they used. A Wurlitzer?
  • Ben from Nowhere, InJust to clarify, when either Us or Them is assigned in the above comments its proving Waters point. The Us and Them tactic is one that occurs most in a military situation (and usually a right leaning government). The "Us" is the nation, faction, or group that operates using nationalism as a unifing factor. The "Them" refers to any group in opposition. Such thinking is critisized by this song, with the intention of showing how pointless such descriminations are.
  • Kelly from Anchorage, AkThis song is certainly about war, but also has some open-ended, remarkable, genious lyrics which can be applied that can be applied to life in general such as "up and down, but in the end it's only round and round." This song is so powerful with the lyrics, echoes, sax.. you can feel it, it's amazing!
  • Norbert from Oaklahomacity, OrThis is one of the most boring songs I ever heard since Joes Garage by {Frank Zappa}
  • Sam from Taunton, Mai know in this song dave gilmour sings the verses, the "us and them" part, but i am not sure who sings the choruses, rog or rick, cuz it doesn't sound like dave, could someone answer that please.
  • Bill from Erie, PaShortly before Syd Barrett split with Floyd, he made an ambiguously sarcastic suggestion that all the band's problems could be solved by adding two female saxophonists to the lineup. Funnily enough, Floyd's biggest success came on an album that had both females (Clare Torry on "Great Gig in the Sky", and the backup singers on this song) and sax (Dick Parry on this song and "Money").
  • Sam from Taunton, MaAndy, if you are referring to when you hear on the album someone say "I don't know I was really drunk at the time" well you aren't hearing Dave saying how he is drunk you hearing someone answering a question of Roger's written on a flashcards and this one is "Were you in the right", because this random man and his wife had a big fight the night before, and he couldn't remember because he was drunk, geez everyone thinking Pink Floyd is all about drugs are idiots, I don't think Roger wrote one song about drugs, mostly about politics, maybe Syd did, but Roger's floyd era is much more famous.
  • Bridget from Montreal, CanadaI love how Roger Waters' wrote such deep meaningful lyrics about the problems in the world and they were still fit into that rock and roll category. I love Led Zeppelin with all my heart, but they never wrote these kinds of lyrics. I hope no one took offence to me comparing 2 of the greats. But lyrically Pink Floyd were just absolutly amazing!!!! The precision of the instruments on this song are amazing and you really feel the impact of the message. Oh yes and I want to add These guys weren't on drugs.
  • Ashley from Moncton, CanadaThe sax is mellow and beautiful, and the organ is almost a symbol of purity and life. The lyrics contrast this, and it almost becomes sort of demented. Sort of like hysterical yet indifferent, or screaming in the mind while the body is calm. Favourite song on DSOTM I think.
    Us= the sensible yet powerless ones; Them= the ignorant, destroying, powerful ones killing the world.
  • Michelle from San Diego , Caoh em gee i totally agree with Dustin...yea maybe they did some drugs but not as hard core as syd...ppl ppl please...the floyd is not a drugband they are more political than anything. Pink Floyd wanted people to come to their shows and actually listen to the music. thats where "The Wall" concept came from. Roger waters wanted to kind of build a "wall" to block out the crazy fans who started riots and used drugs just for the experience at their concerts. thats y Roger Waters spat on a fan. now im not saying that the album the Wall was based on this one fact alone (the fact that he wanted to build a wall to devide the band or himself from the audience)because its not. its based on something entirely different and im not about to get into that discussion it would take too long to state my opinion on that. all im saying is that pink floyd is not a drugband ok? but im not saying you cant listen to them while on a trip cuz u shoud its awesome!
  • Michelle from San Diego , Caguy, i sort of agree with you but you do know David Gilmour sang "Us and Them" right?
  • James M from Earth, GreeceI am having trouble deciding witch is better "Us and them" or "time" there both AMAZING
  • Guy from Tel Aviv, IsraelRoger Waters have the most unique and speacial voice I ever heard, Gilmour is a great singer but he doesn't have the psychdelic voice of Roger.
