A Great Day for Freedom

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"A Great Day for Freedom"
Song by Pink Floyd from the album The Division Bell
Published Pink Floyd Music (1989) Ltd
Released 28 March 1994 (UK)
5 April 1994 (US)
Recorded 1993
Genre Progressive rock, symphonic rock
Length 4:17
Label EMI (UK)
Columbia (US)
Writer David Gilmour, Polly Samson
Producer Bob Ezrin, David Gilmour
The Division Bell track listing

"A Great Day for Freedom" is a song by Pink Floyd from their 1994 album, The Division Bell.[1][2]


The song, originally titled In Shades of Grey, addresses the great hopes following the fall of the Berlin Wall and the disappointment that followed. David Gilmour stated:

"There was a wonderful moment of optimism when the Wall came down – the release of Eastern Europe from the non-democratic side of the socialist system. But what they have now doesn't seem to be much better. Again, I'm fairly pessimistic about it all. I sort of wish and live in hope, but I tend to think that history moves at a much slower pace than we think it does. I feel that real change takes a long, long time."[3]

Despite Gilmour's statements to the contrary, the lyrics have often been read as a reflection on the bitter and estranged partnership Gilmour had with former bandmate Roger Waters, who was the driving force behind the band's album The Wall. By this interpretation, the "Great Day for Freedom" would be the day Waters left the band, giving the other members freedom to determine the band's future direction. Gilmour commented on this reading: "I'm quite happy for people to interpret The Division Bell any way they like. But maybe a note of caution should be sounded because you can read too much into it. 'A Great Day for Freedom', for example, has got nothing to do with Roger or his 'wall'. It just doesn't. What else can I say?"[4]


The song was performed by the band on The Division Bell tour, and is available on the Pulse live album and the live release of 2001, A Passage of Time. But not the DVD. Gilmour performed it at his solo concerts in 2002 and 2006, and a live album from one of the 2006 concerts, Live in Gdańsk, features the song.




  1. ^ Strong, Martin C. (2004). The Great Rock Discography (7th ed.). Edinburgh: Canongate Books. p. 1178. ISBN 1-84195-551-5. 
  2. ^ Mabbett, Andy (1995). The Complete Guide to the Music of Pink Floyd. London: Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-7119-4301-X. 
  3. ^ "Sounds of Silence" interview, Guitar World, September 1994. Retrieved 28 July 2010.
  4. ^ David Gilmour interview, Pink Floyd & Co., 1994.