Sep 7, 2021

Tongue Tied and Twisted, Just an Earthbound Misfit

A Momentary Lapse Of Reason
Pink Floyd (1987)
Twenty-four years ago today, the first Pink Floyd album to not feature Roger Waters was released.  While it received mixed reviews and certainly doesn't match the brilliance of albums like Dark Side Of The Moon, Wish You Were Here and The Wall, it's a much better record than it has sometimes been given credit for.

There is one song in particular on this album that has stuck with me since the very first time I heard it, and if you've listened to this record, I'm sure you know what song I'm about to talk about.

Retro Elin's tattoo that references both a classic Pink Floyd song and an incredible SNES RPG.  Love it!

Learning To Fly is the perfect example of the incredible effect that beautiful works of art can have on those who experience it on their own terms.  David Gilmour's lyrics were written to be quite literal.  He is a licensed pilot who wrote this song about his love of flying.  However, when I close my eyes and listen to this song, I am flooded with emotion as I connect the lyrics to memories of the past and a determination for the future.  Sometimes, it brings me to a sad place when an attraction was holding me fast and "thought I thought of everything", but made choices that left me empty and turned to stone.  Sometimes, it motivates me to go to that point of no turning back - determined to try to blow this soul through the roof of the night.  Whether it invokes happiness or sadness, it is always humbling, as I am reminded that I am tongue-tied and twisted - just an earthbound misfit.

Close your eyes and listen.  Find the song on YouTube or Pandora or something, and just close your eyes and listen and let your mind drift through the clouds until you see your shadow fly.  If your eyes are a little misty when you open them, don't say I didn't warn you.
Pink Floyd (1987)
Into the distance, a ribbon of black
Stretched to the point of no turning back
A flight of fancy on a wind swept field
Standing alone my senses reeled

A fatal attraction is holding me fast
How can I escape this irresistible grasp

Can't keep my eyes from the circling sky
Tongue-tied and twisted, just an earth bound misfit, I

Ice is forming on the tips of my wings
Unheeded warnings, I thought I thought of everything
No navigator to find my way home
Unladened, empty and turned to stone

A soul in tension that's learning to fly
Condition grounded but determined to try

Can't keep my eyes from the circling skies
Tongue-tied and twisted, just an earth-bound misfit, I

Above the planet on a wing and a prayer,
My grubby halo, a vapor trail in the empty air,
Across the clouds I see my shadow fly
Out of the corner of my watering eye

A dream unthreatened by the morning light
Could blow this soul right through the roof of the night
There's no sensation to compare with this
Suspended animation, a state of bliss

Can't keep my mind from the circling sky
Tongue-tied and twisted, just an earth-bound misfit, I