Pink Floyd gets political

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By: Dylan Brennan, Columnist 

Last Thursday, I went to see a Pink Floyd tribute concert as a late birthday present. Needless to say, the show was more than a little political. However, everyone had a good time. When the song “Mother” came on and the lyrics “Mother should I trust the government?” were played, there was a deafening “no” from the audience. During the song “Pigs (Three Different Ones)” everyone chanted along with the lyrics “ha ha, charade you are,” especially with the preface of “hey you, White House.”

One of the last songs in the concert was one of the bands most famous, “Brain Damage / Eclipse.” A song that came out during the Nixon administration, and had little to do with politics, was redressed that night with a video screen of politicians from across the world. “The lunatic is in the hall” was represented by Kim Jong Un. “The lunatic is in my head” was shown with a laughing Vladimir Putin. “There’s someone in my head, but it’s not me” was represented by the great manipulator Steve Bannon.

However the final barrage came in the song’s second half, “Eclipse.” All that you love was represented by the late Barbara Bush, all that you hate was represented by Donald Trump, all you distrust was represented by Hillary Clinton and all you save by Bernie Sanders. Lyrics that were meant as ambiguous over four decades ago are now used like they were designed for 2018. This reminds me of Roger Waters’ tour a year or two ago, where he was interviewed for his views on politics in his extremely anti-Trump tour. With visuals of Trump being a pig, a prostitute, a baby, a Nazi, a KKK Grand Wizard, there is still a line that Roger Waters wouldn’t cross: violence. He says that protests should always be peaceful.

I would go a step further: I say that non-violent protests are more effecting and timeless. Pink Floyd songs are proof of this. Since the Vietnam era, these songs have been cherished and even been modernly interpreted. Such biting political commentary is one of our best forms of protest. I highly recommend their music, especially the tribute band Brit Floyd’s concert footage to get a great look at our world.

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