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Goodbye Blue Sky by Pink Floyd

Album: The WallReleased: 1979
  • According to Roger Waters, this is about remembering your childhood and then getting ready to set off into the rest of your life. (thanks, Mike - Mountlake Terrace, Washington)
  • On the original vinyl version of the album, "Goodbye Blue Sky" occupied the last slot on the first side of album one (The Wall was a double album). In an interview around the album's release, Waters described the song as being a recap of the first side of album one, summing up Pink's life to that point. As Waters says, in it's most simplistic form "it's remembering one's childhood and then getting ready to set off into the rest of one's life." (thanks, Robert - New Bern, NC)
  • The child who says the line, "Look mummy, there's an airplane up in the sky" is Roger's son Harry, who was only two years old at the time. Harry, like his father, also became a musician. (thanks, Jenny - Indianapolis, IN)
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Comments: 68

"I've got some bad news for you sunshine ... " ah ! No ! Wrong song, heh heh ! I've been listening to this album for about 35 years (not continuously, you understand) and the first time I ever heard the album I could NOT stop playing it. I've never considered the words spoken by the child at the beginning of "Goodbye Blue Sky" to be anything BUT: "Look Mummy, there's no plane up in the sky !", though I've had quite heated arguments with mate's about this. My mate's assuming that the kid is saying: "Look Mummy, there's an airplane ..." or "Look Mummy, there's an aeroplane ..." "... up in the sky !". So obviously, this point is without a doubt a matter of controversy and the only way I see this being resolved is if we have it on record from Roger Waters or whoever was with the kid at the time, when the recording was made. Only then will we have a definitive answer to this puzzle. Even then, I'm not sure as to whether we will have the truth, depending on how long a gap between the actual recording and the statement by a first-hand witness account is made. I say this latter point, quite simply because I am more than aware of how our brains, minds and memories fool us continuously. The "memories" of "events" we foster are mere fabrications we create as satisfactory consciousness-stories employed to make sense of the cacophony of sense data we sieve through brain, mind, memory filters. A model, a stratum of inventiveness that we call reality, but in factuality it is a mere shadow of actual reality. Consequently, even a so-called first-hand account as to what the original words spoken actually were, carry their own controversies. Therefore to be, as near as damned, ABSOLUTELY certain about this, I suppose we need several first-hand accounts, corroborating the same viewpoint and with their respective reasons as to why each account is held as it is held. Then and only then will we have anything close to a proper answer to this conundrum. However, having said (said ? typed !) all that, what does it matter, I mean, who gives a toss one way or another, really. Is it really that important, come on, it's not like we're trying to find the question to the answer: 42, now is it ? Otherwise we may as well admit to being somewhat Golgafrinchem about this, sat in Plato's cave refusing to look behind us, playing with a form of Cartesian dualism where none exists since reality is much more subtle than that, more analogue than digital ! Since reality has an infinite sampled bit-rate ! Better than CD, nay DVD, nay Blu Ray, nay Vinyl, oops, just returned to the original point on a spiraled curve, or a double helix even, but then that's life, well, it's not really is it ! Since it's more than chemical innit, it's vibrant ! D'yer dig ? A non-point ? Not really, more an ascent of the spiraled curve to the original point on the superstring, which is more multi-dimensional than single pointedness, if we're to be one-pointedly mindful about this less we end up placed unluminescely satellite-wise :-|Pooh - Manchester, United Kingdom
