"The Narrow Way, Pt. 3" as written by and David Gilmour....
Following the path as it leads towards
The darkness in the north
Weary strangers' faces show their sympathy
They've seen that hope before

But if you want to stay for a little bit
Rest your aching limbs for a little bit
Before you, the night is beckoning
And you know you can't delay
You hear the night birds calling you
But you can't catch the words they say
Close your ears and eyes, be on your way

Mist is swirling, creatures crawling
Hear the roar get louder in your ears
You know, the folly was your own
But the force behind can't conquer all your fears

And if you want to stay for a little bit
Rest your aching limbs for a little bit
Before you, the night is beckoning
And you know you can't delay
You hear the night birds calling you
But you can't catch the words they say
Close your ears and eyes, be on your way

Pull your thoughts back many years
To the time when there was life with every morning
Perhaps a day will come
When the light will be as clear as on that morning

And if you want to stay for a little bit
Rest your aching limbs for a little bit
Before you, the night is beckoning
And you know you can't delay
You hear the night birds calling you
But you can't catch the words they say
Close your ears and eyes, be on your way


Lyrics submitted by rbo0br, edited by DredMonk

"The Narrow Way, Pt. 3" as written by David Gilmour

Lyrics © T.R.O. INC.

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The Narrow Way, Pt. 3 song meanings
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  • +1
    My InterpretationFirst off, the lyrics are incorrect, here are the actual lyrics.

    “The Narrow Way” By Pink Floyd

    Verse 1
    Following the path as it leads towards the darkness in the north.
    Weary strangers' faces show their sympathy, they've seen that hope before.

    Chorus
    But if you want to stay, for a little bit.
    Rest your aching limbs, for a little bit.

    Before you the night is beckoning and you know you can't delay.
    You hear the night birds calling you but you can't catch the words they say.
    Close your ears and eyes, be on your way.

    Verse 2
    Mist is swelling, creatures crawling, hear the roar get louder in your ears.
    You know the folly was your own but the force behind can't conquer all your fears.

    Chorus
    And if you want to stay, for a little bit.
    Rest your aching limbs, for a little bit.

    Before you the night is beckoning and you know you can't delay.
    You hear the night birds calling you but you can't catch the words they say.
    Close your ears and eyes, be on your way.

    Throw your thoughts back many years to the time when there was life with every morning.
    Perhaps a day will come when the lights will be as close on that morning.

    Chorus
    And if you want to stay, for a little bit.
    Rest your aching limbs, for a little bit.

    Before you the night is beckoning and you know you can't delay.
    You hear the night birds calling you but you can't catch the words they say.
    Close your ears and eyes, be on your way.

    Parts I, II, and III in this song differ in mood, it seems part 1 starts off in a happy place, like fishing beside a small lake and enjoying sunny weather and wildlife. Then part two becomes dark and scary until it seems to focus by sliding two opposing tones down into a single note and then comes part 3 with the lyrics.

    Over all the lyrics seem to indicate to me that the protagonist of the song has traveled far and was nearing the "darkness in the north" on some kind of mission of "hope". He went there by himself and some "force behind" him is soon to follow him on his mission. This doesn't quell his fear at what is waiting for him further on. He wants to rest after a long hard journey, but it seems that he must travel by night and can't delay his mission. So he must close his "ears and eyes" to the increasing doom that every step north takes him.

    I would like to say that the "Lord of the Rings" books influenced this song and it was about the dreadful journey of Frodo to Mount Doom in Mordor to destroy the one ring. The books were published about 15 years previous to this song's release. However, the Shire, according to the map of Middle earth, was to the northeast of Mordor, and so he had traveled southwest in his journey, not north.

    Dark, drug influenced, psychedelic, and surreal, IMO this is one of the best tunes on Ummagumma.
    Michiguyon September 22, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWow! I'll be the first here? First of all, this is one of the most evil downward chord progressions in the verse ever written, even by Floyd standards. I think NW3 ranks up there with the song "Black Sabbath" in terms of pure evil menace, even as it came before "Black Sabbath". Again, Pink Floyd on the cutting edge. The song was conceived, written, and entirely played by Dave without any of the rest of the band in the studio. He even played drums. Lyrically, it's mysterious, but creepy, druggy, and, well...weird. This was just what Floyd was succeeding at at the time. "Ummagumma" is just a weird album and that's the highest praise I can give it. But this particular piece is so completely acid-drenched, but it's having a bad trip...is that good when it's Floyd?
    fnordatpanixon October 21, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOk, I get it now. I guess it took the right mood to come to this conclusion. This song is a metaphor for the human condition.

    The snappy guitars and happy riffs in the first part represent the human attitude toward living in the younger years, happy with life and filled with wonder. The transitions into the second part represents the young human personality coming to grips with the cruel adult life filled with a dread of reality. This focuses into the third part with a lyrical narration of the particulars of modern adult human life and reminiscing back to when they felt life was happier.

    The path is your life as it progresses toward your ultimate mortality. Death is the “darkness in the north”.

    The night that is beckoning is death and you can’t delay the inevitable. The “night birds calling” is the subconscious mind trying to remind you of your mortality, but your ego can’t catch the message. So you close off your senses and continue toward the end of your life without enjoying it.

    The mist, creatures, etc., are the product of your adult attitude toward the reality of surviving the demands of life. You know you can go back to having a happier attitude, but the fear of survival and mortality hold you back.

    But occasionally you can rest in the memory of your youthful zest for life. Back when there was “life with every morning” when you actually felt like getting up and meeting the day.
    Michiguyon September 25, 2016   Link

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