Are you feeling positive today? Invigorated? Renewed?

If you are, it probably isn’t but I suppose could be because today marks the beginning of the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere… er, and the winter solstice in the southern. (If you’re feeling thoroughly miserable in the southern hemisphere, there’s your excuse for it.)

A solstice, from the merging of the Latin words meaning a standing still of the sun, occurs when the sun is at its greatest distance from the equator. Thus in the northern hemisphere it marks the longest day of the year and a time when the sun is at its most northerly point directly over the Tropic of Cancer (except in polar regions, obviously, where daylight is continuous for much of the time) and the reverse applies to the southern hemisphere: marking the longest night, shortest day and heralding the beginning of winter, when the sun is directly over the Tropic of Capricorn. We must wait until December for the reversal.

A significant celestial event celebrated for aeons by our ancestors held together by various belief systems, in Ancient China during summer solstice they honoured the earth, the feminine and the yin forces (and subsequently the heavens, masculinity and yang forces during winter solstice). Meanwhile, Pagans celebrated with bonfires in praise of and to show respect for the Sun God, whose power is greatest at this time of year. Traditionally the fires were also an attempt to ward off the coming winter, to protect against evil spirits, and to boost the sun’s energy in the hope of a successful and plentiful harvest, for the days would now become shorter and the sun’s power would appear to diminish.

For Pagans, both summer and winter solstices were and remain a celebration of the sun’s rebirth. Winter solstice may indeed mark the longest night, but successive nights will see the sun growing ever stronger and days gradually becoming longer.

If you are today observing Litha (making you a Wiccan) or Alban Heruin (making you a Druid); if you will be partying by bonfire regardless of any faithful concern for Midsummer tradition, new or old, possibly dancing around a maypole at some point and eating something you wouldn’t normally over the coming days; if you were among the mass congregated at the mysterious circle of giant stones in Stonehenge – in Wiltshire, England – to watch the sun rise and cast its light against the famous Heel stone; if you have enjoyed the burning of a Viking ship in celebration of Yule; or if you simply prefer to wait for the much more refined feast of Saint John the Baptist, thank you very much (not my personal opinion, I wish to stress; that’s equally and delightfully kooky), I’d love to hear about it. The varying rituals that we continue to this day are quite beguiling, I think.

If you couldn’t care less about any of the above means of commemoration, please help me collate a list of songs instead about sun and light, fire and heat. Even if it’s cold outside, let’s all pretend that it isn’t and we’re comfortably toasty.

For starters:

– Beach Boys, ‘Warmth of the Sun’
– Johnny Cash, ‘Ring of Fire’
– Glen Frey, ‘The Heat is On’
– Billy Idol, ‘Hot in the City’
– Lighthouse, ‘Sunny Days’

Author: FEd

Features Editor of David Gilmour’s official blog, The Blog (‘Features’ previously being its rather naff title), affectionately – or lazily – shortened to ‘FEd’.

91 thoughts on “Solstice”

  1. So good to have you back, FEd. I hope you had a nice and relaxing time. 🙂

    Did you miss us? Oh, don’t answer that… 😉

  2. Hi – happy longest day to you.

    ‘I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain, I’ve seen sunny (rainy) days that I thought would never end’

    Hoping to see him on the 15th July at the O2 – fingers crossed!


  3. Hi Fed,

    Summer solstice! Just makes me realise that all the things I was meant to do this summer and not done yet now gives me less time to do them before the wrath of the wife god descends upon me. So I better pull me finger out.


    Fire – Jimi Hendrix.
    Fire – the Crazy World of Arthur Brown.
    Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me – Elton John.
    Blinded by the Light – Manfred Mann’s Earth Band.
    Set the Controls For the Heart of the Sun – Pink Floyd.
    Here Comes the Sun – the Beatles

    1. Of course Blinded by the Light was composed and performed by Bruce Springsteen. Clarence Clemens from his E Street Band had a stroke earlier this month and just passed earlier this week.

      Personally I never cared for Bruce’s music but it is always sad when a life ends.