  • Dustin from My Home, Inthere was one comment in here that comment about how they thought that this song was related to LSD and i would liek to ask WHY DOESE EVERYONE THINK THAT EVERY SONG IS ABOUT DRUGS!! this song is obviously about war now people please stop thnking everything is about drugs
  • Chris from Hamilton, CanadaTo me this song is about just war. How a soldier on one side is an ordinary man just like the soldier on the other side. It tells of how they know they wouldn't be there if they could. How hundreds die but to a general, simply "the lines on the map moved from side to side". Since they're just people like us you cannot tell the difference. Oppression of those who want to make peace and the fact that the fighting is only for land and the soldiers lives are used so carelessly, they're basically worth "tea and a slice". Thats my theory
  • Andy from Apex, Ncif you listen closely you can hear david gilmour say that he is on heavy drugs and he is drunk during that session.
  • Yuya from Kyoto, JapanThis song is best played at the ski hill.
  • Andrew from Livonia, MiRoger did actuall sing this live before the album was recorded. The Floyd have said that they didn't really think of Dark Side as a "all eggs in a nest" type of album but I think they really must have. David clearly had the best voice in the band. After Dark Sides success they didn't need to sell themselves any more. We hardly ever heard Dave's voice after this album until after Roger left.
  • Katie from Tallahassee, FlI'm only 15 and was either not around or too young to see Pink Floyd perform live, but I enjoyed the laser and light show at the planitarium in my town. It was unbelievable and breath-taking. I'm not one of those kids who gets messed up and listens to Pink Floyd and is a 'stoner'. I enjoy their music and I have a great respect for how hard it had to be to blend the audio tracks. They are music at it's finest. I was raised listening to this stuff and enjoyed every bit of it. I knew the words and tune to Money before I knew how to read. I recently bought my mom a new remastered copy of Dark Side of the Moon. For Christmas this year, I'm taking her to see the laser and light show. I listen to Pink Floyd literally all the time. There are two things I wish I could've seen.
    One: See Pink Floyd perform The Dark Side of the Moon or The Wall.
    Two: See Sweetness (Walter Payton) play a game with the Chicago Bears in his prime.
  • Stan from Brooklyn, NyThis song completely changed my views on war. Made me realize how pointless war is.
  • Josh from Las Vegas, Nveasily my favorite pf song, although it surprises me it was used in the violence sequence. but then again, pf had a way of doing just that and making it work
  • Lad from Chester, CtI was never much of a PF fan, but this song caught my ear in its prime. I was attracted to the song's class, the use of the saxophone and piano, the softly sung and highly meaningful lyrics, the disarming and almost romantic yet haunting melody and message. I do believe the lyrics are about the nonsense of war - at least on the surface. I also believe "Us and Them" is meant to engage the listener to understand that this is how all conflict starts and continues to spiral: whoever you are, you consider yourself part of "us" and everyone who doesn't share whatever makes you "us" becomes "them" (unless you're among those wishing to "belong" somewhere, in which case you consider yourself in the "them" category). This could be anything from the differences between people on one side of the war versus the other, or the prestigious "Generals" versus the lowly soldiers on the front lines within one side of the war, or any attribute that marks differences between people: Nike sneaker wearers, skin heads, any race or religion or level of wealth and standing in society, and even people who listen to PF and people who don't. Yes, the ultimate irony of this song is that in its time, and for some time beyond including today, PF became a divisive barrier between generations and between the "cool" and "uncool" within generations, thus creating it's own version of "us" and "them." It built the wall song by song, brick by brick, for better or for worse - and then split. It is hard not to notice how many PF fans who wrote about their interpretation of this song considered themselves to be "us," thus falling into the very trap that the forward-thinking lyricist of this brilliant song is warning about. We're all really in the same boat together. (Anyway, great sax!!)
