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|Song by Pink Floyd from the album A Saucerful of Secrets|
|Published||Lupus Music Ltd|
|Released||29 June 1968 (UK)
27 July 1968 (US)
Abbey Road Studios, London
|Label||EMI Columbia (UK)
"Corporal Clegg" is a song by the English psychedelic rock band Pink Floyd, and is featured on their second album, A Saucerful of Secrets (1968). It was written by Roger Waters and features David Gilmour, Nick Mason and Richard Wright on vocals, which is the only Floyd song to do so. The song also features a kazoo.
The song is about a shell-shocked soldier who lost his leg in World War II. He is described as having a medal of "orange and red and blue", which may be a reference to the Burma Star. It is the first mention of war in a Pink Floyd song, something that would become a common theme in Roger Waters' lyrics, Roger having lost his father thus in 1944. Waters told Mojo magazine that this song is autobiographical. He explained: "Corporal Clegg is about my father and his sacrifice in World War II. It's somewhat sarcastic—the idea of the wooden leg being something you won in the war, like a trophy." This can be seen as rather lighter in tone than the Pink Floyd's later tackling of the subject, though, despite the irony (Clegg "won" his wooden leg in the war) and darkness behind the lyrics; indeed, among the cacophony of voices towards the end we hear an officer telling his one-legged man: "Clegg! Been meaning to speak to you. About that leg of yours! You're excused parade from now on!" and members of the band actually corpsing in the chorus.
Although the song was never performed live, two videos of the song exist. The first one was shot on 19 or 20 February 1968 for Belgian RTB TV and features the band miming to a work-in-progress version of the song with a different ending. The second one was shot on 22 July 1969 for the West-German SDR TV and broadcast on 21 September that year. The video takes place in a room with a dining table covered with exquisite food, and all four band members, wearing helmets, officer's caps and trench coats, are there enjoying the food. An accidental spillage of wine triggers a full scale food fight, resulting in the room getting completely trashed and all four band members covered in food (even the cameraman gets dragged into it), whilst the Dove of Peace (an actual white dove) is caught in the "crossfire". Interspersed throughout the video is footage of war and the band performing the song.
- David Gilmour – electric guitars, lead vocals (verses and bridges), kazoo
- Nick Mason – drums, percussion, lead vocals (verses)
- Rick Wright – Farfisa organ, lead vocals (choruses)
- Roger Waters – bass, backing vocals
- Norman Smith – voice
- Mabbett, Andy (1995). The Complete Guide to the Music of Pink Floyd. London: Omnibus,. ISBN 0-7119-4301-X.
- Schaffner, Nicholas (2005). "Shine On You Crazy Diamond". Saucerful of Secrets: The Pink Floyd Odyssey (New ed.). London: Helter Skelter. p. 132. ISBN 1-905139-09-8.
- Corporal Clegg Songfacts
- Povey, Glenn; The Complete History of Pink Floyd, 2006, p.91
- Ibidem, p.111