3 Eternal Classic Rock Songs by Pink Floyd

When it comes to the classic rock British Invasion bands, Pink Floyd sticks out. The group is unlike any other, though they share components with many. They’re psychedelic like the late-stage Beatles. Dynamic musicians like Led Zeppelin. Unabashed like The Who. But together, the group is its own thing, rich with songs that have changed the world.

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And some of those songs will last forever, to be sure. While Pink Floyd boasts albums like The Dark Side of the Moon, which itself will live on both in glory and infamy, the group has songs even outside that record that will continue to stand the test of time. Here below, we will dive into three of those tracks.

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“Wish You Were Here” from Wish You Were Here (1975)

An iconic opening, one many early guitar players learn on their acoustics, this track was released by the band in 1975 on the album of the same name. The track is imbued with so much remorse and disappointment. As for the meaning of the song, there are several. The band’s David Gilmour often cites its an ode to former band member Syd Barrett, who left the group and suffered from mental health issues. But Roger Waters says he directs the song at himself, reminding himself to be present in his own life. But that’s the beauty of the track, ultimately. It can be for or about anyone in your life who means something dear. Sings Gilmour,

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?

Did they get you to trade
Your heroes for ghosts?
Hot ashes for trees?
Hot air for a cool breeze?
Cold comfort for change?
Did you exchange
A walk-on part in the war
For a lead role in a cage?

“Another Brick in the Wall” from The Wall (1979)

This rock-meets-disco song from the band’s 1979 rock opera The Wall, this song is about rebellion. But more pointedly it’s about the mind control society can foist upon its younger generations and how one needs to be conscious of that in order to extricate themselves from it. If you aren’t closely watching, the norms of civility can make you lose yourself entirely. It’s because of this theme that this song will live forever. Sings Waters,

We don’t need no education
We don’t need no thought control
No dark sarcasm in the classroom
Teacher, leave them kids alone

Hey, teacher, leave them kids alone
All in all, it’s just another brick in the wall
All in all, you’re just another brick in the wall

“Comfortably Numb” from The Wall (1979)

Another song from the 1979 album The Wall, this song is about dissociation. Often, the rigors and horrors of life can make a person want to take drugs and remove themselves psychologically, if not physically, from the world. Long have drugs been a part of rock music history, so this is something the band knows well. But this song is also a warning. The title is ironic. One must instead remain present—that’s the only real escape. Sings Waters,

There is no pain you are receding
A distant ship smoke on the horizon
You are only coming through in waves
Your lips move but I can’t hear what you’re saying
When I was a child I had a fever
My hands felt just like two balloons
Now I’ve got that feeling once again
I can’t explain you would not understand
This is not how I am
I have become comfortably numb

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