Friday, September 26, 2008

Wish You Were Here - Pink Floyd

Artist: Pink Floyd
Song: Wish You Were Here
Year: 1975
Album: Wish You Were Here

This song has a long history with me. It was one of the first Pink Floyd songs that I could recite verbatim. This was also the first song that I was successful at while singing karaoke. This was also the first Pink Floyd songs that my friend and I attempted to record ourselves. Most people who have heard it think we did a great job with it.

This was one of the first songs that I could hear more going on around the song than most people would take the time to recognize. The radio switching stations gently to start off the song gives it a unique feel. The muted beginning is a great teaser. When the chords of the guitar come strumming in, twice as loud, it seems jarring.

This all sets up the mood of the song perfectly. This laid back song is secretly anti-war, but reeks of alienation from everything. It fills your mind with contrasting images and bizarre concepts that fit perfectly with the big picture. Then, as mysteriously as the song arrived, it disappears into the wind.

I was lucky enough to see this song performed live in 1994, during the last tour of Pink Floyd. It will be an experience that I will never forget. I am glad that I got to see some form of Pink Floyd before the members started to die off. This would be the closest I would get to see the classic lineup of Pink Floyd. I enjoyed every minute of it.

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?
And did they get you to trade your heroes for ghosts?
Hot ashes for trees?
Hot air for a cool breeze?
Cold comfort for change?
And 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.

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