Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb” Lyrics Meaning
“Comfortably Numb” is based on two different periods in Rogers Waters’ life though experience in particular.
First is his childhood where he had a condition similar to delirium. When he would experience episodes, he hands would ‘feel just like two balloons’. So that is where said metaphor in the chorus comes from, i.e. the singer experiencing “a fever” and the likes when he “was a child”.
However, the specific incident which spurred him to write the lyrics to this song occurred in 1977, in which he was compelled to perform despite being woefully sick. As a remedy a doctor gave him some type of injection. And he was able to appear on stage alright despite being unable to do pretty much anything else, including ‘hardly being able to raise his hand above his knee’. Thus in the verses of this song you can see the that addressee is someone who is being convinced be the singer, who is portraying the role of a doctor, to receive some type of shot.
The Character Pink
More specifically the addressee is a character named Pink, a rock star, as this track is featured on a concept album. So basically, in this particular case Pink is Roger Waters. Or let’s say this this moment in Pink’s life is based directly on what happened to Roger as detailed above.
Meaning of Title (“Comfortably Numb”)
And conclusively, the title is meant to point to the idea that indeed at the end of the day he was able to make it onstage, albeit his hands being numb as hell.
In fact the overall implication is that how his hands feel in the present is what caused him to recollect those childhood episodes. But despite Roger/Pink being unable to function properly, the attendees of the concert, who were totally into it, didn’t notice his unfavorable state. Thus Waters went on to say that at that moment he was “comfortably numb”. In other words, his hands were indeed more or less paralyzed. Yet the fact that nobody noticed still made him comfortable in that situation.
Facts about “Comfortably Numb”
This song was written and produced by Pink Floyd members Roger Waters alongside David Gilmour.
The other two producers of “Comfortably Numb” are Bob Ezrin and James Guthrie.
The history of “Comfortably Numb” is marked by a notable tiff these bandmates had regarding which of two drum tracks to use. Eventually they compromised by splicing the two of them together.
This song was released by Columbia Records and Harvest Records on 30 November 1979. This classic was part of Pink Floyd’s noted concept album “The Wall”.
The aforementioned Pink Floyd album also produced their iconic single “Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2“. Actually the aforementioned song was the first single to be released from the album.
The guitar solos in this song, which are performed by David Gilmour, have been acknowledged as being amongst the best ever by institutions such as “Guitar World” and “Planet Rock”.
And “Comfortably Numb” itself has been recognized as one of the “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” by none other than Rolling Stone.
Commercially, this track went Gold in the United Kingdom.
A 2004 cover of this song by an American band called Scissor Sisters experienced considerable chart success.
Pink Floyd’s “The Wall”
English band Pink Floyd released one of their greatest hit songs, Comfortably Numb, in 1980, as part of their eleventh studio album, The Wall.
Harvest Records and Columbia Records released The Wall on November 30, 1979. It was reported that the band was going through personal and financial crisis while recording this album. However, executive producer Bob Ezrin is said to have resolved fights and calm down tensions among the band members.
He also helped to refine and structure the album. The Wall is the last album of Pick Floyd as a four-member band. Richard Wright, the keyboardist of the group, was fired during the creation of the album. However, he was made to stay on the album as a salaried musician.
The album’s concept is about the story of a self-imposed isolated rock star whose situation becomes a metaphorical wall. The album topped the Billboard 200 chart, UK Albums (OCC), and many international album charts across the globe.
The album is considered as among the greatest albums this World has witnessed and has a reputable 23-time platinum certification from the RIAA. It has also received over 50 platinum certifications from many different countries and album certification organizations. After its release in 1979, it has sold more than 30 million copies worldwide.