Roger Waters Shares the Meaning Behind “Breathe” Following ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ Redux

Earlier this month, polarizing former Pink Floyd member Roger Waters released a redux version of the band’s 1974 magnum opus album, Dark Side of the Moon. For the project, which sees Waters reprise all 10 songs from the initial version, he explained that he wants to revive the initial messages of the songs he helped create back in the day.

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“The new concept is meant to reflect on the meaning of the work, to bring out the heart and soul of the album, musically and spiritually,” he said in an interview with the German newspaper Berline earlier this year. “I’m the only one singing my songs on these new recordings, and there are no rock and roll guitar solos.”

To further pursue this mission, Waters posted a “track by track” explanation of the Dark Side of the Moon Redux songs to YouTube on October 10, where he speaks at length about his inspiration behind each album cut. And, when speaking about the LP’s second song “Breathe,” he gave a long-winded description relating to infants.

“The song ‘Breathe’ follows on from ‘Speak to Me.’ You know, you’re born and you’re the horrible little [baby],” he said in the interview-style video. “Well, they’re not all horrible, don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with a baby. But they are hard work. But anyway, that’s neither here nor there.

“There they are and they’re going, ‘Mmmm, who’s that?’ That’s your mum. ‘Ah. And why am I here?’ It all started when they were in the womb, which, of course, is where we came in. What’s the first thing that you hear when you’re an embryo? Bu-bum, bu-bum, bu-bum, bu-bum. You hear Mother’s heart beat. That’s your first experience. And you feel, hopefully, safe, warm, and surrounded by all good stuff. And then pffft, there you are. You take that first breath and what’s the first thing you do? You express feelings about the fact that you’re no longer in that certain place that you were in in the beginning. So, the song ‘Breathe,’ which is the first real song, is an admonition to that newborn by me, the old bloke, the 79-year-old, that it’s important to grasp [that] as far as we know, you only get one go at this, this being a live business.”

[RELATED: Roger Waters Reportedly Disappoints, Berates Audience During ‘Dark Side of the Moon Redux’ Performance at the London Palladium]

However, just after this lengthy synopsis, Waters drifted off into a tangent about mortality and eventually talked about how inspirational speakers and “self-help gurus” are frauds. Pointing his finger directly at famed lecturer Tony Robbins, Waters tried to steer people away from “life-denying” rhetoric.

“Red flag! Red flag! Do not listen to all those self-help gurus,” he said. “What was that asshole’s name? Tony somebody. I can see his face. Tony Robbins, you’re the bloke! You know, tall, upstanding, looks as if he’s been to the gym a lot. Explaining to us how we can be successful. Of course, it’s all bullshit. It doesn’t help you at all… It is not life-affirming. It is life-denying. To buy into any of that bullshit. In my view, Tony.”

Ultimately, it seems that Waters is trying to reflect on the most sacred aspects of life and the many directions people can go once they’re born, just as “Breathe” aims to do. If you’re interested in more insights like these, check out his track-by-track Dark Side of the Moon Redux video below.

Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

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