Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Lyrics of the Day

A spokesperson announced today that Syd Barrett, a founding member of Pink Floyd, died recently at age 60. Barrett suffered a mental breakdown and left Pink Floyd in 1968, but he inspired some of their most famous work after his departure, including "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" from the album Wish You Were Here, which was dedicated to him. When I heard of Barrett's passing, my first thought was of Dark Side of the Moon and its climax, "Brain Damage:"
The lunatic is in my head.
The lunatic is in my head.
You raise the blade, you make the change,
You rearrange me till 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.
Roger Waters wrote those lyrics for his former bandmate: "The lunatic was Syd, really. He was obviously in my mind." The line about the band playing different tunes could be interpreted several ways. Pink Floyd indeed played different tunes and changed their style after Barrett left, but it could also be about one of the symptoms of Barrett's mental illness and/or drug use -- he would literally play different songs from the rest of the band onstage.

And yes, I do realize there is a "Floyd" theme to my posts today.

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