“This song is to encourage myself not to accept a lead role in a cage, but to go on demanding of myself that we keep auditioning for the walk-on part in the war, ‘cause that’s where I want to be. I wanna be in the trenches. I don’t want to be at headquarters; I don’t wanna be sitting in a hotel somewhere. I wanna be engaged.” Roger Waters
SO, SO YOU THINK YOU CAN TELL HEAVEN FROM HELL
(So you think you are optimistic enough in life to find one good thing in something which radiates nothing but antipathy and repugnance?)
BLUE SKIES FROM PAIN
(You’re optimistic enough to filter halcyon and tranquility from the catastrophe that’s raging inside you..)
CAN YOU TELL A GREEN FIELD FROM A COLD STEEL RAIL
(Are you so thorough with your soul that in all the haze , you can find sanguineness?)
A SMILE FROM A VEIL
(Are you capable enough to see the downright falsehood most of the people have towards you?)
DO YOU THINK YOU CAN TELL…,
DID THEY GET YOU TO TRADE YOUR HEROS FOR GHOSTS?
(Did something drain you to an extent that you gave up positivism and delectation for hopelessness?)
HOT ASHES FOR TREES,
HOT AIR FOR A COOL BREEZE,
COLD COMFORT FOR CHANGE?
(Comfort and ease for discomfort and distress)
DID YOU EXCHANGE A WALK ON PART IN THE WAR FOR A LEAD ROLE IN A CAGE?
(Did you compromise in life so much that you let someone overrule you , let them exploit you for a split second of your soul’s elation?)
HOW I WISH…,
HOW I WISH YOU WERE HERE!
(The course of the song kinda changes here where the lyricist turns all nostalgic. Basically the song was written for Syd Barrett after he left the band)
WE’RE JUST TWO LOST SOULS SWIMMING IN A FISH BOWL,
YEAR AFTER YEAR
(Now we’re two souls floating through this universe which seems big to us but is actually just the size of a fish bowl.
And yet in this fish bowl, we’re drifting apart.)
RUNNING OVER THE SAME OLD GROUND
(Drifting apart on the basis of the similar old things we disagreed on.)
WHAT HAVE WE FOUND?
THE SAME OLD FEARS…
(And all that we could find was the same fears which damaged us in the first place.)
WISH YOU WERE HERE!!