Syd Barrett, Baby Lemonade

Music News Summer Of Love


Syd Barrett, a playful but reclusive singer-songwriter whose works carried me through years of my life, has died in his Cambridge home at the age of 60.

BABY LEMONADE

In the sad town
cold iron hands clap
the party of clowns outside
rain falls in grey far away
please, please, baby lemonade

In the evening sun going down
when the earth streams in, in the morning
send a cage through the post
make your name like a ghost
please, please, baby lemonade

I'm screaming, I met you this way
you're nice to me like ice
in the clock they sent through a washing machine
come around, make it soon, so alone...
please, please, baby lemonade

In the sad town
cold iron hands clap
the party of clowns outside
rain falls in grey far away
please, please, baby lemonade

In the evening sun going down
when the earth streams in, in the morning
send a cage through the post
make your name like a ghost
please, please, baby lemonade


Syd Barrett was the founder of Pink Floyd and a very influential figure in contemporary music. He was a legendary "acid casualty" of the 60's Swinging London scene, and was fired from Pink Floyd for his impossible behavior (former band-mates Roger Waters and David Gilmour later helped him to produce two remarkable solo albums). He attempted a comeback in the early 1970's but the attempt was a disaster, and he retreated permanently to his mother's home in Cambridge.

Pink Floyd's album Wish You Were Here is largely about Syd Barrett, and some parts of The Wall combine his story with that of Roger Waters, who took over the band after Barrett left ("They sent us along as a surrogate band", Waters sings, ironically alluding to his feelings of guilt after replacing Barrett with Gilmour, though it's an undeniable fact that the band managed to outlive Barrett's influence and find a new identity without him).

A close look at Barrett's life story suggests that he he may have suffered from severe schizophrenia (though this was certainly aggravated by his rampant drug use). His songs combined a whimsical but cutting lyrical streak with an aggressively experimental approach to sound and recording. He used literary inspirations freely, borrowing from Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows for The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, and later fashioning the song Golden Hair from a James Joyce poem, Chamber Music.

For years, I dreamed I'd someday get a chance to hear a "cured" or recovered Syd Barrett perform live in concert. I'm not surprised to realize now that this will not happen. Syd, we barely got to know you.

There's more on Syd here, here and here. If you'd like to post any lyrics or thoughts about Syd Barrett, please don't hold back.
12 Responses to "Syd Barrett, Baby Lemonade"

by Steve Plonk on

Grantchester Meadows ForeverI wrote a tribute to Syd Barrett many years ago entitled: "Grantchester Meadows Forever". I will post it on this site as soon as I locate it in a stack of old notebooks in storage.I remember Pink Floyd's "Ummagumma" album and some of their other early works in which, I believe, Syd appears. Syd was a great performer. I didn't know that much about his lifestyle nor his personal life, but I was dismayed when he was no longer with Pink Floyd. It is sad when a person dies before their time.I'm on the back side of fifty, so I have seen many contemporaries go to the bone yard. Perhaps the cautionary tale, which follows lives cut short, will inspire others to seek treatment and so on if they need it. Personally, I really miss the musical input of wonderful talents whose lives were cut short by illnesses and lifestyle choices and so on. Syd was one of those wonderful talents.I hope the "great gates" open for him too.

by brooklyn on

Steve -- actually Syd was already out of the band when "Ummagumma" came out, but his song "Astronomy Domine" is one of the best songs on the album (ironically, Gilmour's guitar playing on that song is better than Barrett's ever could have been).

by Mob on

very sadI have just literally read this on the BBC website... so it

by Billectric on

cloudy"For all the time spent in that roomThe doll's house, darkness, old perfumeAnd fairy stories held me high onClouds of sunlight floating by.Oh Mother, tell me moreTell me more." - the last verse of Matilda Mother by Syd BarrettAnd you know that old saying I like to quote about chopping wood and carrying water, before & after enlightenment? I think Syd understood that.

by hella on

golden hairLean out of the window,Goldenhair,I heard you singingA merry air.My book was closed;I read no more,Watching the fire danceOn the floor.I have left my book,I have left my room,For I heard you singingThrough the gloom.Singing and singingA merry air,Lean out the window,Goldenhair.

