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The song references issues of poverty and oppression, lamenting on the tendency of people to turn away from those afflicted with such conditions. It ends on a hopeful note, with the last stanza beginning, "no more turning away …".

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On the turning away
From the pale and downtrodden
And the words they say
Which we won't understand

"Don't accept that what's happening
Is just a…

Pink Floyd - On the Turning Away Lyrics

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