"Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun" as written by and Roger Waters....
Little by little the night turns around
Counting the leaves which tremble and turn
Lotus's lean on each other in union
Over the hills where a swallow is resting
Set the controls for the heart of the sun

Set the controls for the heart of the sun

Over the mountain watching the watcher
Breaking the darkness waking the grapevine
Morning to birth is born into shadow
Love is the shadow that ripens the wine
Set the controls for the heart of the sun

Set the controls for the heart of the sun

The heart of the sun, the heart of the sun
The heart of the sun, the heart of the sun
The heart of the sun, the heart of the sun
The heart of the sun, the heart of the sun
The heart of the sun, the heart of the sun
The heart of the sun, the heart of the sun

The heart of the sun, the heart of the sun
The heart of the sun, the heart of the sun
The heart of the sun, the heart of the sun
The heart of the sun, the heart of the sun
The heart of the sun, the heart of the sun
The heart of the sun, the heart of the sun

The heart of the sun, the heart of the sun
The heart of the sun, the heart of the sun
The heart of the sun, the heart of the sun
The heart of the sun, the heart of the sun
The heart of the sun, the heart of the sun
The heart of the sun, the heart of the sun

Who is the man who arrives at the wall?
Making the shape of his questions at asking
Thinking the sun will fall in the evening
Will he remember the lesson of giving?
Set the controls for the heart of the sun
The heart of the sun, the heart of the sun

The heart of the sun, the heart of the sun
The heart of the sun, the heart of the sun
The heart of the sun, the heart of the sun
The heart of the sun, the heart of the sun
The heart of the sun, the heart of the sun
The heart of the sun, the heart of the sun


Lyrics submitted by Demau Senae, edited by Mellow_Harsher, OtavioParuccio, OpiumDen

"Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun [Live in Stockholm 1967]" as written by Roger Waters

Lyrics © T.R.O. INC.

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Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun song meanings
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41 Comments

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  • +6
    General CommentSet the Controls for the Heart of the Sun

    Little by little the night turns around
    Counting the leaves which tremble at dawn
    Lotuses lean on each other in yearning
    Under the eaves the swallow is resting
    Set the controls for the heart of the sun

    Over the mountain, watching the watcher
    Breaking the darkness, waking the grapevine
    One inch of love is one inch of shadow
    Love is the shadow that ripens the wine
    Set the controls for the heart of the sun

    Witness the man who raves at the wall
    Making the shape of his question to heaven
    Whether the sun will fall in the evening
    Will he remember the lesson of giving
    Set the controls for the heart of the sun
    Geek UKon March 22, 2005   Link
  • +4
    General CommentNo one was even close on this one ;). It has been pointed out that the lyrics that were originally
    posted are wrong. The re-posted lyrics appear correct. So here is the real deal. This song was
    "ripped off" by Waters. As some of you know, Roger had to step into the role as "leader" of the
    Floyd when Syd stepped out (so to speak). Roger has admitted to "ripping of Chinese poetry
    from the late T'ang period" in writing this song. The addition of the space elements and suicidal
    space flight into 'the heart of the sun' were his own. This was a period where Waters was
    consciously trying to produce fantasy lyrical musings that matched the original Floyd hits as
    penned by Syd B. Water's himself has admitted this fact in many interviews. Great song none
    the less. The music is very trance inducing. Now what the original meaning of the Taoist poems
    are up for grabs. The following website provides a large amount of info on this whole
    discussion, and appears very scholarly: cjvlang.com/Pfloyd/…
    Rbuzzon January 11, 2007   Link
  • +3
    General Comment"One inch of love is one inch of shadow"
    This song is about the cycle that you go through in life, suffering then happiness then suffering then happiness on and on. The sun is equivalent to everything bad and dreadfull, illness, someone dear to you dying, "counting the leaves which tremble at dawn" "lotuses lean on each other in yearning" , every creature on the planet is scared of the sun rising at the dawn. " one inch of love is one inch of shadow" , shadow, which is the only protection from the sunlight. "witness the man who raves at the wall, making the shape of his question to heaven" , pictures a man suffering and asking god WHY? the "shadow" of the shape of his arms showing on the wall."whether the sun will fall in the evening, will he remember the lesson of giving?" when the suffering and pain goes, will "man" learn the lesson?
    Definitely on my list of best songs and lyrics ever.
    maxtormon February 22, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General Commentdon't just say the lyrics are wrong... POST THE CORRECT ONES lol :)
    steve82con February 08, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI am amazed by this song every time I hear it. This song probably has the second most poetic lyrics of any PF song, behind Echoes.
    inpraiseoffollyon May 24, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General Commentthis song puts me in a trance
    chapter24on January 08, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThere are many symbols in these verses which are often described by adepts of spiritual meditation, so it makes perfect sense that these lyrics were taken from Chinese Taoist poetry as described by Rbuzz above. Universal out of body experiences within meditation as described by spiritual seers include a stage where one penetrates through the middle of a spiritual sun, which leads to a higher stage of spirituality. There lies the basic concept behind the song: Setting the controls (spiritual preparation/meditation) to reach the heart of the sun.

    Here are some examples in the lyrics describing the concept of meditation:
    “Little by little the night turns around” (and)
    "Breaking the darkness, waking the grapevine”
    These lines refer to the meditation process, which begins with inner darkness and slowly expands to inner light. This breaking of darkness 'wakens the grapevine' which gives spiritual intoxication from it's wine.

    “Love is the shadow that ripens the wine"
    This is reference to feelings of love in meditation which ripen the wine (wine in spiritual poetry being a symbol of spiritual intoxication).

    Other key ideas in meditation are referred to such as “watching the watcher”, and “making the shape of his question to heaven” (heaven being available when he penetrates through the heart of the sun)
    eclecticearson March 31, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Commentit is about isolation and love ,about placing so much importance on a feeling when it really doesnt exist, and that eventually the attraction of two people will be worn down by time , and even though we know its a fruitless objective we choose to forget and try anyway. the cycle continues on. (extended version)
    Gforce38on September 29, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentFor anyone interested, it is the "Saucer Full of Secrets" version. Really pyschedellic.
    Viscuson July 14, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song has nothing to do with space travel, or isolation, and has NOTHING to do with love. If you watch the "Live in Pompeii" DVD, and truly experience it, the meaning will be clear.

    This song centers on the drummer, Nick Mason, and what he wants his soul to do. He idolizes the sun, and wishes that when he dies, a piece of his soul, no matter how small, travels to the sun to help keep the sun burning bright.
    Jobon January 10, 2006   Link

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