My Top 1000 Songs #242: Wot's... Uh The Deal

[I've been writing up my Top 1000 songs on a daily basis--you can see them all in descending order by hitting the All My Favorite Songs tag.]

Out of a catalog packed with weighty, art-rock epics (and, much earlier, joyously absurd psychedelic-pop gems), it feels a little off to have great love for this understated little folk-rock track with the oddball title. The song was part of 1972's Obscured By Clouds, Pink Floyd's soundtrack to a film neither I nor (presumably) many other people have seen, just before a dramatic shift in direction (and commercial success) with the following year's Dark Side Of The Moon. It's a quiet bit of finger-picked acoustic guitar, with a lovely vocal by guitarist David Gilmour and some nice piano flourishes from Richard Wright--a pleasant enough little interlude during that middle-period when the band was trying to find its footing. It's also got some of Roger Waters most pleasantly poetic, least acerbic lyrics. "Heaven sent the promised land, looks alright from where I stand. 'Cause I'm the man on the outside looking in."

Yet for all its modesty, it's a winning song that's always soothed me, the sort of thing I'll throw onto mellow kick-back playlists alongside more contemporary but like-minded tunes from Wilco and R.E.M. and Elliott Smith and Aimee Mann and Mary Lou Lord.

It's also one of those songs in their repertoire that they never road-tested, though Gilmour played it at some solo shows (and a few jam bands have broken out cover versions).

Gilmour live: