“One Of The Few” from The Final Cut is one of the leftover or rejected songs from Roger Waters’ original demos for The Wall.
Another leftover (or rejected) song from Roger Waters’ original Wall demo is “One Of The Few” which was later released on The Final Cut album. This quiet, haunting track is short, running about 1m 22s — barely longer than the demo snippets released on The Wall: Immersion. It’s more of an intro for “The Hero’s Return” than it is a fully-realized song on its own. Although it wasn’t on the actual Bricks In The Wall demo, it was part of the additional, leftover demo material that co-producer James Guthrie has mentioned over the years where it was probably just a few lines of a not-fully-realized idea. As released, it’s not much more than that, but it’s a key song that adds a lot of backstory to the character whom Waters has said is the same teacher from The Wall.
“It was a more in-depth look at a bit of story that was The Wall. “One Of The Few” particularly was some material left over from The Wall that pertained to the teacher character, so we understand that he was actually ex-RAF and had his own problems.”
The song was originally called “Teach” — a line that is whispered to answer the first lyric of the song. Waters recalled:
“We learn a bit more of his past history – “When you’re one of the few to land on your feet/what do you do to make ends meet?/Teach.” So many of the teachers at the Cambridgeshire School for Boys, the school I went to, had gone into teaching after the war. They couldn’t think of anything else to do.”
In another interview, Waters talks further about the track:
“The teacher from The Wall is this man. It has something to do with The Wall and it gives him a raison d’être if you like. It explains some of his feelings that didn’t get explained in The Wall, where it was a very thinly sketched character who didn’t have any real reason for being this kind of horrible person to everybody, as he was. Well, I’m giving him a reason now, that’s all.”
Although the song has its roots in the original 1978 Wall demos, it was not initially planned for The Final Cut. In early 1982, as production began for the additional tracks when the album was still a movie soundtrack/Wall companion, “One Of The Few” had not even been written. It was pulled out of mothballs later after the focus of the album had changed.
Last update: August 24, 2017
1 – Roger Waters Interview with Jim Ladd. November 8, 2000. Syndicated radio broadcast.
2 – Clerk, Carol. “The Last Days of Pink Floyd”. Uncut Magazine, June 2004.
3 – MacDonald, Bruno, ed. Pink Floyd: Through The Eyes Of The Band, Its Fans, Friends, And Foes. p. 272.