    2. It is indeed, Andrew.

      Can anyone with a better appreciation of Bruce Springsteen suggest a fitting song to play in his honour?

    3. Never did have much of an appetite for Bruce Springsteen’s musical style but he has an enormous fan base.

      Here’s a little something in memory of Clarence Clemens.

    4. Very sad news about Clarence indeed.

      I had the pleasure and privilege of seeing him perform twice in 2009. I will never forget those concerts, and Clarence’s contributions.

      It was amazing to hear the reaction he got just by playing a few notes. He was loved by so many people, and the E-Street Band will never be the same without him.

      But, his soul, his sound, and his music live on, and will do forever…

      Nothing at all to do with your topic I’m afraid, FEd, but I find this a fitting tribute to Clarence.


    5. I’ve never been a big Bruce fan either, but “Dancing in the Dark” is a perfect song. That one’s amazing.

    6. I’m not much of a Bruce fan though his live shows are incredible! I was introduced to Clarence (and his magnificent playing) when he accompanied The Jerry Garcia Band a handful of times in the early 1990s.

      Here is an example. Bad video, great audio.

    7. Brilliant Disguise is a good Springsteen number and one of my favorites. Good to have you back FEd!

  4. Welcome back FEd. 😀 Hope you are well rested …

    I always think of Janis Joplin’s painfully exquisite interpretation of Summertime …

    Fat Old Sun – Pink Floyd
    Hotter than July – Stevie Wonder
    In the Summertime – Mungo Jerry
    Here Comes the Sun – Beatles 8)
    Summer Breeze — interesting version by Type O Negative

    I think in a past life, I would very much have enjoyed celebrating Midsummer with lots of mead, dancing, garlands and posies – in a temperate climate of course! I abhor extreme heat and humidity. Oh yes, after that flight of fancy, reality sets in and it’s back to shoveling sow poo! That ‘back to reality’ kinda reminds me of Summer ’68 …

    May as well throw in A Midsummer Night’s Dream for good measure and there’s a Joni Mitchell song called Daisy Summer Piper which is rumoured to be one of her best — I don’t recall every having heard it but the lyrics look great.

    1. Great Post!!! Great list of songs. I always like hearing Mungo Jerry.

      I’m right there on the hill with you in another lifetime, “with lots of mead, dancing, garlands…” Hah!

  5. Think I may have to resort to lighting a bonfire and/or dancing naked round the Hawthorn tree later, of the 15 courgettes I planted only one has come into flower; four are hanging on a wing and a prayer and the rest seem to have drowned or been eaten by slugs. Not looking good for the harvest this year.


    Texas – ‘Here Comes the Summer Sun’
    Morcambe & Wise – ‘Bring Me Sunshine’
    Iron Maiden – ‘The Longest Day’
    Stereophonics – ‘Lying in the Sun’
    Bobbie Hebb – ‘Sunny’
    Yes – ‘Nous Sommes Du Soleil’
    Todd Rundgren – ‘Communion With the Sun’

    1. Sorry to hear about your courgettes. That’s a shame, especially as last year was a good one. (I haven’t even tried this year.)

      I wonder if there are any solstice traditions involving slugs, snails and any other slimey or creepy-crawly nibbler of tender green leaves and shoots.

      If they could burn cats in France…

    2. 😮

      Be careful, you know we can burn anything in France when we get angry… even some provocative FEds. :/

    3. I don’t know about solstice traditions but slugs LOVE stale beer and my father-in-law always used to pour a little beer into the “crook” of a cabbage leaf and leave several “containers” strategically placed in the garden. In the morning, he’d do a little tour of the grounds and collect the snail/slug filled cabbage leaves and dump them in the trash (I think there may have been a bit of crushing involved as well for the snails). Sure as heck beats pouring salt over them and watching them shrivel … which, come to think of it, must be a frightful way to die. 8| Then again, one could always make a “ring” of salt around your plant bed which the slimy critters would absolutely hate.

