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4.30-LUCIFER SAM (Pink Floyd)

Pink Floyd
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[Intro]

Lucifer Sam,
Siam cat
Always sitting by your side
Always by your side.

     That cat's something I can't explain!

[Break]

Jennifer Gentle, you're a witch!
You're the left side.
He's the right side.
Oh no!

     [Refrain]

[Break]

Lucifer go to sea--
Be a hip cat.
Be a ship's cat
Somewhere, anywhere!

     [Refrain]

[Break]

Night prowling, sifting sand
Padding around on the ground
He'll be found
When you're around.

     [Refrain]


Unusually for Pipers at the Gates of the Dawn, the cut Lucifer Sam is dominated by a descending guitar riff on heavy reverb swinging on a twelve bar blues that resembles theme songs for Batman and various secret agent films of the time. The music provides an ambience in which the cat who is the subject of the song reveals his ability to swoop in and make quick escapes. The fascination with the inscrutible consciousness of his pet makes Barrett’s song psychedelic more than its sound, which is fairly basic rock & roll, each verse separated by another twelve bar instrumental riff. The break introduces bowed bass, an increasingly agitated organ and random whiplike percussion that adds drama as the song progresses, though at the end of the last refrain the song oddly chugs off.

The song addresses a woman, Jennifer Gentle. It seems that Barrett’s cat is attracted to her, and shows up every time she comes around. The damned cat gets in the way of getting close to her. Barrett wishes his cat would stow in a boat and sail out of his life. In the end, however, the cat again seems to sneak the affections of Jennifer while the singer fades away himself and out of her attention.

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