“Shine On You Crazy Diamond” by Pink Floyd

Pink Floyd’s “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” was written by the band’s core members:

  • Roger Waters
  • Richard Wright
  • David Gilmour

This song, which is a pure Pink Floyd classic, can be found on their 1975 album titled “Wish You Were Here”.

What “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” is about

The song is primarily a tribute to the aforementioned artists’ former bandmate Syd Barrett. Barrett, who was also one of the founders of Pink Floyd, was kicked out of the group in 1968 because of his fragile mental health and LSD abuse.

The track captures the band’s feelings of guilt for ousting Syd as well as their admiration for his creativity in writing most of the songs on their debut album. In the verses of the song, the singers use metaphors such as ‘sun’ to describe his massive potential and creativity. In the process, they also contrast it with terms such as ‘black holes’ to signify his loss of identity and memory.

The band suggests that like a child who lacked discipline, he couldn’t control his drug intake and suffered from schizophrenic attacks. Syd was later replaced by David Gilmour but continued to provide a source of inspiration for Pink Floyd.

Syd Barrett

Syd Barrett was, at one point in time, a professional musician. In fact his most-notable achievement is being the co-founder and initial frontman of Pink Floyd. However, his professional music career was short-lived, as he had serious mental issues in addition to problems related to illicit-drug abuse. Also another of his claims to fame is that from 1972 going he became infamously reclusive. Indeed despite the fact that his name remained famous in the UK and he received considerable royalties via Pink Floyd throughout the years, during the last three decades of his life he had completely withdrawn from the public spotlight.

He died in 2006 at the age of 60. Pancreatic cancer was what officially caused his death.

5 Responses

  1. John Evans says:

    In 2006, I had a period of two weeks when ‘Shine on…’ kept replaying in my mind. I wondered why this was. At the end of the two weeks, I heard that Syd Barrett had died. I believe that the replays were a premonition of Syd’s death.

    The song has been special to me since I first bought the album in the late 1980s, It seems to be a tune plucked from heaven. It is sometimes calming and sometimes moving. It is one of the most profound pieces of music that I’ve ever heard. It is a fitting soundtrack for those crossing over into the next world.

  2. Evan Corbin says:

    Many, many nights I have faded into slumber while listening to Shine on You Crazy Diamond on the headphones. I recently heard an interview with David Gilmour on his coming back to London to visit Syd Barret whilst The Floyd were recording See Emily Play, “He sort of looked straight through me. He has what Roger has very aptly put as ‘Black holes in the sky’ for eyes”.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Took me a long time to see that the song title spells out “Syd” (more or less). Shine on You crazy Diamond.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Can someone tell me what the meaning and what is it saying?

    • Anonymous says:

      “ The song is primarily a tribute to the aforementioned artists’ former bandmate Syd Barrett. Barrett, who was also one of the founders of Pink Floyd, was kicked out of the group in 1968 because of his fragile mental health and LSD abuse.
      The track captures the band’s feelings of guilt for ousting Syd as well as their admiration for his creativity in writing most of the songs on their debut album. In the verses of the song, the singers use metaphors such as ‘sun’ to describe his massive potential and creativity. In the process, they also contrast it with terms such as ‘black holes’ to signify his loss of identity and memory. “

      Read more at: https://www.songmeaningsandfacts.com/shine-on-you-crazy-diamond-by-pink-floyd/

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