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Echoes Lyrics

Overhead the albatross
Hangs motionless upon the air
And deep beneath the rolling waves
In labyrinths of coral caves
The echo of a distant time
Comes willowing across the sand
And everything is green and submarine

And no one showed us to the land
And no one knows the where's or why's
But something stirs and something tries
And starts to climb toward the light

Strangers passing in the street
By chance, two separate glances meet
And I am you and what I see is me
And do I take you by the hand
And lead you through the land
And help me understand the best I can?

And no one calls us to move on
And no one forces down our eyes
No one speaks and no one tries
No one flies around the sun

Cloudless everyday
You fall upon my waking eyes
Inviting and inciting me to rise
And through the window in the wall
Come streaming in on sunlight wings
A million bright ambassadors of morning

And no one sings me lullabies
And no one makes me close my eyes
So I throw the windows of Guilderberg wide
And call to you across the sky
Song Info
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Lyrics © T.R.O. INC.
Submitted by
Submitted on
Apr 01, 2001
399 Meanings
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I believe this song is a timeline of some sort. The "ping"s in the beginning represent the universe coming into existence, and the first verse refers to the first organisms on Earth.... everything was "green and submarine", peaceful, it was enough, but something drove some of those organisms to seek a new life on land, something drove them to journey into the unknown. Fast-forward millions of years later to the Cro-Magnon.... Perhaps by complete coincidence, two of these early humans see each other and recognize themselves. They are the same, or the same species rather - "I am you and what I see is me". These two specific cavemen go on to try and cooperate for protection, hunting, shelter, etc. They work together. The following guitar solo documents the evolution of man, and all his accomplishments AND follies. The groovy part right after that reflects modern society, and how its kinda fast-paced, stressful, and there's a lot of sleaze that comes with civilization. In the haunting, graveyard-esque portion that follows, I THINK it singles out one man in this society, a very depressed man for whatever reason. He feels he's trudging through life, and its a living hell for him. However, he soon somehow feels he's breaking out of that hell...... maybe its a dream, or his life is turning around, something of that sort.... he feels he's ascending towards heaven and escaping from everything that has ruined his life. But just when he's on the brink, he "wakes up" (the last verse) and reality dawns on him. He quickly falls back to where he once was. He is alone. But something inside him, just like what drove the first organisms to leave the ocean and what drove the Cro-Magnons to work together, drives him to continue trudging through life, in hope that he will find someone or something to live for soon (and so I throw the windows wide and call to you across the sky.

This is just my interpretation, and I think any song or work of art can be interpreted a thousand ways. Whatever its about, this song remains my favorite song of all time.... the entire song as a whole is surreal. Every time that guitar cannon we all know bursts in moments before the last verse, I feel like I'm ascending to a new level of consciousness. Pink Floyd (who is also my favorite band) was, and will always be, awe-inspiring.

My Interpretation

Great post! I like how this illuminates the concept of "from the beginning" quite well. However, I have been known to be credulous so this now makes perfect sense! Thanks for the insight.

@HammerFloyd Also, they discovered 'Echoes' from the big bang. A sound still resounding after so many years. With your explanation, this could explain the title!

@HammerFloyd - I just loved your interpretation....it was perfect..the song was not only surreal but it has this mystery of the universe...It is my favorite song of pink floyd and you are right it is timeless but all their music has a timeless quality to it...I always wondered the meaning of why pink floyd recorded one of their Echoes sessions at Pompeii if there was a special connection or just that it too is a very mysterious place of time and space with haunting calls or echoes of the ancient people that ere always immortalized there. Mary...

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I think this song is about the ephemeral stopping of time and what happens during those few moments. Also, in the second verse, it is talking about locking eyes with someone and for that minute second, wanting to share everything you know about everything with them, but instead you just keep walking. This is one of Floyds most heaviest, trippiest songs, sounds like it should belong on DSoTM...it sorta sounds like some of the songs on that album.

Yep, great way to see it. I think these moments when time stops are perfectio or perfect awareness. Someone sees, feels and is aware of everything around him and there is a sort of mental transmission between the mind and the elements. At this moment, you are the elements! "I am you and what I see is me"... what a line!

I don't understand why the musical break is so anxious compared to the very positive and floating lyrics, though...

That's some real deep S**t.

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Love this song!

The first verse could be about the evolution of life moving out of the sea onto the land (towards the light). It may also be suggesting that we will never know why life IS or where it is going.

