Wish You Were Here (song)

Original Lyrics:

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 you found? The same old fears.
Wish you were here.


Take 1: (My Favourite – Gosay Recommended)
I can’t believe how wrong most people are about this one. The album and “Shine On…” were definitely directed at Syd. But this song is not about him. It’s from the point of view of the band (or anyone in their position) who has gone from a living a normal life in obscurity to sudden super-stardom. “Wish You Were Here” is a statement directed to the person the song writer USED to be.

A band or songwriter spends so much time honing their skills and striving for fame and fortune, and then all of a sudden when they achieve it, they’re surprised to find out that they don’t feel like themselves anymore. Fame can be very hazardous to your health and well being (see any of these for a perfect example: Kurt Cobain, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin). It would be nice to enjoy the success and fame and still be the same fun-loving person as you used to be, but that just doesn’t happen often.

On the 30th Anniversary DVD for Dark Side of the Moon, David Gilmour makes a comment about the follow up album, and says “That’s what the next album is all about — Wish You Were Here…because we weren’t”. That’s the key right there — WE WEREN’T. It’s got nothing to do with Syd.

Take 2:  (A Dramtic interpretation of the above song)
Wish you Were Here is about Pink Floyd’s founder and former front man(1966-1969) Syd Barrett. If your not familiar with the truly interesting and eye opening story of Barrett, let me know and I’ll fill you in. Syd Barrett’s music and time with the group left a deep impression on Pink Floyd’s music. Virtually every album is centered on Barrett. Here’s a description of Wish You Were Here by myself. From the record company, we follow the radio waves through the building untill we end up in a squeaky radio in a rather empty room. This is the room where Syd lives now: a bed, a table, a chair, a fridge, and a radio. We can hear coughing: this is Dave Gilmour actually coughing. When he heard the recording, he immediately decided to quit smoking!
Syd walks around (we can hear the stereo shift), and then he changes the channel. After some trial and error, he finds his favourite radio station, playing a song he knows. He gets his guitar and starts jamming with the radio. Now, we enter his dreamworld: he is actually there, with the band he left so many years ago.

In fact, Syd actually did show up while Pink Floyd was recording Wish You Were Here: he had become bald and fat, and no-one recognized him until Peter Jenner (the band’s manager) walked in and said: ‘My God, it’s Syd!’. Syd told them that he wanted to visit his old mates now that they had become a succesful rock band. They asked him if he wanted to join, but he refused.

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.

These lyrics are so beautiful. There’s few to explain it, all are just random images. I hope this helps. Please don’t hesitate to visit again with any of your Pink Floyd inquiries. I’d be more than happy to help. Please also be sure to “rate my performance”. Thanks again and hope to hear from you again.

Source:

http://www.musicouch.com/Musicouching/Analysis-Wish-You-Were-Here.112776

http://www.lyricinterpretations.com/lookat.php/bands/Pink-Floyd/89e01a61e219abd

1 comment
  1. rich knight said:

    i thought he asked if he could play with them and they declined the offer thats what i read his sister said he was joking about it but it backfired on him i wondered how long he stayed with them during the session

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