Make your own free website on

Related Pink Floyd Links:

Google News: Pink Floyd

Wikipedia: Pink Floyd

The Official Pink Floyd Website

Dark Side of the Moon Lyrics

Pink Floyd wrote "Oz" Soundtrack

MTV article on Oz/Floyd Connection

Watch clips of The Dark Side of Oz online
at the Rolling Stone Magazine website!

(Accurate alignment for best results!!)

The Dark Side of Oz:
Pink Floyd’s Cryptic Requiem
for Judy Garland?

by R.K.J.

Here's something that I researched a bit just for fun and entertainment. This is my little foray into the world of "Classic Rock."

I recently viewed the now infamous sync of the movie The Wizard of Oz (1939) with the Pink Floyd album Dark Side of the Moon (1973). For years I had been hearing about how there were these amazing synchronicities and matches that occurred when one watched both simultaneously. In fact, I did find many of the synchronicities and matches to be interesting. Some of them were amazing.

Upon closer inspection, however, I think that I also found something else about the sync that few, if any, had seemed to notice. I am suggesting here that Dark Side of the Moon was, in large part, a cryptic tribute to, or requiem for, the then recently deceased Judy Garland (1922-1969).

The sync itself is often referred to by many as either Dark Side of Oz or Dark Side of the Rainbow. I refer to it here as “the sync.”

In fairness, it must be acknowledged that the various members of Pink Floyd have consistently denied purposefully planning any link between Dark Side of the Moon and the movie. They have maintained that any similarity between the album and the movie is purely coincidental. However, if one did not know any better, one could easily view the entire Dark Side of the Moon album, especially when combined with The Wizard of Oz, as referring primarily, and intentionally, to Judy Garland.

Many have already pointed out over 100 synchronicities and matches that occur during the viewing of the sync. I don’t do that here. I am only specifically discussing those synchronicities that are relevant to this interpretation of the sync.

I believe that the sync is meant to be viewed with just one play-through of the album. Some like to watch the entire movie simultaneously with the album, which requires the CD to play 2 1/2 times. I do not. This interpretation works for the first play-through only.

Dorothy balancing on the pigpen fence and then falling off The first thing that struck me was the match that occurs during the song Breathe.

And balanced on the biggest wave
You race towards an early grave.

This line is sung as we are watching Dorothy balancing herself on the pigpen fence and then falling in. Many people have already noted the obvious – that this may be a reference to the untimely and early death of Judy Garland in 1969. But, it hasn’t seemed to occur to most that if there is this one obvious allusion to Judy Garland’s death in the sync, then there may very well be more throughout the album. After all, the main themes of the Dark Side of the Moon album are time, death, and insanity. Judy Garland, by all accounts, attempted suicide at least once, had a lifelong drug dependency from which she ultimately died, and had some mental problems with which she struggled for a long time.

As I researched some of the circumstances surrounding the life and death of Judy Garland, I found that the entire Dark Side of the Moon album by Pink Floyd speaks of them throughout. I share these findings with you here for your consideration.


The first cryptic reference to Judy Garland occurs as Speak To Me transitions into Breathe. What we hear may be the sound of a movie projector. This is followed by screaming as the names of the producer, Melvin LeRoy, and the director, Victor Fleming appear on the screen. The screaming is most likely a reference to the abuse that Judy Garland suffered at the hands of these men.

Judy Garland was 16 years old during the filming of The Wizard of Oz. Apparently, the hectic schedule involved in making the movie was too strenuous for her. In addition to this, the MGM moguls were concerned about her weight. The producer and director of the movie are said to have given her certain pills in order to boost her energy, and control her weight, in order to be able to complete the filming on schedule. (This information is publicly available in several biographies of Judy Garland.) As a result of her drug use during Oz, she lived a life of drug and alcohol dependency. Her sudden death in 1969 at the young age of 47 stunned millions of fans around the world. She died of an accidental overdose of barbiturates. It has been observed that her work on Oz made her a star, but also led to her early demise.

During the filming of Oz, Judy Garland was subjected to abuse at the hands of MGM that would be illegal today. For instance, she is said to have been slapped in the face once by Victor Fleming, the director of Oz, for laughing and giggling during many of the takes. Bert Lahr’s flamboyant acting as the Cowardly Lion is said to have been the cause of her laughter during the filming.