The second verse might tie in with this notion by suggesting that we are all part of a greater life system or conciousness or spirit. We can't describe it, but we might be able to experience it fleetingly through these chance glances. Insightful, inspiring and beautiful! (PF might be aware of other ways of expeiencing it also!)

If this makes any sense to you, check out some of the lyrics to Tool songs like Third Eye and Aenima - similar notions (although the similarity might only be in my interpretation!). The debate about their meanings is pretty interesting too.

if any tool song relates to you theory it would be schism, if you like the lyrics to this song i would definantly check tools lyrics for schism.

i mean lateralus not schism sorry.

I totally agree with this interpretation. Sparing the details, the current leading scientific hypothesis for the origins of life is that it began near hydrothermal vents at the bottom of the ocean. These hydrothermal vent ecosystems harbor the only life forms that don't in any way rely on sunlight for energy.

"And no one called us to the land And no one knows the where's or why's. Something stirs and something tries Starts to climb toward the light."

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I think people are looking to much into this song when they are speaking about evolution. I don't think it's about that at all. I think it has to deal with what about 75% of all songs are about: Love and more specifically, finding that special someone / soul mate. I'll explain.

First Verse- I think first verse is a metaphor for being completely lost in life due to the fact of having no one and finally finding that one person that means the world to you. They use a marine theme to suggest this. Waters compares a lost/ lonely soul to a sea creature at the very deepest depths of the ocean. I think the sonar "Ping" is like a lost submarine traveling and finally discovering that there is something else out there. This person or thing helps the creature see the light at the surface and swim towards the light.

Second Verse- This one is pretty obvious: this takes us to modern life and spontaneously meeting your soulmate / the one. "Strangers passing in the street / by chance two separate glances meet / and I am you and what I see is me" It seems that these two people complete each other "And do I take you by the hand / and lead you through the land / and help understand the best I can" Once these two meet, it seems that nothing can stop their love "And no one...."

Third Verse- This verse describes how influential this soulmate is to the person and how this person means everything to them, comparing them to the sun. Basically saying that as long as they have them in their lives, they have inspiration and a reason to live and be happy. The final set of "And no one..." suggests that with this person in their lives, nothing causes them to slip into the darkness, instead, to stay awake and see nothing but light "And no-one sings me lullabies And no-one makes me close my eyes"

I could be wrong but I'm not sure if Waters was necessarily sing about evolution. Pink Floyd was out there and dealt with complex themes but they tended to deal with human emotions and contemporary issues.

Oh wow. You just made my night. <3 Thank you for that. :)

I wish I had more votes to give you. Reading your interpretation while listening to the song makes my eyes well up.

@LaFlamaBlanca I couldn't agree more. It's a love "epic" in the original sense of the word. (not Hey Bro! That was epic! -_- )

This is a progression of someone searching for who they are and finding it in their new found significant other.

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I think this song is about dealing with death of perent, maybe the death of roger´s father.

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The ´echoes´are the memories from the past that still écho´. every time the person in the poem dreaming about his past - but then he wake up from this illusion memory.

'Overhead the albatross hangs motionless upon the air And deep beneath the rolling waves In labyrinths of coral caves The echo of a distant tide Comes willowing across the sand And everything is green and submarine.' == here it's and epic description how the memory come to him - and everything is good. but then he realize again the truth: And no-one called us to the land And no-one knows the wheres or whys But something stirs and something tries And starts to climb towards the light == here you can see disappointment . you can see the person talking about his parent because ; father is the one that answer child question (the wheres of whys). the light that he talking about may refear to the sun , or just illusion full of light : either way he probaly talking about joining to that 'light' - his person. it's not have to be in suicidal way - he just miss and need him so much.

¨Strangers passing in the street By chance two separate glances meet And I am you and what I see is me And do I take you by the hand And lead you through the land And help me understand the best I can" = i think in this pharse he describe a exprient when he see a total stranger that look fimiliar to his father, and get sorta of deja vu. you can see he talking to his father because: "and i am you and what i see is me" - meaning that he is part from him, the same blood. again he describe activities of fahter and son: "take you by the hand", "lead you through the land (parallel to ¨called as to the land¨)", "help me understand the best i can(parallel to 'the where's and why's).