The Wall movies artwork describes only so little of what the song really means. In the movie, when the Nazi Eagle tore a piece of the earth out of the hill what is that supposed to mean? Plus, the dead soldiers don't have to do much with the song lyrics or its original meaning much either. Actually, the naked people with the gas mask faces do mean something though. I think it resembles us hiding not only our fearful faces but also shows us our nature of not knowing when the fear above will end.Drake - Huntington Beach, Ca
The words the kid says are "look mummy, the SMALL plane up in the sky"......Try listening to it....Allison - Kankakee, Il
Has it occured to anyone that the child is indeed saying, "Look, Mommy, there's no plane up in the sky," because it is indeed, not a plane, but a dirigible, as is obvious from the sound??!!Ted - Long Beach, Ca
this song is about the blitz on london. World War One was supposed to promise a clear blue sky with no more planes or bombs or wars and then World War Two came and we said goodbye to the blue sky and peace. The raven in the video represents germany and when it takes the chunk out of the earth its a symbol of the bombing on london and the city is bleeding from the destruction and death.Nate - Rochester , Ny
The child says "look mummy there's a little plane up in the sky"Spanky - Charleston, Sc
With the songs obvious lyric content a given, it is truly a beautiful song. The guitar and vocal harmonies are a true master piece.Billy - West Unity, Oh
This song is about what war does to society and how people must man up, regardless of there age
especially when war is on there country or are or whatever you can call it
Robert - Phoenix, Az
This and "What Shall We Do Now?" were both the only sequences that were really good for the movie of "The Wall."
Gerald Scarfe's animation is fantastic, and it fits perfectly with the song.
I am unsure exactly how this is about growing up as such.
The subject seems readily apparent to me, what with references to V1 and V2 bombs striking London and seeking shelter in tunnels.
Oldpink - New Castle, In
...Unless Pink Floyd is a prophet, it can't be about 9/11. The song was written BEFORE THEN. This song by itself seems to be about the Blitz on London, which is probably why Andrew chose it for our project on "The Destructors"...
Anyway, I like it. :]
Randa Panda - Hattiesburg/laurel, Ms
yea i agree with Max from Chicago, IL as well...lol...fo real thoLddr - Da Grove, Ny
i agree with Max from Chicago, IL. and i quote "For one thing, "look mommy, there's NO plane up in the sky" makes no sense at all on its own, let alone that the rest of the song is about falling bombs destroying a town. Turn the volume way up in the beginning and you can clearly hear the buzz of a propellor flying overhead. Considering all that, the child says "Look mommy, there's an airplane up in the sky" ......... it says it all...i have nothing to add. i know i know..."how original"...shut up..Sean - Lake Grove, Ny
btw its not any child and its not a girl :) its Harry Waters, Roger Waters Son who said that........ now he is playing the keys fro Rogers touring band.Berty - Madurai, India
I think the child at the start of the song says, "lool mummy, there's "NO" plane up in the sky." cause the planes are flying so low that they can't see them, but can hear them. Its NOT about 9/11 for sure. Its about WWII. Like 90% of all Pink Floyd songs are. Someone please tell me if I'm wrong about what the child at the beginning of the song is saying...I need to know.Shon - Trumann, Ar
the ww2 nazi bombings of england, war forces kids to grow up right quick.

