The song’s lyrics encompass writer Roger Waters’s feelings of alienation from other people and himself, as well as disillusionment with music. Like most of the album, it also refers to former Pink Floyd member Syd Barrett. Roger Keith “Syd” Barrett (6 January 1946 – 7 July 2006) was an English singer, songwriter, guitarist, and artist. He is best remembered as being one of the founding members of Pink Floyd. Barrett was active as a rock musician for about seven years before he went into seclusion.
Excerpt from song:
So, so you think you can tell Heaven from Hell,
blue skies from pain.
Can you tell a green field from a cold steel rail? A smile from a veil?
Do you think you can tell?
And did they get you trade your heroes for ghosts?
Hot ashes for trees? Hot air for a cool breeze?
Cold comfort for change? And did you exchange
a walk on part in the war for a lead role in a cage?
How I wish, how I wish you were here.
We’re just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl,
year after year,
running over the same old ground. What have we found?
The same old fears,
wish you were here.