"Echoes" as written by and Wright Waters....
Overhead the albatross
Hangs motionless upon the air
And deep beneath the rolling waves
In labyrinths of coral caves
An echo of a distant time
Comes willowing across the sand
And everything is green and submarine

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

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 called us to the land
And no one crosses there alive
No one speaks and no one tries
No one flies around the sun

Almost 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 lullabys
And no one makes me close my eyes
So I throw the windows wide
And call to you across the sky

Lyrics submitted by Demau Senae, edited by Undinal, patient957, tillyny, 1Bigdawg, Nmlgc, TomCrown, neeraj1030, Madanmohan, Blake614, importrade, tomslyrics123

"Echoes" as written by George Waters David Gilmour

Lyrics © T.R.O. INC.

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    General CommentAs a self-proclaimed sci-fi nerd, after learning of the synchronicity of this song with '2001: A Space Odyssey,' a great movie, and one of my favorite books, I was very drawn to it. I think that the fact that this song synchs up with the final "Jupiter and Beyond the Infinite" segment of '2001’ is no coincidence. I believe that the song and movie are exploring the same theme. Progression, attaining of knowledge, and the yearn for more. These themes are explored in the lyrics as well as the music. So, here I go, these are my thoughts.

    The 'ping ping ping' sounds at the beginning represent the thought process of a very singular, very simple form of intelligence. It's the same thing over and over again, there's no memory of the past, there's no looking to the future, it's just a continuous present. These primitive minds are discussed in reference to the ape-like creatures in the novelization of '2001.' Anyway, after a little while more stuff, more complexity is added to the 'pinging.' It's becoming more musical, more 'intelligent.' But the pinging is still sort of there. So even though the music/life form is evolving, it still contains some part of what it was originally. I could elaborate more on this, and on thinking in the past and future as well as the present, but I don't want to bore you more that I probably already have. So I'll go on.

    The first verse serves to show the evolutionary origin of life. It's the starting point. I know there's got to be more to it, but I can't really see it yet. Maybe I'll elaborate on that some more later. Anyway, it's the first chorus that really interests me. The 'no-one showed us to the land' and 'no-one knows the where or whys' I think touches on the idea of a primitive mind being without memory or complex thought. But there is something deep within the primitive being that is not content with being so stupid and simple, it wants more. Maybe not necessarily for itself, but for its species. This also touches on the clearly present evolution metaphor. Anyway, the 'something' that wants more doesn't seem to be very sure what to do or even what it wants. It needs a little push, a little something to get it going. This is where the sunlight comes in. I'm going to go back to '2001' for a moment. The ape-like human ancestors in the film and novel (this is much clearer in the novel) begin to experience discontent with their lives. At least some of them do. They begin to realize that there are other, better ways of living, but they don't know what to do. Then the monolith, the big, black slab, arrives and screws with their minds a little. It doesn't specifically show them the way to a better life, (‘no-one showed us to the land’) but it gives them the tools to find it themselves. This happens again a few million years later when humans in the space age unearth another monolith on the moon, which shows them the way to the next step. I won't go much more into that, if you're curious just go watch the movie. Anyway, the monolith in '2001' I believe is analogous (no pun intended for you biology nerds out there XD) to the light/sun references in the song. Light in itself has always been associated with knowledge and goodness. In the song the light represents knowledge and progression, perhaps even purity. The 'something' in the first chorus is one of those simple, yet discontent creatures that realizes there can be better ways of living, so it is drawn to the light, and takes the first step in its progression.

    I want to talk a little more about the light. In '2001' the monoliths were placed by extraterrestrial beings of higher intelligence, or if you want to use a simple, more connotative term, aliens. This may be the case in the song, (I'm not sure who, if anyone, the light represents.) It may represent 'aliens,' or higher forms of intelligence, but it may just be light. It may just be knowledge, and the driving force that pushes the primitive life forms to progress may not be superior beings at all, it may be 'something' within themselves.

