Saturday, January 31, 2009


You gotta be crazy, you gotta have a real need
You gotta sleep on your toes, and when you're on the street
You gotta be able to pick out the easy meat with your eyes closed
And then moving in silently, down wind and out of sight
You gotta strike when the moment is right without thinking.

And after a while, you can work on points for style
Like the club tie, and the firm handshake
A certain look in the eye, and an easy smile
You have to be trusted by the people that you lie to
So that when they turn their backs on you
You'll get the chance to put the knife in.

You gotta keep one eye looking over your shoulder
You know it's going to get harder, and harder, and harder as you get older
And in the end you'll pack up, fly down south
Hide your head in the sand
Just another sad old man
All alone and dying of cancer.

And when you lose control, you'll reap the harvest that you've sown
And as the fear grows, the bad blood slows and turns to stone
And it's too late to lose the weight you used to need to throw around
So have a good drown, as you go down all alone
Dragged down by the stone.

I gotta admit that I'm a little bit confused
Sometimes it seems to me as if I'm just being used
Gotta stay awake, gotta try and shake off this creeping malaise
If I don't stand my own ground, how can I find my way out of this maze?

Deaf, dumb, and blind, you just keep on pretending
That everyone's expendable and no one has a real friend
And it seems to you the thing to do would be to isolate the winner
Everything's done under the sun
And you believe at heart, everyone's a killer.

Who was born in a house full of pain
Who was trained not to spit in the fan
Who was told what to do by the man
Who was broken by trained personnel
Who was fitted with collar and chain
Who was given a pat on the back
Who was breaking away from the pack
Who was only a stranger at home
Who was ground down in the end
Who was found dead on the phone
Who was dragged down by the stone.

- Released January 23, 1977

"Dogs"was originally composed as "You Gotta Be Crazy"

Dogs are used to represent the megalomaniacal businessmen who destroy themselves and those around them by obsessing over their egos and their careers.

During the part which includes Rick Wright's synthesizer solo, the sounds of dogs barking can be heard; this sound effect was created by processing the sound using a vocoder.

- The song is thought to be inspired by George Orwell's 1945 novella, Animal Farm.

- The first stanza represents the manic aggression and energy to get where you want to go in your budding career. The second stanza represents achieving success at your job and building a superior ego. The third stanza represents retirement and moving to the south as is typical with most retirees. And lastly, since work came first, the protagonist died heartless and alone.

- "Got to be able to pick out the easy meat with your eyes closed" the meat represents deals and opportunities for the businessmen.

"Who was told what to do by the man" represents dog obedience at home as well as being under strict supervision at the workplace.

- "Who was trained not to spit in the fan" represents the aspects of business life and how it compares to dogs, for example taking chances and being trained.

- "Who was broken by trained personnel" represents the worker losing their individuality.

"Who was fitted with collar and chain" represents obedience and following orders with one's superior.

"Who was given a pat on the back" represents being rewarded, and in the case of dogs- 'given a treat.'

"Who was breaking away from the pack" represents being better than everyone else and wanting to get away from order.

- "Who was only a stranger at home" represents getting to know everyone but spending less time with family.

- This song and the use of the word "Who" at the beginning of every line of the verse also illustrates the influence that Roy Harper had on the band. Roy Harper had used this technique on the song "The Lord's Prayer" from his 1973 Lifemask album, which included David Gilmour on guitar. Harper sang over 90 lines of a verse beginning with the words "whose" and "who".

- Roy Harper "The Lord's Prayer"

Friday, January 30, 2009

Welcome to the Machine

Welcome my son, welcome to the machine
Where have you been? It's alright we know where you've been.
You've been in the pipeline, filling in time, provided with toys and 'Scouting for Boys'.
You bought a guitar to punish your ma,
And you didn't like school, you know you're nobody's fool
So welcome to the machine.

Welcome my son, welcome to the machine.
What did you dream? It's alright we told you what to dream.
You dreamed of a big star, he played a mean guitar,
He always ate in the steak bar, he loved to drive in his Jaguar
So welcome to the machine.

- Released September 15, 1975

The song explores the band's negativity towards the music industry and the whole of industrialized society. The song centers around an aspiring musician (inspired by Syd Barrett) who is getting signed by a seedy executive to the music industry, "The Machine". The voice predicts all the boy's seemingly rebellious ideas ("You bought a guitar to punish your ma, you didn't like school, and you know you're nobody's fool"). The boy's illusions of personal identity are further crushed with lines such as, "What did you dream, it's alright we told you what to dream". The lyrics also allude to the band's disillusionment with the music industry as a money-making machine rather than a forum of artistic expression.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Shine On You Crazy Diamond

Remember when you were young, you shone like the sun
Shine on you crazy diamond
Now there's a look in your eyes, like black holes in the sky
Shine on you crazy diamond
You were caught in the crossfire of childhood and stardom, blown on the steel breeze
Come on you target for faraway laughter, come on you stranger, you legend, you martyr, and shine!

