"Silent Sorrow in Empty Boats" was written and recorded for the 1974 concept album The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. This instrumental piece depicts Rael's state of mind after he leaves the lamias' pool. It is an interlude, as there is no development of the plot: a pause. A six-note pedal-volume guitar motif backed by Mellotron and repeated over three minutes, this song was one of the last ones written for the album. As the band was designing the stage show, it appeared necessary to include an instrumental track at this point to buy some time. After "The Lamia," Peter Gabriel must exit the stage leaving the big lamia costume on the ground. During "Silent Sorrow in Empty Boats," played with the lights very dim, a roadie can pick up the artifact and Gabriel has enough time to put on the Slipperman costume. Musically speaking, the piece extended the mood left by "The Lamia" (it also takes its title from one of its verses) and brought the third side of the original two-LP set to an end. Needless to say, this slice of incidental music was never performed again after the Lamb tour.