A song for today, Labor Day 2020, pre-election season, during a pandemic.



In an interview, Roger Waters shared the significance of each verse:

The first verse is about going to war, how on the front line we don’t get much chance to communicate with one another, because someone else has decided that we shouldn’t.  The second verse is about civil liberties, racism and color prejudice.  The last verse is about passing a tramp in the street and not helping.


First Verse

Us (us, us, us, us) and them (them, them, them, them)
And after all we’re only ordinary men
And you (you, you, you)
God only knows
It’s not what we would choose (choose, choose) to do (to do, to do)
Forward he cried from the rear
And the front rank died
And the general sat
And the lines on the map
Moved from side to side

Second Verse

Black (black, black, black)
And blue (blue, blue)
And who knows which is which and who is who
Up (up, up, up, up)
And down (down, down, down, down)
And in the end it’s only round ‘n round (round, round, round)
Haven’t you heard it’s a battle of words
The poster bearer cried
“Listen son”, said the man with the gun
There’s room for you inside


“I mean, they’re not gonna kill ya
So if you give ’em a quick short, sharp, shock
They won’t do it again
Did it?  I mean he get off lightly
‘Cause I would’ve given him a thrashing
I only hit him once!
It was only a difference of opinion
But really, I mean good manners don’t cost nothing do they, eh?

Third Verse

Down (Down, down, down, down) and out (Out, out, out, out)
It can’t be helped but there’s a lot of it about
With (With, with, with, with), without
And who’ll deny it’s what the fighting’s all about?
Out of the way it’s a busy day
I’ve got things on my mind
For want of the price of tea and a slice
The old man died


I can’t help but think of this song every time our president tries to divide us into us versus them such as in his Fourth of July speech this year 

CBS News