by hella on

yeahcold Iron Hands clapnot so cold

by Steve Plonk on

I first heard "Pink Floyd's" Album, "The Piper at the Gates of Dawn" at a friend's house after seeing the movie "The Trip", featuring "The Electric Flag" on soundtrack & starring Peter Fonda, in 1967. I appreciated Syd Barrett's guitar and songs and later on, in 1970, saw the movie "Zabriskie Point" which featured Pink Floyd on its sound track. Syd Barrett left the group in 1968. However, Syd Barrett was included in "Saucerful of Secrets" (1968) and had his song "Astronomy Domine" reprised in "Ummagumma"(1969) with Gilmour as the guitarist. I liked the earlier "Piper..." version of the song as well as the one with Gilmour in 1969. Barrett also appears in "The Best of Pink Floyd", as well as his single albums. See his discography,,,

by warrenweappa on

Pink Floyd's Second SingleSee Emily Play (Barret) Emily tries but misunderstandsShe's often inclined to borrow somebody's dreams 'til tomorrowCHORUS There is no other dayLet's try it another way You'll lose your mind and play Free games for May See Emily play Soon after dark Emily cries Gazing at trees in sorrow hardly a sound 'til tomorrow CHORUSPut on a gown that touches the ground Float on a river for ever and ever EmilyCHORUS Until today, I didn't know this dinosaur rock's [1967] cultural (in)significance but believe it was a song one used to have to know to be considered relevant which is why it was on an unedited tape I recorded off radio KKUT's Trendsetters show in the '80s and I heard it many times because I wanted to hear the song after it, Poison 13's One Step Closer.

by panta rhei on

I'm TRY-ing"Just searching you even try / I can make you smile / If it's there will you go there too? / When I live I die. / They even see me under call / We under all, we awful, awful crawl / Because of you, to see me be." ("No Man's Land", The Madcap Laughs).It's as if he tried singing himself from voyeur to voyant, as if he wanted to chant the "I" he felt as "other" closer to the "you". A gesture towards the other, and the attempt to achieve brief union with and through song; as if the disintegration of self he felt caused a need to find a new status for the "you" of the other.I'm hearing this in many of his songs (Hear "Vegetable Man": "...it's what I got / It's what I wear, it's what you see / It must be me, it's what I am !'). And "I'm TRY----ing... I'm trying to find you", he sings after having changed chords about thirty times in "Opel". May you have finally found, Syd, and rest in peace now!

by RavingMadcap on

My Thoughts and feelings on SydSyd Barrett influenced me in a way a lot of lyricists couldn't have. I had listened to his early Floyd recordings, and eventually bought his first solo album "The Madcap Laughs" and quickly thereafter his second and final album, "Barrett." I don't know about you guys, but Syd Barrett is not dead in me, because I'm carrying his influence around whereever I go, on whatever I write or perform. He inspired my poems, my prose, and my music. So I would like to share two lyrics, the first a song from "Barrett" called "It Is Obvious" a little rhyme that is a great example of what I love about Syd. It's the stream of conscious of an amazing mind, definetely a HUGE influence on me,"It is obviousmay I say, oh baby, that it is found on another plane?Yes I can creep into cupboards, sleep in the hallyour stars - my stars, a simple cock baronly an impulse - pie in the skymumble listen dollydrift over your mind - hollycreep into bed when your head's on the groundshe held the torch on the porch,she winked an eyeReason it is written on the bramblesstranded on the spikes - my blood red, oh listen:remember those times I could callthrough the clear daytime - be there...braver and braver, a handkercheif waverthe louder your lips to a loud hailergrowing together, they ('re) growing each eitherno wondering, stumbling, fumblingrumbling minds shot togther,our minds shot together...So equally over a valley, a hillwood on quarry stood, each of us cryinga velvet curtain of greymark the blanket where the sparrows playand the trees by the waving corn strandedmy legs move the last empty inches to youthe softness, the warmth from the weather in suspensemote to a grog - the star a white chalkminds shot together, our minds shot together" for more of that style see "Octopus" from "The Madcap Laughs." Now, for the second song I would like to share, a song from the first solo record called "Dark Globe." As if a diary entry from his death day, he howls the words "Wouldn't You Miss Me at all?""Oh where are you nowpussy willow that smiled on this leaf?When I was alone you promised the stone from your heartmy head kissed the groundI was half the way down, treading the sandplease, please, lift a handI'm only a person whose armbands beaton his hands, hang tallwon't you miss me?Wouldn't you miss me at all?The poppy birds swayswing twigs coffee brands aroundbrandish her wand with a feathery tonguemy head kissed the groundI was half the way down, treading the sandplease, please, please lift the handI'm only a person with eskimo chainI tattooed my brain all the way...Won't you miss me?Wouldn't you miss me at all?" Gone but not forgotten, Syd Barrett.

by Mob on

Dark GlobeOh where are you now pussy willow that smiled on this leaf? When I was alone you promised the stone from your heart my head kissed the ground I was half the way down, treading the sand please, please, lift a hand I'm only a person whose armbands beat on his hands, hang tall won't you miss me? Wouldn't you miss me at all? The poppy birds way swing twigs coffee brands around brandish her wand with a feathery tongue my head kissed the ground I was half the way down, treading the sand please, please, please lift the hand I'm only a person with Eskimo chain I tattooed my brain all the way... Won't you miss me? Wouldn't you miss me at all?

by deniro on

sydmusic is my life. syd has been a hero since i started buying 45s. goodbye syd. still listen to you everyday. when floyd hit big, still always thought of you! shine on you crazy diamond.