Wars lead to untold destruction well after they are over (pain lingers on)

goodbye youth, goodbye innocence, goodbye to loved ones. 'goodbye blue sky'

All in a very short period war made men out of boys and dead out of men
Drew - Niagara , On
this song is not about 9/11 people get it straight!!!!!!! But this song's guitar and lovely singing is just sooo relaxing, reminds me of a summer afternoon on holiday. Another one of my favourite pink floyd songs!!!Allie - A Little Ol' Town In, Mi
This song is about when england was being bombed during a war and also they journey out of childhood in the movie but the lyrics talk about "cna you hear the dropping bombs. Can you see the frightened ones. Di you ever wonder why we had to run for shelter with the promise of a clear blue sky."Robert - New Bern, Nc
I believe this song was written about the horrors of the Luftwaffe during the Blitz on London in World War Two. Take for instance, the dove turning into a hawk. Germany was lying to the world in the pre-war days, saying that they wanted peace, so they had Chamberlin convinced that there would be peace in their time. Hence the dove, but it turns into the hawk, which was the Nazi's symbol, other than the swastika. The hawk rips up what appears to be a peice of a city, perhaps London, and that symbolizes the brutality of the bombings and they mention "Did you ever wonder why we had to run for shelter, when the promise of a brave new world unfurled beneath the clear blue sky?" He is making reference to the way of thinking post-WWI Europe was under by mocking the supposed brave new world.
The planes that are flying appear to be German ones, I study all things military and history so I believe he may again be making a reference to the Blitz. The people hiding in the tunnels is another reference to the Blitz, where London citizens hid in subqay tunnels to escape the fires and bombs above. The soldier may be his father, and from his perspective I believe that he thinks that his death was a waste and all that was given in return was a cross. The vlood-soaked cross that was once the British flag represents the sacrifices made in both wars to hold together and save a country that no longer existed, and that too was a waste because all the blood from the cross ran into the sewers, further representing the waste of the people and their sacrifices made to a country that was already gone. The lyric "The flames are all gone, but the pain lingers on," is a reference to the Blitz, because the germans used incendiary bombs to burn London, killing thousands. The flames have burnt out but the pain of the memory of those who died is still in our memeories. That's what I think this song is about.
Chris Hayes - Decatur, Tn
omg, OF COURSE it makes sense the line "look mummy there's NO plane up in the sky", wasnt The Wall about the 2nd War and Post War (roger waters' father went to the war, the berlin wall and such)? WAR, MAN, PLANES IN THE SKY, BOMBING JAPANESE CITIES (o btw, to link the song to 9/11 is also stupid). Then the little child says that theres no plane to announciate the end, no war anymore.
At least that's wot i think, and i think it's pretty clear.
Laila - Fortaleza, Brazil
THIS SONG IS CLEARLY NOT ABOUT 9/11!!!, This song was made a good 20 years before the twin towers where bombed. I personally believe that this song is about a war but im not quite sure which 1. I don't know what this song is really about and only Roger Waters does. At the start of the song the child does say something along the lines of "look mummy, there's an airplane up in the sky', the child might have said no plane, i dont know but why would he say no plane, that makes absolutley no sense at all...Timothy - Gold Coast, Australia
Many Opinions here, or should I say "Comments" some of you are LD when it comes to understanding Roger Water and his Lyrics. He is a man of Mystery, I think he had his own meaning and he intended to write and make these songs come to life so people like you and I can decide what they mean to us as individuals. For all of you who question what the wall represents......My nine year old niece brought this to my attention, she approached the conversation like this. "Aunt Michelle, Do you ever think that sometimes Pinky (as she refers to him) has a wall built in his head? Maybe he hides it well." Then she proceeded to tell me about how she though he had this "wall" built so that way he can't let thoughts or feelings leak in or out...not to shabby for just a kid. Stop debating and just listen and feel the music.Michelle - Stockton, Mo
Its not about a specific war. It very well may have been inspired about one but it is about all war and violence in general, and not just from the western perspective to those self-absorbed Europeans and Americans.(and im not saying all of them are, just the ones who dont realize the death round the world as well and how it is just as severe) The child at the beginning represents a previous state of mind, where nothing is wrong, in the happy mind of a child where the airplane is simply fascinating for its sheer power and ability to fly, and how there is an awakening as the "blue sky" both literally and metaphorically leaves, as smoke covers it up and the perspective of a wonder-filled world is driven out by the realization of the darkness. This promise of a brave new world that "unfurls" with mortar is nothing but a lie as subtly stated in "did you ever wonder why we had to run for shelter when the promise of a brave new world unfurled beneath the clear blue sky? I also believe Brave New World may have come from the title of the Aldous Huxley book, I do not know if he was a reader of Huxley but Waters did read Orwell, another dystopic novelist.Steveb - Spokane, Wa
btw, to Eric, Minneapolis, MN, the child says "look mummy, there's an aeroplane up in the sky", not small plane. just thought i'd let you know. also, although waters' father's death was only two months after conception, it still affected him deeply, but his father died on foot at the battle of the anzio-bridgehead, not flying.Achory - Warner Robins, Ga
look people, lets' settle this once and for all. the song is NOT about 9/11. the album is based on a mixture of roger waters' and syd barret's life. this song specifically is about the bombing of london during World War II. although, there are some parallels to the 9/11 attacks. in fact, several people have put videos on youtube in which they used this song and a bunch of photos to make a tribute to the 9/11 victims. all that said, though, it's a beautiful song, and so is the 9/11 trbiute video.Achory - Warner Robins, Ga
listening to it right now and I suddenly started getting REALLY cold...wow.Shelby - Out Beyond The Wall, Ky
clearly this song its just great... an offcourse its not about 9/11.... i think its about the cold war because even though nor the u.s or the s.u dropped bombs there was the fear of a coming war and everybody was just scare "Did you ever wonder why we had to run for shelter when the promise of a brave new world unfurled beneath a clear blue" also the smoke from atomic bombs would cover the sky "goodbye blue sky"Mike - Venezuela, South America
It's a child saying "Look mummy, theres a small plane up in the sky". To her the plane looks small, but it's just really high in the sky.