      Have fun bustling about flicking pinchfuls of salt over your left shoulder. :))

    4. I had help from this wee fella last year. He cunningly disguised himself as a courgette and ate all the slugs.

    5. You need to go on a frog/toad hunt Lorraine, little boys are good at this, take some with you. Let any catches loose in the garden. (Kiss them all first just to be on the safe side.)

      I kissed your lovely pictures but they didn’t turn into princes. 🙁


    6. In tribute to Lorraine’s frog:

      “What a wonderful bird the frog are!
      When he stand he sit almost;
      When he hop he fly almost.
      He ain’t got no sense hardly;
      He ain’t got no tail hardly either.
      When he sit, he sit on what he ain’t got almost.”


    7. Beer traps do work, so does grit round the base of the plant so long as they can’t cross from another plant. Another trick is a copper strip round the pot, apparently it sets up an electrical charge and they won’t cross it. 8|

      A pond works the best though I think. If you have a pond you get frogs and toads (like Lorraine, not that this has anything to do with witchcraft or a plague… 😛 Sorry Lorraine, I promise not to give away any more of your secrets) in the garden but you may also attract slow worms and hedgehogs which eat slugs, maybe more birds some of which might take snails. AND you’ll be doing a good bit to help biodiversity where you live. Then you can sit back and enjoy the beer. :))


    8. Plan ‘b’, Hugh Fernley-What’s-His-Face to the rescue. Think I’ll start with the fritters, can’t wait to see the look on the kids’ faces when I tell them what’s in them. 😮

    9. #4:

      “First purge the slugs by feeding them for five days on a single-item diet of lettuce, cabbage or carrot peelings. Then starve the slugs for two days more to remove any remaining digested matter in their systems. Put the slugs in the freezer to kill them.…/… If you need to gut the slugs, make a slit one-third of the way down the back of the body and remove the intestines.”

      😮 You wouldn’t do that, Lorraine, would you?

    10. Lorraine! That is thoroughly yucky!

      Everyone? Have a look at what you have to do to “prepare” them prior to employing the recipe.

      (I’m definitely not eating at yours when I visit Scotland.)


    11. 😮 You wouldn’t do that, Lorraine, would you?

      No, of course not. I’d feed them on flat leaf parsley for 3 days then sing them a lullaby (before throwing them into a pot of boiling water). 😛

  6. Happy solstice to all, not wanting to piss on everyone’s chips as they say. But the Sun has been having a bit of a cough of late, recent solar flares. Makes me laff, there are millions of humans out there doing their bit for their god by praying or killing, or whatever. Meanwhile, back on the farm; the old boiler is throwing one!

    P.S. Hello to all the prayers and to all the rest. Be assured! From what I have been told, Jesse Ventura is a Nut Case. Have fun. :))

  7. Slightly off at a tangent here. . . I am totally amazed at the various ancient constructions that accurately predict the solstices. The first thing that is staggering to us all is how the people built some of these things without bulldozers and modern tools.

    I haven’t visited Stonehenge or the pyramids and they do look immense and awe inspiring on TV or film, however, I did visit a place in Ireland called Newgrange. It is even older than the pyramids and welcomes the winter solstice.

    What stunned me was that 5000 years ago there were people who were clever enough to do this with whatever primitive tools, the realisation that life expectancy was between 25 and 40 years of age, time and measuring the passage of it, was important to these people, the winter solstice was important for the coming spring and planting times I expect.

    Much more incredible though, how did anyone live long enough to make the observations of the movement of the stars and the sun. Do any of us know the date the sun rises in our bedroom? Think about it. These people knew these things and passed the knowledge on quickly to the next generation. I just found it a stunning realisation whilst thinking about how ancient peoples lived. 🙂


    1. ‘Tis amazing, Ash. To think of the manpower and organisation involved in constructing something so vast and so measured is extraordinary.

      There’s also the Ring of Brogar and Stones of Stennes in Scotland. One of the stones at Brogar has been sliced in half by lightning, which I like to think a bit spooky.

  8. I bet male Emperor penguins breath a sigh of relief on our summer solstice. 🙂


  9. Here, ‘La Fête de la Musique’ (Musical festival) is the yearly tradition of celebrating the first day of Summer – with all kinds of free music and concerts in streets and venues everywhere across France.