  • Elysia from Hamilton, New ZealandI think that Linus has it right. I always felt that this song (along with the majority of their songs)is layered. I believe the "us and them" theme is relevant on all levels in this world. ie. From the kiddies at school that form cliques and cause division through fear of anyone different to them, to countries that feud for decades because of their differences. It's everywhere and I think the cream of Pink Floyd is that they take this broad view of these things in life and convey it's truth on every level and we all see our own angle on it because they have encompassed the entire issue so well.
    Oil and water, powerful and powerless, war and peace, us and them..
  • Linus from Istanbul, TurkeyIt's actually not entirely about war.. There is more to Pink Floyd than just putting words in. Syd once said that he liked songs that meant one thing when it's read, but also had another, much deeper meaning within. Pink Floyd followed that rule in their songs, and Us and Them is one of them. Look at the words, you'll see a song about war. But inside, like the caramel inside a chocolate, is the real stuff: It tells you of the abandoned loneliness of "Us" and the people who are one with the system: "Them." The conformists and the non-conformists make the central theme of Us and Them.

    Not mentioning the "Battle of Words" part which fits perfectly with the argument of the Wicked Witch of the West and the Good Witch of the North. This album is such a treat for mankind.
  • Shane from Sandy, UtThe song's central theme is violence. War, fist fights, and disagreements are the result of possessions ("With, Without"). The whole song isn't just about War. War is just another form of violence. Jerry Driscoll, the Abbey Road recording studio's doorman can be heard giving his theory behind fighting before the third verse. He sounds like a cool guy.
  • Shane from Sandy, UtDefinately one of the most emotional pieces on Dark Side. The Sax does a lot. The lyrics are simple, but sad, powerful, and relateable. This song gives me chills.
  • Ashley from Moncton, Canada"Haven't you heard its a battle of words the poster bearer cried...listen son, said the man with the gun there's room for you inside" -> I think this symbolises a sensible person (the poster bearer) protesting (protesters carry signs) against something and trying to do what's right, only to be crushed by authority (a cop threatening to put him in jail)
  • Chris from Bluffton, ScThe name of the film described above is Zabriskie Point (with another "i").
  • Kevin from Babylon, Nypretty sure Stacey Paralta uses this song on his movie Dogtown and the Z-Boys
  • Liquid Len from Ottawa, CanadaIt's a song that says a bunch of things. Like, we are more alike than different (after all we're only ordinary men). Lots of different platitudes in the song, war is about wealth and resources (with/without), life and truth are difficult to understand (and who knows which is which and who is who), violence is sad and serves others' purposes (forward he cried from the rear and the front rank died), our busy society doesn't have compassion on the weak and hungry (for want of a price of tea and a slice the old man died). No real single message here.
  • Benoit from Paris, FranceIn France I often heard this song was a "wink" to The Rolling Stones and the kind of competition between the 2 bands ; the words "blak and blue" would be a clear allusion to the RS ?? I love this tune because of the slow and "evening" background it contains. In fact I both love DSOTM and "wish you were here" , like many Folyd's enhoutsiasts ! (but I think the "top" is "shine on you, crazy diamond")
  • Mark from Moscow, United StatesUs means us common guys who go off to fight useless wars for THEM.Them the ones in command who cry out from the back and send innocent men to their deaths just like Rogers father.
  • Marty from Chicago, Ilpersonally i beleive tis song is about the flow of life. Its saying that there are many different races on our one planet. People usually refer to the people in their own race as us and people of different race or creed as them. I think the message of tthe song is that there will always be difference on the planet and we shouldnt refer to others as them because we are all humans and we are all the same and all "us"
  • John from Waterville, MiUs and Them is about war and its about world unity. Its about the tree of knowledge of good and evil; man has the knowledge of duality:good and evil, right and wrong, me and you, us and them,with and without.Duality is an archetype in all religions and its the reason we fight each other its the reason why we hate each other, Waters is saying that we are one world. Imagine your in a spaceship traveling millions and billions of miles away with all of the stars and galaxies then imagine turning back and looking at the earth: one little fragile speck.
