Pink Floyd with a disco beat (!) made #1 on Billboard for a month in the spring of 1980. Adding a children’s choir to a rock song is also a saccharine cliché. However, the song’s lyrical content was not as buoyant as the arrangement’s 4/4 beat the band learned from dance clubs at the time, and the guitar solos over minor chords inject that unique brand of Pink Floyd anomie.
It’s probably about the rigidity of formal schooling, including boarding schools. In the context of the larger concept album, The Wall (kind of a metaphor for barriers to artistic creativity), the state as educator has not always been seen as a benign transmitter of neutral political, social and economic values. Public education can have a homogenizing, and thus negative influence, on individualism.
Another Brick was also banned in South Africa during apartheid, when it was used in a school boycott.
It’s too easy to make a crack for irony, about the poor grammar of the popular refrain, “We don’t need no education.”
More from Pink Floyd at politicaltunes: Not Now John