Saturday, 2 November 2013

Grantchester Meadows



1969, amid the general strangeness of Pink Floyd's Ummagumma album sits the 7m26s of pastoral calm that is Grantchester Meadows; Syd Barrett's legacy pulsing through Roger Waters lyrics. Autumnal wistfulness transports me to the year of my birth.

Icy wind of night, be gone.
This is not your domain.
In the sky a bird was heard to cry.
Misty morning whisperings and gentle stirring sounds
Belied a deathly silence that lay all around.

Hear the lark and harken to the barking of the dog fox gone to ground.
See the splashing of the kingfisher flashing to the water.
And a river of green is sliding unseen beneath the trees,
Laughing as it passes through the endless summer making for the sea.
In the lazy water meadow
I lay me down.
All around me,
Golden sunflakes settle on the ground,
Basking in the sunshine of a by gone afternoon,
Bringing sounds of yesterday into this city room.
Hear the lark and harken to the barking of the dog fox gone to ground.
See the splashing of the kingfisher flashing to the water.
And a river of green is sliding unseen beneath the trees,
Laughing as it passes through the endless summer making for the sea.

In the lazy water meadow
I lay me down.
All around me,
Golden sunflakes covering the ground,
Basking in the sunshine of a by gone afternoon,
Bringing sounds of yesterday into my city room.

Hear the lark and harken to the barking of the dog fox gone to ground.
See the splashing of the kingfisher flashing to the water.
And a river of green is sliding unseen beneath the trees,
Laughing as it passes through the endless summer making for the sea.

4 comments:

  1. Now there's a blast from the past! A couple of years ago, I spent two days in Cambridge; a city normally well beyond the purlieu of my known universe. I hired a bicycle one afternoon and cycled out to Grantchester, across the meadows, in search of Rupert Brooke and Roger Waters, as though they were twin poles of my youth. The meadows have a curious timelessness, they way willows overhang the river like an image of English idyll. I'll listen again this evening to the Floyd track and think of spring in the flatlands of East Anglia. Thanks for jolting the memory.

    Ian

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    1. Glad this brought back memories Ian. I too took a wander through the meadows - and to the tea rooms - a couple of years ago; in search of Syd.

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  2. This invokes two very different territories for me: the hinterland of Cambridge and the hazy territory of my distant youth. I remember Ummagumma being tucked under my arm in a West Midlands sixth-form block, the picture of adoloescent cool. And the Floyd were still cool then, still underground, still counter-cultural. At the time, I had never even been to East Anglia but still the lyrics spoke to me, as did Gilmore's scratchy acoustic guitar. I probably haven't heard this song for 40 years but it's still there in my internal iPod. Thanks for the memory.

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    Replies
    1. Its great to hear songs that bring back such memories. Lucky you to experience those early years of Pink Floyd etc as a teenager.

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