Gunner’s Dream- Pink Floyd

In almost any Pink Floyd song, you can get lost in a world you thought you would never know, and you always feel at ease, even when you are...

In almost any Pink Floyd song, you can get lost in a world you thought you would never know, and you always feel at ease, even when you are afraid. In their technical perfection, every note, word and sound is studied and nothing is left to its fate. This band has undoubtedly raised the bar in the music industry, it has been difficult for musicians to reach their level ever since, and they have inspired many talents after them.

Written in 1983 by Roger Waters, “Gunner’s Dream” tells the story and thoughts of a gunner as he falls to his death during a raid. The gunner is in a bomber, he has parachuted out of his plane and as he floats down memories of his past come to him. As he is thinking of his past, he has a dream that the world will be at peace, that there will be no censorship and people will be able to express their opinion. He dreams of a world with no military rations, so that people can eat, and the youth of the nation won’t be sent to die for their children. The song also refers to people disappearing in the night, which is what would happen to jews, gays, black people and gypsies during WWII.

Some of the lyrics are based on an IRA terrorist attach which took place in London in 1982, precisely in Hyde park and Regent’s park.

The song was one of the songs to be considered as “best of” for the Pink Floyd album “The Final Cut”.

As is typical in many Pink Floyd songs, the listener is catapulted in the setting where the song is based: in this song, there are sounds of planes flying, guns shooting and the plane falling at the beginning. Few musicians are able to give such strong vision with mere sound, Pink Floyd are amongst these. Their songs come alive. In “Gunner’s Dream” the first feeling is one of anxiety and confusion, the listener cannot understand what is going on, and once the gunner begins to fall, the orchestra music gives and esoteric feeling to the moment, a we begin to dream.

The gunner expresses his wish of a world where “No one kills all the children anymore”. On Sunday, it will be the fourth anniversary of the Syrian war, where countless civilians have died or where forced to leave their houses and escape their countries. The children are still dying, all over the world, and the gunner’s dream has not come true. Yet.

Floating down through the clouds
Memories come rushing up to meet me now.
In the space between the heavens
and in the corner of some foreign field
I had a dream.
I had a dream.
Good-bye Max.
Good-bye Ma.
After the service when you’re walking slowly to the car
And the silver in her hair shines in the cold November air
You hear the tolling bell
And touch the silk in your lapel
And as the tear drops rise to meet the comfort of the band
You take her frail hand
And hold on to the dream.
A place to stay
“Oi! A real one …”
Enough to eat
Somewhere old heroes shuffle safely down the street
Where you can speak out loud
About your doubts and fears
And what’s more no-one ever disappears
You never hear their standard issue kicking in your door.
You can relax on both sides of the tracks
And maniacs don’t blow holes in bandsmen by remote control
And everyone has recourse to the law
And no-one kills the children anymore.
And no one kills the children anymore.

Night after night
Going round and round my brain
His dream is driving me insane.
In the corner of some foreign field
The gunner sleeps tonight.
What’s done is done.
We cannot just write off his final scene.
Take heed of his dream.
Take heed.  

Sounds from the Bucket
Virginia Vigliar

Virginia is a freelance journalist and editor based in Barcelona, consults for Oxfam in Spain and the Netherlands, and she is the Chief Editor of WIB. She is a passionate advocate of human rights and freedom of speech. And a meme enthusiast. She has worked in the development sector in Malawi and Kenya and Somalia before returning to Europe, where she gained experience in the United Kingdom, Norway, and Spain. To see her work, look at her website here:
One Comment
  • Gabe
    1 March 2016 at 6:31 pm
    Leave a Reply

    Hi, not parachuted out of the plane/bomber, but still inside while steep dive or freefall 🙂
    Dream – check the famous “Death of the ball turret gunner” poem by Randall for inspiration

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