What does The Great Gig in the Sky mean?

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Pink Floyd: The Great Gig in the Sky Meaning


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’and I am not frightened of dying, any time will do, i
Don’t mind. why should I be frightened of dying?
There’s no reason for it, you’ve gotta go sometime.’
’i never said I was frightened of dying.’


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    Jan 16th, 2007 1:54pm report

    I was 13 years old when this song came out. I was blessed to become a paid musician for most of my life. "Great Gig in the Sky" is the song my family is instructed to play at my funeral. My interpretation is this: A woman wakes to find that she is no longer amoung the living. Her spirit responds with shock, horror about things she did not do that she should have done. The pain she experienced in life, the people she will miss, loves she lost. Then she comes to terms with the present and begins to entertain the heavenly host with all of heart & soul.
    Check me out at: www.youtube.com/user/woodstockgranny


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    Nov 1st, 2005 11:08pm report

    A few other notes on this track: with little direction from the band members, Clare Torry decided to form her voice as an instrument, playing lead throughout the backing track. At the time, she was very embarrassed and taken back by how it sounded ('screechy', a whole lot of 'caterwauling'), never thinking that any of her takes were usable for the final mix. She was paid 30GBP for her work as a session singer, along with lead vocal credits for the track. Much later, she sued for full rights as composer, as it was her improvisational vocal melody lines that made the track what is was, with no supplied score to read from. Just this year, the company settled for an undisclosed, but likely, a very substantial sum.

    The whispered line during the middle of the track is an answer to one of the cue card questions posed by Roger Waters for his ambient voices idea to add some organic mystique to the project. The question was thought to be "(Why) are you frightened of dying." The soft female voice responds, "I never said I was frightened of dying." The phrase is not that of any of the singers (just a person on the street, or in the studio area, to whom these questions were posed), and it is not the commonly mis-heard/mis-quoted, "If you can hear this, you are dying." Listen closely, and you'll hear for yourself.


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    May 30th, 5:51pm report

    Ok, obviously there is more than one interpretation of this song, nothing wrong with that and it was interesting to read everyones take on it. I have an entirely different one. The first time I heard it, it reminded me of grief. After I lost my 18 year old son, and if I could sing like Claire Torry I would have gone to the top of a high, deserted place and sang my heart out. To me it feels like how my heart felt during the most unimaginable pain. Sorry if that turns the song into something you didn't want it to. To me, and as a mother, that song puts music to the grief of losing a child.


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    Jun 9th, 2014 6:11am report

    It's sound to me like a supreme sexual feeling of arosal,climax and final relax,the supreme phisycal emotion than a human being can get....


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    Jun 1st, 2014 6:12pm report

    One of if not the #1 best of All songs in The Entire World...... You can Really feel it internally ,
    In-throughout Your being & ofcorse Our Hearts ..
    Sexualy ConvulsingOrgasmic like type to Our Peaks & then Finally towards Our Agonizing Death...
    Liv For it.


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    Mar 15th, 2014 3:46am report

    From the very first time that I ever heard this song, I could never imagine that what I was hearing was nothing but the throes of a woman in ecstasy. To suggest that it is agony just seems wrong and morbid. It's not the seven stages of grief, only the one stage of sexual relief. Don't ruin this for me you overly analytical eggheads.


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    Apr 1st, 2012 4:46pm report

    It's about Oreo cookies and milk!

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway


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    Jan 26th, 2012 1:03am report

    This song makes me experience some parts of my childhood all over again. In a somehow frightening, realistic and confrontational way. First time i listened was under influence of LSD-5 though.


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    Aug 27th, 2011 8:43pm report

    The screaming sounds nothing like a woman having an orgasm, so if she was trying for that, epic fail. I think someone just added that in to "sex the story up". Thanks for nothing.

    I've never heard the "you are dying" line but 3:33 is a much more mystical number than 3:34. "You" should die at 3:33, and be already dead at 3:34.


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    Aug 11th, 2011 8:47pm report

    the scream painting, existentialism

    the great GOD in the sky, is he there

    read some NDE stuff, its interesting


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    Jun 22nd, 2011 6:49pm report

    This piece has three masterful performances: Wright's simple, but expressive piano composition; Gilmour's slide guitar dovetailing the piano plays off the "musical eulogy" feel. But what makes this, in my opinion, one of the three or four most powerfully emotional pieces of music ever performed is Clare Torry's improvisational vocal performance. It stands absolutely alone in modern popular music; I can't think of anything that comes close. It is at once an expression of great beauty and a heartwrenching cry of ultimate pain. One feels the story; no lyrics are needed. I've always felt this performance captured completely the emotions of a young mother grieving the loss of her child - there simply doesn't seem any other pain deep enough to evoke such vocalizations. It's been almost forty years since I first heard this work, and it still chokes me with tears every time.


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    Jun 1st, 2011 6:33pm report

    It's about death, as is the entire album. That's all there is to it.
    Before recording her solo, Clare Tony apparently received only one piece of vague description from Pink Floyd about the song. I quote: "It's about dying". The solo is merely a vocal response to that idea.


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    May 28th, 2011 5:08pm report

    If you listen very closeley when the song is at 3 minutes and thirty four seconds you can hear a whisper saying if you can hear this whisper you are dying. It is really creepy why would this be in a song?


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    Apr 7th, 2011 4:52am report

    I took a class in which we interpreted this song. the message is to portray the 7 emotions of grief or the feelings involved before you die. Shock or Disbelief, denial, anger, bargaining, guilt, depression and acceptance. Knowing this, listen to the song and you can understand how her voice flows beautifully between every emotion.


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    Mar 10th, 2011 3:12pm report

    In The Orginal Great Gig In The Sky the 1st singer was Claire Torry and the 2nd Women was ????? who is Namoie Watts Mother, my interest lies in the 3rd women she rocked those high tones sound to me she got assed out..from reviews on her part i thought she finish the song just my 2 cents....



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    Mar 10th, 2011 3:09pm report

    In The Orginal Great Gig In The Sky the 1st singer was Claire Torry and the 2nd Women was ????? who is Namoie Watts Mother, my interest lies in the 3rd women she rocked those high tones sound to me she got assed out..



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    Jan 21st, 2010 1:50pm report

    I'll clear this up for everyone. Clare Torry's vocals are simulating the man's life from his birth right up to his death. You can "hear" the good times as well as the low points in his life. At the end is his final breath...

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