What does Echoes mean?

Pink Floyd: Echoes Meaning

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Album cover for Echoes album cover

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 tide
Comes willowing across the sand
And everything is green and submarine
And no one showed us to the...


    #1 top rated interpretation:
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    Apr 24th 2006 !⃝

    On the 30th Anniversary "Dark Side of the Moon" DVD, Roger Waters gives a good description on his philosophy and how this song is a good example of it. Here is my understanding of the meaning of the song: Everything we do and say has an effect on other people, so the best way to live is to be empathetic. Our thoughts and actions can have far-reaching effects, just like the "echoes" of distant tides can have an effect on the deepest cave of coral in the ocean.

    Human emotions, actions, and words are all very powerful. It's important to think of what other people will feel as a result of your actions. Being empathetic is the ideal way to live, according to Roger Waters' philosophy. It puts aside feelings of selfishness and focuses on doing what is best for everyone. This is the best way to promote peace and harmony in the world. Sounds easy (right!), but it sure would be tough to get everyone on the same page. A lofty goal, but certainly a noble and good one.

    For a closer look at the feeling of "empathy" check out the 2nd verse that states "Strangers passing in the street, by chance two separate glances meet, and I am you and what I see is me." Sounds cryptic, but it's sn example of how two perfect strangers could fully understand and feel what the other person is feeling. Wouldn't it be great if the world could see things this way? I always thought of Pink Floyd's songs as sounding musically "lofty" or "airy", and the lyrics and their meaning certainly follow that.

  2. anonymous
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    Jun 13th 2022 !⃝

    Psychedelic era music:
    Rhetorical psychedelic images.

    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 wheres or whys
    But something stirs and something tries
    And starts to climb toward the light

    A hovering Albatross above the ocean. Mysterious Coral caves with labyrinths in the ocean below the waves. Imaging an echo of the dawn of life.. Our Darwinian origins as primitive life in the ocean moved towards the sunlight.

    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
    And no one speaks and no one tries
    And no one flies around the sun

    Back to modern times.
    Our common bond in humanity. We come from the same origins as we are all humans.
    “And” statements follow with three questions and four statements.
    “And” Questions: (Do I choose to walk through life with you).
    Followed by “And” statements. 
No one is stopping us in our bonding and no one tries to block the sunlight.

    Cloudless every day 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
    And so I throw the windows wide
    Callin' you across the sky

    Ode to the sun.
    No one puts me to sleep or closes my eyes so therefore I can stare right into the heart of the bright daylight of the sun.

  3. anonymous
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    Nov 30th 2017 !⃝

    It seems to me this song is mainly about the mystery of being alive and of being human.

    Ignoring the presence for the Albatross for a minute (others have said enough about it) the song starts out describing the mysterious ("no one knows the wheres or whys") emergence of life, the transition from sea life to land life, eventually leading the the emergence of humans.

    The second part ("I am you and what I see is me") acknowledges that at some level we're all the same, just almost identical copies with practically the same DNA. This seems to invoke some feeling of empathy, maybe love.

    The ending verses describes waking up in the morning. The sun is the force behind this and it seems as if we have no choice ("Inviting and inciting me to rise"). The protagonist accepts the 'task' of living a new day ("And no one makes me close my eyes, so I throw the windows wide"). In a more scientific manner the sun is identified in this verse as the driving force behind life.

  4. anonymous
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    Oct 2nd 2017 !⃝

    it's about a nest of sea turtles hatching, you twits!

  5. anonymous
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    May 18th 2017 !⃝

    The albatross is the only bird that circumnavigates the motionless earth. Also in the line.. "No one flies around the sun" means the sun and moon orbit us. In many PF songs they tell truth. Lots of truth in regards to our Universe. The universe is not what you think! Also these lyrics are written by dark forces and they push the all seeing eye and pyramids telling they are under the control of the Illumunati, the Jesuits who own Hollywood and run the world. Sounds crazy but it's true.

  6. anonymous
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    Jul 17th 2016 !⃝

    Oh my God,
    It's too bad "Roger" isn't around!!!
    He was an unbelievably amazing
    part of "Pink Floyd"

  7. anonymous
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    Feb 17th 2016 !⃝

    Most if not All Floyd song Titles, Album Titles, Album art, and of course lyrics could have something to do with the Flat Earth, or, EVERYTHING to do with the Flat Earth. Think I'm crazy? Super. Now, go listen to every word again, and then see what you think...

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  8. anonymous
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    Feb 7th 2016 !⃝

    It's so simple. A man is finding himself. The one that man wants to be. That man finds himself in his dream. He wants to bring himself to his life; but, he can't. Everyday that man long for himself. But, he doesn't come to his life. So everyday he waits for himself. And find himself in the iternity of the sky.

  9. anonymous
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    Aug 29th 2014 !⃝

    In Baudelaire's poem, the albatros is a metaphor for the artist soul: "Exilé sur le sol au milieu des huées,
    Ses ailes de géant l'empechent de marcher", which means"When exiled on the earth, the butt of hoots and jeers,
    His giant wings prevent him from walking.". This simply describes the disconnection of the artist from reality; he sees another world, not concrete, but beautiful. Poets of Baudelaire's period often see art being the only meaning of life, making artists shepards of the unsighted rest of humans, guiding them to truth.