    The event was created in 1981 by French Minister of Culture Jack Lang and was later internationalised. So we are celebrating this year its 30th anniversary.

    So many free concerts… Great fun. A perfect way to start summer, I think.

  10. House of the Rising Sun – The Animals

    Ain’t No Sunshine – Bill Withers

    Cheap Sunglasses – ZZ Top

    Holidays in the Sun – Sex Pistols

    Invisible Sun – Police

    The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore – Walker Brothers

    Sunshine of Your Love – Cream

    Tequila Sunrise – Eagles


  11. Waterloo Sunset – Kinks

    Sunny Afternoon – Ray Davies/Kinks

    Sunny – Bobby Hebb

    1. Two Kinks songs in your list? You have excellent taste , Mr. Shaw!!!

      I just read a Ray Davies interview this morning in which he says he had dinner with Mick Avory and they are going to start laying down tracks for an album that he hopes brother Dave will add some guitar to.

  12. Hello everyone.

    I’m a lifelong fan of David. But first time visitor to his site.

    Happy summer to all. I’m in Texas so it’s most definitely summer.

    I might suggest a song by Walt Wilkins called Diamonds in the Sun.

  13. Hi again, FEd. 🙂

    I consider myself atheist, but I would never renounce washing my eyes with Saint John’s water (Acqua di San Giovanni), on 24 June. That’s a tradition my mother inherited from her mother-in-law, who received it in turn, that’s why I’m so fond of it.

    Basically, on the day before 24 June, the family mother (or another woman) picks flowers and herbs, then puts them in a bowl filled with water and exposes the bowl to the night sky (and to the moon, when possible), to let it acquire power. The morning after, everyone in the house washes her/his eyes with the water, which works to preserve their health and beauty in the following year.

    Even if the Catholic Church conveniently changed the date of the celebration, connecting it with Saint John the Baptist, our magic (“holy” for the Church) water is more a pagan ritual, than a Catholic one, since dew and water in general became magic the night before the solstice day, acquiring healing powers and protecting women’s fertility.

    Of course, none of us has an actual faith in these powers, but some ancient rituals are so beautiful that shouldn’t be forgotten.


    Pink Floyd – Chapter 24 (Winter Solstice)
    Jethro Tull – Ring Out, Solstice Bells

    1. Of course, none of us has an actual faith in these powers, but some ancient rituals are so beautiful that shouldn’t be forgotten.

      I agree.

  14. Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun – Pink Floyd

    Wow-I’m fascinated by sun calendar Stonehenge, Fed! There are architectural sundials and sun calendars in the Ancient Indian ruins of the American SW that are quite ingenious! Chaco Canyon, New Mexico is full of enigmas like Stonehenge.

    Unfortunately we stumbled upon a full scale plagiarism last month: “Foamhenge”! 8|

    In fact that whole trip felt like some facsimile of experience: Jesus poured from wax (a Fmr. President Bush too), history turned tourist trappery, and a founding father’s land turned into a grotesque theme park! 😮

    Something from my admittedly pagan upbringing does long for the spiritual. I identify with the old multiple deities where gods-goddesses resided in many things… where being a part of nature isn’t an unnatural act.

    Solstice for me is practical. It means being outdoors: weeding, watering, hiking, swimming, studying nature, and harvesting the fruits of labor.

    Pagan celebrations in Hawai’i Nei are around spring (May Day), fall harvest and the new year (Makahiki and Shinto New Year), which are still celebrated according to cultural traditions. Sadly for lack of space I’m leaving out many, as Pacific Islanders and their Hawaiian residents have brought a multitude of fascinating polytheistic beliefs to the islands.

    Vive la difference!

  15. I guess I’m a pot half-empty sort of a chap because my basic reaction to the Summer Solstice is to moan that the “nights will start drawing in from now on”. 😐

    The whole celebration of an astronomical (and therefore by definition entirely predictable and mechanical) phenomenon leaves me comfortably numb though. I steer well clear of wicker men as a matter of course.