You reached for the secret too soon, you cried for the moon
Shine on you crazy diamond
Threatened by shadows at night, and exposed in the light
Shine on you crazy diamond
Well you wore out your welcome with random precision, rode on the steel breeze
Come on you raver, you seer of visions, come on you painter, you piper, you prisoner, and shine!

(Part II)
Nobody knows where you are, how near or how far
Shine on you crazy diamond
Pile on many more layers, and I'll be joining you there
Shine on you crazy diamond
And we'll bask in the shadows of yesterday's triumph, sail on the steel breeze
Come on you boy child, you winner and loser, come on you miner for truth and delusion, and shine!

- Released September 15, 1975

"Shine On You Crazy Diamond" is a nine-part composition in tribute to former band member Syd Barrett

During the band's recording session, a heavyset man with a completely shaved head and eyebrows wandered into the studio. The band could not recognize him for some time, when suddenly one of them realized it was Syd Barrett. At that time, Barrett had gained a lot of weight and had shaved off all of his hair, including his eyebrows, and the five-year gap since his ex-band mates had last seen him meant that it took some time for them to identify him.

When they eventually recognized Barrett, Waters was so distressed he was reduced to tears. Someone asked to play the song again and Barrett said a second playback wasn't needed when they'd just heard it. Apparently, when "Wish You Were Here" was played, "He [Barrett] stood up and said, 'Right, when do I put my guitar on?'" keyboardist Rick Wright recalled. "And of course, he didn't have a guitar with him. And we said, 'Sorry, Syd, the guitar's all done.'"

When asked what he thought of Wish You Were Here, Barrett said it sounded a "bit old". He subsequently slipped away during the party for Gilmour's wedding (which was, coincidentally, also on that day). It was the last time any of the other band members saw him. Reference

Saturday, January 24, 2009


All that you touch
And all that you see
All that you taste
All you feel
And all that you love
And all that you hate
All you distrust
All you save
And all that you give
And all that you deal
And all that you buy
Beg, borrow or steal
And all you create
And all you destroy
And all that you do
And all that you say
And all that you eat
And everyone you meet
And all that you slight
And everyone you fight
And all that is now
And all that is gone
And all that's to come
And everything under the sun is in tune
But the sun is eclipsed by the moon.

- Released 1973

- This is the final song on the remarkable achievement, Dark Side of the Moon.
This song ends the album with a grand statement about free will and causality.

- The song serves as a climax to the album and features a loud, repetitive melody which builds and then ends with a very quiet outro. When the main instrumentation ends at approximately 1:30, the sound of a heartbeat from the first track, "Speak to Me", appears and gradually fades to silence.

- At the end of "Eclipse", after or during the spoken words of 'There is no dark side...', a small chamber string orchestra can be heard playing a light tune which sounds like it's heard from a small radio in another room. To be able to hear this, one must listen especially carefully with headphones and the volume at maximum level.

- On some copies of the album, an orchestral version of The Beatles' song "Ticket to Ride" can be heard playing in the background during the fade but only on one stereo channel. Coincidentally, Paul McCartney and Wings were recording in the same studio.

- McCartney was one of the people interviewed by Roger Waters as part of the latter's efforts to develop dialogue to accompany certain songs on the album. The McCartney interview was not used, but Abbey Road Studios doorman Gerry O'Driscoll's was. His full answer to the question "What is 'the dark side of the moon'?", part of which is heard in "Eclipse", was: "There is no dark side of the moon, really. Matter of fact, it's all dark. The only thing that makes it look alight is the sun."

- The background vocals were supplied by Leslie Duncan, Doris Troy, Barry St. John, and Liza Strike.

- On March 10, 2004, the song was used to wake the Mars probe Opportunity. It was chosen in recognition of the transit of the Martian moon Phobos

- The song could very well be inspired by Ecclesiastes, Chapter 3, Verses 3:1 to 3:8:

Ecclesiastes 3:1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
Ecclesiastes 3:2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
Ecclesiastes 3:3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
Ecclesiastes 3:4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
Ecclesiastes 3:5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
Ecclesiastes 3:6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
Ecclesiastes 3:7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
Ecclesiastes 3:8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.


