We don't need no thought control.
These are the voices of youngsters at the start of the song, Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2 by Pink Floyd.
The hook we don't need no education, the last word sounding like ed-u-kay-shun is sung in a cockney accent. This has been used by the composer to suggest that the children really did need education.
We don't need no thought control was exactly what theorists in the 70s were saying about schooling under capitalism. The appeal for No dark sarcasm in the classroom forces the memory of Lennon's
Ideal of teacher behaviour. However, the song is not just dealing with educational standards of the 70s and now. In the song's chorus, the lines are found:
All in all it's just another brick in the wall
All in all you're just another brick in the wall
The brick metaphor can be read to refer to a bureaucratically organized schooling that produces uniform citizens to take their place in society.
As a description of English education with its much vaunted variety it is rather inaccurate but it is, after all, how for many pupils the way the school system is experienced. Paradoxically, the growth of
central regulation has made that experience more likely now than when the song was first released. The song's meaning became further complicated by a video showing hammers marching across
A landscape. But staying with the lyric, whether or not it was "significant," it seems indisputable that the song says something about schooling and something critical at that. As the song ends with some fine
guitar work a voice with a Scots accent speaks the following lines, Wrong, Do it again!
If you don't eat yer meat, you can't have any pudding.
How can you have any pudding if you don't eat yer meat?
You! Yes, you behind the bikesheds, stand still laddy!
The voice is unmistakably
that of a
teacher but the comic irony tends to undermine the force of the song's lyric as critique. The...