but again - he wake up from that illision memory : "And no-one calls us to move on And no-one forces down our eyes And no-one speaks and no-one tries And no-one flies around the sun" = again he describe father-son activity, now in the negative way (no one encourage him, make him sleep) "no one speak and no-one tries And no-one flies around the sun" - he intend to the first verse (But something stirs and something tries And starts to climb towards the light) he wrote this to emphasize that he woke up from the illision.

he enter to the illusion again (you can also see by the writing of this pharse that he reliving the memory of his father everyday): "Cloudless everyday you fall upon my waking eyes inviting and inciting me to rise And through the window in the wall Come streaming in on sunlight wings A million bright ambassadors of morning" ==he (the writer) is in his bed, morning - the sun come's out and the light reach to the room and to his eyes. the light symbolize for him his father - and that make him to remmember his father - and encourge him. but then he again woke up from his illision, and realize again that is life suck! ¨And no-one sings me lullabies And no-one makes me close my eyes And so I throw the windows wide And call to you across the sky" == you can see again he is talking about his father: lullabies are perent-son exprience. the lullabies and the 'makes me close my eyes' refering to: ("And no-one forces down our eyes")

then in a act of despair he open the window , look to the sky and call to his father.

so you can see this song is about the death of roger´s father.

also you can find 2 motifÑ

  • this is circular song, the writer enter into illision\memory and then wake up and so forth
  • there is resemblance to 'ikarus' story: (ikarus is a story of the greek mythology : ikarus and his father try to reach to the sun, but eventully ikarus die): bout ikarus and this talking about the connection between father and son, and in this poem there is alot of talking about: sun and light and wings.)

SORRY FOR MY ENGLISH. im not native speaker.

Song Meaning

A very nice analasys mr. Snowwolf, yet i don't agree with at leats one thing: "the where's and why's". You say: [...] you can see the person talking about his parent because ; father is the one that answer child question (the wheres of whys). The thing about the where's and why's being answered by a "father" is not only a bit naive, it is as well not very comprehensive with the the songs "tone"/"zeitgeist" or whatever. The point about no-one knowing the where's and why's is that no one never ever is going to hold evidently truth... there will...

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It's so fun to interpret songs. I have enjoyed reading these comments. I think it's about meeting yourself, hiding from your past and refusing the future. To me it says we are avoiding confronting ourselves and what we are capable of and that we can't be alone in anything we do. There are two sides of each of us, like a rosencrantz and a Guildenstern. Sometimes we meet. "Strangers passing in the street By chance two separate glances meet And I am you and what I see is me" I also get the feeling that we came on land from water in the beginning and have been trying to figure out what we're supposed to be doing up here. Are we supposed to help each other become who we are supposed to be? How would we do it alone? Only a piece of ART can prompt so much discussion. Thank you for the opportunity to join you all! Now, can anyone interpret See Emily Play for me?

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I'll never forget the first time I heard this song. When I first heard it it made me think of the poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Coleridge. Probably because it talks about an albatross in the first line of the song.

This song means so much to me. Everything about it is mind-blowing.

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To me this song is epic on the grandest scale. The song begins on the beach amidst the waves of the sea, but also amidst the waves of sunlight. The pinging of the opening notes suggests both the submarine sonar and the echoes of the big bang. This is about creation and evolution, wave-particle duality, and the call of evolving DNA to itself in a grand love song which echoes throughout all time, so that in each life, each reincarnation, we are calling to ourselves, and our soulmates, our fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, lovers, sons and daughters, our friends and even our enemies, as we have been all of these to each other throughout our countless incarnations, and in this endless cycle of rebirth and evolution, we are the Universe becoming conscious of itself, so that each morning when the sunlight hits our eyes, and we are conscious of it, of that echo of creation, we are the evolution from that time, calling back to our past and present self.

My Interpretation

I should say the lyrics involve not just waves of light and waves of water, but also waves of sound, of course.

I'm not sure if you nailed exactly the interpretation but I loved it. Great way to see it and the way I see it agrees in most of what you've just said.

After saturating in this song for a bit, I agree most with this interpretation. However, the structure of the poem suggests at the above even further. Run-on sentences make up a good half of the song. Much like life, lineage, and history altogether: we are but a long string of biochemical reactions made into sentient beings that leave their individal mark on the great cognitive consciousness known as history and knowledge, be it big or small. The lyrics are written in one big run-on sentence, strung along just like us. Each sentence wanders about, again, just like us.

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When I first heard this song I got goosebumps and was literally breathless. It kinda reminds me of going to a foreign country...

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The best Pink Floyd song of all times. Good for an awesome trip.

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