    I am reminded though of the versions of Fat Old Sun played on the last tour and what a revelation that guitar solo is …. both unmistakably Gilmour and yet different to anything else I ever heard … if ever music can be said to evoke colour then that’s a fine example. It is also proof positive of the potential of live performance vs. the studio version … it absolutely blows the Atom Heart Mother version out of the water.

    I defy you to listen to it and not feel better about life …. go on, try it. 😀

  16. F’Ed, it is good to have you back. Hope you had a break to die for!

    I don’t have a list of sunny songs (I’m sure that every song I can name will be named in someone else’s list, so I’ll let them beat me to the punch). But I do want to say something about the solstice.

    In my church, we have a biiig winter solstice celebration every second year (as it has gotten so big, we can no longer do it each year). It is a Yuletide Revels complete with a play (Saint George meets the dragon, gets killed by the dragon, and gets brought back to life by the coming of Spring), a magician/juggler, 2 choirs (I’m on one of the choirs), a brass band, and a set of Morris Dancers. Each year we do Revels, we do it twice in the same weekend. It’s a big event, and even with our building that seats 400 people, it’s standing room only.

    We have a much smaller summer solstice celebration that is done every year. About twenty people show up to this Wiccan sun celebration. I went once, it was weird.

  17. Oh yeah, we descendants of the old Vikings, sure we do! Tomorrow evening, the coasts and meadows will be lit up from bonfires, the witches will burn and scream (fireworks) on the fire, we sing a few traditional songs too. And there’s usually a speech. The kids who created the best, most scary or funny witch, get a small prize. I don’t think many care or think of the origin any more.. it’s just a nice get-together with friends, neighbours and people in general.

    To me, it marks the true beginning of summer, and the short summer nights. Now we can only hope for dry weather…


    1. Cheeeristee, that sounds like fun. There’s nothing like that here in California… We just have the fourth of July in the middle of summer–independence day. No pagan rituals. Just a bunch of people sitting in lawn chairs, drinking beer, listening to really awful music. Most cities have outlawed fireworks.

      I wish we had some kind of pagan rituals out here. Traditional songs. On the other hand, we’ve got the Beach Boys… 🙂 Hah!

  18. Hi FEd, welcome back. Here are a few off the top of my head.

    Burnin’ For You – Blue Oyster Cult
    Children Of The Sun – Billy Thorpe (Just rediscovered this in my collection)
    Here Comes The Sun – The Beatles
    Black Hole Sun – Soundgarden
    Under The Boardwalk – The Drifters (“Under the sun we will be having fun, under the boardwalk” – love this song)


    1. One of my favourites, too.

      “From a park you hear the happy sounds from a carousel
      You can almost taste the hotdogs and French fries they sell”

      A lovely lyric and a lovely image.

  19. David,

    Please tour again, I would love to see you live. Your music has pulled me out of a deep dark hole and I would be thrilled to see you live. “Coming Back to Life” and “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” were the ropes I used to climb out.

    Thank you so much.

  20. “If the sun refused to shine, I would still be loving you.”

    Thank You. 🙂

  21. Are you feeling positive today? Invigorated? Renewed?

    Oh yes! Of course FEd. 🙂

    1. Glad to hear it. After all,

      “In the summertime, when the weather is hot
      You can stretch right up and touch the sky”

  22. Hi all

    Winter here in Australia but still sunny!

    Song: On the Sunny Side of the Street

  23. There’s only one way to start the summer for me. Hurl oneself into the ocean regardless of the temperature (between 61 and 67F right now in southern Calif). I will be doing that today, in the next couple of hours, when I finish teaching for the week. I’m a tiny bit late–with regards to the solstice, but…

    My favorite summer song right now is one that I’d never heard before because I’ve never owned a copy of McCartney II until now.

    “A Summer’s Day Song” by Paul McCartney. It’s kind of like Eno’s “Spider and I.”

    It’s an amazingly beautiful song. I’ve loved Paul and the Beatles all my life and never guessed there was a first tier Paul song that I’d never heard.

    Gawd, it’s a beauty. A gem. Lovely.

    Happy Summer Everyone!

