Which solo songs date from PF era?

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professor frogmorton
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Which solo songs date from PF era?

Post by professor frogmorton »

I have been curious about which Barrett solo songs were likely written while still in Pink Floyd. I have some guesses, but would like to know?
Pink Floyd performed a song titled "I Can Tell" in 66, which may be " It's No Good Trying"...the "I can tell, you can't be what you pretend" repeated in the chorus. To me, Silas Lang(swan Lee) seems likely as well as Opel and Terrapin. "Here I Go" was written while in Pink Floyd and given in demo form to Joe Boyd with the the titlr "Boon Tune". It was intended to be recorded by the Purple Gang, which never happened until quite recently. I am curious about Late Night,No Man's Land and also whether or not Clowns and Jugglers was perhaps the song Waters talks about Barret rehearsing and changing the arrangement repeatedly. Somewhere I read that She was a Millionaire bears some relation to Opel. The songs on the second Barret solo record I wonder about also. Any ideas?
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Post by snifferdog »

From memory, I think they reckoned on the Syd Barrett documentary that all the songs for his two albums had been written a long time before.
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Post by mrlimbo »

Hmm interesting , i suppose we will never get a definitive answer , ive read somewhere recently , that stated all Syds songs (Pink & solo) were written in a 18 month period :shock: , but also read that at least 3 songs for Madcap were written in the studio while recording the album !!!!
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Post by professor frogmorton »

Yeah, I've heard that stated also, that all the songs were written in the Piper period. It may be true, but the acoustic tracks on The Madcap Laughs do seem very different lyrically from the Pink Floyd songs. And if all those songs were written during the Piper era, why the talk of Barrett not being able to come up with new songs for Pink Floyd prior to his departure?
The songs on the second Barrett solo record also seem to have a different feel about them lyrically, but in some ways a few of those songs seem closer to the Piper period songs. Love Song, Baby Lemonade, Dominoes, Wined and Dined, and Waving My Arms in the Air/Living Alone seem lyrically less abstract than the Madcap Laughs stuff and the content of those songs seems to have a lot to do with the ending of a personal relationship, the somber resignation or reflection associated with that. The psychic desperation in the Madcap Laughs songs along with the free verse,to me seems quite different. More like Rats, Maisie, and Wolfpack.
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Post by snifferdog »

I agree with you. Towards the end of his Pink Floyd days the songs Syd wrote for the band were darker in tone e.g. Vegetable Man, Jugband Blues. There was also the gap between his leaving the band and recording the Madcap Laughs. I'd find it hard to believe he didn't write material during that time. Seeing as Syd wasn't in the best of shape at that time, nobody can be sure when he wrote the music. Personally I'd plump for the post-Piper era.
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Re: Which solo songs date from PF era?

Post by lovescene4 »

professor frogmorton wrote:I have been curious about which Barrett solo songs were likely written while still in Pink Floyd. I have some guesses, but would like to know?
Pink Floyd performed a song titled "I Can Tell" in 66, which may be " It's No Good Trying"
Probably Bo Diddley's "I Can Tell"...
professor frogmorton wrote:"Here I Go" was written while in Pink Floyd and given in demo form to Joe Boyd with the the titlr "Boon Tune".
Malcolm Jones said he wrote that in the studio--maybe he was just copying it out from memory? The early one is also referred to as "Boom Tune" :?:
professor frogmorton wrote:The songs on the second Barret solo record I wonder about also. Any ideas?
"Living Alone" might be an early version of "I Never Lied To You." It was recorded right after the "Waving My Arms..." demo, and the "I Never..." lyrics sort of go with the "Living Alone" title.
Last edited by lovescene4 on Wed Jan 31, 2007 1:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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professor frogmorton
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Post by professor frogmorton »

I agree, Living Alone is most likely just an alternate title.
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Post by professor frogmorton »

Oh right, Probably the Bo Diddley song "I Can Tell", as he is a stated influence.

Interestingly, though very different songs, I checked the Bo Diddley lyric and the first verse has some similarities to It's No Good Trying. Maybe Barrett was referencing that song.

Bo Diddley's I Can Tell
I can tell because it's plain to see
I can tell the way you look at me
The way you know, you hold my hand
Yes, pretty baby I can understand
I can tell, I can tell
I know you don't love me no more

Syd Barrett's It's No Good Trying
It's no good trying to place your hand
where I can't see because I understand
that you're different from me
yes I can tell
that you can't be what you pretend
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Post by lovescene4 »

professor frogmorton wrote:Interestingly, though very different songs, I checked the Bo Diddley lyric and the first verse has some similarities to It's No Good Trying. Maybe Barrett was referencing that song.

Bo Diddley's I Can Tell
I can tell because it's plain to see
I can tell the way you look at me
The way you know, you hold my hand
Yes, pretty baby I can understand
I can tell, I can tell
I know you don't love me no more

Syd Barrett's It's No Good Trying
It's no good trying to place your hand
where I can't see because I understand
that you're different from me
yes I can tell
that you can't be what you pretend
Very interesting, indeed... It's known that Bo influenced Syd instrumentally; this does seem to show a lyrical influence as well :!:
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Post by professor frogmorton »

What about " Clowns and Jugglers'? In an interview Barrett says he carried that around in his head for 6 months before he "wrote" it. The instrumental was first recorded in July '68, which does'nt necessarily mean he had already written the words, but my guess is that he had. That would place the origin of the song at least to January '68 or prior when he was still in PF, even if it was just an embryonic idea in his head.

