Song Lyric Sunday — Pink Floyd

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday, Jim Adams asks us to feature a song by a band that we wish were still together. I was inclined to go with the Beatles, but I figured a lot of others would pick them. So I decided to select a band I really wasn’t all that into back in the 70s, but which has since become one of my favorites from that era: Pink Floyd,

Pink Floyd was founded in 1965 by Syd Barrett (guitar, lead vocals), Nick Mason (drums), Roger Waters (bass guitar, vocals), and Richard Wright (keyboards, vocals). The band was named after two American blues !musicians: Pink Anderson and Floyd Council.

The Pink Floyd song I’m featuring is “Wish You Were Here.”

“Wish You Were Here” was released as the title track of the band’s 1975 album of the same name. David Gilmour and Roger Waters collaborated to write the music and Gilmour sang the lead vocal. It was a rare case of the Pink Floyd primary songwriters Roger Waters and David Gilmour mutually collaborating on a song, as they rarely wrote together. Gilmour had the opening riff written and was playing it in the studio at a fast pace when Roger Waters heard it and asked him to play it slower. The song built from there, with the pair writing the music for the chorus and verses together, and Waters adding the lyrics.

The song is about the detached feeling many of us float through life with. It’s a commentary on how people cope with the world by withdrawing physically, mentally, or emotionally. It is often considered to be a direct tribute to Syd Barrett, a Pink Floyd founding member, who was responsible for the lyrics in many of the band’s early songs, and his ordeal with schizophrenia.

Gilmour and Waters describe the original concept differently. Waters, who mainly wrote the lyrics,describes the song as being directed at himself. Being present in one’s own life and freeing one’s self in order to truly experience life is a main topic in this song. Gilmour, on the other hand, recognizes that he never performs the song without remembering Syd Barrett.

When Pink Floyd was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996, they played “Wish You Were Here” at the induction ceremony.

Here are the lyrics to “Wish You Were Here.”

So, so you think you can tell
Heaven from hell?
Blue skies from pain?
Can you tell a green field
From a cold steel rail?
A smile from a veil?
Do you think you can tell?

Did they get you to trade
Your heroes for ghosts?
Hot ashes for trees?
Hot air for a cool breeze?
Cold comfort for change?
Did you exchange
A walk-on part in the war
For a lead role in a cage?

How I wish, how I wish you were here
We're just two lost souls
Swimming in a fish bowl
Year after year
Running over the same old ground
What have we found?
The same old fears
Wish you were here

22 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday — Pink Floyd

  1. Clive October 16, 2022 / 3:22 am

    One of the best, from one of the best bands ever. A long time favourite of mine 😊

    Liked by 1 person

      • Clive October 17, 2022 / 1:36 am

        They certainly are. I’ve been a fan since their early days, of Arnold Laine and See Emily Play.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. donmatthewspoetry October 16, 2022 / 3:37 am

    I wonder what they recorded in Gilmour’s floating studio on the Thames? I read they recorded/mixed parts of many songs…….

    Liked by 1 person

  3. willowdot21 October 16, 2022 / 5:57 am

    Great choice and even though there’s been so much bitter conflict they still span the generations I discovered them in my late teens, early 70s and my eldest son did the same on his late teens in the early 90s… He’s still a huge fan now as am I.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Paula Light October 16, 2022 / 6:00 am

    I love this song especially the trading of a walk on part in a war for a lead role in a cage, which I think many housewives (present or former) can relate to…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The Sicilian Storyteller October 16, 2022 / 6:20 am

    Floyd is in a class by itself. Loved their music from the first listen. I’ll always remember the time I was getting prepped for surgery. Just before the anesthesiologist put the mask over my face, “Comfortably Numb” started playing. Very cool surgeon.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. newepicauthor October 16, 2022 / 7:57 am

    I always thought this song was about Syd Barrett, but anyway it is a great song. Thanks for sharing this Fandango.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Stine Writing and Miniatures October 17, 2022 / 8:29 am

        One of the best concerts I have been too. On the ride up I didn’t even know I was a Pink Floyd fan until I heard so many songs that I knew and loved! I heard them at Gillette Stadium, where the Patriots play, back in the 90’s.

        Liked by 1 person

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