A Musical Note: Pink Floyd – Grantchester Meadows

The other day I presented “See Emily Play” to good reviews and insightful thoughts.

Today I want to play for you something that is about as unlike “Pink Floyd” as you might imagine.  This piece is pure poetry.

Grantchester Meadows” is a song from the second half of the experimental Pink Floyd album Ummagumma. It was written and performed entirely by Roger Waters. The song features Waters’ lyrics accompanied by an acoustic guitar, while a tape loop of a skylark chirps in the background throughout the entire song. At approximately 4:13, the sound of a honking goose is temporarily introduced, followed by the sound of it taking off.

Ummagumma was a two-disc recording, the first being live, and the second (always my favorite) being a studio masterpiece.  Listen to this with headphones if you can, for the amazing sounds, but even if you can’t, I trust you will find yourself captivated by the poetry of the lyrics.

I give you one of my all-time favorites from Pink Floyd, Grantchester Meadows:

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7 responses to “A Musical Note: Pink Floyd – Grantchester Meadows

  1. Pink Floyd Grantchester Meadows Lyrics:
    Icy wind of night, be gone
    This is not your domain
    In the sky a bird was heard to cry
    Misty morning whisperings
    And gentle stirring sounds
    Belied a deathly silence
    That lay all around

    Hear the lark and harken
    To the barking of the dog fox
    Gone to ground
    See the splashing
    Of the kingfisher flashing to the water
    And a river of green is sliding
    Unseen beneath the trees
    Laughing as it passes
    Through the endless summer
    Making for the sea

    In the lazy water meadow
    I lay me down
    All around me golden sunflakes
    Settle on the ground
    Basking in the sunshine
    Of a by-gone afternoon,
    Bringing sounds of yesterday
    [ Find more Lyrics on http://mp3lyrics.org/E7MI ]
    Into this city room

    Hear the lark and harken
    To the barking of the dog fox
    Gone to ground
    See the splashing
    Of the kingfisher flashing to the water
    And a river of green is sliding
    Unseen beneath the trees
    Laughing as it passes
    Through the endless summer
    Making for the sea

    In the lazy water meadow
    I lay me down
    All around me golden sunflakes
    Covering the ground
    Basking in the sunshine
    Of a by-gone afternoon
    Bringing sounds of yesterday
    Into my city room

    Hear the lark and harken
    To the barking of the dog fox
    Gone to ground
    See the splashing
    Of the kingfisher flashing to the water.
    A river of green is sliding
    Unseen beneath the trees
    Laughing as it passes
    Through the endless summer
    Making for the sea.
    Lyrics: Grantchester Meadows, Pink Floyd [end]

  2. Thank you for this, Richard. Yes, my comments are going to be more ‘healthy’ towards this song. Indeed when it came to the psychedelic ‘ville’ as I called it in the former album, I couldn’t help but psychologically identify with Emily, and do not, even now, feel I led you far astray with my theory.
    But things changed quickly in the 60’s. From my own life experience, at one point in time I’d be dancing in a warehouse loft with the psychedelic lights flashing above, and not that much later I’d find myself in one of the ‘return to nature’ communes, sleeping in the dome structure that had been built after I forget his name. And possibly the same thing has happened with Pink Floyd. Certainly it is a different lyricist. I read all the lyrics from the last album. It could, if I may say, be considered slightly ‘fantastic’ with its goblins, and what I suspect is the drug culture language in use at that time. But here, gratefully, they seem to have retreated to nature.
    I was mesmerized in listening to this song. Thank you, Richard.

    • I hope others share your experience of this song. I find it totally entralling, as beautiful a bit of lyrical poetry as I’ve heard in a long time.

      I can think of only one other line in “modern” music that moves me as much. It is from “The Who”, and the line goes… “…you take away the breath I was saving for sunrise…” Also good stuff.

  3. I think the architect futurist who promoted the dome structures was named Buckminister Fuller, but I might be wrong. Anyway, the difference between these two albums demonstrates for me at least, just how important the lyricist, (think writer) is in the production of music.

    • And I thank you for introducing me to this music. I really didn’t live the sixties. Was never really involved in any of the ‘cultures’. Just me and my books, and my ‘acting career’…..would you believe?

  4. I cant believe i dont know this song.
    I am such a pink floyd fan.
    I have loads of then.
    Dark side of the moon is my favourite.
    The wall is one of the best albums i have in my collection.
    But i have to say.
    Towards the end they lost something.
    Dave gilmoure was the person who made that band and roger waters kind of took it in the wrong direction the way i see it

  5. What Artswebshow said.

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