Pink Floyd

Have a Cigar

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Song Review by

"Have a Cigar" harbored the same implications as its predecessor, "Welcome to the Machine," the two most blatant and lyrically pronounced songs from Wish You Were Here. With "Have a Cigar," though, Waters is far more sarcastic, bitter, and effectively irreverent with his words, and even a tad humorous. This time the lyrics were aimed at the burdens and distresses of touring and the adversity of having to accommodate your lifestyle to that of the business, which eventually results in the artist succumbing to the ingratiating dealings of the industry with little or no say from the artists themselves. The song isn't sung by any of the band's members, as Waters employed Roy Harper, a folk-rock artist who was recording an album in the same studio, to sing lead. Harper doesn't sound out of place, and the rollicking bass lines from Waters accentuate the song's upward flow. The words of the song, as well as the melody, were crafted earlier on by Waters himself, and the rest of the band filled in and added onto what had already been created. Gilmour's guitar playing climbs and then soars during the instrumental break, showcasing some of his best work on the album. Lyrically, the song speaks from the greedy executive's point of view as he builds up an artist with empty flattery and transparent adulation, focusing only on the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. This song takes on a rock & roll feel from the get-go, and with the help of backing vocalists Venetta Fields and Carlena Williams, its thorough demeanor carries Waters' message assiduously.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Wish You Were Here 1975 Capitol 5:07
Shine On 1992 Columbia 5:24
Oh by the Way 2007 Capitol 5:08
Discovery 2011 Capitol / EMI / EMI Music Distribution 5:07
No Image 2011 Parlophone
A Foot in the Door: The Best of Pink Floyd 2011 Capitol 5:08