On a final note: The Dark Side of the Moon is the third best selling album of all time worldwide (not counting compilations and various artists soundtracks), and the 20th-best-selling album in the United States. Though it held the No. 1 spot in the USA for only one week, it spent a total of 741 consecutive weeks, over fourteen years, on Billboard's list of the top 200 best selling albums, longer than any other album in the history of music.

Brain Damage

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.

The lunatic is in the hall.
The lunatics are in my hall.
The paper holds their folded faces to the floor
And everyday the paper boy brings more.

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.

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.

And if the cloud bursts, thunder in your ear
You shout and no one seems to hear.
And if the band you're in starts playing different tunes
I'll see you on the Dark Side of the Moon.

(background vocals:
"I can't think of anything to say except...
i think it's marvelous! HaHaHa!")

- Released 1973

- This song takes a look at mental illness and whether "insanity" is only relative, and growing too old to be who one once was.

- Roger Waters has stated that the insanity-themed lyrics are based on former Floyd frontman Syd Barrett's mental instability, with the line "I'll see you on the dark side of the moon" indicating that Waters felt that he related to Barrett in terms of mental idiosyncrasies.

- "And if the band you're in starts playing different tunes..." is referential to Syd Barrett's behavior towards the end of his tenure with the band; due to his mental problems, there were more than a few occasions where Barrett would actually play a different song than the rest of the band in the middle of a performance.

- "The lunatic is on the grass..." Waters is referring to areas of turf which display signs saying 'PLEASE KEEP OFF THE GRASS' with the exaggerated implication that the disobeying of such signs might be an indication of insanity.

- The line, "Got to keep the loonies on the path" supports this, suggesting the social rule that people must not walk off the path and step onto the grass, but conform to the standards of normal 'sane' society. Incidentally, Waters has said that the particular patch of grass he had in mind when writing was to the rear of Kings College, Cambridge.

- Pink Floyd's road manager Peter Watts (father of actress Naomi Watts) contributed the repeated laughter during "Brain Damage"

Any Colour You Like

- Released 1973

- The piece itself features no lyrics, and consists of a synthesized tune which segues into a guitarscat vocals are added later on, these were more prominent in live versions but are still audible in the studio cut).

- It has been speculated that the song ties to The Dark Side of the Moon concept by concerning the lack of choice one has in the human society, while being alluded to thinking that he does. It is also speculated that the song is about the fear of making choices. The origin of the title is unclear. One possible origin of the title comes from an answer frequently given by a studio technician to questions put to him: "You can have it any colour you like", which was a reference to Henry Ford's apocryphal description of the Model T: "You can have it any color you like, as long as it's black."

- "In Cambridge where I lived, people would come from London in a van - a truck - open the back and stand on the tailboard of the truck, and the truck's full of stuff that they're trying to sell. And they have a very quick and slick patter, and they're selling things like crockery, china, sets of knives and forks. All kinds of different things, and they sell it very cheap with a patter. They tell you what it is, and they say 'It's ten plates, lady, and it's this, that, and the other, and eight cups and saucers, and for the lot I'm asking NOT ten pounds, NOT five pounds, NOT three pounds . . . fifty bob to you!', and they get rid of this stuff like this. If they had sets of china, and they were all the same colour, they would say, 'You can 'ave 'em, ten bob to you, love. Any colour you like, they're all blue.' And that was just part of that patter. So, metaphorically, 'Any Colour You Like' is interesting, in that sense, because it denotes offering a choice where there is none. And it's also interesting that in the phrase, 'Any colour you like, they're all blue', I don't know why, but in my mind it's always 'they're all blue', which, if you think about it, relates very much to the light and dark, sun and moon, good and evil. You make your choice but it's always blue." Roger Waters interview.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Us and Them

Us, and them
And after all we're only ordinary men.
Me, and you.
God only knows it's not what we would choose to do.
Forward he cried from the rear and the front rank died.
And the general sat and the lines on the map moved from side to side.
Black and blue
And who knows which is which and who is who.
Up and down.
But in the end it's only round and round.
Haven't you heard it's a battle of words
The poster bearer cried.
Listen son, said the man with the gun
There's room for you inside.

Down and out
It can't be helped but there's a lot of it about.
With, without.
And who'll deny it's what the fighting's all about?
Out of the way, it's a busy day
I've got things on my mind.
For the want of the price of tea and a slice
The old man died.

- Released 1973

Before its release, the song was known as "The Violent Sequence" which is available on bootlegs.