It's clearly about the "Blitz" in England. Which Roger Waters would have been a small child during.

In another song, you can hear the television running, and "The Battle of Brittain" is playing on the set, you can hear a plane get shot down.

Presumably Waters father was shot down?
Eric - Minneapolis, Mn
While I watched 'The Wall' last night for the first time, this was the first scene that really touched me. The song is certainly not about 9/11, as the movie (and song) was released in '79. 9/11 also didn't include dropping bombs. The clip/soundtrack are also not about Hiroshima; there would not be a Union Jack or a Nazi war-eagle included (United States dropped the bomb, not Germany or Enlgand). I think the video is more important than the song (which is kind of dumb, yes), because the song without the clip is just a song. The video without the music is still symbolic and touching. Both together are better by far. At the end of the movie, a bloody cross is shown. The blood drips into the gutter; symbolizing it was all for nothing (as in 'all our effort went down the drain'). I think that the Nazi eagle ripping the top off of a mound of earth means that the land was pointlessly mutilated. One thing I don't understand; while they are singing 'Did you see the frightened ones', there is a bloated figure turning into a skeletal statue; anybody know what this is supposed to be?Milo - Ithaca, Ny
ultimately roger waters created the wall because one night he was in montreal on the Animals tour and there were some rowdy fans in teh front. one tried climbing onstage and waters spit on him. he then felt there was a wall between him and his aidienceGeorge - Boston, Ma
Probably the creepiest Pink Floyd song ever. It's like my 2nd favorite by them. you should check out the animation clip they have for it. that's really creepy too.