I guess it is possible that he didn't have the "words" at the time he first recorded the instrumental and was refering to later in '69 when he definitely did have them and recorded the vocal track.

The song just seems to me with it's complicated arrangement as something that would have been written while in Pink Floyd. It sort of reminds me of Apples and Oranges lyrically, and it's so upbeat.
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Post by Chris Moise »

professor frogmorton wrote:What about " Clowns and Jugglers'? In an interview Barrett says he carried that around in his head for 6 months before he "wrote" it. The instrumental was first recorded in July '68, which does'nt necessarily mean he had already written the words, but my guess is that he had. That would place the origin of the song at least to January '68 or prior when he was still in PF, even if it was just an embryonic idea in his head.

I guess it is possible that he didn't have the "words" at the time he first recorded the instrumental and was refering to later in '69 when he definitely did have them and recorded the vocal track.

The song just seems to me with it's complicated arrangement as something that would have been written while in Pink Floyd. It sort of reminds me of Apples and Oranges lyrically, and it's so upbeat.
Actually the 2 July '68 takes of Clowns and Jugglers do have vocals.

The Soft Machine overdubbed an instrumental track onto Syd '68 guitar/vocal take during the Madcap sessions but it wasn't used on Madcap. The Madcap version (titled Octupus) is a completely different recorded.
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Post by Chris Moise »

I think Living Alone is an unheard Syd song that doesn't have much to do with Waving My Arms. There is no reference to I Never Lied in the Barrett LP recording sheets. All I Never Lied recordings, overdubs, mixes, etc were logged under Waving My Arms leading me to believe that I Never Lied was a part of Waving My Arms until the very last minute when the LP was assembled. If we could hear that demo I would think that the I Never Lied bit would just be the latter part of the Waving demo and Living Alone would be something else.

Waters has said that all of the solo songs were written during the Floyd era but I think that is an exaggeration. As someone else mentioned the solo songs have that abstract Joycean "stream of consciousness" style that is similar to Scream and Jugbad. I don't think Syd was writing stuff like Rats and Wolfpack in 1966.

Here I Go was definitely written in the Floyd period. It was on that solo demo tape Joe Boyd lost. The fact that Syd made a demo tape in early 1967 of original songs that PF didn't recorded and that tape is presumably lost forever is too painful to even think about. Oh, well..

The "I'm trying" section of Opel was originally the chorus to the Piper outtake She Was A Millionaire. David Parker takes about this in his Random Precision book.

Golden Hair (words by Joyce) and Bob Dylan Blues are pre Floyd songs.
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Post by professor frogmorton »

Chris Moise said
Actually the 2 July '68 takes of Clowns and Jugglers do have vocals.
Not according to Malcolm Jones in the Making of Madcap Laughs,
"....moved on to 'Clowns and Jugglers'. This was the version I had worked on with Syd, originally, on our first session together on 10/4/69, when we had overdubbed guitar and voice onto a rough guitar backing
Syd had made alone the year previously. " That previous recorded instrumental track was 7/20/68.

It seems to me that all of the stuff Barrett recorded in 1968 under the production of Peter Jenner lacked vocals, Swan Lee, Late Night, Golden Hair, Clowns and Jugglers. If any of them did have vocals no one seems to have heard them or they don't any longer. It seems they were all added by Syd and Malcolm Jones.

Those songs from '68 seem to be the most likely candidates for having been written while Barrett was in PF, being recorded so soon after his departure.

Chris Moise said
The "I'm trying" section of Opel was originally the chorus to the Piper outtake She Was A Millionaire. David Parker takes about this in his Random Precision book.
Thanks for that information Moise.
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Post by arnold crow »

ok this is my gess..

bob dylan's blues, golden hair, here i go, late night, effervescing elephant and millionaire were all songs that Syd wrote before or during Pink Floyd.

octopus, swan lee and opel...i think he wrote that shortly after being out of Pink floyd.

Terrapin,dark globe, no good trying, no man's land were all new songs after Pink floyd ...i think...I know he wrote Rats in the studio...and a lot of the songs in Opel as well...(not sure)

the other songs i have no clue...
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Post by lovescene4 »

Chris Moise wrote:Here I Go was definitely written in the Floyd period. It was on that solo demo tape Joe Boyd lost.
The Purple Gang's official site states that a tape with "Boon Tune" was actually given to the band ("It was on an old tape given to the band with just Syd on acoustic guitar"). I'm thinking "Boon Tune"/"Here I Go" was revised during the Madcap session, because of the "a big band is far better than you" and "forget that old band" lines... Jones recalled Syd writing lyrics for it in the studio.

http://www.thepurplegang.co.uk/newsletter.htm
Chris Moise wrote:The "I'm trying" section of Opel was originally the chorus to the Piper outtake She Was A Millionaire. David Parker takes about this in his Random Precision book.
Its likely, but not definite, as Parker only heard the 1970 version ("Millionaire"). At the time, Syd may have thought--"'Opel' is not going to be released--I'll just use this bit from it..."
Chris Moise wrote:Golden Hair (words by Joyce) and Bob Dylan Blues are pre Floyd songs.
Yes... also "Effervescing Elephant." :D