- The song
addresses ethnocentrism, conflict and the belief that a person's self is "always in the right"

- The tune was originally written on the piano by Rick for the movie Zabriskie Point in 1969; this is where the "Violent Sequence" title came from. Director Michelangelo Antonioni rejected it on the grounds that it was too unlike their "Careful with That Axe, Eugene"-esque work, which was the style of music he wanted to use. As Waters recalls it in impersonation, Antonioni's response was, "It's beautiful, but too sad, you know? It makes me think of church."

One of Pink Floyd's first uses of female backup singers. They brought in Liza Strike, Leslie Duncan and Doris Troy to sing harmonies.

Leslie Duncan "Love Song" (was covered by Elton John on his album, Tumbleweed Connection)

Doris Troy - "Just One Look" Hit #10 in 1963

- This is yet another song on the album where the band used spoken word parts:
"I mean, they're not gonna kill ya, so if you give 'em a quick short, sharp, shock, they won't do it again. Dig it? I mean he got off lightly, 'cause I would've given him a thrashing, I only hit him once. It was only a difference of opinion, but really, I mean good manners don't cost nothing do they, eh?"

- Author's Note: The song is a metaphor for the division between those who are ordinary in their work, and those who are in authority. The "Us" is the front rank military and the ordinary citizens of this world. The "Them" is the ranking officials, CEO's, politicians, and business owners who keep the ordinary, well, ordinary. There is a unique similarity to wars and our daily work- they are both jobs under the dutiful commands of others, or in this case, Them. The idea is that we are all the same: "in the end it's only round and round." But only in the end, are we the same. "For the want of the price of tea and a slice, the old man died."

It is merely another song on the album dealing with death and the significance of life.


Money, get away
get a good job with more pay and you're O.K.
money, it's a gas
grab that cash with both hands and make a stash
new car, caviar, four star daydream
think I'll buy me a football team
Money, get back
I'm alright, Jack, keep your hands off my stack
money, it's a hit
don't give me that do goody good bullshit
I'm in the hi-fidelity first class travelling set
and I think I need a Lear jet

Money, it's a crime
share it fairlybut don't take a slice of my pie
money, so they say
is the root of all evil today
but if you ask for a rise it's no surprise that they're
giving none away, away, away

- Released 1973

It is the only song on the album to hit the top 20 in the United States charts.

- "Money" is notable for its unusual time signature. Despite relatively recent remarks by bassist and principal composer Roger Waters and guitarist David Gilmour, that the song had been composed primarily in 7/8 time it was actually composed in 7/4, as Gilmour previously acknowledged in an interview with Guitar World magazine in 1993. Most rock music is written in 4/4, or common time, and most of the exceptions are in 3/4 or a similar triple meter. The typical rock offbeats on two and four are instead on two, four and six, leaving two notes in a row without a beat.

- Roger Waters put together the cash register tape loop that plays throughout the song. It also contains the sounds of tearing paper and bags of coins being thrown into an industrial food-mixing bowl. The intro was recorded by capturing the sounds of an old cash register on tape, and meticulously splicing and cutting the tape in a rhythmic pattern to make the "cash register loop" effect.

Bands like The Beatles had used tape loops, but never like this. The tape loop used on this was about 20 feet long, and if you've ever seen a reel-to-reel tape machine, you can imagine how hard it was to keep it playing. In order to get the right tension and continuously feed the machine, they set up the loop in a big circle using microphone stands to hold it up. It was fed through the tape machine and played throughout the song. Reference

-As in the previous songs on the album, voices can be heard in the background at the end of this song using the same people:
"HuHuh! I was in the right!"
"Yes, absolutely in the right!"
"I certainly was in the right!"
"You was definitely in the right. That geezer was cruising for a
"Why does anyone do anything?"
"I don't know, I was really drunk at the time!"
"I was just telling him, he couldn't get into number 2. He was asking
why he wasn't coming up on freely, after I was yelling and
screaming and telling him why he wasn't coming up on freely.
It came as a heavy blow, but we sorted the matter out."

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Great Gig in the Sky

(At 0:38)

And I am not frightened of dying. Any time will do; I don't mind.
Why should I be frightened of dying? There's no reason for it—you've gotta go sometime.

- spoken by Gerry O'Driscoll (an Irish Abbey Road Studios doorman at the time)

(At 3:33)

I never said I was frightened of dying.

