Song of the Day #65: ‘Wish You Were Here’ – Pink Floyd

I believe every high school boy goes through a Pink Floyd phase. Maybe that’s not the case anymore, but when I was in high school (late 80s) they were all the rage.

I listened to The Wall on headphones over and over again, marveling at the way the groupie moved from one side of my head to the other as she walked through Pink’s hotel room (“Wanna take a baaath?”). I listened to monotonous 17-minute epics like ‘Echoes’ and ‘Dogs’ with a straight face. I set my CD player to wake me up with the cacophony of alarm clocks at the beginning of Dark Side of the Moon‘s ‘Time.’

But the album, and song, that had the biggest effect on me was definitely Wish You Were Here. My friends and I wrote the lyrics of this baby on our notebooks and talked about how deep it was.

We’re just two lost souls
Swimming in a fishbowl, year after year
Running over the same old ground
What have we found?
The same old fears
Wish you were here

The things is, it’s still a great song . I look back on much of my Pink Floyd obsession with a smile, a jaded father of two amused by the teenage philosopher I fancied myself. But when I listen to this song today, I’m warmed by the nostalgia but also swept up in the stellar songwriting. I love how David Gilmour noodles around on his guitar in the beginning, playing along to a radio station, before strumming the opening chords. And I love the unabashed romanticism of it all.

My friends and I dug this song so much that, as juniors, we stacked the deck and got it elected as that year’s prom theme. It was pretty surreal dancing in a rented tux to a cheesy band’s rendition of our favorite song, and we were always convinced the lead singer botched the line “Hot ashes for trees?” by singing “Hot ashes for wheat?”

Good times.

2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #65: ‘Wish You Were Here’ – Pink Floyd

  1. Amy says:

    You were deep 😉

    A few of my students were discussing the symbol on that album cover the other day, so I don’t think Pink Floyd is completely lost to today’s youth. Still – your prom theme? 🙂 Now that’s cute.

    I have always loved this song whenever I’ve heard it over the past 30 or so years that I might have had cause to listen to it. Still, I never went through an official Pink Floyd phase. Must be the lack of a y chromosome.

  2. Dana says:

    Great song, and Dark Side of the Moon is a great album for any generation–whether on drugs or not:)

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