Classic Rock Wiki

"One of These Days" is the opening track from Pink Floyd's 1971 album Meddle.[1][2] The composition is instrumental except for a distorted, low voice that says "One of these days I'm going to cut you into little pieces" (spoken by drummer Nick Mason, a rarity for the band) and features double-tracked bass guitars played by David Gilmour and Roger Waters,[2] with each bass hard panned into one channel of stereo. Gilmour's bass sound is quite muted and dull. According to Gilmour, this is because that particular instrument had old strings on it, and the roadie they had sent to get new strings for it wandered off to see his girlfriend instead.[3]



  • 1 Music
  • 2 Track listing
  • 3 Live performances
  • 4 Personnel
    • 4.1 Studio version
    • 4.2 Delicate Sound of Thunder/Pulse
  • 5 1989 promo video
  • 6 Cover versions
  • 7 In popular culture
  • 8 References
  • 9 External links


The predominant element of the piece is that of a bass guitar played through a delay (echo) unit, set to produce repeats in quarter-note triplets. The result of this setting is, if the player plays simple quarter notes, the added echoes will produce a pattern of quarter note - eighth note, quarter note - eighth note. Pink Floyd would again use this technique on the bass line for "Sheep".

The piece is in B minor, occasionally alternating with an A major chord.

The distinctive keyboard accents on this track are composed of three components: A hammond organ forms the 'fade in', followed by a "Stab" composed of a second hammond organ with percussion stop, overdubbed with an acoustic piano fed through a leslie speaker, as was also used on Echoes. For live versions, the 'fade in' part was played on a Farfisa Organ.

The threatening lyric, a rare vocal contribution by Nick Mason,[2] was recorded through a ring modulator and slowed down to create an eerie effect. It was aimed at Sir Jimmy Young, the then BBC Radio 1 and Radio 2 DJ whom the band supposedly disliked because of his tendency to babble. During early 1970s concerts, they sometimes played a sound collage of clips from Young's radio show that was edited to sound completely nonsensical, thus figuratively "cutting him into little pieces".[4] Thebootleg compilation A Treeful of Secrets contains a demo version of "One of These Days" in which the Jimmy Young collage loops in the background during the performance. However, the authenticity of this demo has not been confirmed.[5]

According to John Peel, Waters has described "One of These Days" as a "poignant appraisal of the contemporary social situation".[7] Gilmour has stated that he considers it the most collaborative piece ever produced by the group.

A film, French Windows, was made by Ian Emes,[8][2] set to the piece and featuring people and gibbons dancing against various backgrounds. After being seen on television by the band, it was back-projected by Pink Floyd during live performances[2] and Emes was commissioned to make further films for the band. It has since been released as an "extra" on the band's Pulse DVD.[2]

Track listing[edit][]

Japanese release (re-issue)
  1. "One of These Days"
  2. "Seamus" [9]

Live performances[edit][]

The song was a concert staple on the band's 1971–1973 and 1987–1994 tours.[2] The Live at Pompeii version was retitled as "One of These Days I'm Going to Cut You into Little Pieces", the full spoken threat.[2]

It was resurrected for the group's 1987–1989 A Momentary Lapse of Reason & Another Lapse tours and 1994's The Division Bell Tour, performed by David Gilmour on lap steel guitar, Tim Renwick on rhythm guitar,Guy Pratt on bass, Richard Wright and Jon Carin on keyboards, with Nick Mason and Gary Wallis on drums and percussion.[2] It was included on the Delicate Sound of Thunder video (1989), CD, LP & cassette (1988) and Pulse album (1995) (cassette & LP only) & video & DVD (1995/2006 respectively).[2] It is also absent from the iTunes version of the Pulse album. A live version was also put on the B-side of the "High Hopes/Keep Talking" double A-side single (1994).[2]


Studio version[edit][]

  • David Gilmour – electric guitars, pedal steel guitar, double-tracked bass (right channel)
  • Roger Waters – double-tracked delayed tremolo bass (left channel)
  • Nick Mason – drums, backwards cymbals, vocal phrase
  • Richard Wright – Hammond organ, piano, EMS VCS 3 synthesizer (wind sound effects)

Delicate Sound of Thunder/Pulse[edit][]

  • David Gilmour – lap steel guitar
  • Nick Mason – drums, cymbal flourishes, vocal phrase (recording)
  • Richard Wright – Hammond organ

Additional musicians:

  • Guy Pratt – bass guitar
  • Gary Wallis – percussion, extra drums on Pulse
  • Tim Renwick – rhythm guitar
  • Jon Carin – synthesizer

1989 promo video[edit][]

A promo video was used to promote Delicate Sound of Thunder and got brief airing on MTV in 1989. It showed the band performing the track on stage at Nassau Coliseum and shots of the inflatable pig that flew over the audience during the song in the show. The end of the clip blacks out instead of segueing into "Time" as on the Delicate Sound of Thunder video.