- spoken by Miv "Puddie" Watts (wife of roadie Peter Watts and mother of actress Naomi Watts)

- Released 1973

- The song features soaring voice instrumental music by Clare Torry

- Torry mentioned that she was trying to emulate an instrument. It was, from all published accounts, an improvisation with Torry apparently using her songwriting skills to give it form and function. In fact, she mentions in her interview that she was never clearly told that the song was about death.

- Torry also mentions that she left [the recording] thinking that it wouldn't be included on the final cut. In fact, she states that the only way she knew it was used was when she saw it at a local record store, saw her name in the credits and purchased it. For her participation, she was paid thirty quid and a pair of tickets for a concert at Earl's Court in 1973. Reference

- In 2004, Torry sued Pink Floyd and EMI for songwriting royalties, on the basis that her contribution to "Great Gig in the Sky" constituted co-authorship with Rick Wright. In 2005, a settlement was reached in High Court in Torry's favour, although terms were not disclosed.

- Most of the song is a slightly altered arrangement of the beat and bassline from the song "Breathe". The beat and bassline were very much part of Pink Floyd's playing style as far back as Atom Heart Mother. However, due to the altered beat and bassline, it is not directly related to "Breathe"

During the recording of “The Dark Side Of The Moon”, the guys from Pink Floyd wrote on little papers questions like “Are you afraid of death?” and gave them to everybody that was working at Abbey Road studio at the time. This included all the roadies, sound technicians, Gerry O'Driscoll, and even Paul McCartney (who was recording a solo album at the same studio). The answers to the questions were recorded, and the best ones were put on the disc. However, Paul’s answers weren’t put on the disc because “he tried to be funny”. Reference

Time/Breathe (Reprise)

Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
You fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way

Tired of lying in the sunshine
Staying home to watch the rain
And you are young and life is long
And there is time to kill today
And then one day you find
Ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run
You missed the starting gun

And you run, and you run to catch up with the sun, but it's sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again
The sun is the same in a relative way, but you're older
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death

Every year is getting shorter
Never seem to find the time
Plans that either come to naught
Or half a page of scribbled lines
Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way
The time is gone
The song is over
Thought I'd something more to say

Home, home again
I like to be here when I can
When I come home cold and tired
It's good to warm my bones beside the fire
Far away across the field
The tolling of the iron bell
Calls the faithful to their knees
To hear the softly spoken magic spells

- Released 1973

The only song on the album, Dark Side of the Moon, credited to all four members of the band.

- The song is a memento mori describing the phenomenon in which time seems to pass more quickly as one ages, often leading to despair in old age over missed opportunities of the past.

- Each clock at the beginning of the song was recorded separately in an antiques store. This is followed by an eerie two-minute passage dominated by Nick Mason's rototoms and backgrounded by a tocking sound created by Roger Waters picking two muted strings on his bass. With David Gilmour singing lead on the verses and with Richard Wright singing lead on the bridges and with female singers providing backup vocals, the lyrics of the song deal with Roger Waters's realization that life was not about preparing yourself for what happens next, but about grabbing control of your own destiny.

- The song is most likely inspired by the Robert Herrick poem, "To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time." The poem is in the genre of carpe diem, to seize the day. “To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time” is perhaps one of the most famous poems to extol the notion of carpe diem. Carpe diem, or “seize the day,” expresses a philosophy that recognizes the brevity of life and therefore the need to live for and in the moment. Seizing the day means eating, drinking and making merry for tomorrow we shall all die.

To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,

Old Time is still a-flying:

And this same flower that smiles to-day

To-morrow will be dying.

The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,

The higher he's a-getting,

The sooner will his race be run,

And nearer he's to setting.

That age is best which is the first,

When youth and blood are warmer;

But being spent, the worse, and worst

Times still succeed the former.

Then be not coy, but use your time,

And while ye may, go marry:

For having lost but once your prime,

You may for ever tarry.
- If the preceding song, On the Run, was about a dream regarding the fear of flying, then the chiming clocks in the beginning of the song, Time, may be the rousing of that same dreamer out of sleep.

- On 3-11 February 1995, the opening sequence of "Time" was played as a wakeup call for the crew of space mission STS-63

Speak to Me- Breathe (Breathe in the Air) - On the Run

Breathe, breathe in the air
don't be afraid to care
leave but don't leave me
look around, choose your own ground
for long you live and high you fly
and smiles you'll give and tears you'll cry
and all your touch and all you see
is all your life will ever be

Run rabbit run
dig that hole, forget the sun
and when at last the work is down
don't sit down, it's time to dig another one
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

- Released March 2, 1973

The song is considered to be a representation of birth, with a relief from labor. Its lyrics, written by Roger Waters, beseech the listener to pause in their seemingly-endless labors and take notice of more meaningful pursuits in life. Reference

- Author's Note: "Breathe" is actually a two-part song: The first stanza represents birth, bliss, and innocence. The second stanza however, indicates the loss of that innocence by the futility of work- "Run rabbit run, dig that hole, forget the sun, and when at last the work is down, don't sit down, it's time to dig another one.."