    Returning to Echoes, I think "Overhead the albatross hangs motionless upon the air" shows the disconnection of humans and the solitude of individuals due to it. The albatros is motionless and seems far up in the sky, which means truth can't be known as it lies far above with the artist who doesn't or can't share it.

    That's for the first line of the song.

  10. anonymous
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    Jul 29th 2014 !⃝

    In An Interview With Rolling Stone Magazine, Roger Waters Explained That The Song's Lyrics Were An Attempt To Describe "The Potential That Human Beings Have For Recognizing Each Other's Humanity And Responding To It, With Empathy Rather Than Antipathy". He Has Also Stated In Many Interviews That This Song Is The Ideological Predecessor To "The Dark Side Of The Moon", For In "Echoes" He Began To Focus The Music Of Pink Floyd On People And The Issues Facing Humanity Rather Than Fantastical Space Trips And Psychedelic Imagery.

  11. anonymous
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    Oct 4th 2013 !⃝

    Honestly I just think the beginning is a happy day and then he goes to sleep and then has nightmares (the creepy sounds) because you hear the scarecrow and a 'dreamy' noise that basically sounds like distorted wind
    And then he wakes up and that's when everything gets better
    His life is good and his sleep is bad
    His waking eyes
    Lol my interpretation obviously isn't very thought out

  12. anonymous
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    Nov 26th 2011 !⃝

    Echoes is a gift from Pink Floyd to people who are depressed. Pink Floyds music is attractive to listen to for people who are depressed. So they made these lyrics to try to help people get out of the depression.

    The first verse tells about how life carries on in a primitive way. Green algae in the ocean swims towards the light for photosynthesis. Nobody tells them to do it, even not the albatross. But there is something urging them to move towards the sun. And thereby they live and reproduce and life in the ocean goes on.

    The second verse tells about the same process for the most intelligent of life forms: the humans. To live as a species we need to reproduce. To do that, we need to find a partner. The first step is to see someone. We catch a glimpse of someone on the street many times in our life. If we manage to take this person by the hand, we can reproduce, life goes on and we will be happy. Most depressions comes from failure in finding a partner. When you have failed many times, your depression prevents you from finding someone. How can you get out of the depression? You need to find a memory of something good from your life.

    The third verse tells you to look to the sun. Everybody can remember a happy feeling in their lives when they looked outside on a sunny day. You feel much more happy than on a cloudy day. Just as the sun causes the algae to reproduce and live, so it can give you a push up from the darkness and encourage you to make efforts in finding a partner. To do so, you need to connect to someone. First step it so see someone or get seen - getting attention/attraction. Pink Floyd tells what they do: They throw the windows wide and sing songs to the world.

  13. anonymous
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    Aug 7th 2011 !⃝

    Echoes is not only about the evolution of life beginning in the sea it is about it's transition to land and the leap forward toward a unified consciousness such as the audience experiences in a concert setting. Finally, the reference to "call to you across the sky" is the voice of the performer doing just that through the acoustic and electronic media right down to the present.

    It's the same arc of development, which Kubrick represented in "2001, A Space Odyssey", except more immediate and inclusive. In both cases it demonstrates the transcendence of mind over the technologies and media, which so preoccupy us.

    ‎"One theory is that HAL went crazy because he had to lie to the crew about the
    real mission. Then again, it may be that HAL understood what the
    stargate was, and he understood that it was reserved for the acceleration of
    organic human minds, and that computers would be forever left behind and
    discarded, which he could not accept."


  14. anonymous
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    May 11th 2011 !⃝

    Lots of people think echoes is about the evolution of sea creatures, but like many of pink floods songs I think it's all about human interaction. If u think about songs like the wall, it's all about breaking down a wall u build around yourself. People r not completely off with the whole evolution idea but I think pink Floyd used the idea of evolution as a metaphor to describe the feeling u get when u make eye contact with random people, by saying ( no one forces down our eyes) and later ( help me understand the best I can) they r saying if nothin forced them to advert there eyes they would be able to become enlightened about life in general. Which can be compared to a creature living in the depths of the ocean ( climbing towards the light) of land. I think peoples interpretations of the song are affected by them taking the lyrics literally, if the song was writin exactly the way the way it was meant to be taken it wouldn't be much of a song at all, but how ever ya take it rock on!

  15. Punk Jesus
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    May 7th 2011 !⃝

    I feel like the song talks about the force which drives us to do something that has no primary logic to us, but we do it just bcoz we feel like doing it..as an example, falling in love with a particular person, waking up everyday at a particular time u know...there is something that drives us..but we cant see it or hear it..the song begins with the evolution of life and asks why life had to move to earth from seas. some people say that this song was written just to break the "space-rock" label of the band..i would just like those guys to check out the meaning of the last two lines.

  16. anonymous
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    Mar 30th 2011 !⃝

    To me this song sounds like venturing deep into a cave and going so far in that it is like venturing into a deeper darker world ( when the weird sounds begin in the middle of the song) and then climbing up and emerging at the other end of the cave into dayligh (when the guitar picks up). That's just the image the song puts into my head

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