Romm Diamonds Blog
September 6th, 2013
Welcome to Music Friday when we feature fabulous songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the lyrics or title. Today we’re privileged to present Pink Floyd’s epic 1975 masterpiece, “Shine On You Crazy Diamond.”

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Written as a tribute to former band member Syd Barrett, who was forced to leave the group after suffering a mental breakdown, the song includes the famous opening line, “Remember when you were young, you shone like the sun. Shine on you crazy diamond.”

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A founding member of Pink Floyd, Barrett was the group’s lead vocalist, lead guitarist and primary songwriter during the band's early years. He is also credited with naming the band. It wasn't long, however, before mental illness and drug abuse took its toll. His behavior became erratic. Concertgoers reported that he would sometimes get on stage and not play a single note. Other times he would play the same note over and over. His stint with Pink Floyd lasted only three years and he was forced to leave the band in 1968.

Running a shade over 26 minutes, “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” was originally intended to fill the first side of the concept album, Wish You Were Here. Ultimately the band members decided it was best to split the song in half and allow it to bookend the album.

Wish You Were Here turned out to be a huge commercial success with more than 13 million copies sold. Rolling Stone magazine anointed it as one of the "500 Greatest Albums of All Time."

Although the original song runs 26+ minutes, we’ve found an abbreviated clip that focuses on the powerful lyrics that tie into our Music Friday theme. And it runs just 2:41. Enjoy.

“Shine On You Crazy Diamond”
Written by Roger Waters, David Jon Gilmour and Rick Wright. Performed by Pink Floyd.

Remember when you were young, you shone like the sun.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Now there's a look in your eyes, like black holes in the sky.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
You were caught on the crossfire of childhood and stardom,
Blown on the steel breeze.

Come on you target for faraway laughter,
Come on you stranger, you legend, you martyr, and shine!
You reached for the secret too soon, you cried for the moon.
Shine on you crazy diamond.

Threatened by shadows at night, and exposed in the light.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Well you wore out your welcome with random precision,
Rode on the steel breeze.

Come on you raver, you seer of visions,
Come on you painter, you piper, you prisoner, and shine!