Look mummy, theres an airplane up in the sky.
I was told I do a good impression of that kid.
Anthony - Vancouver, Wa
Anyone else here suspicious that the riff from Def Leppard's "Hysteria" was, ahem, "inspired by" the riff from this song? *cough*ripoff*coughJoshua - La Crosse, Wi
The abrupt changes between happy sections and ominous sections is what makes this song particularly wrenching, and eerily beautiful.Jack - Oak Ridge, Nc
This song is about Water's childhood. It tells how his father has died. That is why Waters created the wall.Andy - Apex, Nc
The little girl says, 'look mommy, there's an aeroplane up in the sky'. It makes total sense because before that line is said, you can clearly hear the airplanes engine roaring above them. And the song is about Germany bombing England.Gerard Howard - Lone Tree, Co
Well, in the video that goes along with it, everything is highly symbolic, Such as the dove of peace exploding into the Nazi eagle of war, then the eagle of war dying, and from it's remains rising the dove of peace, and the soldiers that died become nothing more than memories, and the blood running down the gutter in the end representing that their lives were wasted. Very guh ud song.Jackson - Clearlake, Ca
One of the saddest songs. I guess it's about war, after all what isn't about war? There's always a war going on, whether real or metaphorical. Sad either way, and lost innocence either way. It's my favourite part in the movie too. I love how the white dove flies then turns into a nazi death craft. Almost as if the intention of peace swiftly turns into the horror of war and death. And the animation is beautiful yet devastating. I love how it has the Union jack , then the shards of colour fall off and all that's left is a bloody white cross. then it shows the skeleton soldiers, and the white dove flies over again, turnging them into white crosses. It's all very sad.Ashley - Moncton, Canada
For one thing, "look mommy, there's NO plane up in the sky" makes no sense at all on its own, let alone that the rest of the song is about falling bombs destroying a town. Turn the volume way up in the beginning and you can clearly hear the buzz of a propellor flying overhead. Considering all that, the child says "Look mommy, there's an airplane up in the sky"Max - Chicago, Il
I always thought it was about air raids on England during WWII because of the Line "The Flames Are all gone, but the pain lingers on" Which I always took as rebuilding after an air raid and discovering all that has happened while people took shelter.Dulin - Brimingham, England
THe girl definatly says look mommy theres no plane up in the sky, as for what it means, in all of roger waters songs they are always about ethier his father or syd barret, but there might be some other stuff as wellBrian - Why?, Il
Yea, I guess metallica was influenced alot by the Floyd. One might be able to tell a few minor differences.Stump - Gulf Shores, Al
its about hiroshimaJohn - Vancouver, Canada
On the The Wall dvd commentary, Roger Waters also says that his father died in WWII.Alex - Fort Mill, Sc
I love the scene in the movie to this song. Especially where the dove turns into a dark, huge, foreboding bird as the music turns ominous.Katie - Tallahassee, Fl
in the story of pink, it also has a third meaning, during the bombing raids of WWII, people had to hide in bomb shelters, and could not see the sky because of it.
Blue sky also represents the vast expanse of the outdoors and the openess to everything
As pink is building his wall, he is closing himself in from the world and is no longer exposed to the outside world ("blue sky")
Pink is hiding behind his wall like people hid in bomb shelters, the song is a metephor

