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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

(How I) Wish You Were Here

Have you ever had a song in your head that, while you are really not all that fond of it, you still can't get it out of your head? And so it is for me with the Pink Floyd song "Wish You Were Here". Now as a caveat to my first sentence, I don't like the song, but I do like the lyrics. From what I gather the song is about Syd Barrett, the founder of Pink Floyd; not long after the group began to become successful, years of hallucinogenic drug use caught up with Syd and he slowly slid into an almost permanent madness.

Anyway, I think the lyrics of this song are very touching. Maybe I view these lyrics through the lens of someone who has people close to him suffering from mental health issues. When you deal with someone close to you who suffers with this kind of illness it's nearly impossible to not want to reference a time in the past when they were "normal". Of course also in retrospect (well at least as far as I am concerned) they probably never really were here, as now I look back and see so many signs in the past that pointed to the problems of today. The cheap-n-easy thing to do is to blame yourself and think "I should have done this differently back then", but that relies all too much on the simplistic human view of time as this linear chain of events; in point of fact even doing something differently in the past never guarantees you that a future outcome will be different, let along better. Put another way, I am thinking that the human mind is simply far too complex for a cause-and-effect analysis.

Some things in life are best not over-thought, which I admit is difficult for me on many levels. So here's to simple songs expressing simple thoughts.

Wishing you were here.

Wish You Were Here (by Pink Floyd)

So, so you think you can tell
Heaven from Hell,
Blue skys 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 heros 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.

1 comment:

Stephen Albert said...

Marry...thank you for the kind words.

- Steve