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David Gilmour - Wish You Were Here - Live 2002

Meltdown Concert 2002

David Gilmour: Guitars, vocals

Neill MacColl: Guitars, backing vocals

Michael Kamen: Piano, English horn

Chucho Merchán: Double bass

Caroline Dale: Cello

Dick Parry: Sax

Nic France: Drums & percussion

Gospel Choir: Sam Brown (choir leader), Chris Ballin, Pete Brown, Margo Buchanan, Claudia Fontaine, Michelle John Douglas, Sonia Jones, Carol Kenyon, David Laudat, Durga McBroom, Aitch McRobbie, Beverli Skeete

In the original album version, the song segues from "Have a Cigar" as if a radio had been tuned away from one station, through several others (including a radio play and one playing the opening of the finale movement of Tchaikovsky's Fourth Symphony), and finally to a new station where "Wish You Were Here" is beginning.

The radio was recorded from Gilmour's car radio. He performed the intro on a twelve-string guitar, processed to sound like it was playing through an AM radio, and then overdubbed a fuller-sounding acoustic guitar solo. This passage was mixed to sound as though a guitarist were listening to the radio and playing along. As the acoustic part becomes more complex, the 'radio broadcast' fades away and Gilmour's voice enters, while the rest of the band joins in.

Lyrically, the song is often considered to be a direct tribute to Syd Barrett. It pained Waters to see his friend so lost, so detached, so disengaged from the world around him. “Wish You Were Here” deals with that mental inability – the refusal, even – to engage with reality, and it served as much as a rallying for Waters as a sad tribute to Barrett's better days.


Spoken Intro:

And disciplinary remains mercifully

Yes and um, I’m with you Derek, this star nonsense

Yes, yes

Now which is it?

I am sure of it

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?

How I wish, how I wish you were here

We're just two lost souls, swimming in a fish bowl

Year after year

Running over the same old ground

What have we found?

The same old fears

Wish you were here

Songwriters: David Gilmour / Roger Waters

Wish You Were Here lyrics © Peermusic Publishing, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group, Concord Music Publishing LLC, BMG Rights Management


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