"Forget the sun" means to forget about your leisure time, it is now time to get to work. "...when at last the work is done, don't sit down, it's time to dig another one." It is plainly obvious how Pink Floyd is showing us how short life really is and that our childhood is over before we know it.

- On the Run is an instrumental piece. At 27 seconds into the piece, the sound of a female voice on a loudspeaker can be heard; apparently an airport public address system. She is saying, "Have your baggage and passport ready and then follow the green line to customs and immigration. BEA flight 215 to Rome, ? and Lagos"

- The sound of footsteps can be heard running through the airport.

- At 1:54, Roger "The Hat" Manifold, Pink Floyd road manager says: "Live for today, gone tomorrow. That's me." He then laughs.

- When the Dark Side of the Moon was performed in 1972 (before the album was released), it went under the title "The Travel Sequence" and was, instead of a complex electronic instrumental, a more simple guitar jam, without the use of synthesizers and other electronic instruments.

Author's Note: I believe On the Run is actually someone experiencing a nightmarish dream of flying. If you listen to the song, the voice on the airport public address system is not very clear and is rather haunting. Even the sound of the footsteps can be considered unrealistic for a reason- the protagonist of the song is enduring a dream where he is flying- it is a common fear and a common dream to have- the fear of flying.

The unfortunate dream continues with the protagonist on the airplane flying, and of course, the protagonist is very uneasy with this event. And at the end of the song, the plane then crashes.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Several Species Of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together In A Cave And Grooving With A Pict

Aye an' a bit of mackerel, settler rack and down
Ran it down by the home, and I flew
Well, it slapped me and I flopped it down in the shade
And I cried, cried, cried
The tear had fallen down he had taken, never back to raise
And then cried Mary, an' took out wi' your Claymore
Right outta a' pocket, i ran down, down by the mountain side
Battlin' the fiery horde that was falling around the feet
"Never!," he cried. "Never shall ye get me alive
Ye rotten hound of the burnie crew!"
Well I snatched fer the blade an' a Claymore cut and thrust
And I fell down before him round his feet
Aye! A roar he cried!
Frae the bottom of 'is heart
That I would nay fall but as dead
Dead as I can by y' feet, d'ya ken?
...And the wind cried back

- Released October 1969

- The track consists of several minutes of noises resembling rodents and birds simulated by Waters' voice and other techniques, such as tapping the microphone played at different speeds, followed by Waters providing a few stanzas of quasi-lyrics in an exaggerated Scottish brogue.

The Picts were the indigenous people of what is now Scotland that merged with the Scots.

- There is a "hidden message" in the song at approximately 4:34. If played at a slower speed, Waters can be heard to say, "That was pretty avant-garde, wasn't it?"(PF-Species-avantgarde.ogg sample (help·info)). Also, at the very end of the rant, Waters is heard to say "and the wind cried Mary", followed by "Thank you."

- "It's not actually anything, it's a bit of concrete poetry. Those were sounds that I made, the voice and the hand slapping were all human generated - no musical instruments." - Roger Waters.

- The album's title supposedly comes from a Cambridge slang word for sexual intercourse, commonly used by one of Pink Floyd's friends and occasional roadie, Iain "Imo" Moore who would joke 'Am I gunna' have sex tonight?! . However, some band members have since stated that the word was "totally made up and means nothing at all".

- Historical information on the Picts.

- Author's Note: I remember listening to this album when I was very young. At the time, I had a dog who went absolutely nuts when I played this record. He'd be barking and howling all through the song, pacing around the room, and glancing nervously out the window- most likely looking for several different species of invisible creatures in our backyard. I also remember my mother walking past my room and she threw open my bedroom door when I was listening to this song, "What in God's name are you listening to?" All I know is I couldn't answer anything other than, "It's Pink Floyd." Quite amazing, when you consider Waters used no musical instruments on this track.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


You say the hill's too steep to climb
Climb it
You say you'd like to see me try
You pick the place and I'll choose the time
And I'll climb the hill in my own way
Just wait a while for the right day
And as I rise above the tree lines and the clouds
I look down
Hear the sound of the things you said today

Fearlessly, the idiot faced the crowd smiling
Merciless, the magistrate turns 'round, frowning
And who's the fool who wears the crown?
And no doubt in your own way
And every day is the right day
And as you rise above the fear-lines in his brow
You look down and hear the sound of the faces in the crowd

(You'll never walk alone...)