After one too many cases of her adolescent giggling, Victor Fleming slapped her in the face to “cure” her of these laughing spells. (This information is also public knowledge from various Garland biographies.) If such a thing were to have occurred today, Mr. Fleming could have been charged with assault. And MGM would be in violation of several labor laws regarding minors.

Notice also that the titles of the first two tracks are similar to what one might say in a panic if they find someone dead of a drug overdose, “Speak to me!! Breathe!”


The first references to Judy Garland’s untimely death occur in the sync during Breathe:

Look around and choose your own ground.

This line may be a reference to the year that Judy Garland’s remains spent without a final resting place. The National Enquirer came to prominence by being the first to break the story that Judy Garland had not yet received a proper burial a year after her death! Her remains were stored in a temporary crypt in the Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, New York. After the story broke, her family quickly made the necessary burial arrangements to avoid further shame and embarrassment.

And smiles you'll give and tears you'll cry

Here’s a reference to the fact that Judy Garland brought smiles of joy to millions, yet her own life was filled with many tears of sorrow.

Judy Garland died virtually penniless.

The Wizard of Oz is the most watched movie ever. Period. One would be hard-pressed to find anyone that has not seen the film at least once. Regardless of age or generation, almost everyone has seen it. And yet, because residuals were not usually paid to movie actors in those days. Judy Garland never received a dime from the movie itself beyond the salary that she was paid at the time.

Her career waned in her final years. She owed back-taxes that she could not pay. The I.R.S. seized most of her property and cash. She essentially crashed and burned. All of this while The Wizard of Oz was enjoying unprecedented success on television year-after-year while she received no royalties from it whatsoever.
…Very sad.

For long you live and high you fly
But only if you ride the tide
And balanced on the biggest wave
You race towards an early grave.

As mentioned previously, this is a clear reference to Judy Garland’s untimely death in 1969.


This track has no lyrics. But it is worth noting that it takes place in the sync while Dorothy is singing Over The Rainbow. Note that both songs have the same acronym – OTR.


The song Time continues the theme of death and struggling with the brevity of life. This applies to Judy Garland. And it is also descriptive of the universal human struggle.

Dorothy having her fortune read by Professor Marvel What should be remembered here is that the sync is not so much about The Wizard of Oz as it is about Judy Garland. On the screen, we are looking at images of Judy Garland, not "Dorothy."

For example, the song Time is playing during the scene where Dorothy finds Professor Marvel. However, for the purposes of the sync, it is
16-year-old Judy Garland who is reading the sign that says, "Let him read your past, present, and future in his crystal."

The young Ms. Garland walks into Professor Marvel's coach. She is then seen looking into the crystal ball with trepidation, concerned about what the future holds for her. After the Professor reads her future to her, a look of consternation can be seen on her face. She then abruptly leaves, obviously very worried.

The song and these images together prefigure the future that awaits Judy Garland. She would go on to become one of the world's most beloved entertainers. And, yet, her life will be plagued with drug dependency, suicide attempts, four failed marriages, and multiple psychiatric problems. And finally, sudden death by an overdose of barbiturates at the young age of 47 -- an ominous future indeed.


This song, interestingly enough, begins precisely at the beginning of the Tornado scene in the movie, and then ends precisely when the Tornado scene ends.

Dorothy lying unconcious on her bed during the tornado In the sync, this song becomes a powerful pictorial representation of the death of Judy Garland. Dorothy (Judy) runs home to find that she has been deserted by those she relied upon during a tornado (turbulent time in her life). She is left alone. In the movie, Dorothy is hit on the head by a window, is knocked out unconcious, and begins a dream. In the sync, this speaks of the death of Judy Garland.


Dorothy first arrives in Munchkinland. The song Money is about the exploitation of Judy Garland by MGM studios. As soon as Dorothy walks out of the house that has just fallen into Munchkinland, we see a close-up of Judy Garland and we hear the sound of several cash registers.

Judy Garland's life of drug dependency was the result of MGM studios turning her into a young pill popper just so that they could get their movies made. They gave her pills to, among other things, keep her weight down for the cameras. This song is about the greed of the movie producers. In fact, there is a cryptic reference to the movie studio in the lyrics of the song. Notice that the first three lines of the lyrics contain the acronym M-G-M:

Money, get away.
Get a good job with good pay and you're okay.
Money, it's a gas.

