Guest Author - Lisa Shea
I listened to Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon constantly when I was a teenager. Now that I'm an adult, I still find the album very meaningful. It's amazing to remember that this group of songs was released in 1973, and is still incredibly popular today. It is music that endures.
It's funny that some people label this as "druggie music" just because it's got a slow tempo and has incredibly complex music. I know MANY people who do not do drugs and who enjoy this CD. I also know people who DO smoke pot and listen to this. One is not a requisite for the other. It just means that in this world, there are a group of people who smoke, and one who do not. Both groups love this CD. Surely we aren't saying that pot smokers are the only ones who can appreciate a slow song without feeling ADHD angst about the speed.
We start with Speak To Me / Breathe, which begins with what sounds to me like whirring helicopter blades and a cry. I get a sense of someone in a war zone, hearing the choppers go overhead and then being left all alone again, wondering just what is going to happen to him. "Breathe in the air - don't be afraid to care". I just love everything about this song - the lyrics, the wistful quality of the melody, the various references to literature (run Rabbit run) and to other songs.
Next we slide into On the Run. The looping melodies draw you in, like watching a kaleidoscope. But it's not a happy world - again, the sounds to me sound war-like at times, and slightly threatening at others. You're bunkered down, paying attention to every noise, hearing the laughter and machinery from nearby.
This brings us to Time. "Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day". Who can NOT relate to this song? With the amount of time we all spend in lines, in classrooms, in stuffy office rooms, it can many times feel like 99% of our time is wasted on things we don't want to do. For some it's a trap that is never escaped.
The Great Gig in the Sky makes some people embarassed - it is a pretty straightforward ode to sex. It's surprising that in our modern times we can talk about pretty much every other natural thing a body does, but we can't talk about the all-encompassing pleasure of a strong physical relationship with another person. This song is meaningful to just about any person out there, no matter what language they speak, with no lyrics needed.
Money is a *great* song and really talks about what money has become in our society. "new car, caviar, four star daydream - think I'll buy me a football team." What ever happened to wanting happiness and enough food to eat? In modern times we judge life by the number of cars we have and the size of our garage.
"Us and Them" is very insightful about the nature of war, as you might expect for a song written in the era of the Vietnam War. It's just as meaningful in any decade in history. "Me and you - and who knows which is which, and who is who". The smooth rhythms of the song encourage you to think about what's being said. "'Forward!' he cried from the rear, and the front rank died."
All the songs here have that same meaningfulness, the same thoughtful quality of lyrics, the same care in crafting the melodies. Yes, this isn't a CD full of songs about dancing around at high speed with a cocktail in your hand. It's not a boppy-poppy easy to understand selection. However, if you've got the ability to focus for a full CD length of songs, and really pay attention to what is being said, you'll really find some incredibly powerful messages in here.
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