"High Hopes" as written by David Gilmour and Polly Samson...
Beyond the horizon of the place we lived when we were young
In a world of magnets and miracles
Our thoughts strayed constantly and without boundary
The ringing of the division bell had begun

Along the Long Road and on down the Causeway
Do they still meet there by the Cut

There was a ragged band that followed in our footsteps
Running before times took our dreams away
Leaving the myriad small creatures trying to tie us to the ground
To a life consumed by slow decay

The grass was greener
The light was brighter
When friends surrounded
The nights of wonder

Looking beyond the embers of bridges glowing behind us
To a glimpse of how green it was on the other side
Steps taken forwards but sleepwalking back again
Dragged by the force of some in a tide
At a higher altitude with flag unfurled
We reached the dizzy heights of that dreamed of world

Encumbered forever by desire and ambition
There's a hunger still unsatisfied
Our weary eyes still stray to the horizon
Though down this road we've been so many times

The grass was greener
The light was brighter
The taste was sweeter
The nights of wonder
With friends surrounded
The dawn mist glowing
The water flowing
The endless river

Forever and ever


Lyrics submitted by Demau Senae, edited by toddk

"High Hopes" as written by David Jon Gilmour Polly Annie Samson

Lyrics © BARTON MUSIC CORPORATION

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High Hopes song meanings
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    General CommentI recently watched the music video to High Hopes, and it makes the song clear. High Hopes has been one of my favorite songs for years, but the video took my breath away. I used to study at Cambridge University in England, and the video is shot in my old college grounds, around the university, and in the fenlands around cambridge in the winter. Pink floyd were from Cambridge, and the song for me perfectly captures what studying in that fantastic town meant to me. As well as no doubt commenting on some other stuff too, like the band itself (I dont know much about that to be honest), the lyrics clearly refer to the fact that at a place like cambridge people were able to think anything, to stray in their thoughts 'without boundary'. it was a wonderful, inspiring, and often pretty magical place to be (the video really shows this, check it out on youtube). but many people end up moving on to work in the city, financial services and other all-consuming and challenging careers. look for the bit in the video with the business men on stilts striding to the horizon, full of optimism and focusing on a wonderful future. People have high hopes, and they press on to the rat race, where most get worn down, jaded, and the spark of personality which most had while at university slowly fades and is all but forgotten. The video shows a man, obviously a former student, gazing across the fenlands (flat farm and marsh land surrounding the town for miles), having just driven back to cambridge, and he is obviously thinking back, nostalgically, to his time there. In part of a video you see a circle of friends on the backs (the lawns) behind the St Johns College, releasing balloons into the sky. ideas, maybe, which in their drive to find success, to pursue their high hopes, with 'flags unfurled', forget the wonderful ideas and ideals which they perhaps nurtured, and shared, while at university. in retrospect cambridge is a truly surreal and magical experience to many people. but most dont see it at the time. So once people reach the 'dizzy heights of the dreamed of world', they perhaps find that there is little there, and they begin to look back at their time as students, when they had freedom to think, to act, to pursue whatever they wished, and in such a fantastic environment, where they might not have been rich, but they were responsibility free, and with time to learn and to grow. there is nothing quite like the opportunity to spend time in a place like that where you were free to think whatever you want, to read whatever you want, and to learn so much. Pink floyd were definitely the sort of people who saw and appreciated this (although i dont know if they ever went to university, of cambridge, themselves, although i believe they came from cambridge). of course, because the video is filmed in cambridge, and because they are from there and i went there, i see the song in terms of my very personal experience of the place, which is uncannily and beautifully captured in the video, which is, by the way, the best music video i've seen. the imagery in it really struck a cord with me. But the principle of what they were saying is more widely applicable, as most comments here have pointed out. That the video shows cambridge gives the video special significance to me, but it is ultimately a song about the 'hunger still unsatisfied' which remains even when 'high hopes' are made reality, and one reaches the 'dizzy heights of that dreamed of world'. At the top, materially and career wise, i think many people must then have cause to stop and think, once they find the top is no better, in terms of an intangible, perhaps intellectual satisfaction. Those that reach such heights will tend to be driven, intelligent and 'hungry' people, inquisitie people, who suddenly begin to see that there is more to being human then material achievement. Many will then turn and see that perhaps true satisfaction can only come through understanding, and that is where - i for one - see university as being so significant, especially a place like cambridge, with all its learning, its 50 odd libraries, its ancient and inspiring architecture. True satisfaction, for me, was falling asleep each night (more often at dawn) having spent a day reading, learning, partying, and talking with friends until 5am, walking the ancient old streets there, surrounded by sparky and intelligent people. what makes us so wonderfully human is our ability to think, to learn, to create, to wonder, to marvel. Universities really give free reign to those ideals, and it is a time when people are not yet sucked into a life of responsibility and sapped of their ideals, their inquisitiveness. For most of us the time at which we are able to be most atuned to what makes being human so wonderful is when we are at university, when we can if we choose - throw outselves into thinking, learning and creating to our hearts content. I think the song is reflecting on the sadness of this realisation, because when it comes for the most part one's bridges will be burnt, and when we return to see where we once were, we see the grass is indeed greener than our career, say, but that it is forever closed to us. So sadness, yes, and nostalgia. A wonderful song, and a beautiful music video. The irony is that i ldiscovered the song in my last year of high school, when i was applying to cambridge, and i used to listen to it on repeat quite a lot, it had a eerie mystery about it which fascinated me, i never found it depressing as such. But only now, tonight, when i have seen the video on youtube (and then google searched it's meaning, and found this site),do i see how strange it is that i listened to it endlessly while i was working my ass off to get into university, only to find that they wrote it (I'm assuming this having watched the video) with cambridge in mind! anyway, that is my overly long analysis.
    calnicholsonon October 25, 2006   Link

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