Sunday Hymn: ‘On the turning away’

Ice people

On the turning away
From the pale and downtrodden,
And the words they say
Which we won’t understand.
‘Don’t accept that what’s happening
is just a case of others’ suffering
Or you’ll find that you’re joining in
The turning away’.

It’s a sin that somehow
Light is changing to shadow,
And casting its shroud
Over all we have known.
Unaware how the ranks have grown,
Driven on by a heart of stone,
We could find that we’re all alone
In the dream of the proud.

On the wings of the night
As the daytime is stirring,
Where the speechless unite
in a silent accord.
Using words you will find are strange,
Mesmerised as they light the flame,
Feel the new wind of change
On the wings of the night.

No more turning away
From the weak and the weary.
No more turning away
From the coldness inside.
Just a world that we all must share,
It’s not enough just to stand and stare.
Is it only a dream that there’ll be
No more turning away?

– David Gilmour & Anthony Moore


  1. From my antiquated worldview, how does this work as a hymn? Isn’t the general idea of a hymn that it expresses worship to God (or in other religions, to gods)? This is more like a piece of good advice. Though after I wrote that I saw that it’s not actually written as a ‘hymn’ as such. Still, you’ve entitled it ‘Sunday Hymn’…


  2. Mike Crowl,
    If songs that express love for God are hymns can songs that express love for neighbor also be considered hymns? The greatest commandment . . .


  3. Pink Floyd songs have a way of cutting to the quick, of unveiling the existential crisis that lies at the heart of humanism and modernity. I’m not sure if they’re technically “hymns” or not but I do know that God speaks to people through these words. This song in particular was a refuge and source of hope for me as a lonely and conflicted teenager. For another close friend it was “Wish you were here”. They may not have been written with God in mind, but the Spirit has used them as instruments of Grace.


Comments welcome here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.