track

Comfortably Numb - 2011 Remastered Version

1979Released
6:19

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Interesting facts and trivia about Comfortably Numb - 2011 Remastered Version. By Songfacts®.

"Comfortably Numb" describes a state of delirium; a feeling of being detached from reality. Many assumed it's about drugs, but that's not so, according to Pink Floyd bass player Roger Waters, who wrote the lyrics and came up with the concept of the album The Wall, where the song appears. The lyrics describe how Waters felt as a child when he was sick with a fever. As an adult, he got that feeling again sometimes under different circumstances. He told Mojo magazine (December 2009) that the lines, "When I was a child I had a fever/My hands felt just like two balloons" were autobiographical. He explained: "I remember having the flu or something, an infection with a temperature of 105 and being delirious. It wasn't like the hands looked like balloons, but they looked way too big, frightening. A lot of people think those lines are about masturbation. God knows why."

In a radio interview around 1980 with Jim Ladd from KLOS in Los Angeles, Waters said part of the song is about the time he got hepatitis but didn't know it. Pink Floyd had to do a show that night in Philadelphia, and the doctor Roger saw gave him a sedative to help the pain, thinking it was a stomach disorder. At the show, Roger's hands were numb "like two toy balloons." He was unable to focus, but also realized the fans didn't care because they were so busy screaming, hence "comfortably" numb. He said most of The Wall is about alienation between the audience and band. Exploring further, Mojo asked Waters about the line, "That'll keep you going through the show," referring to getting medicated before going on-stage. He explained: "That comes from a specific show at the Spectrum in Philadelphia (June 29, 1977). I had stomach cramps so bad that I thought I wasn't able to go on. A doctor backstage gave me a shot of something that I swear to God would have killed a f---ing elephant. I did the whole show hardly able to raise my hand above my knee. He said it was a muscular relaxant. But it rendered me almost insensible. It was so bad that at the end of the show, the audience was baying for more. I couldn't do it. They did the encore about me."

The Wall is a concept album telling the story of Pink, a rock star who shuts himself off from the outside world by building up a figurative wall. It's a double album, with "Comfortably Numb" the last song on Side 3. By this time, Pink is a hot mess, but he has a show to perform and a doctor is trying to shoot him up with something to get him on stage. Roger Waters is the voice of the doctor, who asks in the opening line, "Hello, is there anybody in there?" Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour takes the voice of Pink, trying to make sense of it all ("Your lips move but I can't hear what you're saying"). The doctor injects him ("just a little pinprick") and Pink goes comfortably numb. The next song on the album is "The Show Must Go On," where Pink musters the energy to take the stage.

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Song Analysis

Key, BPM (tempo) and time signature of Comfortably Numb - 2011 Remastered Version.
BKey
MinorMode
4/4Time Signature
127BPM

Album

The album Comfortably Numb - 2011 Remastered Version is released on.

Released By

The record label that has released Comfortably Numb - 2011 Remastered Version.
Pink Floyd Records
© 2016 Pink Floyd Music Ltd.
℗ 2016 Pink Floyd Music Ltd., marketed and distributed by Parlophone Records Ltd., a Warner Music Group Company

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