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Shine On You Crazy Diamond

On Monday, August 11th, 2014, I was working on the finishing touches to a new “Music On Monday” post when I heard the news about the suicide of Robin Williams. I put the article on hold for a much better day. Today I was driving around running some errands and on one of the rock stations on Sirius/XM the DJ played this song as a tribute to Robin. I love this song. It’s touching, sad, and haunting. Both the music and the lyrics are so beautifully composed. A fitting tribute I thought.
Here it is, along with some background…

Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Pink Floyd)

Shine On You Crazy Diamond” is a nine-part Pink Floyd composition written by Roger Waters, Richard Wright and David Gilmour. It is a tribute to former band member Syd Barrett. The work was first performed on their 1974 French tour, and recorded for their 1975 concept album Wish You Were Here. The song series was intended to be a side-long composition (like “Atom Heart Mother” and “Echoes“), but was ultimately split into two sections and used to bookend the album, with new material composed that was more relevant to this epic, and to the situation in which the band found themselves. You can read more about the circumstances around the creation of this song here >

IMAGE-NightSky by Brian Peterson

Shine On You Crazy Diamond

Remember when you were young,
You shone like the sun.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Now there’s a look in your eyes,
Like black holes in the sky.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
You were caught on the crossfire
Of childhood and stardom,
Blown on the steel breeze.
Come on you target for faraway laughter,
Come on you stranger, you legend, you martyr, and shine!

You reached for the secret too soon,
You cried for the moon.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Threatened by shadows at night,
And exposed in the light.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Well you wore out your welcome
With random precision,
Rode on the steel breeze.
Come on you raver, you seer of visions,
Come on you painter, you piper, you prisoner, and shine!

•  •  •

Here’s a fantastic piece of rock music history – Pink Floyd, live in 1990 –  performing Shine On You Crazy Diamond with David Gilmour on vocals.

The featured image of the night sky is by Brian Peterson:

9 replies »

  1. I could hear it as I read it; perhaps my favorite album of all time. Still, it makes a different impression in text, and in the context of Mr Williams, that I hadn’t appreciated until now. Thanks.


    • Thanks for your note. I’m happy to know that others appreciate this. I just read the lyrics again (for the hundredth time), and it saddens me to the core each time. For Syd Barrett, for Robin Williams, and I’m sure… so many others. xo

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for this post Debra. What a perfect song for such a sad event. I love this song, and much of this album is my favorite Pink Floyd material. Wish You Were Here is probably My favorite Floyd song of all and the title also seems to fit my feelings regarding Mr Williams death.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You know I love this and it was very appropriate for the remembrance of such a talented person we are now finding out was battling his demons while we laughed at his humor. Thank you Deb!

    Liked by 1 person

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