‘Wish You Were Here’ is a song by English rock band Pink Floyd, released as the title track of their 1975 album of the same name. The song was voted the 18th best rock song of all time by listeners of New York City’s Q104.3, and ranked No. 302 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, both in 2021. Billboard and Louder Sound ranked the song number one and number three, respectively, on their lists of the 50 greatest Pink Floyd songs.
Guitarist David Gilmour and singer Roger Waters collaborated in writing the music, with Gilmour singing lead vocals. Roger Waters based the song on a poem he wrote about Syd Barrett's break from reality. In a 2022 interview on the Joe Rogan Experience, he clarified that "Wish You Were Here" was "partially" about Barrett, adding, "And I do wish he was here."
When this song starts, it sounds like it is coming from an AM radio somewhere in the distance. This represents the distance between the listener and the music. In the introduction, Gilmour can be heard drinking and coughing, followed by some breathing right before the main guitar comes in. Legend has it that he could not hold in the cough due to his heavy smoking at the time. When he heard the final take, he was so disappointed, he quit smoking cold turkey the following day.
Labels – Harvest (UK), Columbia/CBS (US)
Songwriters – David Gilmour, Roger Waters
Producer – Pink Floyd
SONG LYRICS[Spoken Intro]
And disciplinary remains mercifully
Yes and um, I’m with you Derek, this star nonsense
Yes, yes, now which is it?
I am sure of it
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?
Did they get you to trade your heroes for ghosts?
Hot ashes for trees? Hot air for a cool breeze?
Cold comfort for change? Did you exchange
A walk-on part in the war for a lead role in a cage?
[Acoustic Guitar Solo]
How I wish, how I wish you were here
We're just two lost souls swimming in a fishbowl, year after year
Running over the same old ground, what have we found?
The same old fears, wish you were here