“Vera” goes all the way back to the original Bricks In The Wall demo.
Never released on a single or one of the unobscured promo discs. This is another of the deep album cuts which propels the narrative forward.
It’s part of Side 3, the “orchestral” side. Although Roger Waters (and to a lesser extent David Gilmour) wrote all the songs on this side, the overall sound, orchestrations and production are very much the work of the creative input and tenacity of co-producer Bob Ezrin and the orchestral arrangements of Michael Kamen.
“Vera” goes all the way back to the original Wall demo. Of the original 2’19” version, the first 1’18” or so is the song itself, followed by a reprise of “Is There Anybody Out There?”. This can be heard on the Work In Progress discs of The Wall: Immersion edition. Overall, the sound and feel of the track changed very little over the course of recording and production of the album.
The song is about Vera Lynn, a popular singer prior to and during World War II and fits into the wartime story line or “bricks” of the work. As Roger explained shortly after The Wall’s release,
“Vera Lynn is… if you were English, you would know who Vera Lynn was…. In the war she was the forces’ sweetheart in England. All her songs are about the soldiers going away. So in “Nobody Home,” he skips back to 1968 if you like, and now he’s going all the way back to the war.”
“Vera” was not actually intended to solely be a World War II song, however. Although Roger’s father was killed in The Battle of Anzio during World War II, the song as presented on the album is intended to be a bit more reminiscent and general.
This is supposed to be brought on by the fact that a war movie comes on the TV…. Mentioning no titles or names! Which you can actually hear, and that snaps him back to then and it precedes, what is for me anyway, is the central song on the whole album “Bring the Boys Back Home”.
In early production demos of The Wall, the album opens with a quiet, short snippet of Vera Lynn’s World War II anthem “We’ll Meet Again” instead of “Outside The Wall”. “We’ll Meet Again” is part of the musical prelude on Is There Anybody Out There? live sets as well as Roger Waters recent live performances of The Wall.
There is a slightly longer version of the track on the soundtrack of Pink Floyd The Wall movie. The final note sustains for several seconds longer before the segue into “Bring The Boys Back Home”.
For a treat, check out Dame Vera Lynn singing “We’ll Meet Again” at the age of 93.
What Got Cut
- Nothing, really. A few seconds of the sustain of the final note was lost as the song fades and segues into “Bring The Boys Back Home”.
Pink Floyd The Wall movie (1982). The final sustained note at the very end of the song holds several seconds longer than the album version without fading or crossfading. Also, throughout the track, TV sound effects preceding the song are different than the album version and bleed over a little bit throughout the vocals for the film. Keyboard synths are mixed a little louder in the middle of the track. Otherwise, this is there are no other changes musically from the album version.
Last updated: July 4, 2017