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One of the most famous albums of Pink Floyd is 'The Dark Side of the Moon'.

Besides the title of the album, this phrase also appears in the lyrics of the last song of the album, Eclipse:

And if the cloud bursts, thunder in your ear
You shout and no one seems to hear
And if the band you're in starts playing different tunes
I'll see you on the dark side of the moon

Pink Floyd are known for using allegories in their philosophical lyrics.

So, what is the meaning behind the phrase I'll see you on the dark side of the moon?

  • youtu.be/ENU5dKJvVpY He says its about the struggle of the devil in you...we are not perfect....we are going to mess up.... This is a later acoustic version .....the making of Dark Side....54:44...+/- Thanks all for sharing !! Great song !! Enjoy 😆 – user810 Jul 16 '15 at 3:56
  • Don't forget the hidden comment that states There is no dark side in the moon, really. Matter of fact, it's all dark. – mgarciaisaia Feb 2 '17 at 16:18
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The moon revolves around the Earth at the exact same speed at which it rotates, due to a phenomenon having to do with the uneven weight distribution of the moon itself. Because of this, on Earth, we only can ever see one side of the moon. The other side of the moon is sometimes referred to as the dark side of the moon, as it is never visible to us. There is much folklore and mythology about the mysterious ‘dark side of the moon.’ In actuality the other side of the moon is lit up just as much as the side we see. The phase of the moon depends on its position relative to the Earth and the sun.

The term “lunatic” evolved from the Latin word luna for moon, due to the ancient belief that insanity varied with or was caused by the phase of the moon. No such correlation has been scientifically proven however. This does establish a connection between the moon and madness though, helping us to understand the symbolism of the song.

Waters is essentially stating, if you go mad then “I’ll see you on the dark side of the moon.” The dark side of the moon is something that we never see, but is always there, just on the opposite side. Waters seems to be relating this to madness, implying that it is always there, but invisible, waiting to be exposed.

Waters elaborates further: "The line 'I'll see you on the dark side of the moon' is me speaking to the listener, saying, I know you have these bad feelings and impulses, because I do too, and one of the ways I can make contact with you is to share the fact that I feel bad sometimes." The ‘dark side of the moon’ can be considered the dark side of ourselves; the side that we try to hide from those around us. Waters is coming out and saying that we all have that side, but we need to keep it in check, or it will take control of us; driving us to madness.

Sources:

Roger Waters and Pink Floyd: The Concept Albums

alum.wpi.edu

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    I think there are two other important lines: "And if the band you're in starts playing different tunes" seems like a clear reference to Syd Barrett and his particular "crazy shining diamond" breed of insanity, and the quote at the very end of the album "There is no dark side of the moon, really--matter of fact it's all dark" seems to indicate that insanity (in some form or another) is far more common than we'd like to admit (hence Roger Waters' "I do too" quote). – Kyle Strand Dec 17 '15 at 1:49
  • +1, but nitpick re: "having to do with the uneven weight distribution of the moon itself": It's not an uneven weight distribution, but something called tidal locking. The side of the moon nearer to Earth feels a stronger gravitational force than the other side, because it's closer. The uneven pull has a stabilizing effect, locking the rotational speed to the orbital period as you said. – TypeIA Mar 20 '17 at 18:04
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And if the cloud bursts, thunder in your ear
You shout and no one seems to hear
And if the band you're in starts playing different tunes
I'll see you on the dark side of the moon

During the moon explorations and moon landings - the first landing only occurred four years prior to this album's release - viewers of these historic events came to understand a basic problem of radio communications.

There is no contact between Earth and astronauts traveling on the opposite side of the moon. The "dark side of the moon" isn't necessarily without light - it's without communication with humanity. It's technically more correct to say "the far side of the moon," but radio communications go "dark" when astronauts travel to the far side of the moon, and since it isn't a place (it's a condition) they would occasionally refer to it as the dark side of the moon.

This is a place where you cannot communicate with others, where you are alone locked away in your own thoughts.

Thus:

You shout and no one seems to hear

It is a place where, because the cacophony of humanity is gone, it seems things are irresolvably different from the rest of humanity:

the band you're in starts playing different tunes

The dark side of the moon is a place apart from humanity where you are likely to be if you find yourself out of step with society.

7

The meaning of Brain Damage can only really be guessed from inferences in the actual lyrics..as no one but Roger Waters truly knows what it means. I'm not sure he has publicly stated that meaning either.

However, the inferences suggest it is about some form of mental illness or psychosis; perhaps schizophrenia or other mental disorder. That pretense helps to explain the lyric in a framed context that when your out of your mind, it's isolating; like being on the opposite (dark) side of the moon.

It is interesting to note that the original band member Syd Barrett (whom many lyrics are based around - Shine on you crazy diamond is perhaps the most well known) possibly suffered from schizophrenia from excessive drug use and the inability to deal with the fame and spotlight associated with being in Pink Floyd in their early years.

Brain Damage Lyrics

"Brain Damage"

The lunatic is on the grass
The lunatic is on the grass
Remembering games and daisy chains and laughs
Got to keep the loonies on the path

The lunatic is in the hall
The lunatics are in my hall
The paper holds their folded faces to the floor
And every day the paper boy brings more
And if the dam breaks open many years too soon
And if there is no room upon the hill
And if your head explodes with dark forbodings too
I'll see you on the dark side of the moon

The lunatic is in my head
The lunatic is in my head
You raise the blade, you make the change
You re-arrange me 'till I'm sane
You lock the door
And throw away the key
There's someone in my head but it's not me.

