Sysyphus Lyrics – Pink Floyd – Ummagumma

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Sysyphus (Wright)

Part I 1:08
Part II 3:30
Part III 1:49
Part IV 6:59


01. Astronomy Domine
02. Careful With That Axe Eugene
03. Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun
04. Saucerful Of Secrets
05. Sysyphus
06. Grantchester Meadows
07. Several Species Of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together…
08. Narrow Way
09. Grand Vizier’s Garden Party

About The Song

“Sysyphus” is an intriguing piece by Pink Floyd, largely credited to Richard Wright. It appears on the band’s fourth studio album, “Ummagumma,” released in 1969. This composition is divided into several parts and reflects a classical influence melded with avant-garde experimentation, which was a significant departure from the mainstream music of the era.

In “Sysyphus,” Pink Floyd takes us on an experimental journey inspired by the Greek myth of Sisyphus, a figure condemned to an eternity of rolling a boulder uphill only for it to roll down each time it neared the summit. Much like its namesake’s endless toil, the piece traverses through a landscape of musical motifs that rise and fall in a series of emotional peaks and troughs.

The composition, which is instrumental, is segmented into four parts and showcases Wright’s skills on the keyboards, with passages ranging from delicate piano to ominous organ. Part One introduces a serene, almost classical piano melody before descending into an atonal soundscape that captures the myth’s inherent tragedy. Part Two changes tempo and introduces electronic effects, generating a sense of chaos and struggle that resonates with Sisyphus’s plight.

As “Sysyphus” progresses into its third and fourth parts, the tone shifts from the chaos back to a more structured, melodic form, yet retains an undercurrent of dissonance and complexity. It’s this movement between harmony and discord that illustrates the eternal cycle of effort and setback depicted in the myth.

“Sysyphus” is reflective of Pink Floyd’s avant-garde phase and Wright’s personal compositional style, challenging the boundaries of rock with its classical influences and abstract expression. It’s a piece that demands attention and contemplation, inviting listeners to ponder the cyclical nature of existence and the pursuit of meaning within it.

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