Childhood's End

Pink Floyd

About Childhood's End

"Childhood's End" is a song from Pink Floyd's 1972 album Obscured by Clouds. It was the last Pink Floyd song to be composed entirely by David Gilmour, as well as the last to feature lyrics written by him, until A Momentary Lapse of Reason in 1987. The song shares a title with 1953 science-fiction novel of the same name by Arthur C. Clarke. The 2016 remixed version of "Childhood's End" which appears in The Early Years 1965–1972 box set was released as the second single to promote the box set in October 2016.  


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You shout in your sleep.
Perhaps the price is just too steep.
Is your conscience at rest 
If once put to the test?
You awake with a start 
To just the beating of your heart.
Just one man beneath the sky,
Just two ears, just two eyes.

You set sail across the sea 
Of long past thoughts and memories.
Childhood's end, your fantasies 
Merge with harsh realities.
And then as the sail is hoist,
You find your eyes are growing moist.
All the fears never voiced 
Say you have to make your final choice.

Who are you and who am I 
To say we know the reason why?
Some are born; some men die 
Beneath one infinite sky.
There'll be war, there'll be peace.
But everything one day will cease.
All the iron turned to rust;
All the proud men turned to dust.
And so all things, time will mend.
So this song will end.

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Pink Floyd

Pink Floyd were an English rock band formed in London. They achieved international acclaim with their progressive and psychedelic music. more »

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Written by: DAVE GILMOUR

Lyrics © T.R.O. INC.

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind

11 facts about this song

Band Identity
"Childhood's End" is a song by Pink Floyd, an English rock band that stands among the best-selling music artists of all time.
Album Information
It is the seventh track from the band's seventh album, "Obscured By Clouds," which was released in June 1972.
Song Duration
The song has a total length of 4:31 minutes, making it one of the slightly lengthy songs on the album.
Unique Songwriting
"Childhood's End" is notable for being the last Pink Floyd song for which David Gilmour gets the sole writing credit until A Momentary Lapse of Reason, marking a span of 15 years.
Direct Inspiration
The song's title was taken from a science fiction novel of the same name by Arthur C. Clarke, proving the band's interest in mixing literature with music.
Live Performances
Interestingly, "Childhood's End" was performed live by Pink Floyd in their 1972-73 tours, and no other song from the album was ever performed live by the band.
Musical Style
It features a strong drum beat, heavy bass, and psychedelic guitar riffs, perfectly capturing the band's progressively experimental sound.
Use of Effects
The song also employs sound effects, including plane sounds and footsteps, which were a unique hallmark of many Pink Floyd tracks.
Theme Analysis
The song’s lyrics are thought to reflect on the passage of time and the loss of innocence, consistent with the typical introspection and melancholy often present in Pink Floyd's songwriting.
Critical Reception
"Childhood's End" frequently receives high praise from fans and critics alike, who have highlighted its powerful lyrics and instrumental arrangement.
The song remains influential within the band's discography, considered by many to be a precursor to the thematic and musical directions they would later explore more fully in major releases like "The Dark Side of The Moon".

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    Childhood's End

    • Obscured by Clouds