Fat Old Sun (5:24)

Cover of Oh By the Way (Studio Album Boxset)

From Oh By the Way (Studio Album Boxset) and 62 other releases

Inspired by Roger Waters’ childhood reverie ‘Grantchester Meadows’, Gilmour set to work on his own rose-tinted evocation of his early childhood in Cambridge. The church bells of Evensong ease you into this gentle acoustic evocation of youth spent swimming in the river Cam, laying under blue skies and smelling the sweet scent of newly mown grass from youth’s endless summer.

The song also chronicles, as would many of Gilmour’s future songs, the passage from that idyllic childhood to the harsher adult world. The setting sun is employed as the symbol of that transition, and it would reappear in Gilmour’s late 80s and 90s work.

This is the second of three Pink Floyd songs about Cambridge, the home town of Waters, Gilmour and Syd Barrett, and as previously mentioned, it could easily be seen as a blueprint for the track ‘High Hopes’ on The Division Bell over twenty years later, when the same territory was revisited from a middle-aged perspective.

Some suggest that both the lyric and the mood of the piece were additionally influenced by The Kinks’ song ‘Lazy Old Sun’. In the same album, a track called ‘Big Black Smoke’ opens with the bells of Evensong. Gilmour explained this further coincidence by claiming that there were only two commercial sound effects libraries in existence at the time, so naturally people would end up using the same sound effects, in this case those from Abbey Road. When quizzed, he acknowledged that he had heard the track once and perhaps was subconsciously influenced by The Kinks. “They’ve never sued me,” he once stated, wryly.

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When that fat old sun in the sky is falling
Summer evenin' birds are calling
Summer Sunday and a year
The sound of music in my ears

MetroLyrics Full lyrics at MetroLyrics

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  • markbjb1972

    Gilmour is an absolute monster, but the whole ensemble is perfect.

    13 Aug 3:58pm Reply
  • materatzowy

    those bells...

    3 Jul 12:55pm Reply
  • Graveyard_Poet

    My favorite Floyd song (alongside Richard Wright's "Remember A Day"). This song always reminds me of summer evenings watching the sun set. Gilmour's greatest guitar solo!

    23 Feb 6:14am Reply
  • VineNewt

    Fat Old Gilmour

    4 Feb 5:29am Reply
  • M3azzaM

    an angel singing.

    30 Dec 2013 Reply
  • Pawa17

    Очень похоже на поздних The Beatles.

    15 Dec 2013 Reply
  • rafael_bh

    So beautiful and pure...

    23 Sep 2013 Reply
  • TheUselessGolem

    Beyond-beautiful song. The tremendous solo at the end definitely deserves mention!

    13 Aug 2013 Reply
  • Athena920

    BBC archives version shits all over studio version. Any live version does, really.

    17 Apr 2013 Reply
  • Forzelius

    Best song on Atom Heart Mother, no doubt. [2]

    9 Feb 2013 Reply
  • jessthehippie91

    David's voice is just beautiful, not to mention that riff at the end is bliss to my ears.

    15 Jan 2013 Reply
  • masodikgalamb

    insanity

    8 Jan 2013 Reply
  • TuncleOm

    Best song on Atom Heart Mother, no doubt.

    1 Jan 2013 Reply
  • GaboGrunge

    I'm sure this is what heaven sounds like... [4]

    10 Dec 2012 Reply
  • alan_xD

    "The silver sound from a time so strange... Sing to me, sing to me. When that fat old sun in the sky is..." <3

    1 Nov 2012 Reply
  • Vanessatraviesa

    Never fails to put a smile on my face, beautiful

    28 Feb 2012 Reply
  • LeoReis92

    Listen to this while travelling back home with the sun falling over the fields: beautiful feeling of empathy with nature.

    19 Feb 2012 Reply
  • srdjstuka

    Release the BBC Floyd archives!!!! I'm sure they would sound amazing (actually, they already do) if Guthrie got his hands on the tapes.

    6 Jan 2012 Reply
  • Ennish

    Gilmour's voice in this song is one of the most beautiful things I've ever heard.

    29 Dec 2011 Reply
  • gabiioiq

    I'm sure this is what heaven sounds like... [2]

    19 Dec 2011 Reply
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