“A Great Day for Freedom” by Pink Floyd
The narrator of “A Great Day For Freedom” speaks about the liberation of a people as well as a dream in which he lost a loved one.
The first verse talks about a wall coming down and people celebrating the arrival of freedom. This wall could symbolize authoritarian rule and its fall, while freedom could signify the arrival of democracy in certain nations. While this sounds like a good season, the writer dreams of losing his loved one who may have needed his help. In reality, he also realizes that as this freedom is being enjoyed, people’s attitudes towards each other significantly change. Bloodshed and wars still go on despite the new kind of freedom.
David Gilmour speaking about the song to The Sun said that it was about the aftermath of the end of authoritarian rule and how it initially felt like true freedom, until genocides and ethnic cleansing came to disrupt the peace.
In all, “A Great Day for Freedom” actually looks at the aftermath of the fall of the notorious Berlin Wall. Actually the wall mentioned in the first verse is none other than the Berlin Wall.
“A Great Day For Freedom” Facts
Writing: Polly Samson along with David Gilmour
Production: Gilmour in conjunction with Bob Ezrin
Album: Pink Floyd’s progressive rock album titled “The Division Bell”
Release: March of 1994
The Berlin Wall
The Berlin Wall was an imposing structure that ran for 155 kilometers (almost 100 miles) and at some points was guarded by armed security. Its primary purpose was to keep people in East Germany, including parts of Berlin, cutoff from West Germany. In fact it did prove to be a major physical obstacle However, more importantly it represented an ideological and political rift within Deutschland. As such, the day the Wall was dismantled was a joyful day. Its destruction meant East Germany’s acceptance of the outside world in general. It also brought about the reunification of Germany itself.