How Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick In The Wall” Became An Iconic Protest Song


There’s no denying the fact that Pink Floyd created some iconic music over the years. Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon is arguably still one of the greatest albums of all time, but The Wall’s title track, “Another Brick In The Wall,” is an anthem.

Roger Waters sat down to shape the anti-educational tone of the song, based on his own experiences in school. “Oh, it was awful,” he said, “really terrible.” Back in 1979, Waters said the song was really just meant for bad teachers.

“It’s not meant to be a blanket condemnation of all teachers, but the bad ones can really do people in,” he told BBC Radio 1.

Pink Floyd Defends Anti-Rebellious Song

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Thirty years later and Roger Waters is still defending the song. But now sees that it has a much wider audience. It can fight off anyone trying to control the listener. “You couldn’t find anybody in the world more pro-education than me,” he said.

“But the education I went through in boys’ grammar school in the 50s was very controlling and demanded rebellion,” concluded the Pink Floyd star. “The song is meant to be a rebellion against errant government, against people who have power over you, who are wrong.”

Essentially, anyone trying to hold down others deserves to be protested against.

Creating A Rebellion With Children’s Chorus

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Despite what the song became, it started off quite differently. Originally, the song “Another Brick In The Wall” by Pink Floyd only had one verse and one chorus, as it sat around 1:20 in length. Pink Floyd’s drummer Nick Mason said it was “gloomy.”

Thanks to producer Bob Ezrin, the song quickly took a powerful turn. They added a children’s chorus to the song. In addition, they also took the funk inflections from the guitar and mixed it with a chic-style disco groove. The children came from Islington Green School, thanks to an “anti-establishment-minded music teacher [named] Alun Renshaw.” Without consulting the headmistress, they brought on 23 students to sing the powerful chorus.

On March 22, 1980, the song “Another Brick In The Wall” became the band’s only number one single in America. Today, it is still their most popular song.

What’s your favorite song by the band, Pink Floyd?