Dogs Lyrics – Animals – Pink Floyd
(Waters, Gilmour) 17:06
You gotta be crazy, you gotta have a real need.
You gotta sleep on your toes, and when you’re on the street,
You gotta be able to pick out the easy meat with your eyes closed.
And then moving in silently, down wind and out of sight,
You gotta strike when the moment is right without thinking.
And after a while, you can work on points for style.
Like the club tie, and the firm handshake,
A certain look in the eye and an easy smile.
You have to be trusted by the people that you lie to,
So that when they turn their backs on you,
You’ll get the chance to put the knife in.
You gotta keep one eye looking over your shoulder.
You know it’s going to get harder, and harder, and harder as you
And in the end you’ll pack up and fly down south,
Hide your head in the sand,
Just another sad old man,
All alone and dying of cancer.
And when you loose control, you’ll reap the harvest you have sown.
And as the fear grows, the bad blood slows and turns to stone.
And it’s too late to lose the weight you used to need to throw
So have a good drown, as you go down, all alone,
Dragged down by the stone.
I gotta admit that I’m a little bit confused.
Sometimes it seems to me as if I’m just being used.
Gotta stay awake, gotta try and shake off this creeping malaise.
If I don’t stand my own ground, how can I find my way out of this
Deaf, dumb, and blind, you just keep on pretending
That everyone’s expendable and no-one has a real friend.
And it seems to you the thing to do would be to isolate the winner
And everything’s done under the sun,
And you believe at heart, everyone’s a killer.
Who was born in a house full of pain.
Who was trained not to spit in the fan.
Who was told what to do by the man.
Who was broken by trained personnel.
Who was fitted with collar and chain.
Who was given a pat on the back.
Who was breaking away from the pack.
Who was only a stranger at home.
Who was ground down in the end.
Who was found dead on the phone.
Who was dragged down by the stone.
About the Song
“Dogs,” a track from Pink Floyd’s critically acclaimed 1977 album “Animals,” is a complex piece both musically and thematically. This song represents one of the central metaphors of the album, using dogs to symbolize the cutthroat nature of capitalist society where individuals are driven by greed and betrayal to climb the social ladder.
Spanning over seventeen minutes, “Dogs” is an epic musical journey. It begins with hauntingly calm acoustic rhythms and builds into powerful electric crescendos, showcasing David Gilmour’s and Roger Waters’ prowess as musicians. The song’s structure, with its shifting tempos and moods, mirrors the turbulent life of the metaphorical ‘dogs’—those who hunt ruthlessly for success and power.
Lyrically, Waters delves into the psyche of these individuals, painting a picture of a life spent in constant pursuit of material gain, yet devoid of genuine human connection. Phrases like “You have to be trusted by the people that you lie to, so that when they turn their backs on you, you’ll get the chance to put the knife in,” reflect the bleak reality of these characters’ existence. The lyrics warn of the loneliness and emptiness that accompany such a life, ultimately leading to a meaningless, isolated old age.
“Dogs” is a track that invites introspection. Its haunting message is delivered with such musical complexity and lyrical depth that it becomes a meditative experience for the listener. The song doesn’t just stand as a critique of societal structures; it’s a timeless reflection on the choices we make and their impact on our souls.
As with all Pink Floyd classics, “Dogs” offers layers of interpretation and continues to resonate with audiences, serving as a powerful reminder of the consequences of our actions in a society that often values success over solidarity.
Is Pink Floyd’s Animals Based on George Orwell’s Animal Farm?
While “Animals” by Pink Floyd is often thought to have been inspired by George Orwell’s “Animal Farm” due to its shared use of animal imagery to represent societal roles, the concepts it addresses are more directly aligned with a critique of capitalism and societal class structures rather than a commentary on Stalinism and the Russian Revolution, which are central themes of Orwell’s work.
“Animals” divides people into three groups — dogs, pigs, and sheep — and examines the corrupting influence of power within a capitalist society. The dogs represent the aggressive business class, ruthlessly competing for power; the pigs symbolize the ruling elite, exerting control over the masses; and the sheep represent the general populace, often blindly following the herd.
Roger Waters, the chief lyricist for “Animals,” drew from his own disdain for the socio-economic conditions of the 1970s in the United Kingdom. The album reflects a general sentiment of disillusionment with the status quo and a cynical view of the social classes.
While the album doesn’t adapt the narrative of “Animal Farm,” it does resonate with the book’s broader themes of power, control, and social dynamics. Both the album and the novel utilize animals as metaphors to explore these themes, but they each stand on their own, drawing from different sources of inspiration and delivering their own distinct political commentary.
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