Meaning of Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd & Song Story

The genius Syd Barrett can be called a key figure in the original composition of Pink Floyd. He was the frontman of the group, the author of almost all the material recorded on the first albums, and simply the ideological inspirer of the band. However, over time, he developed serious mental health problems, most likely caused by excessive consumption of LSD and other drugs.

The decision to stop working with Barrett was not easy for the members of the group, but there was no other way out for Pink Floyd. He was replaced by David Gilmour. It is known that later Sid appeared in the studio where the group recorded, and sat for hours in the lobby with a guitar, expecting to be invited to take part in the work. Barrett was also seen at concerts, where he hypnotized Gilmour with an unblinking gaze.

The history of creation and the meaning of the song Wish You Were Here

The band members were depressed by what was happening, and relations between them remained tense for a long time. This state of mind found expression in the new album Wish You Were Here (“It’s a pity that you are not here”), the title track of which was the song of the same name.

Roger Waters, the author of the words Wish You Were Here, claimed that it speaks of the internal contradictions that torment him, the struggle between idealism and selfishness. However, most of the band’s fans tend to view it as an appeal to Barrett. Yes, and Waters himself once mentioned that the lyrics of the song are based on his poem about the fall of Sid.

Wish You Were Here has an interesting composition. At first, a muffled sound of a tuned radio is heard (for this purpose, the receiver in Gilmour’s car was used). Then, on one of the channels, the introduction to the song begins, which is repeated several times. Gilmour’s guitar is connected to it. All this should give the listeners the impression that the musician begins to play along with the melody that sounds on the radio.

The success of Wish You Were Here is needless to say. It became one of Pink Floyd’s most famous songs and was later included in Rolling Stone magazine’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list.

Clip Wish You Were Here – Pink Floyd

Check out the music video for Wish You Were Here.

Interesting Facts

  • During the recording of Wish You Were Here, Syd Barrett came into the studio. He gained a lot of weight, shaved his head, including his eyebrows, and in general changed so much that his former colleagues did not immediately recognize him.
  • Gilmour composed the music for the song Wish You Were Here while relaxing in the studio, when he improvised on a 12-string guitar.
  • At the very beginning of the composition, the final part of Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony is heard, and at the end – the sounds of the violin by the famous musician Stefan Grappeli. He recorded at a nearby Abbey Road studio and agreed to play a few notes for a fee of three hundred pounds.

Wish You Were Here Lyrics Pink Floyd

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

Wish You Were Here Lyrics Pink Floyd

So you think you can tell
Heaven from hell, blue skies from pain
Are you able to distinguish the green field
From a cold steel rail?
A smile from a mask?
Do you think you can tell them apart?

They made you trade
Your idols for ghosts?
Hot ashes on trees?
Hot air for a cool breeze?
Cold comfort for a change?
And did you change
Involved in the war for the lead role in the cage?

What a pity, what a pity that you’re not here
We’re just two lost souls
Floating in a round aquarium
Year after year
running in circles
What have we gained?
All the same fears
It’s a pity you’re not here

Song quote

When I listen to this record, I think: “God, I should have played a little better. But after all, the idea was to show a guy who, sitting in a room, starts to improvise along for the sake of it, so there was no need to play too cleanly ”

Roger Waters

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