Another reference to Judy Garland and MGM occurs in Money while we see a close-up of Dorothy holding Toto:

Money, get back.
I'm all right Jack keep your hands off of my stack.

Dorothy surveys Munchkinland. The name Jack probably refers to Jack Warner, head of Warner Brothers, the archnemesis of MGM during the days of old Hollywood. MGM saw Judy Garland as their “cash cow” and was warning Warner Bros. to get back and keep their hands off of their “stack.” The young Judy Garland was seen only as a source of big cash for greedy studio execs.

From the moment that Dorothy (Judy) lands in Munchkinland (MGM Studios), she is given the “royal treatment.” She is praised by the Munchkins. And she is chauffered around in a horse-drawn carriage. All the while, she looks around in amazement at all of the fuss she has caused and the attention that she got. This is similar to the treatment that Judy Garland got from MGM while they had use for her – while they were exploiting her.


The song Us and Them is probably about the 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York City.

Judy Garland was an “icon” of sorts among gays throughout the 1950s and 1960s. She is said to have unofficially dedicated the song Over the Rainbow to gays in their struggle to find acceptance and tolerance. Many gay men, the majority of whom were “in the closet” during those pre-Gay Rights days, cryptically referred to themselves and each other as “Friends of Dorothy.”

Judy Garland’s support of the gay community was a major part of her life. And no tribute to her would be complete without an acknowledgement of this fact.

Judy Garland died on June 22, 1969 in London. Her funeral was held on June 27, 1969 in Manhattan at the Frank E. Campbell funeral home at Madison Avenue and Eighty-first Street. Some 22,000 people filed past Judy's open coffin over a twenty-four hour period. Among them were many homosexual men who came to pay their last respects to someone that had shown them great support and encouragement over the years.

Later that night, many of the gays that attended her funeral are said to have gone to The Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, New York City. Many were said to have been commisserating and reminiscing about the recently deceased Garland. On that very night, June 27, 1969, the New York City Police Department decided to raid The Stonewall Inn (an illegal after-hours gay bar). Usually, when these gay clubs got raided, most of the patrons simply ran away before they were caught. This night, however, the patrons of The Stonewall Inn decided to fight back. They caused rioting that went on for several days.

To this day, the Stonewall protest that began on June 27, 1969 is seen by the gay community as the beginning of the Gay Rights Movement. June 27th is the date of the annual Gay Pride parade in New York City. Interestingly, it may very well have been the death of Judy Garland that triggered Gay Pride around the world.

In fact, the rainbow as the symbol for gay pride is said to go back to Judy Garland and Oz.

A Munchkin shows Dorothy a Certificate of Death As the song begins, the first thing we see is a Munchkin showing Dorothy a Death Certificate. This certificate, in the sync, becomes a reference to the death of Judy Garland. The song starts with some somber organ music. What follows is a cryptic tribute to her support of the gay community and her inadvertent launching of the worldwide gay rights movement through her death. To this day, June 27, 1969 – the day of Judy Garland’s funeral service – is recognized as the day of the birth of the worldwide gay pride movement.

The three Lullaby League ballerinas sing to DorothyThe three Lullaby League ballerinas enter the scene and we hear these lyrics:

Us, and them
And after all we're only ordinary men.

In the sync, the three ballerinas refer to themselves as “ordinary men.” When the lyrics are combined with the sync, it becomes a reference to homosexuals, particularly transvestites and transgenders. It is representative of the homosexual community thanking Judy Garland for supporting their cause for so many years.

Me, and you.
God only knows it's not what we would choose to do.

Their orientation is not their choice.

Black and blue
And who knows which is which and who is who?

The police are normally a force for good. However, to the Stonewall patrons in June of 1969, they were a force for oppression and evil. The men in blue became, to the Stonewall patrons, as wicked as the Witch of the West in Munchkinland.

Listen son, said the man with the gun
There's room for you inside.