  • Alex from Kitchener, AlWhen the chorus kicks in, it's pure magic
  • Pat from St. Paul, MnI think there is definately some underlying themes about LSD in this song. "Us and Them" was a term given to students at Harvard during the days of Timothy Leary. "Us" were the people that turned on to acid, and "them" were obviously the ones who didn't; just my stupid opinion:)
  • Bob from Mt. Laurel, NjThis song is defienitly without a doubt about war.
  • Mike from Katy, Txoh yes thats nice..." hey before you guys croak maybe you could get back tagether?thanks"

    pf is truely art in sound form
  • Brad from Bowling Green, KyThe third chord in this song (the Dm(maj7)) is what got me hooked on this band...the entire album is masterful.
  • Anthony from Wantagh, NyUs and Them in my mind is about war, it's confusion and ultimatly the worthlesness of it all. It sends a sence of the GI's feeling of not understanding why he is there or where he is going. Once again Pink Floyd imagery shows its gorgious face. Pink Floyd lives for ever.
  • Anthony from Wantagh, NyI wonder sometimes if Pink Floyd would loose there mysterious image in getting back together. However i cant quite match the electricity and excitment of Floyd touring The Wall with anything else concievable. If Floyd got back together i would cry. Pink Floyd lives for ever.
  • Echooes from Atlanta, GaOne of my top fav PF piece.
    4 Those of U who didn't know about this...While the ECHOES (best of album) was being released, both Waters and Gilmour was interviewed where one of the question was "When will u guys get together and tour?" Guess what...their EGOS got on the way again, but this time Mr. Waters stated that he'd not mind touring with his old mates, BUT Mr. Gilmour declined that proposition! I actually heard the interview and Gilmour clearly stated he is currently busy with his solo project and PF is not in his agenda at this moment. My question is what wud it take to explain these 4 XTRA-Orinary musical GENEOUS that how badly they are missed among so many crazy fanatic music loverssssssssssssssssssssssss...
    I had my PLATINUM oppurtunity to see PF when they were they were doing Division Bell tour back in 1994 and it is un-explainable what kind of a spectacular show(i refuse to call it concert...coz its not!)they put out...It can only be seen and experience, and can't be heard or read...coz the story will never be enuf to see or experience the depth of their performances...
  • Echooes from Atlanta, GaOne of my top fav PF piece.
    4 Those of U who didn't know about this...While the ECHOES (best of album) was being released, both Waters and Gilmour was interviewed where one of the question was "When will u guys get together and tour?" Guess what...their EGOS got on the way again, but this time Mr. Waters stated that he'd not mind touring with his old mates, BUT Mr. Gilmour declined that proposition! I actually heard the interview and Gilmour clearly stated he is currently busy with his solo project and PF is not in his agenda at this moment. My question is what wud it take to explain these 4 XTRA-Orinary musical GENEOUS how badly they are missed among so many crazy fanatic music loverssssssssssssssssssssssss...
    I had my PLATINUM oppurtunity to see PF when they were they were doing Division Bell tour back in 1994 and it is un-explainable what kind of a spectacular show(i refuse to call it concert...coz its not!)they put out...It can only be seen and experience, and can't be heard or read...coz the story will never be enuf to see or experience the depth of their performances...
  • Ben from New York, NyIt's an anti-war song. Listen to the lyrics carefully and you'll agree with me.
  • John from Boca Raton, FlDude guys, just take a percocet and listen to this song. It's so great.
  • Lee from Durham, NcThis is my 2nd favorite song on the DSOTM album. its briliant and the harmony and music just gives me this wonder buzz which sends shivers down my spine. the sax in this is the some of the best ive ever heard in my life. when ever i listen to this song i just feel relaxed mellow and happy
  • Ben Russell from Durham, Nci envy the people who saw you guys live. i envy them so much that i would do anything to see the 4 of you back together.
  • Patrick from Durham, NcBrilliant, U guys need to get back together because I want to see all four of you wonderful musicians in concert before you all die. Pleeeheeeheeez. I worship you and your egos now walk the talk and live life.
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