Thursday, March 17, 2005

"The Fletcher Memorial Home"

Anyone who's ever despaired of tyrants, politicians and self-important nobodies peering into the recesses of our lives and making decisions for us will probably feel some empathy with this song. Towards the end of their lifespan, Pink Floyd Mark 2 were really just a vehicle for Roger Waters' grandiose concepts, none more so that the "Final Cut" album from which this comes. It comes over as a mini-opera, with Roger-As-Narrator butting in on this track to express the fervent wish that all World Leaders should be locked up. It's a fine sentiment, eloquently expressed, but for me the clincher is Roger introducing various characters as if they were arriving at a grand occasion: "Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome/Reagan and Haig/Mr Begin and friend/Mrs Thatcher, the Paisley/Mr Brezhnev and party/The ghost of MacCarthy/And the memories of Nixon/And now, and in colour/A group of anonymous Latin American meat-packing glitterati". I may be a ghoul, but I think the reference to Latin American dictators as "meat-packing glitterati" is pretty humorous.

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