Cover versions[edit][]

  • Girls Under Glass released a version of this song on their 1995 album Crystals & Stones called "(Another) One of These Days"[10]
  • The German progressive trance project Haldolium released a cover version of this song on a 12" picture disc in 2001 on Free Form Records. Their version, which was a success throughout the worldwide goaand trance scenes, was heavily inspired by the Girls Under Glass version.[11]
  • The stoner rock band Men of Porn covered "One of These Days" on their 2001 release Experiments in Feedback.
  • Blue Man Group covers this song during their How to Be a Megastar 2.0 tour in 2006. They use their Tubulum instrument to simulate the double-bass guitar effect.
  • Metallica covered "One of These Days" live in Seoul in 2006.
  • Psychedelic black metal band Nachtmystium included a musical homage entitled "One of These Nights" as the opening track on their 2008 album Assassins: Black Meddle, Part 1 (the album title itself is a reference to Pink Floyd's 1971 album Meddle). The song features many of the same elements of the original, but reinterpreted within a black metal idiom. It opens with wind, much like the original, but the bass is replaced with a chugging guitar ostinato while the keyboard "stabs" feature darker harmonies. The sole lyric from the original is also changed to state: "One of these nights I'm going to fucking die."
  • Gov't Mule has covered "One of These Days" live four times. The first time on 31 October 2008 at the Orpheum in Boston, on 8 February 2009 at the House of Blues in Dallas, on 11 September 2009 at The Showbox SoDo in Seattle, and as the opening song at the Friday night Midnight set at Wanee Festival 2010. All four times, lead singer and guitarist Warren Haynes deliberately omitted the spoken intro line.
  • German techno and trance producer Cosmic Baby, aka Harald Blüchel, produced an uncredited cover version of the song on his 1994 album Thinking About Myself, under the track title of "Au Dessous Des Nuages".
  • Dream Theater covered "One of These Days" during a show in Rotterdam in 2004.
  • Electro-Industrial band Spahn Ranch covered the song for the Cleopatra Records Pink Floyd cover compilation A Saucerful of Pink.

In popular culture[edit][]

"One of These Days" has been used in various sporting contexts. It is the entrance music of Abdullah the Butcher (Larry Shreve), a professional wrestler best known from WCW in the early 1990s. Hungarian figure skater Krisztina Czakó used "One of These Days" (along with "Shine On You Crazy Diamond")[12] as the music for her long program at the 1992 Winter Olympics, one of the few times that a classic rock song has ever been featured in an elite-level ice skating competition. Additionally, Frank Zane used the song as his posing music at the 1983 Mr. Olympia competition. For many years, the Italian sports show Dribbling also used the song as its opening theme.

The song can also be found in other media. In the webcomic Sluggy Freelance story arc "Fire and Rain", the only arc to feature a "soundtrack" of sorts, Oasis makes a reference to the song, stating that she is "gonna cut [Zoe] into little pieces." Under the dialogue is a caption reading "'One of These Days' by Pink Floyd."[13] The song is played during the ending credits of The Sopranos episode "The Fleshy Part of the Thigh" and is used in the Cosmos: A Personal Voyage episode "The Lives of Stars". A 1973 Bruce Lee documentary entitled The Man and the Legend used the song, as well as the BBC drama Life on Mars.

In another more unique instance, a 1991 computer virus called "Little Pieces" cleared the victim's screen and displayed the message "One of these days I'm going to cut you into little pieces," referring to the sole lyric of the song.[14]

In the 2011 Japanese Light Novel "The Astonishment of Haruhi Suzumiya", Kyon sarcastically remarks to Haruhi that she use the song as her introduction music when she arrives late to the clubroom to impress the hopeful SOS Brigade Members. Haruhi replies that Kyon "comes up with a few good ideas on occasion".[15]

"One of These Days" was sampled in the song Johnny Ryall on the Beastie Boys album Paul's Boutique.