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Dark Side Of The Moon / The Wizard Of Oz

A few years ago, it was discovered that if you listen to Pink Floyd's album The Dark Side Of The Moon while watching The Wizard Of Oz, some truly bizzare coincidences occur. Both the album and the movie are absolute classics, and there are tons of web pages on the matches that occur. (try typing the title of this page into a search engine!).

But I find that many of these lists show matches that are strained, so here's my list of the Really Good Ones.

Setup: Put the album in your CD player & pause it right as the time indicator comes on, indicating that the first song has started. Don't rely on hearing it as the first song starts out softly.

Now start the movie - the original uncut version. Un-pause the CD on the 3rd roar of the MGM lion at the beginning of the movie. Don't be too quick to unpause the CD... I find that unpausing it maybe a half-second or a whole second after the start of the 3rd roar gives good results.

Now turn the sound down on the movie & sit back to watch the show! Here's a list of things to look for, in order:

0) Album cover (see pic at right) shows a beam of light hitting a prism and splitting into a spectrum - the movie starts in black and white (actually it is sepia), and turns to color.

1) As Dorothy approaches the farm house. notice the metal triangle hanging from the tree. It looks like the prism on the CD cover above!

2) "Balanced on the biggest wave" - Dorothy is balancing on a fence, and falls off into the hog pen. "And race toward an early grave" - some people say this refers to Judy Garland dying young, but another interpretation is that a young girl falling into a hog pen was in serious danger of being killed by the hogs. Notice the music changes right at this point.

3) During the instrumental "On The Run" there are 2 events to watch: First, as Aunt Em approaches Dorothy and the farmhands, theere's a part of the song that sort of sounds like her talking. Second, toward the end of the song [as Dorothy is singing Somewhere Over The Rainbow], there's a sound on the album that is like a jet plane roaring past... Dorothy's eyes appear to watch something cross the sky.

4) The first alarm clock goes off at the beginning of "Time" right as Mrs. Gulch (aka the Wicked Witch) rides up on her bike. If the alarm sounds about a second early (that is, you hear the alarm about a second before you see Mrs. Gulch), you're synched up correctly.

5) "Tired of lying in the sunshine" - Dorothy is lying in the sunshine.

6) "No one told you when to run" - Dorothy and Toto run away

7) During the song "Time", right after Dorothy crosses the bridge, she runs into Professor Marvel, on the side of his wagon it says "Past, Present, and Future" (ref. the song title "Time")

7.5) This one isn't quite worthy of its own number! "come up behind you again" - Professor Marvel is coming up behind Dorothy as they enter the wagon.

8) In Professor's wagon, he pulls out a crystal ball and starts to tell Dorothy about her home. The lyrics from "Breathe… Reprise" say "Home, home again…"

9) Dorothy runs out of the wagon to go back home…. Exactly at this point, Breathe... Reprise ends and The Great Gig In The Sky begins.

10) This song, when the tornado comes, has no words. Notice how perfectly it matches the movie, and notice the song title "The Great Gig In The Sky"

11) During The Great Gig In The Sky, Dorothy makes it back home… the twister is coming… the mood is very frenetic. Dorothy runs back into the house & the window blows in on her, she passes out on the bed. Exactly at this point, the mood of the music changes & becomes dreamy & languid.

12) The house lands, Dorothy gathers herself. She opens the door, things are in color, she's in Oz, and you hear the "ka-ching!" at the start of the song Money. The first side of the album (remember albums had sides back then!) is *exactly* as long as the B&W portion of the movie.

13) (ok, this is a minor one) "Money….. get back" - you see Dorothy's back

14) "Don't give me that do goody-good..." - Glenda the Good Witch appears.

15) In the song Us and Them, watch during the lyrics "Black (black black black….) " This is maybe the best match! Notice who is black and who is blue! Even the next line "and who knows which is which" (witch is witch?) is suggestive.

16) "Up (up up up)" - the wicked witch raises her broom up - "and Down (down down down)" - the wicked witch looks down.

17) "Haven't you heard, it's a battle of words" - the witches & Dorothy are arguing.

18) "Down…. And Out (out out out out)" - Glenda the good witch fades out

19) Dorothy waves bye & begins to walk the yellow brick road right as the song changes.

20) This is another instrumental song, title is "Any Color You Like" - could be a worse title match!

21) The scarecrow begins to sing "If I only had a brain" as the next song - "Brain Damage" - begins

21) "Got to keep those loonies on the path" - Scarecrow is on the path

22) "The paper holds their folded faces to the floor" - Scarecrow has a folded face.

23) They meet the Tin Man, and the last song (Eclipse) fades out with a heartbeat, right as Dorothy puts her ear to the Tin Man's chest to try to listen to his (non-existent) heart. You'll have to crank the CD to hear the heartbest, it is faint.

That's it! Try it out, it only takes 45 minutes. If you don't own both the album and the movie, run out right now and buy them! They are both classics & no household should be without them.

The million-dollar question, of course, is: Did Pink Floyd do this intentionally?

If you say "no", you have a long list of coincidences to explain. While none of them is convincing taken alone (except perhaps #11 and #15), together they make it highly improbable that it is a coincidence.

If you say "yes", you have to believe that the band would do this and not breathe a word about it for 25 years, which is also highly unlikely. But Floyd is just weird enough to do this.

Pink Floyd themselves will neither confirm nor deny that they did it intentionally.

My opinion? Pink Floyd is certainly on the very short list of bands who could have and would have done it... I think they did it intentionally.

Update 6/7/04: After reading a well-reasoned rebuttal, I have reversed my previous opinion. I currently think it's a coincidence, albeit a bizarre one. It somehow strikes me as very Floydian that PF would be involved in a coincidence of this magnitude!