- Its title is derived from a football (soccer) slang term for "awesome", which became a cliché among the band's touring party.

- Near the beginning and at the end of the song, a field recording of fans in Liverpool's Kop singing "You'll Never Walk Alone" is superimposed over the music. This Rodgers and Hammerstein song became the anthem of Liverpool F.C. after Gerry & the Pacemakers had a number-one hit with their recording. Roger Waters is in fact a staunch supporter of Arsenal F.C..

- Video of Liverpool Football fans singing the anthem, "You'll Never Walk Alone."

- Video of Gerry & the Pacemakers' number-one hit, "You'll Never Walk Alone."

When you walk through a storm hold your head up high
And don't be afraid of the dark.
At the end of the storm is a golden sky
And the sweet, silver song of a lark.

Walk on through the wind, walk on through the rain
Though your dreams be tossed and blown.
Walk on, walk on with hope in your heart
And you'll never walk alone.
You'll never walk alone.

Walk on, walk on with hope in your heart
And you'll never walk alone, you'll never walk alone.

Author's Note: From reading Gerry & the Pacemakers' original song, it is easy to see how the song inspired Pink Floyd to write their own version of fearlessness.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Corporal Clegg

Corporal Clegg had a wooden leg
He won it in the war, in 1944.
Corporal Clegg had a medal too
In orange, red, and blue
He found it in the zoo.
Dear, dear were they really sad for me?
Dear, dear will they really laugh at me?
Mrs. Clegg, you must be proud of him.
Mrs. Clegg, another drop of gin.
Corporal Clegg umbrella in the rain
He's never been the same
No one is to blame
Corporal Clegg received his medal in a dream
From Her Majesty the queen
His boots were very clean.
Mrs. Clegg, you must be proud of him
Mrs. Clegg, another drop of gin.

This song is about a soldier who lost his leg in World War II, and his apparently alcoholic wife. It is the first mention of war in a Pink Floyd song.

David Gilmour also plays the kazoo on this song. The inventor of the kazoo was named Thaddeus von Clegg, which is perhaps why they chose to name the title character Clegg. Reference

- Corporal (Cpl) is the second rank of non-commissioned officer in the British Army and Royal Marines, falling between Lance-Corporal and Sergeant. The badge of rank is a two-bar chevronsection, with a Lance Corporal as Second-in-Command (2ic). When the section is split into fire teams, they command one each. In the Royal Armoured Corps, a Corporal commands an individual tank. Their duties therefore largely correspond to those of Sergeants or even Staff Sergeants in the United States Army and Corporals are often described as the "backbone" of the British Army. (also known as "stripes", "tapes" or "hooks"). A corporal's role varies between regiments, but in the standard infantry role a corporal commands a

- Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason sang the lines, "He won it in the war... in orange red and blue... he's never been the same... and from her majesty the queen." It was Mason's only vocal contribution until Pink Floyd's sixth album, Meddle, in 1971.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Jugband Blues

It's awfully considerate of you to think of me here
And I'm much obliged to you for making it clear
That I'm not here.
And I never knew the moon could be so big
And I never knew the moon could be so blue
And I'm grateful that you threw away my old shoes
And brought me here instead dressed in red
And I'm wondering who could be writing this song.
I don't care if the sun don't shine
And I don't care if nothing is mine
And I don't care if I'm nervous with you

I'll do my loving in the winter.
And the sea isn't green
And I love the queen
And what exactly is a dream
And what exactly is a joke.

- This is the very last song Syd Barrett wrote for the band, and is the single contribution to the album, A Saucerful of Secrets.

- Interesting to note, it is also listed as the last song on the album.

Barrett wanted a Salvation Army band to play on the track. They were brought in, but when he stated that he wanted them to simply "play whatever they want" regardless of the rest of the group, Norman Smith insisted on recorded parts. Eventually both versions were recorded and used.

- 8 members of the Salvation Army (The International Staff Band) - Ray Bowes (cornet), Terry Camsey (cornet), Mac Carter (trombone), Les Condon (Eb bass), Maurice Cooper (Euphonium), Ian Hankey (trombone), George Whittingham (Bb bass), and one other.

