High Hopes

By Nicholas Palffy

Song Number 11 (Is This a clue?) | Time: 8:31 min.

This song clearly refers to Quantum Physics and Astrophysics. In other words, to the Big Bang Theory and The Beginning of Time. The Division Bell title is extracted from this song.

Physicist Stephen Hawkings is mentionned in the Credits (cf. his book A Brief History of Time), and Douglas Adams seems to have had a fascination for the Cosmos and the Galaxy...). There's a discussion about Hawkings implication in the lyrics here.

The title of this (last and 11th) song could close the circle that started with the observatories of Cluster One.

High Hopes = Great Expectations?

Is this an invitation to consider the Grand Unification Theory? (unification of electromagnetic and gravitational forces into one single model, if I remember well...)

If yes, then Cluster One(i.e. First Cluster of Energy) is a metaphor of the Big Bang, where these all these forces were born. Again, I think this was partly inspired by Stephen Hawkings' work... The Telescopes of the cover indicate this interest in the Origins (or the GENESIS) of Time and Space.

Conclusion: This album focuses on TIME, its ORIGIN, and the way to MEASURE it.

(See the details at http://folk.iuo.no/ericsp/)

Analysis of the Lyrics:

" Beyond the horizon...": Our cosmological horizon is called Planck's Time (10 minus 43 sec after the Big Bang). It is the limit beyond which we cannot figure out what happened that resulted in the Universe. IN FACT, THIS IS THE WALL! The whole question of tearing down the Wall has nothing to do with Berlin (except as a metaphor...)! It is all about going through the Mirror...or the Wall of Planck's Time! This was certainly a question that Stephen Hawking asked himself...and others...On a metaphysical level, the Facing Heads of The Division Bell covers are just about this: Other Dimensions, antimatter and so forth...Has the Universe an Alter Ego? a Anti-Universe? a Reflection? A Dark Side?

This is kind of a fractal point of view. The facing Heads of the Solstices and Equinoxes have a counterparts in the microcosm.Everything is embedded. Planck's Wall is the Landmark, the Horizon of our Understanding.

"...world of magnets and miracles": Atoms and subatomic particles are glued by electromagnetic strong and weak forces.

" Our thoughts strayed constantly and without boundary": Indeed, This was the reign of pure Energy.

"The ringing of the division bell had begun": After the barrier of Planck's Time, the Universe starts. Time and Matter are created. But also, Big "Stonehenge" Ben has started its seasonal ringing...

" myriad small creatures...": Quarks and subatomic particles, again...

"...consumed by slow decay": = Radioactivity, or may be just oblivion...

The grass was greener / The light was brighter / With friends surrounded / The nights of wonder

To my opinion, this refers to the cardinal signs of the Zodiac. Ariès = Green; Cancer = bright; Libra = friends; Capricorn: night. These are also the signs of the Solstices and Equinoxes).

It could refer to matter (grass), photon emission (light), atoms (friends) and emptiness or darkness (night), or more simply, to a transcendental experience or initiation at Stonehenge.

"Looking beyond the embers of bridges glowing behind us": embers of bridges: binding forces of matter?

"To a glimpse of how green it was on the other side". To the Other side of Planck's Barrier?

"Steps taken forwards but sleepwalking back again": Big Bang versus Big Crung theories?

Dragged by the force of some inner tide: Inner tide = quantic fields theory (wave/particle)

At a higher altitude with flag unfurled: Stonehenge is culminating above the area.

We reached the dizzy heights of that dreamed of world:

Encumbered forever by desire and ambition

There's a hunger still unsatisfied

"Our weary eyes still stray to the horizon": horizon > Looking at an Azimut? or just waiting the sun to appear?

Though down this road we've been so many times: Road: Stonehenge Avenue to the Cosmic Observatory? Road of Time or Annual Cycle?

The grass was greener / The light was brighter / With friends surrounded / The nights of wonder

With friends surrounded / The dawn mist glowing / The water flowing / The endless river

The dawn mist glowing = A few minute before sunrise, at the Solstices of Equinoxes.

The water flowing = Milky Way, Galaxies, Universe

Endless River = Milky Way

Forever and ever = Eternity, Endless Time.


Nicholas Palffy © 2004