Outside the Wall

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For the 1950 American film, see Outside the Wall (film).
"Outside the Wall"
Song by Pink Floyd from the album The Wall
Published Pink Floyd Music Publishers Ltd
Released 30 November 1979 (UK)
8 December 1979 (US)
Recorded April – November 1979
Genre Art rock, progressive folk
Length 1:41
Label Harvest (UK)
Columbia (US)
Writer Roger Waters
Producer Bob Ezrin, David Gilmour, James Guthrie, Roger Waters
The Wall track listing

"Outside the Wall" (working titles "Bleeding Hearts", "The Buskers")[1][2]is a song written by Roger Waters. It appeared on the 1979 Pink Floyd album, The Wall.[3][4]


This song is meant as a dénouement to the album. The story ends with "The Trial", in which a "judge" decrees, "Tear down the wall!". An explosion is heard to signify the wall's destruction, and "Outside the Wall" quietly begins. It is not explicitly stated what happens to Pink, the protagonist, after the dismantling of his psychological "wall". At the end, the song cuts off abruptly, as the man says "Isn't this where..."


The song is the quietest on the album. It is a diatonic song in C Major, and is 1:41 in length. In the original demo version of this song, a harmonica was used in place of the clarinet heard on the album version.


Unlike the other songs on the album, this particular song offers little to the plot involving Pink as a whole. It acknowledges that "the wall" has now been demolished (as a result of actions in "The Trial"), and goes on to discuss the idea that many people have social barriers, and that this is somewhat repetitive in nature; as one person re-integrates themselves with society, another leaves.

A more traditional interpretation of the song follows: If one does not tear down their own metaphorical wall, those trying to get in will eventually give up and leave you to live out a lonely life. This is what happens to the main character, Pink, during the course of the album.

Roger Waters himself has refused to provide any explanation when asked for one.[5]

Film version[edit]

A longer and more elaborate version was recorded for the film which runs for a little more than four minutes and includes the National Philharmonic Orchestra, the Pontarddulais Male Choir and Waters singing the lyrics melodically, rather than reciting them as on the album version. Helping extend the song through the entire end credits is an instrumental bridge, composed of the chords and melody from "Southampton Dock", from The Wall's eventual successor, The Final Cut. This version was never released officially, but was later reused for the credits for The Wall – Live in Berlin. It is in E-flat major rather than C, while "Southampton Dock" would be finalized in F major.[6][7]

Stage performance[edit]

The stage performances of The Wall ended with "Outside the Wall" after "The Trial", where the performers came walking over the stage in front of the now demolished wall, playing acoustic instruments and singing the vocal tracks. Waters played clarinet, and recited the lyrics, while the backing singers sang the lyrics in harmony. David Gilmour played mandolin, Richard Wright played accordion, Willie Wilson played tambourine, Andy Bown played 12-string acoustic guitar, and Snowy White (replaced by Andy Roberts for the 1981 shows), Peter Wood and (unusually) Nick Mason played 6-string acoustic guitars. A similar format was used for the track during Waters' 2010-2013 tour, The Wall Live, including the appearance of Gilmour and Mason reprising their roles from the original performances.



Waters played clarinet during the 1980–81 The Wall Tour, and trumpet during the 2010–12 The Wall Live tour.[9]

Further reading[edit]


  1. ^ http://www.discogs.com/Pink-Floyd-The-Wall-Immersion-Box-Set/release/3430390
  2. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kptG98bguGY
  3. ^ Mabbett, Andy (1995). The Complete Guide to the Music of Pink Floyd. London: Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-7119-4301-X. 
  4. ^ Strong, Martin C. (2004). The Great Rock Discography (7th ed.). Edinburgh: Canongate Books. p. 1177. ISBN 1-84195-551-5. 
  5. ^ Roger Waters interviewed by Jim Ladd on Innerview, http://www.angelfire.com/ok2/wall/interview.html
  6. ^ Pink Floyd: The Wall (1980 Pink Floyd Music Publishers Ltd., London, England, ISBN 0-7119-1031-6 [USA ISBN 0-8256-1076-1])
  7. ^ Pink Floyd: The Final Cut (1983 Pink Floyd Music Publishers Ltd., London, England.)
  8. ^ a b c d e Vernon Fitch & Richard Mahon. Comfortably Numb – A History of The Wall 1978–1981 (2006), p. 113.
  9. ^ Fitch and Mahon, p. 185.

External links[edit]