Sorrow (Pink Floyd song)

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Song by Pink Floyd
from the album A Momentary Lapse of Reason
PublishedPink Floyd Music Publishers Ltd
Released7 September 1987 (UK)
8 September 1987 (U.S.)
GenreProgressive rock
LabelEMI (UK)
Columbia (U.S.)
Songwriter(s)David Gilmour

"Sorrow" is a song by the English progressive rock band Pink Floyd. Written by the band's singer and guitarist David Gilmour, it is the closing track on their thirteenth studio album, A Momentary Lapse of Reason, released in 1987.[1][2]

Lyrics and music[edit]

The piece was written and composed by singer and guitarist David Gilmour. Gilmour has stated that although lyrics are not his strong point, the song is one of his strongest lyrical efforts,[citation needed] even though the opening lines were appropriated from John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath.[3]

Sorrow was a poem I'd written as a lyric before I wrote music to it, which is rare for me.

Drummer Nick Mason has since stated that the song was almost entirely written by David Gilmour alone over the space of one weekend on his houseboat Astoria. When he returned from the weekend, only "some spit and polish", according to Mason, was needed. Gilmour has also mentioned that the solo at the end of "Sorrow" was done on the boat, his guitar going through a small Gallien-Krueger amplifier.[4] As on many tracks from the album, Gilmour played a Steinberger GL "headless" guitar on this song.[5] The guitar intro was recorded inside Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena and piped through Pink Floyd's large sound system, yielding an extremely deep, cavernous sound. The drum machine on the song was programmed by David Gilmour — no real drums were used.


Live versions of the song are featured on 1988's Delicate Sound of Thunder album and 1995's Pulse album, with running times of 9:27 and 10:49 respectively, mostly taken up by extended guitar solos by Gilmour and an additional outro. A slightly shortened version of the song appears on Pink Floyd's greatest hits collection, Echoes: The Best of Pink Floyd,[6] which is edited so that the song "Sheep" (also edited) segues into "Sorrow". David Gilmour played the song at the Strat Pack guitar concert, an event which commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Fender Stratocaster. Gilmour played the song on the second set of his Rattle That Lock Tour 2015/16.[citation needed]. The song was also performed in 1990 during the band's set at Knebworth for the Silver Clef Award Winners Concert; for many years, an official release of this performance was unavailable, but the 2019 boxset The Later Years included it as part of the complete set list on both Blu-Ray/DVD and CD.

Personnel on studio version[edit]

Pink Floyd

Additional musicians:

Personnel on live versions[edit]


  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. DiPerna, David Gilmour — Interviewed Archived 11 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine, Guitar World, February 1993.
  4. ^ a b Matt Resnicoff (August 1992). "Careful With That Axe David Gilmour Interview". Musician. Archived from the original on 2 January 2011. Retrieved 16 August 2010.
  5. ^ "A Momentary Lapse of Reason 1987–90 : Settings and Songs". Retrieved 10 February 2011.
  6. ^ "Echoes: the album credits". Pink Floyd. Archived from the original on 2 June 2010. Retrieved 20 June 2013.

External links[edit]