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  • The entire first verse and a “Oooh Ma Oooh Pa” refrain were cut.

An entire verse was cut from “The Show Must Go On” just before the album was to be sent for mastering, shaving off about 30 seconds from the song.


“The Show Must Go On” (1:37) starts off Side 4 of the original LP. Most of the tracks on the side were edited down in some way, whether it was just a few seconds or an entire verse or section.

The track was recorded as “Who’s Sorry Now?” on the original Wall demo tape; this is the song that eventually became “The Show Must Go On”. Throughout most of production, “It’s Never Too Late” was sometimes listed in its slot even though the two songs were very different musically, lyrically and structurally. It was not until the third and final production demo that the name “The Show Must Go On” had been finalized.

The entire first verse and refrain were cut from “The Show Must Go On” just before the album was to be sent for mastering, shaving off about 30 seconds from the song. Rather than have the inner sleeve reprinted, the missing lyrics were left in the liner notes. In fact, as of the 2016 reissues, the lyrics to the missing verse are still included there. The deleted lyrics are highlighted below.


The Show Must Go On


Oooh Ma Oooh Pa
Must the show go on
Oooh Pa take me home
Oooh Ma let me go

Do I have to stand up
Wild eyed in the spotlight
What a nightmare
Why don’t I turn and run

Oooh Pa take me home
Oooh Ma let me go

There must be some mistake
I didn’t mean to let them
Take away my soul
Am I too old is it too late

Oooh Ma Oooh Pa
Where has the feeling gone?
Oooh Ma Oooh Pa
Will I remember the songs?
Oooooh aah the show must go on.

David Gilmour sings a line over the “Oooh Ma Oooh Pa” intro. Originally, the line was “Does the show have to go on”. This was changed at the last minute to “Must the show go on?”. This change was made too late in production and the inner sleeves displayed the original lyric for years.

pink floyd, the wall, show must go on

Liner notes from the original album showing all of the original lyrics

A studio version of the complete track has never been released in any form. The missing verse is also not included in any known demo versions, both legitimate and non. The entire track was cut from The Wall movie.

The missing verse was performed in The Wall live shows. The rest of us finally got to hear it when the live album Is There Anybody Out There? was finally released in 1999.

Because no studio version of the first verse has ever surfaced, the only way to hear the missing verse is in the live version from Is There Anybody Out There?.

Here’s a restoration of “The Show Must Go On” with the best available version of the missing first verse:

The live version also has a short solo piano intro by Rick Wright — a few doodles. None of the studio or demo versions have this. It was most likely another bit added just for the live show.

Among the backing vocalists performing on the track are Bruce Johnston of the Beach Boys and Toni Tennille of 1970’s fluff-pop duo The Captain and Tennille. They also perform on both of the “In The Flesh” tracks as well as the extremely dark and and hateful-sounding (the song actually denounces hate) “Waiting For The Worms”. Remember that the next time you joke about “Love Will Keep Us Together”.


Alternate Versions

Is There Anybody Out There?. The official live album of the original The Wall tour in 1980. Live versions of all songs. Many of them are extended or have some of the bits which were cut from the original studio LP of The Wall. The live version of “The Show Must Go On” features an added solo intro by Rick Wright on a Rhodes electric piano. The first verse and a “Oooh Ma Oooh Pa” refrain which were cut from the studio album are performed here.

Pink Floyd The Wall: Immersion – Work In Progress. An early, rough, bare version from pre-release production demo tapes made by the band. A couple of demo versions are included in the Work In Progress discs. Both versions only have the second verse that was used on the album, although the band demo repeats this verse twice.

Under Construction ROIO. A bootleg collection of production demo tracks, probably from sometime around or after the third official production demo. This is not a great quality recording and it sounds like a low-fidelity, 4th-generation copy. It runs 2 minutes 9 seconds and includes a snippet of a very early, very rough acoustic version of the first verse lyrics sung by Roger Waters, not David Gilmour. The verse was very noticeably spliced in. It’s most likely a placeholder sourced from Roger Waters’ original cassette demo even though it differs in tone and sound to the “official” 52-second demo snippet released on the Immersion – Work In Progress discs. These early lyrics were eventually rewritten and “softened” a bit before the final version for the album was recorded.

This recording of the track opens with footsteps and echoes similar to those that wound up preceding “In The Flesh” on the album. The track sounds similar to the release version, but the band used a different take recorded after this version.

This version is identical to the one found in the Immersion box set but with the inclusion of the opening footsteps and the inserted first verse.


Who’s Sorry Now?/It’s Never Too Late – first verse


Oooh Ma Oooh Pa
I’m ever so sorry now
Oooh Pa
Oooh Ma


Am I really unsure,
wild-eyed in the spotlight?
Fuck me. What a nightmare.
Who’s there?
Have they all gone?

It’s okay.
Now you’re in luck.
The worms have fled the rising sun.
Their evil power is on the wane.
Forget the past and start again.



Last updated: 3 June, 2021. Changed “10th-generation copy” to 4th-generation. Hyperbole might not be appropriate here….

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