    The second verse is probably my favorite; however my ideas about its meaning are a rather sketchy. Going back to the ‘alien’ theme, perhaps one of the strangers is the higher form of intelligence, the alien, and the other stranger is the human. The alien has a much more complex mind, and as I mentioned earlier, having a complex mind partially entails having knowledge of the past. The fact that the two strangers seem to be ‘one’ suggests that the aliens were once very like the humans, but they learned how to evolve/progress. Maybe they did it themselves, maybe they were ‘shown the way’ by other higher beings. However it happened, they were once like humans and they still have a recollection (or perhaps an ‘echo?’) of their humanity deep within their minds somewhere. And when they recognize that primitive humanity in another species, they want to share their knowledge with them. They want to make them better, they want them to have the same powers that they have. But they can’t force it on them. For some reason they can’t ‘make’ the primitive humans better, that is something that they have to do for themselves, but they can show them the way. They can put up signposts to guide them, even mess with their natural development a little bit, which is all very reminiscent of the monolith in ‘2001,’ but in the end, the humans have to make the decisions themselves.

    I think the second chorus is talking about how the ‘humans’ can’t make it on their own. ‘No-one calls [them] to move on,’ meaning if no one or nothing is helping them, they can’t ‘move on’ or progress. ‘No-one forces down [their] eyes,’ meaning that there isn’t anyone or anything hindering them, other than themselves. However, ‘no-one speaks and no-one tries,’ so they are letting that hindering force within themselves inhibit them, and ‘no-one flies around the sun,’ meaning no one is capable of doing great things because they are stuck in a mental state of not speaking or thinking. This is why they need the superior intelligences to show them the way.

    But what if, like I think mentioned somewhere above, it isn’t superior forms of intelligence inciting progression in the inferior humans? What if it is simply some longing within themselves? If that is the case, the only thing hindering them from progressing is also within themselves. So, we now have a nifty choice philosophy, I guess. Touching on verse two again, what if the two strangers are the opposing sides of a kind of human nature? One side longing for knowledge and progression, the other side trying to keep things the same. Fear of change maybe? I’m not sure if that idea fits in with the rest of the verse, but hey, we’re all just theorizing here. :) Okay, moving on.

    Perhaps this is just me reading far too much into things, but the strange sounds about halfway through the song, (I believe someone mentioned that they were whale sounds,) start to sound kind of like a human scream when they die down, (a single scream itself, not the whole screaming segment of the song.) I'm probably just reading too much into it, but maybe that is another way of showing the evolution/progression theme. Starting as animals, becoming humans, I don't know. Anyway, staying with the music, I think that the instrumental period after the whale sounds and before the guitars come in at about 18 minutes is the human life being led. The music is kind of wistful and lonely for a while, which seems to connect with ‘2001’ again. It may represent the loneliness and isolation of space travel, or the loneliness and isolation of individual lives. Anyway, then the guitars come in; this reminds me of astronaut David Bowman in ‘2001’ going through the stargate and being transported to a distant side of the universe, (though in the synchronization that happens earlier.) Then again, the guitars seem very jovial and bright so perhaps they represent the progression and attaining of knowledge I've been discussing. Or maybe they’re just neat guitar riffs, the world may never know. :)

    The last verse seems very reminiscent of one of the final scenes in ‘2001’ in which David Bowman, after rapidly aging/progressing through this life, is lying in bed with the monolith at the foot of the bed and he is drawn to it. He reaches out to it and in doing so, makes his final decision to continue progressing and becomes the 'Starchild,' a being of pure thought. I could write volumes on this, but I think I'll go back to the song. :) In the last verse the person also appears to be lying in bed. However, the 'cloudless every day you fall upon my waking eyes' suggests that the call to knowledge always exists, but there is something that is stopping him from going to it. This may be one of the sides of human nature I mentioned that fears change and hinders progress.

    In the final chorus, the mentioning of ‘lullabies,’ and ‘making him close his eyes,’ sounds very much like a parent. The parent once kept him a child, hindered him from progressing too much and gaining too much knowledge, but now the 'no-one sings me lullabies...' etc. suggests that the human has either lost the hindering parental force or has grown beyond it, and is now free to make his own decisions. This ‘parental force’ may simply be the hindering side of his human nature, the side that doesn’t want him to progress. But he is finally able to overcome that. When he 'throws the windows wide' and 'calls...across the sky' perhaps he has progressed as far as he can by himself, but he still wants more, so he calls on the supreme intelligences to show him the way, and, like in ‘2001,’ he becomes something much greater and more powerful than he could have imagined.

    So, those are my very long winded thoughts on this amazing song. In certain ways, it reminds me of another cool song, ‘Starship Trooper’ by Yes. What with the whole aliens/superior forms of intelligence trying to guide the humans/primitive beings. I don’t know. Writing all that made my brain hurt a little. XD
    Random7on March 20, 2006   Link

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