In the YouTube discussions on this song someone has said “If God had a ringtone, it would be this”.
Sung here by Dave Gilmour, the lyrics were written mainly by Roger Waters and made famous originally by Pink Floyd with their album of the same name. This performance is from the Meltdown Festival at the Royal Festival Hall, London in 2001.
I heard this song recently at a pub open mic night and it reminded me of how powerful and emotionally relevant it is for so many people. And it shows how a strong song can be performed successfully with minimal accompaniment, which is why I chose an ‘unplugged’ version to share.
The main theme is lament – an expression of grief for a lost person, a lost relationship or maybe a lost future, if only life had taken a different turn.
I find the words “did you exchange a walk-on part in the war
for a lead role in a cage?” a personal challenge, as I try to live a worthwhile life, and think about whether I take enough risks – or in religious language, whether I have enough faith.