"Shine On You Crazy Diamond" is a nine-part Pink Floyd composition written by David Gilmour, Roger Waters, and Rick Wright. It appeared on Pink Floyd's 1975 concept album Wish You Were Here.
The song was conceived and written as a tribute and remembrance to their former band member Syd Barrett, a founding member of Pink Floyd. Barrett was ousted from the band by the other members in 1968 due to his drug use and troubled mental health, which had affected his ability to integrate with the rest of the band and perform and create as a musician.
He was replaced by David Gilmour, Barrett's former school friend who had initially been brought in as second guitarist. The remaining band members felt guilty for removing him, but they viewed it as necessary, admiring Barrett's creativity and being concerned about his severe mental decline.
The work was first performed on their 1974 French tour and recorded for their 1975 concept album Wish You Were Here. It was intended to be a side-long composition (like "Atom Heart Mother" and "Echoes") but was split into two sections and used to bookend the album, with new material composed that was more relevant to the album and to the situation in which the band found themselves.
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 in the cross fire 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!
Songwriters: Waters / Gilmour / Wright Shine On You Crazy Diamond lyrics © Pink Floyd Music Publishers Ltd., Warner Tamerlane Pub Corpo/B/o Muziekuitgeverij Artemis Bv, Roger Waters Music Overseas Ltd, PINK FLOYD MUSIC PUBLR., INC., PINK FLOYD MUSIC PUBLISHERS LTD