Pink Floyd – Scarecrow

The song was the on their 1967 debut album The Piper at the Gates of Dawn…the song was released 2 months earlier as the B side to the single See Emily Play. I really like this early Pink Floyd. You can see the beginning and know where it went from here.

It’s more like a psychedelic folk song. Syd Barrett wrote the song. Barrett compares his own existence to that of the scarecrow, who, while sadder is also resigned to his fate.

The single, See Emily Play/Scarecrow peaked at #6 in the UK and #134 in the Billboard 100 in 1967.

From Wiki:

A promotional film for the song, made for a Pathé newsreel and filmed in early July 1967, features the band in an open field with a scarecrow, generally fooling around. It shows Roger Waters falling down as if he were shot, and Nick Mason exchanging his hat with the scarecrow’s.[5] Part of this film has been featured in Waters’ live performances of “Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun”.

A second promo was filmed in 1968 in Brussels, Belgium, with David Gilmour replacing Barrett, and Waters lip-syncing while playing his Rickenbacker bass with a violin bow.

Scarecrow

The black and green scarecrow as everyone knows
Stood with a bird on his hat and straw everywhere
He didn’t care

He stood in a field where barley grows

His head did no thinking
His arms didn’t move except when the wind cut up
Rough and mice ran around on the ground

He stood in a field where barley grows

The black and green scarecrow is sadder than me
But now he’s resigned to his fate
‘Cause life’s not unkind – he doesn’t mind

He stood in a field where barley grows

Pink Floyd – Bike

My journey through early Pink Floyd continues with this song called Bike written by Syd Barrett. It’s very British and like some of the other early songs you can hear the later Pink Floyd taking shape.  This song was on the album The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn released in 1967.

The album title came from a chapter in the book Wind In The Willows, where The piper was Pan, the Greek god of music.

Barrett was 18 when he met 15-year-old Jenny Spires in 1964. They started dating the following year, which is when he wrote “Bike.” Barrett would often create artwork and poetry for Spires, and “Bike” was his version of a love song to Spires.

Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason considers this one of Syd Barrett’s best songs.

From Songfacts

Pink Floyd guitarist Syd Barrett wrote this for his girlfriend, Jenny Spires. In the song, Syd shows her his bike, which he borrowed. He also shows her his mouse named Gerald, a clan of gingerbread men and a cloak. At the end of the song, Syd takes her to his music room. 

The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn was the first Pink Floyd album and the only one dominated by Syd Barrett, who was booted from the band in 1972 when he became mentally impaired. 

You’re the kind of girl that fits in with my world
I’ll give you anything, everything if you want things

Spires recalled him being “very loving.”

 “The lyrics to this are so very Syd, astonishingly clever,” he told Rolling Stone. “It’s fun, but there’s a depth of sadness to them.”

Bike

I’ve got a bike, you can ride it if you like
It’s got a basket, a bell that rings and
Things to make it look good
I’d give it to you if I could, but I borrowed it

You’re the kind of girl that fits in with my world
I’ll give you anything, ev’rything if you want things

I’ve got a cloak, it’s a bit of a joke
There’s a tear up the front, it’s red and black
I’ve had it for months
If you think it could look good, then I guess it should

You’re the kind of girl that fits in with my world
I’ll give you anything, ev’rything if you want things

I know a mouse, and he hasn’t got a house
I don’t know why I call him Gerald
He’s getting rather old, but he’s a good mouse

You’re the kind of girl that fits in with my world
I’ll give you anything, ev’rything if you want things

I’ve got a clan of gingerbread men
Here a man, there a man, lots of gingerbread men
Take a couple if you wish, they’re on the dish

You’re the kind of girl that fits in with my world
I’ll give you anything, ev’rything if you want things

I know a room full of musical tunes
Some rhyme, some ching, most of them are clockwork
Let’s go into the other room and make them work

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