There’s room inside the paddy wagon. Note also that during the sync, this line in the song occurs just before the Wicked Witch in the movie says, “I’ll get you my pretty…”


During this song we watch as we see the beginnings of a hallucinatory experience. Dorothy is confused about which direction to take on the Yellow Brick Road which forks and splits into a few different directions. She is startled to find a scarecrow that talks to her. This speaks of the start of the “brain damage” that Judy Garland suffered in her life. This transitions into the next song which speaks of the day of Judy Garland’s death.


The lunatic is on the grass.
The lunatic is on the grass.
Remembering games and daisy chains and laughs.
Got to keep the loonies on the path.

Webster’s dictionary defines a daisy chain as a garland or wreath of daisies. An intentional cryptic reference to Judy Garland?

The lunatic is in my head.
The lunatic is in my head.
You raise the blade, you make the change
You re-arrange me 'til I'm sane.
You lock the door
And throw away the key
There’s someone in my head but it’s not me.

Dorothy and the Scarecrow encounter the apple trees These lines in the song occur in the sync just as Dorothy and the Scarecrow are approaching the apple trees. One of the apple trees starts talking to Dorothy. Dorothy begins to reply to the tree and then stops herself in a delayed reaction. In the movie, she asks the tree, “Did you say something?” We then see a young Judy Garland (as Dorothy) surrounded by a living, breathing, talking scarecrow, and apple trees that are talking to her and throwing their own apples at her! The brain damage is increasing.

In 1949, Judy Garland began the first of many stays in psychiatric hospitals under doctors' orders. At the age of 26, she underwent electroshock therapy. In 1951, Judy Garland attempted suicide. She would do so again several times before she died. Her most publicized suicide attempt was when she slit her own throat. These lines in the song sound like a very specific reference to these psychiatric problems and suicide attempts.

And if the dam breaks open many years too soon
And if there is no room upon the hill
And if your head explodes with dark forebodings too
I'll see you on the dark side of the moon.

This is another reference to the untimely death of Judy Garland, and the onset of mental illness that preceded it.

And if the cloud bursts, thunder in your ear
You shout and no one seems to hear.

On the night that Judy Garland died, she is said to have had an argument with her husband at the time, Mickey Deans, to whom she was married for only a few months. She stormed out of the apartment house and began to yell, scream, and rant like a “lunatic.” Many neighbors noticed this. After a while her husband simply ignored her and went to sleep while she was yelling and screaming at him from outside.

The next morning he found her dead in their bathroom.

Perhaps, the line “the lunatic is on the grass” refers to Judy Garland ranting and raving outside her apartment in London just before she died.

And if the band you're in starts playing different tunes
I'll see you on the dark side of the moon.

During the last several years of her life, Judy Garland made headlines for being incoherent on stage during live performances. She slurred words. She forgot lyrics. The band "playing different tunes" line is most likely a reference to those performances.

The word lunatic is derived from the Latin word for moon, which is luna. This song juxtaposes her early desire to go over the rainbow and “behind the moon” with her untimely death after ranting outside like a lunatic.

Perhaps Judy Garland is the “lunatic on the grass.”


All that you touch
All that you see
All that you taste...

Eclipse is the last song on the album. It is the final farewell song in this requiem.

One interesting note here. Even though the lines in the lyrics begin with the word all – sometimes it sounds as if the word oil is being sung. For instance, at the precise moment when the line “All (oil?) that you see” occurs, Dorothy sees the oil can on the tree stump next to the Tin Man.

One other thing worth noting. Notice that the name of the author of the Oz books – BAUM – is contained in an acronym of tracks 5 thru 8 on the CD in reverse. …A cryptic message?

1. Speak To Me/Breathe (4:00)
2. On The Run (3:33)
3. Time (7:06)
4. The Great Gig in the Sky (4:44)
5. Money (6:32)
6. Us and Them (7:40)
7. Any Colour You Like (3:25)
8. Brain Damage (3:50)
9. Eclipse (2:04)

Also worthy of note…

The Wizard of Oz was one of the very first feature films to use Technicolor technology. It is interesting to note that Technicolor technology back then involved the use of a prism inside the movie camera which created alternate black & white strips of film each tinted in the primary colors of blue, green, and red. The use of the prism on the DSOTM album cover where the B&W light rays are split off into colors is a clear reference to the nascent Technicolor technology in the movie.

