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Published on May 11, 2009
"On the Turning Away" is a power ballad from Pink Floyd's 1987 album, A Momentary Lapse of Reason. Released as the second single from the album, it reached #1 on the Billboard Album Rock Tracks chart in early 1988. A live performance of the song was featured on both the video and double CD releases of Delicate Sound of Thunder. The song references issues of poverty and oppression, lamenting on the tendency of people to turn away from those afflicted with such conditions. It ends on a hopeful note, with the last stanza beginning, "no more turning away ". The song was the ninth track from the album performed when A Momentary Lapse of Reason was played live from 1987 to 1989. The track was also performed sometimes during the band's 1994 Division Bell tour, as the song was a huge US rock radio hit. The music video for the track composed of a live recording and concert footage filmed during the band's three night run at the The Omni in Atlanta, Georgia in November 1987 directed by Lawrence Jordan (who has directed concert films for Rush, Mariah Carey and Billy Joel). Videos for "The Dogs of War" and "One Slip" were also filmed from this concert. The video went to #9 on MTV's Video Countdown in January 1988. The Live in Gdańsk 5 disc deluxe edition, as well as the vinyl edition also contain a recording of Gilmour singing "On the Turning Away" in Venice on August 12, 2006. Halfway through the song, both Gilmour and Wright forget the lyrics, however he laughs it off, and with a little support from the crowd makes a recovery.
On the turning away From the pale and downtrodden And the words they say Which we wont understand Dont accept that whats happening Is just a case of others suffering Or youll find that youre joining in The turning away
Its a sin that somehow Light is changing to shadow And casting its shroud Over all we have known Unaware how the ranks have grown Driven on by a heart of stone We could find that were all alone In the dream of the proud
On the wings of the night As the daytime is stirring Where the speechless unite In a silent accord Using words you will find are strange And mesmerized as they light the flame Feel the new wind of change On the wings of the night
No more turning away From the weak and the weary No more turning away From the coldness inside Just a world that we all must share Its not enough just to stand and stare Is it only a dream that therell be No more turning away?