Syd Barrett & Pink Floyd
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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Pink Floyd Lucifer Sam Lyrics & Guitar


"Lucifer Sam" is featured on the debut album of Pink Floyd's - The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (1967). Roger Waters’s nickname was Lucifer Sam...and the working title for this song was "Percy the Ratcatcher"; hence the cat reference.

The song is built around a descending riff, with the dominant instrument being composer Syd Barrett's electric guitar, fed through an echo machine; the resultant sound has been likened to a "sinister" Duane Eddy. This is augmented by bowed bass and increasingly agitated organ and percussion effects.

Though the lyric frequently refers to Lucifer Sam as a cat, some speculation has arisen as to whether this was in fact 1960s slang ("a hip cat") for a man, real or imagined, in some type of relationship with Barrett's then-girlfriend, Jenny Spires (referred to in the song as "Jennifer Gentle"). However, Sam was simply Barrett's domestic feline; the track was originally called "Percy the Rat Catcher" during the recording sessions, which took place during April–June 1967. Barrett was on fire, singing about a ginger Siamese pussy named Jennifer! Mixes in some magik references with nautical allusions and packs it with some great music.

"Lucifer Sam" was only performed live by Pink Floyd in 1967 and featured as an encore during many performances, mostly notably at the Games For May concert.

This track demonstrates why Syd should be considered one of the greatest, well; I hate to limit him to the generic term ‘musician’, but ‘sound sculptor’ of all time. Its not that he could play fancy scales in half a second, it all those little effects he gets through out the whole song. You must know what I’m on about, like the ‘whoo-tke whoo-tsh …. Ding ning ning ner….. bouw bouw .. der ner nere der ner nere’ Those little scrapes as if something is gliding to earth, takes a few paces on the ground then launches again. You can’t actually learn that in a book. Because of LSD I’m sure he could see the music, and visualization is what the mind is all about. It’s the predominate sense.

The Lightning Seeds covered the song as a B-side to their 1992 single "Sense"; it also appeared on their 2006 best of collection. Czar included a version on its 2000 debut EP Czar IV, featuring vocalist Paul Samarin of Los Angeles based Pink Floyd tribute band Which One's Pink? Billion Stars covered "Lucifer Sam" on the 2003 Pink Floyd tribute album A Fair Forgery of Pink Floyd. Neil’s Children released a limited edition 7" single featuring a cover of "Lucifer Sam" in tribute to Syd after his death. The track has also been covered by Electric Hellfire Club, The Flaming Lips, True West, Jay Farrar, Love and Rockets, Voivod, Shockabilly, The Sadies and The Three O'Clock.

Pi n k F l o y d Lucifer Sam

Words and Music by Syd Barrett

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-------------------------------------- Repeat 2342334 times
-------------------------------------- Eat an Acid and add lots
-------------------------------------- Of variations to sound like
-----------4------3-----2-----0------- James Bond...
-0----0-2----2-2----2-2---2-2---------


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-0-1-2---2-2----2-2---2-2--4------------
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b(1/4)

F#m G
Lucifer Sam, Siam cat.
B
Always sitting by your side
E
Always by your side.
C G D
That cat's something I can't explain.

Ginger, ginger you're a witch.
You're the left side
He's the right side.
Oh, no!
That cat's something I can't explain.

Lucifer go to sea.
Be a hip cat, be a ship's cat.
Somewhere, anywhere.
That cat's something I can't explain.

At night prowling sifting sand.
Hiding around on the ground.
He'll be found when you're around.
That cat's something I can't explain.



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