All of the greed referred to in the sync is juxtaposed with the latin motto in the circular band around the MGM lion -- "Ars Gratia Artis" ("Art For Art's Sake")

I invite you to watch the sync with this interpretation in mind. This is not just about some 100 or so “matches.” This is an amazing audio-visual project by Pink Floyd, done 8 years before the advent of MTV, with a cohesive theme.

Even though the band members have either denied any purposeful link between Dark Side of the Moon and The Wizard of Oz, or claimed to have no knowledge of it at all -- they do, in fact, encourage their fans to see the sync and judge for themselves. …Hmmm.

Check this out from the official Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon website --
Historical Fact #28 from the list of 30 Floydian Facts about Dark Side:

28. Throughout the 1990's rumours persisted that the album was intended to be played back while watching The Wizard of Oz. Many similarities were depicted between the music, lyrics, and the film. The band have denied that the classic film made an impression on them while recording the album, but if you want to judge for yourself be sure to start the CD at the third roar of the MGM lion at the start of the film!
Click this link and then click on "HISTORICAL INFO" on their page.

Two of the seven albums that Pink Floyd released prior to Dark Side of the Moon were, in fact, official authorized soundtracks for full-length feature films. In 1969 they released an album called More which was the musical soundtrack for a film of the same name. In 1972 they released an album entitled Obscured By Clouds which was the musical soundtrack for a film called La Vallée. This shows that they had an interest in scoring music for feature films, and the ability to do so. They had the experience and skill to do it.

Aligning Dark Side of the Moon to The Wizard of Oz would have involved the exact same process as scoring the music to any other film. All they needed was a 35mm print of The Wizard of Oz, a movie projector, and a stop watch so that they could "time stamp" the various events on the screen and then record and edit the master tape of the album so that it would synchronize when played along with the film. In light of their movie-scoring experience -- do you think that this was beyond the ability of Pink Floyd at the time?

If this sync was done intentionally by Pink Floyd, then it is truly a work of creative genius. It is a very thoughtful tribute to one of America's best-loved entertainers that deserves its place in the annals of the history of album rock. I suspect that it may very well have been done on purpose. Since Roger Waters wrote all of the lyrics for Dark Side of the Moon, he may be the sole creative genius behind this sync. Perhaps copyright restrictions make it necessary for Pink Floyd to deny any purposeful intent in designing the album as an alternate soundtrack for The Wizard of Oz. If that's the case -- that's understood.

If, however, there was no intent on their part, and it was all some cosmic coincidence that brought the album and the movie together to form what appears to be a tribute to Judy Garland --
...maybe Judy Garland was the creative genius behind it.


(Okay...hum The Twilight Zone theme song here.)

  • First, gear up your CD to the first track of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon and put it on pause. Make sure that your CD player is displaying all zeroes on the timer -- 00:00.
  • Load the DVD and select PLAY MOVIE. At this point you should see the MGM lion and hear the intro music from the film.
  • After the third roar of the MGM lion, just as the screen begins to fade to black, unpause your CD.
    • For the most accurate alignment, unpause the CD precisely when your DVD player displays exactly ten seconds on its timer -- 00:10. Check to make sure that the CD is running eleven seconds behind the DVD for accuracy.
  • Turn down your TV volume.
  • Double check that you're in sync by listening for the screaming, followed by the musical transition from Speak To Me to Breathe, as the producer credit -- Mervyn LeRoy -- fades in onscreen.
  • Now sit back and prepare to be amazed!

Watch clips of The Dark Side of Oz online
at the Rolling Stone Magazine website!

Copyright © 2006 -- R.K.J.

Originally Posted: April 25, 2006

All images from the The Wizard of Oz movie are Copyright © 1939, 1966 -- Warner Brothers Entertainment, Inc.
All lyrics from Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon are Copyright © 1973 -- Pink Floyd Music Publishers and Warner/Chappell Artemis Music Ltd. The copyrighted images and lyrics are displayed here for comment, criticism, and informational purposes only [17 U.S.C. § 107]. Neither Pink Floyd nor Warner Brothers are affiliated with this website.

Related Judy Garland Links:

Google News: Judy Garland

Judy's NY TIMES Obituary

Judy Garland Database

Wikipedia: Judy

The Judy Room

Judy Speaks!

Some Judy Quotes

Yheti's Judy Garland Shrine