Roger Waters and his band have recorded socially distanced performances of two deep cuts from Pink Floyd’s The Wall: “Vera” and “Bring the Boys Back Home,” which both come before “Comfortably Numb” on the double-album.
The renditions are quieter than the Pink Floyd originals, with Waters singing almost mournfully about Vera Lynn, the recently deceased World War II–era singer. But they soon transition into a passionate rendition of “Bring the Boys Back Home,” featuring the women from Lucius on backup vocals. During one moment of reprieve, Waters speaks directly to the camera to address Trump: “Yeah, bring the boys back home, particularly from Portland, you big fucking brick,” referencing the botched deployment of federal officers there to quell protests.
“This is the third of our encores from the Us + Them tour,” Waters said in a statement. “This is the first one with any overdubs, not an easy trick to pull off remotely, luckily the band are all brilliant.”
He also broke down each of the songs. “The ‘Vera’ in question is Vera Lynn,” he said. “She was an English singer, songwriter, very popular during the Second World War. Her biggest hit was ‘We’ll Meet Again.’ She was widely known as the ‘Forces’ Sweetheart.’ Our Vera, who is very fondly remembered back in Blighty, died six weeks ago aged 103. So she had a bloody good innings, bless her.”
“Bring the Boys Back Home,” it seems, has a more personal meaning to the artist. “My father never came home, but at least in 1944 he really was fighting to defend his home,” Waters said. “Not like now. Now the boys fight and die in colonial wars so some rich asshole can get richer. If it were up to me, I’d bring ’em all home tomorrow.”
Waters will be releasing his Us + Them concert film on Blu-ray and DVD this fall. He recently teased it with a clip of three songs from The Wall: “The Happiest Days of Our Lives” and parts two and three of “Another Brick in the Wall.”