Neverwednesday Nights

>> Wednesday, May 13, 2009

In a sense, "High Hopes" is the last Pink Floyd song: it's the last track on the band's final studio album, The Division Bell, and of course it's an elegy for lost youth. And the lyrics, written by guitarist David Gilmour's wife and collaborator Polly Samson, slyly reference a number of early Floyd tracks (e.g. the "burning bridges," the "myriad small creatures," "running before time"--that being a sort of literal joke--et al.).

Even without that, it's simply a gorgeous song. And while many don't rate the post-Roger Waters Floyd too highly, "High Hopes" just ranks with the band's best cuts; if you were to put together a single-disc "best of" compilation, you just couldn't not include it.

The video, directed by longtime Floyd visual partner Storm Thorgerson (he designed or co-designed all but three of Pink Floyd's album covers) is a mix--I'm not sure all of it works. But parts of it are brilliant--in particular, one should note that the giant bust being carted around towards the end of the video is that of Syd Barrett, the founding member who was lost to mental illness in 1968, making way for Gilmour's place in the band. (And Barrett and Gilmour were themselves old friends who busked across Europe together as teenagers.)

All that, and a beautiful lap-steel solo by Mr. Gilmour that you really ought to listen to.

"High Hopes":


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