  24. Why did I write two songs about solstice in the other comment, instead of sun, fire and light ones? 8|

    These should be suitable:

    The Doors – Waiting for the Sun
    The Rolling Stones – Shine a Light
    Eddie Vedder – Hard Sun
    Faith No More – Land of Sunshine
    Grateful Dead – Fire on the Mountain
    The Beatles – Sun King
    Jethro Tull – Fire at Midnight
    Green Day – See the Light
    Stiltskin – Sunshine and Butterflies
    Ozzy Osbourne – Fire in the Sky
    Patti Smith – Fire of Unknown Origin
    The Velvet Underground – White Light/White Heat

  25. I was enjoying a summer’s afternoon listening to Mr. Louis B. Armstrong and Louis Prima jump jive and wail whilst my two daughters (still in diapers) dance!

    Another summer song favorite of my eldest daughter is Louis and Ella singing summertime. It’s a great calm before bedtime song for those still in the crib set.

  26. Wasn’t Born to Follow – The Byrds.
    July Morning – Uriah Heep.

    Talking of July if you look at the calendar you will see that there are 5 Fridays 5 Saturdays and 5 Sundays. This i’m told happens every 823 years!

    Unusual dates for this year 1/1/11. 1/11/11. 11/1/11. 11/11/11.

    And for everyone born before the year 2000. Take the last two digits of the year in which you were born and then add the age you will be this year. The answer will be 111. For those born after 2000 the answer will be 11.

    Now ain’t that interesting!

  27. Also…

    A Night in Tunisia – Charlie Parker and Miles Davis

    …makes me think of sitting on the shore after a day sailing and watching the boat speak to the anchor as the sun goes down.

  28. About ‘fire’ – Just for fun, four songwriters to identify from these lyrics, please:

    1 – And who by fire, who by water,
    who in the sunshine, who in the night time,
    who by high ordeal, who by common trial,
    who in your merry merry month of may,
    who by very slow decay,
    and who shall I say is calling?

    2 – Where do bad folks go when they die?
    They don’t go to heaven where the angels fly
    Go to a lake of fire and fry
    See them again ’till the Fourth of July

    3 – Do unto others as they’ve done to you
    But what the hell is this world coming to?
    Blow the universe into nothingness
    Nuclear warfare shall lay us to rest
    Fight fire with fire
    Ending is near
    Fight fire with fire
    Bursting with fear
    We all shall die

    4 – On a vu souvent
    Rejaillir le feu
    D`un ancien volcan
    Qu`on croyait trop vieux
    Il est parait-il
    Des terres brûlées
    Donnant plus de blé
    Qu`un meilleur avril
    Et quand vient le soir
    Pour qu`un ciel flamboie
    Le rouge et le noir
    Ne s`épousent-ils pas?

    Too easy?

    A clue for #4: The song has been covered by many artists – for example Frank Sinatra and Ray Charles – under the title ‘If You Go Away’.

    1. I know the first and second, and particularly like this version of the second. The third reminds me of this one, which is not quite 1998, but close enough. Remember it?

    2. Oh, I’d never heard that Talking Heads cover or seen the video. :)) Damn, TJ ‘rocks’!

    3. I like your third song, Michèle. The same band also wrote “Jump in the Fire”. 🙂

    4. 😮 I’ve just realised (thanks to Pavlov’s comment) that I put your second song in my list.

    5. 🙂 Yes, Alessandra, and they also wrote ‘Fuel’.

      “Gimme fuel, gimme fire, gimme that which I desire, Ooh!”

      Not quite happy songs to celebrate the start of summer… :!

    6. What’s wrong with my head? I didn’t even see FEd’s link to Nirvana “Lake of Fire”. :!

    7. That’s okay Alessandra — I keep doing it too!! The summer’s heat (and all the mead) has gotten to our heads. 😉

  29. … Jacques Brell, right and translated in to English by Rod McKuen? Wow! Just came across a version sung by Marlene Dietrich in German (1963) – quite impressive. Wonder what Nina Hagen would do with it …

    I see Metallica at Number 3, would love to hear a Meat Puppets/Nirvana mashup/overlay for Number 2, and Mr. Cohen at Number 1.

