Saturday, April 13, 2013

Pink Floyd - "Cymbaline" (forgotten song)

I'm always surprised at the rare concert footage you can find on Youtube.  Not long ago I found this June 15th, 1971 recording of Pink Floyd performing "Cymbaline" in a church (Abbaye de Royaumont, France) for French TV.  Supposedly it is available on the bootleg DVD "Pro-Shot In Europe 1969-1972", but I have not been able to find a copy.  The sound quality is great, but the cinematography is... "interesting".  I think the idea was to capture the feel of the church itself, but instead it seems like the cameraman can't find the band for the first minute or so.  Once the camerman discovers where the band has setup their gear, it settles into a good video (typical for the era, a single cameraman wanders amongst the band as they play).

I've already covered the song in the context of the 1970 concert "An Hour With Pink Floyd (KQED)" (also only available as a bootleg DVD).   The KQED version is similar, but slightly longer and maybe a little bit heavier. Also, it features an odd 30 second pause in the action starting at ~6:00. 

The studio version originally appeared on the 1969 "Soundtrack from the Film More".  A really good LP in its own right, I have this on tape (recorded during college sometime), but I really need to get this on CD. 

The June 1971 recording might be one of the last live performances of "Cymbaline"; by the time of the October 1971 recording of "Live at Pompeii", "Cymbaline" had been replaced by new material from "Meddle".

It might be my favorite Pink Floyd song, and it is surely one that I can listen to over and over again. 
The path you tread is narrow
And the drop is shear and very high
The ravens all are watching
From a vantage point nearby
Apprehension creeping
Like a tube-train up your spine
Will the tightrope reach the end
Will the final couplet rhyme?
Cymbaline - live 1971-06-15 (from "Pro-Shot in Europe 1969-1972")
Cymbaline - live 1970-04-29 (on Vimeo since Youtube regularly squelches the KQED videos)
Cymbaline - studio version (with footage from the movie "More")

In case you were wondering, the final couplet doesn't rhyme.


  1. Hello Michael

    Im glad I got on your blog. Im great Pink Floyd s fan. Cymbaline is really fantastic song, magician. I'm Kate from Poland. I really like The British and british culture. Take care and greetings :)

  2. Hi Kate: thanks for all your comments -- glad you like the blog. I just checked and the 1971 version of Cymbaline has been taken down. I'll have to find another copy somewhere -- it's really good stuff.