Cymbaline

Cymbaline

"Cymbaline" is a Pink Floyd song from the album, Soundtrack from the Film More. Its lyrics vividly tell the tale of a "nightmare", which was the title of the song when it was first introduced in Floyd's The Man and the Journey shows.

The recording of '"Cymbaline" on the album is different from the one in the movie (the latter version is heard on a record player in a bedroom). The vocals are a different take, though both versions are sung by David Gilmour. The lyrics are also different in one place. One notable feature of the lyrics is the question posed at the end of the first verse, "Will the final couplet rhyme". Not coincidentally, the final couplet in the song is the only one that does not rhyme.

The song features a sparse arrangement of nylon string guitar, bass, piano, drumset, bongos, and Farfisa organ entering when Gilmour does a scat solo. Pink Floyd played "Cymbaline" from 1969 until the end of 1971. It can be heard on several bootleg recordings. This song was covered on the Echoes of Pink tribute album in 2002 by Maureen Mahon, and in 2005 on Neptune Records' None of Us is Pink tribute album by Lovespirals.

Live performances

When the band performed the song live, they made the following changes to the song:

  • Rick Wright almost always used Farfisa organ in place of piano (the exception being their performance at KQED studios in San Francisco on April 29, 1970, in which the studio had a piano for Wright to utilize).
  • David Gilmour played electric guitar and performed a guitar solo over where the scat solo occurred in the song.
  • They changed the key of the fadeout section from E-minor to B-minor. During this section, Roger Waters would bang a gong instead of bongos.
  • After the section in B-minor, the band presented a selection of sound effects (like footsteps, doors creaking, explosions, etc.) to present the nightmare. These effects were presented to the audience using the Azimuth co-ordinator. Hence, to the audience, the sounds would surround them, and the footsteps would go from left to right through the back of the audience. However, this move proved futile, as the sound effects garnered responses of laughter, instead of the intended fear. On one live recording (ROIO) a man in the audience even yells out in a sarcastic tone, "I'm Scared!".
  • They always repeated a verse at the end of the song, usually the third verse ("The Lines Converging Where You Stand...").

Personnel

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