    1. Wow!

      I think I read somewhere that you love Shirley Bassey; this is for you: her version of ‘If You Go Away’ – Beautiful. 🙂

      I still prefer Brel’s ‘Ne Me Quitte Pas’, though, especially the lyrics. So poetic, but also very disturbing. As he himself said, “Its not a love song, it’s a song about men’s cowardice”.

      1. “Love” is an exaggeration, but she does have a mighty powerful voice. And she’s Welsh, of course.

        “If you go away as I know you must
        There’ll be nothing left in the world to trust
        Just an empty room full of empty space
        Like the empty look I see on your face”


    2. The ‘love’ for Shirley Bassey… I was replying to Pavlov… Didn’t she say SB was ‘divine’? :!

      1. The ‘love’ for Shirley Bassey… I was replying to Pavlov… Didn’t she say SB was ‘divine’? :!

        Sorry, I didn’t notice that.

        You’re quite right. Pavlov’s love for Shirley appears to be greater than my own. 🙂

    3. Suppose I ought to be less frivolous with the words I use :)) although I do think ‘Burly Chassis’ has a wonderful set of pipes on her. I lean somewhat to exaggerated displays of emotion every so often, ‘wearing my heart on my sleeve’, physical expressions of what I hear, see and feel, etc. — the word ‘divine’ is part of my DNA when it comes to music and I’m likely to gesticulate wildly if I think it’s amazing. That of course, much to the chagrin of people who don’t know me very well and the eye-rolling of those who do. 😉

      1. I’ve now decided that I do indeed love her. She’s a working class hero – and that, as John Lennon said, is something to be.

        There you go. 🙂

  30. In comment of this particular post, Solstice brings a warmth still peaking in my piano’d fingers fumbling to find a way to bring his music deeper into my soul’s soul.

    A big THANK YOU for Mr. Gilmour’s gifts that sing behind the wings of our raging planet. They weave magic webs unseen, these cumulative creatures.

  31. What has become of Glastonbury! Beyonce headlining, U2 were very good as were Primal Scream. I would have been gutted if I went this year.

    Just had to have a moan on the website of a true artist, musician, and performer. And without suckin’ up.

    Any thoughts yourself Fed?


    1. I only saw about an hour of it, in all honesty: a bit of U2, a bit less of Coldplay, a song a-piece from Mumford & Sons and Fleet Foxes, and just long enough to admire Beyoncé’s incredible set of pins (she must be feeling silly for forgetting to put her trousers on) during an admirable Tina Turner impersonation, as I’d flicked over foolishly expecting Queens of the Stone Age. Actually, I was expecting tedious and patronising presenter observations and hoping for Queens of the Stone Age, but that doesn’t matter.

      I must watch B.B. King on iPlayer before the chance has gone. I don’t think anyone else appealed to me, though. Maybe I’ll check out the sets from Kool and The Gang and Elbow later, just out of curiosity. The highlight for me was the Don’t Buy The Sun/Hillsbrough Justice Campaign flag. Well done, those people.

      Justice for the 96.

  32. Hello, FEd. Thought this might be the only way to contact someone about this problem, trying to get a free weblink download from Disc 3 DVD of David Gilmour Live in Gdansk boxset, went onto the site “” and it won’t work! It just comes up saying “Secure Connection Failed” and “Please contact the web site owners to inform them of this problem.” Hopefully you could pass the information onto the right person and get this problem sorted?

    Thank you for taking the time.

    1. I can certainly do that for you, Mark, but I don’t think the website is meant to work any more; there was a time limit in place, I believe.

      I could be wrong about that. I hope I am.

      I get the same error message, by the way.

  33. I am a new fan of David Gilmour having recently seen Live at Gdansk on our cable music station. On the special, they didn’t say what each song was and I am dying to know the name of a strictly instrumental song I heard once before on radio. I think it is pretty old, but not sure. I realize how difficult this is to pinpoint, but does he have a lot of instrumentals? Might you guess for me which it might be? It was a slow and bluesy.