The song is viewed by many fans as a sad farewell piece by Barrett who, by the beginning of the recording sessions for A Saucerful of Secrets, was already shrinking into a delirious state of mind, exacerbated by his feelings of alienation from the rest of the band, as can be gleaned from the painfully specific lyrics in the song ("I don't care if the sun don't shine/ And I don't care if nothing is mine"), although it has been argued that the common interpretation of the lyrics as reflecting Barrett's dementia owes more to Barrett's popular image more than fact, and that they could be read as a criticism of the other band members for forcing him out. Reference

"Jugband Blues" is most often viewed as a creepy-spooky farewell to the band from its increasingly deranged ex-leader. While the lyrics do support this interpretation, the opening line -- "It's awfully considerate of you to think of me here/And I'm almost obliged to you for making it clear that I'm not here" -- sounds more like a potshot at Barrett's soon-to-be-former bandmates and their management, from an all-too-lucid singer/songwriter angered at being edged out of the band he founded. Reference

Author's Note: It is not difficult to see how utterly heartbreaking this song really is. One view of the video with a complacent and unwavering Syd Barrett blatantly reveals the overwhelming depression going on inside him. The opening lines in the song scream of a scathing betrayal by the band. "
It's awfully considerate of you to think of me here, And I'm much obliged to you for making it clear, That I'm not here."

He later goes on to say, "
And I'm wondering who could be writing this song. I don't care if the sun don't shine. And I don't care if nothing is mine. And I don't care if I'm nervous with you."
It very much sounds like he understands his days of leading Pink Floyd are over, but that he isn't exactly ready to part with the band yet.

And finally, the last two lines in the song seem to confirm his unhappiness of being asked to leave the band.

Monday, January 12, 2009

See Emily Play

Emily tries but misunderstands, ah ooh
She's often inclined to borrow somebody's dreams till tomorrow
There is no other day
Let's try it another way
You'll lose your mind and play
Free games for may
See Emily play
Soon after dark Emily cries, ah ooh
Gazing through trees in sorrow hardly a sound till tomorrow
There is no other day
Let's try it another way
You'll lose your mind and play

Free games for may
See Emily play
Put on a gown that touches the ground, ah ooh
Float on a river forever and ever, Emily
There is no other day
Let's try it another way
You'll lose your mind and play
Free games for may
See Emily play

The song was reportedly about a girl named Emily, whom [Syd] Barrett claimed he saw while sleeping in the woods after taking a hallucinogenic drug. Barrett later stated that the story about sleeping in the woods and seeing a girl before him was made up "...all for publicity."

-This was the band's second single.

- According to A Saucerful of Secrets: The Pink Floyd Odyssey, by Nicholas Schaffner, Emily is the Honorable Emily Young (b. March 13, 1951), daughter of Wayland Hilton Young, 2nd Baron Kennet, and nicknamed "the psychedelic schoolgirl" at the UFO Club. An article in Mojo
magazine called "See the Real Emily" supposedly shows a picture of Barrett's Emily. Reference

- During the sessions for the song, David Gilmour was a visitor to the studio, after being invited by Syd. He was shocked by what he perceived as a change in Syd's personality, and Syd did not appear to even recognize his old friend, despite having invited him there in the first place. For many years Gilmour would recall this encounter with the saying, "I'll go on record as saying, that was when he changed." Reference

- The slide guitar work on the song is said to have been done by Barrett with a Zippo lighter.

- The train depicted on the single's sleeve was actually drawn by Barrett himself.

- "Free games for may" = the song was also known as "Games for May," and sometimes "Free Games for May," after a free concert in which [Syd] Barrett's Pink Floyd performed.

- GAMES FOR MAY - Space Age Relaxation for the Climax of Spring

12th of May 1967 - A one-time concert in Queen Elizabeth Hall, London -the first concept piece of PF and the first time Quadraphonic Sound Equipment was used.
1) 'Tape Dawn' Taped sound effects of birds etc. recorded by Roger Waters. Served as introduction to the show and was played in the foyer of the theatre prior to the show.
2) Matilda Mother
3) Flaming
4) Scarecrow
5) Jugband Blues
6) Games for May Written for this occasion and later rewritten and retitled to See Emily Play
7) Bike
8) Arnold Layne
9) Candy And a Currant Bun
10) Pow R Toc H
11) Interstellar Overdrive
12) 'Tape Bubbles' Taped sound effects by Rick Wright to accompany soap bubbles filling the theatre
13) 'Tape Ending' Taped instrumental piece by Barrett
14) Encore: Lucifer Sam

- As a venerable tribute to Syd Barrett, part of the vocal melody was played on a Mini Moog at the very end of "Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts VI-IX)" at the very end of the Wish You Were Here album.