Outside the Wall

Outside the Wall
"Outside the Wall"
Song by Pink Floyd from the album The Wall
Released 30 November 1979 (UK), 8 December 1979 (US)
Recorded April–November, 1979
Genre Art rock, progressive rock
Length 1:41
Label Harvest Records (UK)
Columbia Records (US)/Capitol Records (US)
Writer Waters
Producer Bob Ezrin, David Gilmour, James Guthrie and Roger Waters
The Wall track listing
"The Trial"
(12 of disc 2)
"Outside the Wall"
(13 of disc 2)

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



This song is meant as a dénouement to the album. The story ends with "The Trial", therefore not telling what actually happened to Pink after the wall was torn down. This may be because in Waters' original concept, the song opened the second half of the album, whilst a somewhat clearer conclusion was provided by the song "Never Too Late" (followed by the coda section of "The Thin Ice").


The song is one of the quietest on the album. It is 1:41 in length. In the original demo version of this song instead of a clarinet, a harmonica is played. A fifteen-second segment of the melody of this song is duplicated in the introduction to "In the Flesh?", with the result that the album itself is cyclical in nature: the last spoken words before the song cuts off are: "Isn't this where-". At the beginning of the first track of the album, "In the Flesh?" the first words are: "-we came in?". The "isn't this where" and "we came in" segments were removed from the 8-track cartridge issues of the album.


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 explicitly refused to provide any explanation when asked for one.[citation needed] It is unknown what eventually became of Pink but The Final Cut album does give us somewhat of a hint as to what happened to him.

Film version

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 Roger Waters singing the lyrics melodically, rather than reciting them as on the album version; in order to run through the entire end credits, it includes the chords and melody from "Southampton Dock", from The Wall's eventual successor, The Final Cut. This version was never released officially and was later reused for the credits for The Wall – Live in Berlin.

Stage performance

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. Roger Waters spoke the lead vocal and played clarinet, while 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.


Roger Waters played clarinet during the 1980–81 The Wall Tour, and trumpet during the 2010–12 The Wall Live tour.[4]

Further reading


  1. ^ Mabbett, Andy (1995). The Complete Guide to the Music of Pink Floyd. London: Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-7119-4301-X. 
  2. ^ Strong, Martin C. (2004). The Great Rock Discography (7th ed.). Edinburgh: Canongate Books. p. 1177. ISBN 1-84195-551-5. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Vernon Fitch & Richard Mahon. Comfortably Numb – A History of The Wall 1978–1981 (2006), p. 113.
  4. ^ Fitch and Mahon, p. 185.

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