Pink Floyd – Lucifer Sam

I’m continuing my education on early Pink Floyd. Love what I’m hearing. This one is so sixties that you can smell the incense. 

When I first heard this I thought one thing…sixties James Bond…and there is not more cooler than that. Cool guitar riff to open this one up. 

It was on Pink Floyd’s debut album The Piper at the Gates of Dawn. It was written by Syd Barrett. 

This song is essentially an ode to Syd Barrett’s cat, Sam. However, it was rumored that it might refer to another man in some kind of relationship with Jenny Spires, who was Barrett’s girlfriend at the time.

In the line, ” Jennifer Gentle you’re a witch,” “Jennifer Gentile” is said to refer to Spires.

Jenny Spires

Jenny Spires - FamousFix

Rob Chapman, A Very Irregular Head – The Life of Syd Barrett‘Lucifer Sam’ is the odd track out on the Piper album.  Neither lengthy instrumental nor three-minute fairy tale, its taut style is a throwback to the Floyd’s earlier raw R&B. ‘Lucifer Sam’ has a compact form and driving riff that would have made it a prime candidate for a single (or at least a perfectly serviceable B-side) if there hadn’t already been stronger contenders.  It’s a character song like ‘Arnold Layne’ rather than a still-life study like ’The Scarecrow,’ and by Syd’s oblique standards it is specific and direct. Jenny Spires appears thinly disguised as Jennifer Gentle and although the whole thing wiffs of stoned paranoia (‘that cat’s something I can’t explain’ – it’s just a cat, Syd, there really is nothing to explain) and menacing undertones it also possesses a nimble and playful wit.

Lucifer Sam

Lucifer Sam, Siam cat
Always sitting by your side
Always by your side
That cat’s something I can’t explain

Jennifer Gentle 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

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

30 thoughts on “Pink Floyd – Lucifer Sam”

      1. Your post the other day put me back on track for this. I grew up with the 70’s Floyd Arena music…this is fresh for me.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. From today’s perspective, “The Piper At The Gate Of Dawn” may sound a bit dusty, but back then it was a musical revelation. The Beatles and Rolling Stones also incorporated elements of psychedelic music into their music in the years 1966-1968. But only built-in and rudimentary, and their results sound good, but lack the radicalism and consistency of Pink Floyd of that time.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Rather cool! I like the guitars and overall sound. Would’ve fit right in with ‘The Wall’, LOL ! (before naysayers pipe in, I’d probably rather listen to an album of this than The Wall)

    Liked by 2 people

  2. 67 was a colossal year for rock music. Piper is, if not the best, (it’s probably the best) in the top 5 or 6 along with Are You Experienced, The Who Sell Out, Something Else by the Kinks, Velvet Underground and Nico, and Between the Buttons. Monumental year, monumental album.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I liked it so much I started to watch a James Bond movie…I have all of them except a few of the new…I just don’t get into a stubby blonde Bond…


      1. I will…I’ll go to Moore! I’m advanced! lol. They started to get silly in the 90s…invisible cars….but the modern ones have no gadgets…at least the ones I saw.


      2. I liked Connery, to a point (watching re-runs). I liked the one George Lazenby flick. I grew up with Moore and I thought they were a tad cheesy. I liked Dalton & Brosnan. I have seen pieces of Craig’s stuff. He is more stiff than Connery.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I do like that one also…George wasn’t bad…he just listened to the wrong people…he could have had Moore’s career if he would have just done it. I like some of Moores…it depends on which ones. The writing got iffy there.

        I liked Dalton a lot…I wish he would have done more. By the time Brosnan did it…the writing had gone to hell.

        Yea Connery was the man


      1. I’m paying attention to you musical journey. I think I told you I came on board with ‘Meddle’ and then went back to this stuff. Plus picked up Syd’s sole stuff. If it grabs you, you’ll be in for lots of music. ‘Interstellar Overdrive’ is a fave instrumental for me.


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