Only Angel in the Sky: She is screaming
Consider this an addition to this analysis, which is basically about observing Harry's expression of gender through the Pink Floyd lense (more precisely The Dark Side of the Moon).
Of all the songs I've used in this past analysis, there is one I skipped for reasons we don't understand, especially since it really ties up the whole thing together, and this song is The Great Gig in the Sky.
What if a woman screaming was Harry's headcanon voice for She, basically.
Quick history behind The Great Gig In the Sky (TGGITS):
The first version of the song was only the piano melody and was named "The Mortality Song", also called " The Religion song". When the finale version made it to the album, it was commonly interpretated as being about death, or at least a spiritual one.
Death after a repetitive and boring life, or a life not lived to its fullest, where time and self discovery were lacking.
When it comes to the sound of the piano, TGGITS reminds me an awful lot of the repetitive three notes that you hear in both SOTT and Only Angel, all songs that ''sound like heaven'', and that could be linked together through that piano melody. Absolute thanks to @laurelier and this incredible post for pointing out the importance of this recurrent sound in some of Harry's songs. and whose analysis fueled in depth this post <3
QUICK "LyRiCs" ANALYSIS
The Great Gig in the Sky opens, in the exact same fashion as Only Angel, with bribes of speech about death.
And I am not frightened of dying
Any time will do, I don't mind
Why should I be frightened of dying?
There's no reason for it, you've gotta go sometime, The Great Gig in the Sky
I saw this angel
I really saw an angel, Only Angel
Both speakers welcome death, or at the very least, don't run away from it. There is no fear of the unknown. Yet, right after those peaceful disclaimers, both songs suddenly take another turn and break in literal screams. it's a bit awkward cuz I can't really demonstrate it on text, yall have to listen i'm sorry but basically OA goes hEY HEYYYY and TGGITS goes oooHoooHOOROOAAAAAAA
What's interesting is that later in OA, you can hear Harry sings in the background about death again, on a loop:
Wanna die, wanna die, wanna die tonight
While legend has it that this is what you can hear later in TGGITS:
If you can hear this whispering you are dying
I point it out not only because it's another nail in the death coffin, but also because those two excerpts are not exactly supposed to be "in your face". You can hear Harry pretty well, but the words are kind of mumbled, lost among random adlibs and not on the same "volume level" than the main singing track. I remember not getting it the first time I listened to the song. and then i looked up the lyrics and was like omg harry what no stop cuz yeah 2017 was when i started acknowledging gayrry so it was a lot of pain to register
Aaaand when it comes to TGGITS's absolutely terrifying one liner, I still can't hear it guess it's a good thing. Apparently, it's around 3:30. Does it also remind me of the little reversed audio easter egg in She ? Ya.
Anyway death is rampant and the speaker is descending (or ascending ?) towards it.
BUT DON'T WORRY IT'S ABOUT GENDER
Ever since I've been obsessing over the parallels between Harry's work and Pink Floyd, The Great Gig in the Sky has been on my mind.
Through that lense, I see it as a raw form of expression, the same way I interprete Only Angel as being the most violent and loud way Harry found to express his struggles regarding... she.
The absolute unhinged vocals of Clare Torry in TGGITS hold the meaning of the world (ooh the dramatics). Is it despair, is it anger, is it demented bliss ? Just like I could never quite put the finger on why the screams in Only Angel were so powerful to me. They seem deliberately placed, one in particular: higher in pitch than all the others and coming right up after the ominous "wanna die tonight". As if she took over for a second.
To be fair, I don't have much to say on this, as it's more of an addition to the She post. However, I do eye the heavy use of the death imagery after reading the birth of Harry post by @ialwaysknewyouwerepunk (which you must go read now also and who triggered as well another round of 'me obsessing over gender in music'' ijtrqhjeut).
She was restricted, hidden, unreachable. She wants to break free. But for one to be reborn one must die first. So yeah, a spiritual little death and a powerful catharsis, and maybe then Harry wil get to thinking of her.
Harry is someone drawn to spiritual beliefs. Pink Floyd's metaphor of death, placed in the middle of the album, might resonate with his vision. Death isn't a conclusion or the end of the line: it's another step in the life process. And if it takes the form of a woman screaming her lungs out and gradually softening towards the end of the song, when the ''process'' is coming to a term, then I could see the big inspiration behind it.
HOWEVER I don't see it as ''old Harry dying and being born again as his true self'', which is a bit of a leap to say about the trans experience. More like ''Harry getting rid of whatever kept him from exploring his angel''. In Only Angel, the bedroom door for example. In She, the speaker's whole established routine.
Not gonna lie with this one it's really all about the vibes lmao because really it's 70% screaming.
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