And if the cloud bursts, thunder in your ear
You shout and no one seems to hear
And if the band you're in starts playing different tunes
I'll see you on the dark side of the moon

"I can't think of anything to say except...
I think it's marvellous! HaHaHa!"

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    In his autobiography, Nick Mason says that as far as he was aware, Shine On You Crazy Diamond was not actually about Syd. – Carl H Feb 25 '15 at 15:48
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    This isn't really an answer to the question. It just says The meaning of the song can only be guessed at while speculating, with nothing to back it up. – Darrick Herwehe Feb 25 '15 at 15:52
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    @DarrickHerwehe I disagree - with some songs we are never going to find out exactly what they were about. Many song writers would rather you worked it out for yourself rather than tell you. Pink Floyd songs are a good example of this and considering the fracturing of the band, I suspect that not even the other members of the band truely know what Roger Waters was getting at in his lyrics... – Pat Dobson Feb 25 '15 at 16:01
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    I think the line "if the band you're in starts playing different tunes" seems like a clear reference to Syd, since his behavior during concerts (playing random stuff that wasn't related to what the rest of the band was playing) was a large part of why they replaced him with David Gilmour. – Kyle Strand Dec 17 '15 at 1:46
6

It means that you have gone mad. Most, if not all, of the album is about the onset of madness. Here is a detailed analysis of the lyrics.

Those lyrics are actually from Brain Damage, which fades into Eclipse.

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    Do you have anything to back up that meaning? – Dom Feb 25 '15 at 15:31
  • @Dom That's my own interpretation of it, which is backed up by a quite a few articles on the net. I've edited the answer to include a link to one of them. – Carl H Feb 25 '15 at 16:04
4

I laughed a bit when I first read this question - I'm not sure you understand its scope. One could literally write a book about this album and its meanings.

First of all, you absolutely must not take this lyric (or its song) out of context as you interpret the album.

This album, like most art (and the moon), revolves around many concepts and ideas. Interpretations may vary. There are many, and ALL of them are potentially correct. A work of art like the Dark Side DOES NOT have a single 'point.' Its meanings are numerous and subjective. However, here is the one I prefer:

At the beginning of the album, we hear the lyrics

All you touch and all you see

Is all your life will ever be

Run, rabbit, run

Dig that hole, forget the sun

When at last, your work is done

Don't sit down, it's time to dig another one

The above is a major message constantly regurgitated to us by society. Work, work, work, work, work. Just work for the good of the whole. Your life consists only of your perceptions and actions, and it has no special meaning whatsoever.

This sets the stage for a statement about the nature of the human society in which we live.

In Time / Breathe (Reprise), they further reiterate this dull, clocklike, mechanical existence. When the lyrics 'Home, home again' appear, the subject is essentially taking a break from reality for a moment returning to the dwelling of his personal thoughts and internal existence. Presumably, this break continues throughout The Great Gig in the Sky, after which further statements about the superficial and sometimes hostile nature of society are made in Money and Us and Them.

Any Colour You Like is harmonically related to Breathe and its Reprise - this implies that another break from society / reality is being taken.

When we come to the final moments of the album, the clocklike existence of the exposition is about to come to an end. It is difficult to put this into words, but I will try. The idea is not to over-interpret every word here, but to get a general idea for what they might be saying.

And if the cloud bursts, thunder in your ear

You shout, and no one seems to hear

Here you've clearly perceived something that was loud or monstrous in nature (note that the cloud is REAL and concrete - not an insane musing), you are shouting about it, and no one SEEMS to hear you. Do they actually hear you? Perhaps they do, but they are too caught up in their monotonous existence to acknowledge your shouting. This may also imply a certain apathy by the people (society) to whom you are shouting.

And if the band you're in starts playing different tunes

I'll see you on the dark side of the moon

The first part of this is an idiom, commonly used in a few different variations:

He plays to a different tune.

or

He marches to the beat of a different drum.

This implies that, though the subject may or may not be insane, his perception of reality and / or behavior is decidedly different from that of the rest of society. "The band you're in" may imply that this unique behavior / view of reality can apply to a group or collective at times as well as to the individual, or it may be in reference to multiple aspects of self. So if you march to the beat of a different drum,

I'll see you on the dark side of the moon.

The dark side of the moon is the same idea as was presented in the lines about shouting about something you've seen, and no-one seeming to hear you. Society either cannot see what you are seeing (in the same way that we cannot see the dark side of the moon), or they are so caught up in their lame, clockwork existence that they are unwilling to acknowledge you.

This has so many implications - spiritual, religious, societal, psychological. It works on many levels.

And at the very end of the album, we are assured that no matter what we perceive or do, be it right or wrong - sane or insane - that everything is working in tune. The clockwork, apathetic, monotonous existence of society, the moon, the Earth, and indeed everything in existence - both concrete and abstract, seen and unseen - all work together to create and sustain the reality in which we live.

It is both a lamentation and a warning.

But it is also a message of hope.

  • Very full answer - I'd suggest there may also be references to Syd Barrett, the band's original guitarist, particularly in lines like "And if the band you're in starts playing different tunes / I'll see you on the dark side of the moon", anticipating later songs like "Shine on you Crazy Diamond" – Angst Mar 20 '16 at 12:19
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The album is about various insanities that we all experience as a result of mind and ego. The moon represents the mind and the darkside of the mind is ego. The sun represent a heavenly state of being or the beauty of life but we can't see it because it is eclipsed by the ego.

  • Hi @GarethHolloway, please try to substantiate your answer with more details. Low quality answers can be deleted on our site. Do go through our tour to know more about how we function. – Brahadeesh Apr 18 at 0:35

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