Two Suns in the Sunset: the meaning of the Pink Floyd song

Over a month after the missile test launched into the Sea of Japan, the tensions between North Korea and US are at its limits. Compared to the past, there are fewer nuclear-armed countries: United States, Russia, Great Britain, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea. But there is a very dangerous process of modernization. The 122 positive votes on 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons are hopeful, if it wasn’t for the absence of the biggest countries holding nuclear weapons.

On August 6th, 1945, the international community began to deal with the destructive power of nuclear weapons. That morning, the Japanese city of Hiroshima was devastated by an atomic bomb. Three days later, the same sad fate will be shared with the city of Nagasaki. 200,000 casualties are estimated, mostly civilians. Only six weeks before the Statute of the United Nations was adopted, but the basis for the construction of a world free of mass destruction weapons will be built only years later, with the adoption of the three main treaties in this matter: the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT, 1968). It is hard to imagine that a nuclear bomb could fall on a city and kill thousands of people, with radioactivity continuing to kill in the following years, and future generations suffering the consequences of radiation.


Roger Waters believes that it happened once and never again, and this must be a dream shared by us all. The Final Cut is Pink Floyd’s last chapter, published on March 21, 1983, another concept album focused on the dream of war. The cover says: “Roger Waters, performed by Pink Floyd”. It’s clear that Roger had now taken over, moving away from Richard Wright. The album is full of despair about the death of his father and disgust for some world governments, but there is also the hope born from a dream of an old gunner. The last song of the album is Two Suns in the Sunset. The lyrics tell the fear of the recurrence of a nuclear world war, with the death of millions of innocent people.

The two suns at sunset evoke a new nuclear explosion and express all other contents Waters had in mind in that moment. You can listen to it below, while reading the lyrics on the bottom.

In my rear view mirror the sun is going down
Sinking behind bridges in the road
And I think of all the good things
That we have left undone
And I suffer premonitions
Confirm suspicions
Of the holocaust to come.

The wire that holds the cork
That keeps the anger in
Gives way
And suddenly it’s day again.
The sun is in the east
Even though the day is done.
Two suns in the sunset
Could be the human race is run.

Like the moment when the brakes lock
And you slide towards the big truck
“Oh no!”
“Daddy, Daddy!”
You stretch the frozen moments with your fear.
And you’ll never hear their voices
And you’ll never see their faces
You have no recourse to the law anymore.

And as the windshield melts
My tears evaporate
Leaving only charcoal to defend.
Finally I understand the feelings of the few.
Ashes and diamonds
Foe and friend
We were all equal in the end.

“And now the weather. Tomorrow will be cloudy with scattered showers
Spreading from the east with an expected high of 4000 degrees

Cover Image by Clinge


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