A Pillow of Winds

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"A Pillow of Winds"
Song by Pink Floyd
from the album Meddle
PublishedPink Floyd Music Publ
Released30 October 1971 (US)
5 November 1971 (UK)
RecordedJuly 1971
Morgan Studios, London
August 1971
AIR Studios, London
GenrePsychedelic folk, progressive folk
Songwriter(s)David Gilmour, Roger Waters
Producer(s)Pink Floyd

"A Pillow of Winds" is the second track from Pink Floyd's 1971 album Meddle.[1][2]

Music and lyrics[edit]

This soft acoustic love song[3] may be quite uncharacteristic of the band's previous and future material. Guitarist David Gilmour composed the chord sequence using an Open E tuning ( EBEG#BE ), played in a series of arpeggios, composed the melody and maybe part of the lyrics (along with Roger Waters).[3] This song also features slide guitar work by Gilmour, as well as a fretless bass,[3] played by Waters. The song begins and ends in the key of E major, with a darker middle section (following the lyric, "and the candle dies") in the parallel minor, E minor. Both the E major and E minor chords feature the ninth, making this song one of many Pink Floyd songs to feature a prominent E minor added ninth chord, "Em(add9)". Throughout most of the song, the bass line remains on E as a pedal point, creating a drone. A chord named "G#m/E" is more accurately called an E major seventh chord, "Emaj7", and a "Bm/E" is just as equally named an "E7sus2". In the instrumental interlude, however, the chords change completely to A minor and B minor chords, leaving the E bass drone for a time before returning to E major.[4]

According to Nick Mason, the song's title originates from a possible hand in the game of mahjong, with which the band had become enamoured while touring.[5]

The song's lyrics refer to an eiderdown, better known in the U.S. as a comforter. Two other known Pink Floyd songs make reference to an eiderdown, Syd Barrett's "Flaming" and Waters's "Julia Dream".


In a review for the Meddle album, Jean-Charles Costa of Rolling Stone described "A Pillow of Winds", along with "San Tropez", as an "ozone ballad". He further described the two as "pleasant little acoustic numbers hovering over a bizarre back-drop of weird sounds."[6] Classic Rock Review described "A Pillow of Winds" as "a soft acoustic love song" that's reminiscent of previous albums Ummagumma and Atom Heart Mother. They went on further, saying "this second song could not be in more contrast to the first one."[7]



  1. ^ Strong, Martin C. (2004). The Great Rock Discography (7th ed.). Edinburgh: Canongate Books. p. 1177. 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. ^ a b c Manning, Toby (2006). "The Albums". The Rough Guide to Pink Floyd (1st ed.). London: Rough Guides. p. 163. ISBN 1-84353-575-0.
  4. ^ Pink Floyd: Anthology (1980 Warner Bros. Publications, Inc., Secaucus N.J.)
  5. ^ Nick Mason, Inside out – A Personal History of Pink Floyd, Ed. Weidenfeld & Nicolson Illustrated, London, 2005
  6. ^ Costa, Jean-Charles (6 January 1972). "Meddle". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  7. ^ "Meddle by Pink Floyd | Classic Rock Review". 27 January 2011. Retrieved 25 July 2017.

External links[edit]