the song being about the loss of innocence is also correct
Erik - Cherry Valley, Il
I thought it was "Look mummy, there a small plane up in the sky."Patrick - Tallapoosa, Ga
i'm pretty sure it said look mommy there's an aeroplane up in the sky not there's NO plane up in the sky. its just about bombing but also about the ending of your childhood.Jeanette - Irvine, Ca
I played back the start over and over again and there is no doubt it is one of these two :::There is an airplane up in the sky OR There`s no plane up in the sky::: Dont think its aneroplane by the way... just listen.. (and.. u can hear birds singing in the background BUT also a very weak humming sound as of an aircraft..) Anyway the song is ofcourse of the boms over London WWII! If u`re fans of Pink Floyd u should know! SHINE ON!!Tormod - Orkanger
HauntingAllebosa - Wellington, Ne
I don't think it's been mentioned yet, but there is a version of Goodbye Blue Sky, showing pictures of the September 11th attacks in the background. I can't seem to find the actual video for it. :(Stephen - Altamont, Il
yeah actually parts of it is the same riff for fade to black. metallica was probably inspired by this song and decided to use the riffBilly Ross - Hagerstown, Md
I think that the child at the beginning says "Look mummy, there's a little plane up in the sky." It shows the innocence of the child, and how a mundane thing such as a plane in the sky can bring devastation (as in the bombs from the plane). Just my opinion, so I'm not going to say that anyone else is obviously wrong *ahem Maureen*.Carter - Long Island, Ny
Pink Floyd has been my favorite band for over 20 years now. I have to agree with Adriana about what the boy says. I've had countless arguments over it. Why on earth would he say "there's NO plane up in the sky?"Ash - Charleston, Wv
@Tony: Yes, it was always my favourite animation. I loved the way the airplane-bird swooped down and grabbed a piece of city like a child picks the cheese off a lasagna. @Alex: I think Anna knew it wasn't about 9/11, but it reminded her of it. I never associated this song with childhood, actually (not counting the child at the beginning) but I always connect bunkers with this song. I mean war bunkers, to run for shelter.Masha - Amsterdam, Netherlands
in the wall movie the animation for this song is amazingTony - St Louis, Mo
maureen, you in fact are sadly mistaken and are very bad at interpreting british accents. first of all if you listen before the comment by the child you hear an airplane and second, the child says look mommy theres an aeroplane. anaero sounds like no. and you clearly have not seen the wall or else you'd understand.Adriana - St. Louis, Mo
obviously, helen, you are sadly mistaken as well as alex and anna due to the fact that trevor is correct. The band meant to say "Look mummy, theres NO plane up in the sky." Listen more carefully people. (comfortably numb also)Maureen - Prospect, Va
System Of A Down did a modified version of "Goodbye Blue Sky" after their song Toxicity at Big Day Out 2002. It had Serj Tankian on vocals and Daron Malakian on guitar and backing vocals.Kieran - Eastbourne, England
Is it me, or does the riff on here sound an awful lot like the opening riff on fade to black by Metallica? heh heh whatever, they still rockIan - Hamilton, Canada
I really love the songs Mother, and Goob-Bye Blue Sky because it has such a strong message about war. I really love these 2 songs.Cameron - Winnipeg, Canada
I love how its happy and sad at the same time. Its so beautiful. The animation sequence in the wall has also got to be the best "music video" I have ever seen even though it technically isnt a "music video".Jere - Calgary, Canada
On The Wall DVD, Roger does comentary for the song and he says that it is meant to represent London during WWII. The cartoon shows a giant war bird (the Nazi war machine) pulling a large chunk out of the Earth and it bleeds (represents the bombing raids over London). When it shows the mutants crouching and hiding from the explosions (hence, "Did you hear the falling bombs"), represents the citizens who were forced to hide, wear gas masks, etc. I liked the comparison to Huxley's "Brave New World", but to be honest, it is a much closer representation of Orwell's "1984". Long story short, its about the Nazi bombing raids over London.Alex - Charleston, Wv
The mention of a "brave new world" can't be anything but an allusion to Huxley's "Brave New World." So the song has something to do with the failed attempt of society to control the lives of the individuals for the good of the group. The promised safety and reassurance of this idealized utopian society and happiness (mainly fueled by soma in the book) was destroyed...the blue sky was destroyed; where the blue sky symbolizes the promised good of living for the group. I don't think this song has anything to do with 9/11 and the war, I guess you could apply it to those, but it was written a while before these events. I guess 9/11 and the "war on terror" were caused by the failed safety and excellence promised by our indestructible government, but they weren't trying to better the situation of the group and make an ideal society, just get more money for themselves...but so goes the nation............Steph - Portland, Me
All of you are right, in a way. It is about the loss of innocence and disillusionment, but very specifically using imagery of war and relating to what Waters considers the most accute loss of innocence in war -- the covering of blue skies by aircraft and bombs and smoke, etc... The lesson is certainly true of all acts of war and terror, be they WWI, WWII, the Falklands, 9/11, or Iraq.Nickc - Ft. Wayne, In
The name is enough to prove my point. Earlier in the album, Mother calls him "Baby blue". Same with "The sea may look warm babe, and the sky may look blue". Goodbye blue sky is indicating that he lost his innocence by losing his father at that early age. It even shows him smoking and looking at t*ts in the movie.Alex - Nunya, Ca
well, alex, OBVIOUSLY its not about 9/11...
think about it, thinking, thinking...


ps. think time sequence of events eg. release of the Wall (1979)...........9/11

clearly anna is just mentioning the current relevance of the comment made by the child at the beginning of the song
Helen - Newie, Australia
It's about losing innocence at an early age not about 9/11.Alex - Nunya, Ca
this song gives me goose bumps it is so like 9/11
"look mommie thers an airplane up in the skyy..."
Anna - Melbourne Beach, Fl
I'm not sure but to me it almost seems as if the lyrics are talking about the war and how by the bombs dropping you can't see the sky anymoreTrevor - Texas, United States