Pink Floyd – Astronomy Domine

Lime and limpid green, a second scene
Now fights between the blue you once knew

I’m loving this early Pink Floyd music.

This was the opening song on The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn…which  was Pink Floyd’s first album; the title came from a chapter heading in The Wind In The Willows, a children’s book written by Kenneth Grahame and published in 1908.

The song was written by founding member and original band leader Syd Barrett. The song starts with some  Morse Code  and it turns out to be a catchy pop tune. You can hear the future of Pink Floyd in parts of this song.

In the UK, the album was a hit, reaching #6 in 1967. Pink Floyd got some attention when they toured with Jimi Hendrix in 1967.

Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason: “This is such a great drum track in an interesting time signature. It’s a fantastic bit of ’60s philosophy mixed with a sort of psychedelic lyric.”

From Songfacts

“Astronomy” is the study of celestial bodies, and to “domineer” is to control something in an arrogant way. So “Astronomy Domine” means to control space for personal needs. This probably represents the space race between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics during the Cold War era. 

This was written by Syd Barrett, who was the group’s primary songwriter at the time. A founding member of Pink Floyd, his mental health started deteriorating a short time after this was released, and by 1972 he was out of the band, doing gardening instead of leading one of the foremost bands in Britain. Pink Floyd went on to far greater success without him, but the songs he wrote represent some of the more adventurous music of the era and show sparks of the genius many believe he could have become.

Oberon, Miranda and Titania” are all moons of Uranus and are also characters in Shakespeare’s plays (Oberon and Titania, King and Queen of the Fairies in A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Miranda, daughter of Prospero in The Tempest). “Titan” is the largest moon of Saturn. 

Regarding the lyrics, “Stairway scare, Dan Dare, who’s there?” Dan Dare is a British science fiction comic hero created by illustrator Frank Hampson, and is referenced in this song with obvious references to Space, planets, and their moons. Syd Barrett’s guitar is also suggestive of the brass motif from “Mars, the Bringer of War” in Gustav Holst’s The Planets.

There is some Morse code at the beginning of this song, which was a way to transmit messages using a series of long and short tones. Plenty of people tried to decipher the code in this song, only to realize it was just a random series of tones with no meaning.

Astronomy Domine

Lime and limpid green, a second scene
Now fights between the blue you once knew
Floating down, the sound resounds
Around the icy waters underground
Jupiter and Saturn, Oberon, Miranda and Titania
Neptune, Titan, stars can frighten

Blinding signs flap,
Flicker, flicker, flicker blam, pow, pow
Stairway scare, Dan Dare, who’s there?

Lime and limpid green, the sounds around
The icy waters under
Lime and limpid green, the sounds around
The icy waters underground

Author: Badfinger (Max)

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

36 thoughts on “Pink Floyd – Astronomy Domine”

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  1. the song begins almost exactly like one of Roger’s solo ones from the ’80s or 90s (I think from Radio KAOS) …Syd’s influence probably lived on in all their works in subtle ways.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I find it interesting that Waters didn’t like them carrying on with the Pink Floyd name after he left, yet apparently had no problem with it after the founder was no longer in the band. This album is a mind bender.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s like a new world to me listening to this early music. It’s something completely fresh…to say that about Pink Floyd after how much they are played…is something.
      Syd Barrett I’ve listened to before…The Madcap Laughs…but it’s strange I never explored this era enough.


      1. Oh yea…I never noticed that. At first I thought you meant a “the” in front of the song…”the” Pink Floyd. That makes sense…back then a lot of bands were “The” something. I have to wonder if it was their name or the record company name.


      1. It’s not bad at all…they did it very well….they kept the melody and did away with the psychedelic…. They did a good job…

        Liked by 1 person

      1. So far, I haven’t met or talked to anyone that does…except maybe Gavin (Conductor). He doesn’t seem to mind.

        The WP happiness engineers have been tweaking the code, again. I’ve noticed some issues popping up and pointing it out to them is useless. Half of the bloggers I follow, their pictures aren’t showing up in the Reader or the Phone app. I’ve also noticed that certain HTML functions are being pulled. Even in the “text” field, which I use instead of visual, paragraph tags and line breaks are beginning to be pulled. I’ve noticed that some of my posts…sentences that should have breaks (and a return if you remember “returns” on a typewriter), aren’t breaking properly and posts aren’t rendering correctly.

        When I contacted said “happiness engineers” to tell them (with screen captures) that pictures aren’t showing up in the Reader & app, a succession of three different people kept asking me about browser issues and I need to clear my cache and test with another browser and “can you provide a URL so we can test.” Um…the READER & the PHONE APP are WORDPRESS issues…not browsers.

        These picture issues, and HTML (implied) tags not working right, coincide with the “new classic editor” links in the dashboard. It used to be that, when you did a new post, selecting “Add” automatically went to Classic. Now, it is a drop down box and, if you need to go back and update or correct a post, you can’t just EDIT, you have to actively choose “Classic Editor” as a link. God forbid you should want to copy a post. You automatically get the block editor.

        They have FUBARED SO MUCH…and, they don’t care.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I don’t get what is so hard to understand about this….WE DON”T LIKE IT…shouldn’t you keep your customer happy?

        Oh to copy a post sucks…I’ve had to do that before and copy it line by line. If enough people who pay for it would leave…their attitude will change. There are more blog sites out there.

        I’ve thought about it…if and when they switch to block only…my ass may be gone…I’ll take my premium package elsewhere.

        I have people I follow not show up in the reader anymore and they gave me such a bullshit answer…I know bs answers because I’ve given them before. They suggested adding tags…bullshit…not everyone uses the same tag to find it. You can’t add the username in the tag…I tried and it won’t help in reader.


      3. WP or Automattic is, effectively, big tech like FakeBook & Twitter. They do as they please and users be damned.

        I’ve copied older CT posts before the change and it was easy. Not any more.

        Many folks have moved to their open source software and self host. Blogger doesn’t have the same functionality. I think Automattic bought Tumblr. Have you looked into other blog sites? Where would you go?

        WP is notorious for disconnecting “follows” and there are huge bugs in the notification panel.

        Big tech likes change for the sake of change and money.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I checked out GoNevis…I have an account there just to see…Have you checked out Blogspot? I haven’t…

        I’m going to bitch about it tomorrow again if I have time to their damn chat.


      5. Yea most of them don’t…and not to mention the community…that helps also…but I still would probably bolt…


      6. I hear you and I agree completely. If they made something new worth a shit…it would be different…I’m not agasint something better…but I am against change for the sake of change.


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