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In The Flesh?
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Song Name: In The Flesh?

Artist: Pink Floyd

Album: The Wall (Disc One), Shine On

Run Time: 3:19

Year: 1979

Track Number: 1

Sung By: Roger Waters (Bob Geldof in the movie version)

Written By: Roger Waters


♫ Pink Floyd - In The Flesh -Lyrics-

♫ Pink Floyd - In The Flesh -Lyrics-

  • The song is rather loud in dynamic. It is 3:19 long. The first 15 seconds of the song are quiet, and feature the melody of the song Outside The Wall. On the album, this is used to create a "cycle"; a concept which Roger Waters used in much of Pink Floyd's work during his tenure. The cycle is pointed out by Waters' voice which in the first two seconds of the album says "... we came in?" and in the last two seconds (at the end of Outside The Wall) says "Isn't this where ..."(Making In The Flesh? non-freestanding in the beginning, even though it is the beginning track of The Wall).
  • The song moves rapidly into an "explosive", loud dynamic featuring a distorted organ. This lasts for a further 1 minute, 16 seconds before the lyrics commence. During these, the backing melody is significantly quieter than the previous opening. Following the lyrical portion, which lasts for 38 seconds, the melody returns to the explosive dynamic. During this lead-out, a number of stage directions are shouted and within the closing seconds of the piece, a dive-bomber can be heard (this sound is actually an electric guitar mimicking an airplane; however the sound is convincing, similar to Herman Li's motorcycle sound). The final sound in the track is of a baby crying.
  • As with the other songs on The Wall, In The Flesh? tells a portion of Pink's story. This first song signifies the beginning of the show (which is being narrated by Pink himself). The stage directions are used to show that Pink is going to tell us the story of the building of The Wall. The lyrics say that despite his outward appearances, things are much different "behind these cold eyes" and that if the listener (sunshine) wants to find those things out, he'll have to "claw his way through this disguise". The song also informs the listener indirectly of the death of Pink's father; this is done using the dive-bomber sound effect, indicating his death.
  • The beginning of the film shows Pink sitting in a locked hotel room; a crowd of people break down the door and rush in as the music suddenly gets loud. The film then cuts to various clips of rioting people that will show up later in the film. It then has a war scene where a German Ju-87 Stuka bombs a bunker, which signifies the death of Pink's father.
  • In the movie, this song can also be perceived as birth, the beginning, genesis. Pink is in a room which represents a womb at the end of an empty, sterile hallway. He is immobile in half-fetal position. The crowd rushing through the narrow corridor can be seen as ejaculation, and the scene and the song ends with a new-born baby crying. A further symbolism of life is represented through the heartbeat from The Dark Side Of The Moon, which is heard from the moment the first lyrics of the album begin.

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