“On the Turning Away” is a song from Pink Floyd‘s 1987 album, A Momentary Lapse of Reason. Released as the second single from the album, it reached number one on the Billboard Album Rock Tracks chart in early 1988. In the United Kingdom, the song charted at number 55 on the UK Singles Chart. A live performance of the song was featured on both the video and double CD releases of Delicate Sound of Thunder. The song, a power ballad, references issues of poverty and oppression, lamenting on the tendency of people to turn away from those afflicted with such conditions. It ends on a hopeful note, with the last stanza beginning, “no more turning away …”. It is also a song that recovers the mysticism of songs like “Wish You Were Here” or “Us and Them”, but this time treating topics like the suffering of people; the phrase “weak and the weary” portrays the suffering of people as a big problem in today’s world
The song was the fifth track from the album performed when A Momentary Lapse of Reason was played live from 1987 to 1989. The track was also performed sometimes during the band’s 1994 Division Bell tour, as the song was a U.S. rock radio hit. Although a live version didn’t make it to the live album and video Pulse, which docummented the tour, a version combined of bootleg footage appears among the bonus features of the DVD release of the film.