Learning to Fly

Lyrics

by

Pink Floyd



Into the distance a ribbon of black
Stretched to the point of no turning back
A flight of fancy on a windswept field
Standing alone my senses reeled
A fatal attraction holding me fast how
Can I escape this irresistible grasp?

Can't keep my eyes from the circling skies
Tongue tied and twisted Just an earth bound misfit I

Ice is forming on the tips of my wings
Unheeded warnings I thought I thought of everything
No navigator to guide my way home
Unladened, empty and turned to stone

A soul in tension that's learning to fly
Condition grounded but determined to try
Can't keep my eyes from the circling skies
Tongue-tied and twisted just an earth-bound misfit, I

Friction lock, set.
Mixture, rich
Propellers,fully forward
Flaps, set, ten degrees
Engine gauges and suction, check

Mixture set to maximum percent, recheck
Flight instruments
Altimeters, check both
(garbled word) - on
Navigation lights, on
Strobes, on
(to tower): Confirm 3-8-Echo ready for departure
(tower): Hello again, this is now 129.4
(to tower): 129.4. It's to go.
(tower): You may commence your takeoff, winds over 10 knots.
(to tower): 3-8-Echo
Easy on the brakes. Take it easy. Its gonna roll this time.
Just hand the power gradually, and it

Above the planet on a wing and a prayer,
My grubby halo, a vapor trail in the empty air,
Across the clouds I see my shadow fly
Out of the corner of my watering eye
A dream unthreatened by the morning light
Could blow this soul right through the roof of the night

There's no sensation to compare with this
Suspended animation, A state of bliss
Can't keep my mind from the circling skies
Tongue-tied and twisted just an earth-bound misfit, I

Writer/s: Lynne, Jeff / Petty, Tom
EMI Music Publishing
Lyrics Licensed and Provided By LyricFind
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Comments (66): View More Comments and Get the Songfacts
The phrase "tongue tied and twisted" may actually be the phrase "Turn, Time, and Twist It" or at least is a clear pun on this phrase, which is an instrument pilot's mnemonic used in a holding pattern, a maneuver which instrument rated pilots must demonstrate proficiency. Phrases such as "ice is forming on the tip of my wing", "across the clouds I see my shadow fly", and "can't keep my eyes from the circling sky" all refer to events that happen to experienced instrument pilots.
- Mitch, Rochester, NY
This song is purely about the first couple of days of your flight lesson/experiences..

Into the distance, a ribbon of black - U are in a plane, and staring down at the runways (Ribbon o black)
Stretched to the point of no turning back - Its streached to a point of no turning back cos you u will be flying after that.. the experiences, u can't turn back from..
Flight of fancy on a windswept field - The windswept field is the airport and u are in a plane (fancy flight)
Standing alone, my senses reel - u are alone in it and ur senses reel
Fatal attraction that's holding me fast - its one of your fatal attractions that holding u tight
Now, can't escape this irresistible grasp - u can't escape this fact, grasp of your liking to fly and you take off...
Can't keep my eyes from the circling sky - you keep ur eyes on the sky as you fly.
Tongue-tied and twisted; just an earth-bound misfit, I - The feeling has ur tongue tied and twisted with the rush of realising your dream ... for what you are is a man (earth bound misfit - one who cannot fly)
Ice is forming on the tips of my wings - As you fly, you see ice forming on the tips of your wings
Unheeded warnings, I thought I thought of everything - there are so many flashing beeps on ur dashboard, u r scared, u thought u thought of everything
No navigator to find my way home - u are urself, no navigator to hold ur hands back
Unladen, empty, and turned to stone - u are scared
A soul in tension that's learning to fly - ur soul that wanted to fly, wanted this so badly is now in tension - scared that your dream will have to end for now (not death, u just have to land)
Condition: grounded - determined to try - u have landed, now u are more determined to fly.
Can't keep my eyes from the circling skies - u keep ur eyes back on the skies as u land..
Tongue-tied and twisted; just an earth-bound misfit, I - ur still speechless, just a man (earth bound misfit = a man who is meant to be on the earth)

(And the brigade basically u going back on the air and you fly)

Above the planet on a wing and a prayer, - (As you fly properly this time) - u are in a plane (wing) and a prayer
My grubby halo, a vapour trail in the empty air, - you and the vapour trail your plain makes into the air (empty = its open skies)
Across the clouds I see my shadow fly - u see ur planes shadow on the clouds below
Out of the corner of my watering eye - through the corner of your eyes (u eyes fill up with tears of happiness)
A dream unthreatened by the morning light - in those moments (through ur tears) u see your dream come true in the early morning light)
Could blow this soul right through the roof of the night - u feel liberated that ur souls feels as if it has been liberated from darkness into the light
There's no sensation to compare with this - there is no sensation that compares to this as part as you are concerned
Suspended animation - a state of bliss - U are in a state of suspended animation - just u ur plan, ur dream that just came true and the open skies, no one to bother u as u realise and live your dream liberating ur soul from darkness into the night.

Can't keep my mind from the circling sky , Tongue-tied and twisted just an earth-bound misfit, I - Just chorus to say u are just a earth bound misfit who just flew.

Now, this definitely is not written on acid or grass, it just sounds like a good description of a persons feeling when they learn to fly and live their dream.

Pink Floyd is not about acid and getting stoned! (at least not always!) :D
- Vikas, Melbourne, Australia
Several of the comments mention that the song is about learning to fly. That is true on the surface. The song has a deeper meaning though. The song is about life, time, and individuality. The phrase, "into the distance, the ribbon (or river) of black" refers to the runway, obviously, but also it refers to time. The runway, like rivers in literature, refers to the inexorable advance of time. At least one of the comments mentions the word "I" as being "aye." I disagree. The word is "I" as in the first person pronoun. "Across the clouds I see my shadow fly...", "tongue tied and twisted, just an Earthbound misfit, I..." This is about the duality of individuality. It is both alienating from everything else, defining one's individuality, and also affirming one's individuality. Among my favorite portions of the song is the recognition of youth turning to wisdom of experience where he states, " ice is forming on the tips of my wings. unheeded warnings, I thought I'd thought of everything. No navigator to guide my way home, unladen, empty, but turned to stone..." The recklessness of youth meets the challenge of ice on the wings from the unheeded warnings.
- Bill, Grandview Hts, OH
There's no sensation to compare with this, suspended animation, a state of bliss.

Sounds like lucid dreaming to me
- Alex, Perth, Australia
Note: In the ATC/aircrew chatter portion, "winds over 10 knots" is actually "winds north at 10 knots."
- Tim, Whitehall, PA
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