‘Hanging on in quiet desperation’…remastered

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”Every year is getting shorter; never seem to find the time.
Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines
Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way
The time is gone, the song is over,
Thought I’d something more to say.”

  • Words, music and performed by Pink Floyd

IT’S EXACTLY a week after Dia delos Muertos or Day of the Dead and this old man pondered upon his mortality and about “plans that come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines.”

Yes. I’ve been meaning to finish that book that has been in the works for some time now (my publisher PN has been reminding every so often…hehehe. The rough manuscript is almost done, just a few more work here and there.

And the mood that day and all these thoughts about mortality and the book as my last hurrah makes it the perfect moment to segue to a classic life soundtrack.

The lines above are from Time, a song composed by David Gilmour, Nicholas Mason, Roger Waters, and Rick Wright collectively known as Pink Floyd, a band that pioneered the fusion of jazz, blues and psychedelic rock in the ‘70s. The band is pretty much around today and all the members are still active in the music scene except perhaps for one of its original founding members, Syd Barrett.

Syd Barrett became schizophrenic from overuse of the mind-altering drug LSD, separated from the band and eventually died. Without him there would be no Pink Floyd as he was the creative genius that conceptualized the band. His influence to the band was such that the remaining members composed two songs especially for him, Shine on you crazy diamond and The lunatic is on the grass, and when he died, the song, Wish you were here, sort of an unofficial eulogy.

But enough of Syd Barrett, he’s another story. This piece is about one of Pink Floyd’s songs that somehow have a parallel on this old man.

From that free online encyclopedia a.k.a. the internet:

“Time” is the fourth track from the English progressive rock band Pink Floyds 1973 album “The Dark Side of the Moon”, and the only song on the album credited to all four members of the band, though the lyrics were written by Roger Waters. It is also the last to feature Richard Wright on lead vocals until “Wearing the Inside Out on The Division Bell. This song is about how time can slip by, but many people do not realise it until it is too late. Roger Waters got the idea when he realised he was no longer preparing for anything in life, but was right in the middle of it.

When the band came up with the concept for the album, the idea was to explore the pressures of life throughout the songs. This song takes on the topic of mortality.

And this is when it hit me. At times when I’m alone listening to this song it dawned on me that time has passed me by. I’m already in my December years and this tired and battered body can already feel its mortality.

To fully appreciate the essence of the song and why this old man identifies with it, here are the rest of the lyrics:

Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way.
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
waiting for someone or something to show you the way.

Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain.
You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today.
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you.
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun.

So you run and you run to catch up with the sun but it’s sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again.
The sun is the same in a relative way but you’re older,
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death.

Every year is getting shorter; never seem to find the time.
Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines
hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way
the time is gone, the song is over,
Thought I’d something more to say.

At the end of the day, I take pride that I have lived my life in my own terms, what I am or what I’m not is because of me. I know I’m almost near my destination but let me tell you it’s one hell of a ride and I loved every minute of it, bumps and turbulence included. (brotherlouie16@gmail.com/PN)

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