David Gilmour’s tragic song about John Lennon

David Gilmour

When The Beatles emerged in the 1960s, they altered the entire musical landscape and opened doors for countless other bands to succeed in the industry. If not for The Fab Four shattering barriers into a million pieces, the music industry would have been far darker. It is unlikely that a progressive band like Pink Floyd could have become the unstoppable force that they were without them. One person who has not hidden how much he owes his scouse forefathers is David Gilmour.

In 2018, Gilmour demonstrated his admiration for The Beatles. He stated that, in his opinion, The Beatles deserve to be crowned the greatest band of all time. Gilmour is known for being modest. Fans familiar with Gilmour will not be surprised by this sentiment. He is a musician who has seldom kept silent about his admiration for The Fab Four. He is always appreciative of the group for laying the groundwork that made Pink Floyd’s career possible.

John Lennon’s brutal murder in 1980 left Gilmour so distraught that he turned to music to express his feelings, composing the song “Murder.” Gilmour included the song on his second solo album, About Face.
The Pink Floyd frontman sets the scene outside the notorious Dakota building, where Mark Chapman and Lennon aficionados await.

Some stood, others waited in the queue, all searching for something they thought they might find.” Taking strength from shared feelings, in the background, the eyes just stared as he started to sing.

To avoid direct allusion to John Lennon’s passing, the Pink Floyd singer created mystery surrounding the song. One method was to have the song’s lyrics change Chapman’s pistol to a knife. The lyrics implore the murderer, “On admission, you raised the knife, bringing it down, ending another man’s life.”

Gilmour attempted to clarify at the time, saying, “If I had left a gun in it, then it wouldn’t have rhymed.” Additionally, everyone would have said, “Well, that’s John Lennon.” That would have been even more deceptive because, while Lennon’s murder is a part of it, it is by no means the entirety of it. It’s just murder in general.

Though David Gilmour maintains that Lennon’s passing had only a minor impact on the song, he wouldn’t have felt driven to write “Murder.” The fury instilled by the tragic event played a significant role in his creative process. In the song, Gilmour attempts to comprehend how a person could do such a heinous and wicked deed to another. This is especially poignant when directed at someone they professed to revere as a hero.

John Lennon’s passing left the world with an emptiness, and the brutal circumstances surrounding his death made it much worse. The loss of a gifted musician like John Lennon was a mockery in and of itself. For well-known musicians, it served as a somber reminder of their mortality. The possibility that what happened to the Beatles could have happened to them loomed heavily in their minds.

Many people wrote songs in an attempt to cope with Lennon’s passing, but Gilmour primarily focused on carrying out the murder itself. Pink Floyd’s musician captured the emotions of millions after the heinous act with masterful and elegant artistry. This is what makes “Murder” such an agonizing song to listen to.

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