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on the turning away - pink floyd

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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.

Lyrics:

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?

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