Monday, March 8, 2010

The Narrow Way (parts I-III) (Ummagumma)

The Narrow Way 12:21
     (written by David Gilmour)

Part I 3:28

Instrumental

A pleasant acoustic guitar piece, possibly based on Baby Blue Shuffle in D Major, with the unpleasant addition of a few sound effects. Dave seemed to think that there was a Pink Floyd reputation to keep up, and that his guitar was not weird enough alone.

Part II 3:10
Instrumental

A heavier electric piece, enjoyable enough. Dave also plays drums. Things get strange near the end, and a descending whine leads into the next part.

Part III 5:46
Lyrics:
Following the path as it leads towards
The darkness in the north
Weary stranger's faces show their sympathy
They've seen that hope before


But if you want to stay for a little bit
Rest your aching limbs for a little bit
For you the night is beckoning
And you know you can't delay
You hear the night birds calling you
But you can't catch the words they say
Close your ears and eyes, be on your way


Mystery swelling, creatures crawling
Hear the roar get louder in your ears
You know the folly was your own
But the force behind can't conquer all your fears


And if you want to stay for a little bit
Rest your aching limbs for a little bit
For you the night is beckoning
And you know you can't delay
You hear the night birds calling you
But you can't catch the words they say
Close your ears and eyes, be on your way


Throw your thoughts back many years
To the time when there was life with every morning
Perhaps a day will come
When the light will be as close on that morning


And if you want to stay for a little bit
Rest your aching limbs for a little bit
For you the night is beckoning
And you know you can't delay
You hear the night birds calling you
But you can't catch the words they say
Close your ears and eyes, be on your way


A chorus of multi-tracked Daves opens part three, on which Dave also plays piano. The quiet chorus also benefits from two or three Daves. The mythic feel and narrative style of this section aided its inclusion as part of The Journey Suite the past spring. The song is much more polished in its recorded version, though the lyrics are comparatively low in the mix due to Dave's insecurity about them. They aren't too bad, but nowhere near the quality and relevance of his lyrics for the post-Waters albums (A Momentary Lapse of Reason and The Division Bell). Based on the lyrics for the Journey version, Dave appears to miss an additional 'as' after the word 'close' on the last line of the third verse ('as close as on that morning'). The last chorus gives way to a good instrumental section at the end; The Narrow Way part III is definitely among the top three tunes on the solo LP.

Dave was frustrated by the necessity of writing all his own material for the first time (something he was not interested in at that time), simply because Rick wanted to do solo pieces and Roger agreed it might be a good idea. Dave probably started work on his pieces in late January and early February of 1969, and finished at least Part III in early April. He comments on the experience.

Dave Gilmour: "We'd decided to make the damn album, and each of us do a piece of music on our own. It was just desperation really, trying to think of something to do, to write by myself. I'd never written anything before. I just went into the studio and started waffling about, tacking bits and pieces together — just bullshitted my way through. I got desperate at one point, rang Roger up and said 'Please help me write the lyrics,' but he said, 'No, do 'em yourself.' I haven't heard it in years, I've no idea what it's like."

"I was not ready for it, frankly. I didn't know what to do. So I had to [write my own lyrics], but I mean it's nothing, really. Not really. I don't see it as having any real value. I've never listened to it for donkey's years, mind you, so I don't know."


TRACK LISTING
Disc One
Astronomy Domine
Careful with that Axe, Eugene
Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun
Saucerful of Secrets, A
Disc Two
Sysyphus
Grantchester Meadows
Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving with a Pict
Narrow Way (parts I-III), The
Grand Vizier's Garden Party (Parts I-III), The

No comments:

Post a Comment