    I am having trouble with the website and unable to login–saying my password doesn’t match up, when I have never signed up prior to now. I would like to purchase Live at Gdansk, but the website says music is currently unavailable. HELP!!

    Anita Werking in Florida

    1. Happy to help, Anita.

      From memory, the only instrumentals performed at Gdansk were ‘Castellorizon’, ‘Red Sky at Night’ and ‘Then I Close My Eyes’ – all songs, as it happens, from David’s last solo album: 2006’s On an Island.

      None of these are featured on the Gdansk microsite, annoyingly in this case, but there are links which may be of interest to you.

      Any other questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

  34. The Beach Boys – Your Summer Dream
    Bob Dylan – Summer Days
    R.E.M. – Summer Turns To High
    Led Zeppelin – In the Light
    The Beatles – The Inner Light
    Donovan – The Sun Is a Very Magic Fellow
    Genesis – The Silent Sun
    Rage Against the Machine – People of the Sun
    Nirvana (originally by Meat Puppets) – Lake of Fire

  35. Hello FEd and all the bloggers,

    I’ve been off the blog for a month because of the work and many other things but I’ve been missing you. I’m back.

    I certainly have to cite “Fire And Water” by Free, the July 16, 1970 version of “Green Is The Colour” (David’s voice is mind-blowing on it). I love its verse “She lay in the shadow of a wave”, the voice and the mood of the song make my mind jump to a beach and a sea that are very dear to me. Last but not least, Arcade Fire’s song “Wasted Hours”, with its verses “All those wasted hours we used to know/ Spent the summer staring out the window/ The wind it takes you where it wants to go”. Even though this song doesn’t refer to beaches, heat or sea, it’s my soundtrack of this hot day in Milan.

    Hope David is very, very fine! Have a nice day FEd. 😉

  36. Always The SUN – The Stranglers
    Back To The LIGHT – Brian May
    Canned HEAT – Let’s Work Together
    Don’t Let The SUN Catch You Crying – Gerry & The Pacemakers
    Eternal Flame – Bangles
    FIREball – Deep Purple
    Great Balls Of FIRE – Jerry Lee Lewis
    House of the Rising SUN – Frijid Pink
    I’m On FIRE – Bruce Springsteen
    Jump in the FIRE – Metallica
    Keep This FIRE Burning – Beverley Knight
    LIGHT My FIRE – The Doors
    Morning Has Broken – Cat Stevens
    No Smoke Without FIRE – Bad Company
    Out Into The DayLIGHT – Mike Rutherford
    Place In The SUN – Stevie Wonder
    Quest For FIRE – Iron Maiden
    Ray Of LIGHT – Madonna
    SUN Arise – Rolf Harris
    The SUN Always Shines On TV – Aha
    Unforgettable Fire – U2
    V –
    Walking On SUNshine – Katrina & The Waves
    X –
    You LIGHT Up My Life – LeAnn Rimes
    Z –

    1. I can give you one for ‘V’, Ken: Village of the Sun, a Frank Zappa song.

      This version is by one of the Zappa Plays Zappa incarnations.

      (I was talking to Lorraine about this band, here is a taster for you Lorraine.)


    2. “Morning Has Broken” is great. One thing that always kills me when I hear Rick Wakeman’s piano on that is that Wakeman met John and Yoko while he was dining in some club, and they got on well, but Wakeman didn’t end up playing on any Lennon solo album.

      God, wouldn’t it have been wonderful to hear a Rick Wakeman opening/accompaniment to one of Lennon’s songs?

  37. We absolutely cannot allow a good alphabetical list go incomplete despite the fact that the content of the songs have absolutely nothing at all to do with the topic at hand 🙂 :

    Valley of the Low SUN — Jakob Dylan (following in Pop’s footsteps)
    Xanadu – Rush (“…Praying for the LIGHT…”)
    Zoo – Scorpions (“…You wanna be excited too, And you will feel the HEAT”) — one of the songs that absolutely, without a doubt, captures the essence of 42nd Street and New York City – even all these years later — just love it!

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