A Great Day For Freedom

Album: The Division Bell (1994)
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Songfacts®:

  • David Gilmour told The Sun September 26, 2008 about this song, which was written by him and his wife Polly. Said Gilmour: "That song is really about the aftermath (of the fall of the totalitarian state). First, it was a joy and a release for the people with the freedom of democracy but then it became horribly marred by the ethnic cleansing and genocide, particularly in Yugoslavia."
  • This song juxtaposes world events of the previous 5 years (the collapse of Communism and subsequent chaos and war in several countries) with a personal loss that turns out to have been just a bad dream.
  • The lyrics mention "The day the Wall came down," but in this case David Gilmour seems to be referring to the Berlin Wall rather than Pink Floyd's album The Wall. However, some have interpreted the lyrics about loss to refer to Pink Floyd founding member Syd Barrett. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Joshua - Twin Cities, MN, for above 2

Comments: 8

  • Sammy from Southern IdahoWhy not take David Gilmour's word for it when he talked about it to The Sun, as stated above? He says it's about the fall of the Berlin wall and the very messy fall of communism after that.

    No matter, this song is a heart-breaker, especially as recorded in Gdansk. The words and the guitar solo simply makes me weep. No one, EVER, will be able to coax the emotions out of guitar strings like David Gilmour.
  • Oscar from Puebla, MexicoDoes the part of "ship of fools" have somethingto do with the door's song?
  • Terry from Wickford, RiThey did not, in any way, know this would be their last studio album and Polly Sampson would not be writing lyrics about Syd Barrett. Period. Aside from the obvious lyrics concerning the fall of Communism, there could be subtle overtones of the 'freedom' felt from the 'totalitarian' aspects of Roger Waters and him leaving the band, giving Gilmour 'freedom' - both personal and artistic. The Wall is an easy symbol to attach to Waters, as it was his baby, and the 'fall' of that Wall is an easy metaphor for Waters' departure. Syd simply doesn't fir in here...look to High Hopes for that kind of stuff...
    Was great to hear Gilmour play this live at the Gdansk concert in 2006...
  • Allison from A Little Ol' Town In, MiGood song

    really like the lyrics to it

    its sad it didnt get much radio play
  • Tony from Carlsbad, CaI don't believe for a minute that the lyrics were about Syd Barrett. "...Ship of fools had finally run aground..."

    No, they were talking about the fall of the Berlin Wall and the subsequent fall of communism in Europe. Indeed it was a ship of fools, for anyone who remembers the era.
  • Zane from Canada, CanadaThis song is amazing, every song on division bells is amazing pink floyd rocks
  • Joshua from Twin Cities, MnJustin: As mentioned in the Songfacts for "Poles Apart" (from the same album), that song had lyrics that were clearly about Syd Barrett. His departure, and the reasons for it, have been a recurring theme for Pink Floyd throughout their career; why would they have stopped with The Division Bell? (Especially since they knew going in that it would be their last studio album together, so if they had anything more to say about Syd, it was now or never.)
  • Justin from Adelaide, Australia"However, some have interpreted the lyrics about loss to refer to Pink Floyd founding member Syd Barrett."

    Thats a bit hard to believe as Roger Syd Barrett died 12 years after this song was published. And if you mean them losing him from the band that wont work either because he left the band ALONG time before this.
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