A Saucerful of Secrets

Release date: June 29th, 1968

Recorded at: EMI Studios, Abbey Road, London

Total Playing Time: 37'54

 

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Tracks:

Let There Be More Light (Waters) [05:29] Vocals by Waters ("now, now, now..."), then Wright.

Remember a Day (Wright) [04:23] Vocals by Wright.

Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun (Waters) [05:18] Vocals by Waters.

Corporal Clegg (Waters) [04:06] Vocals by Gilmour and Waters (Mrs. Clegg part); Mason mumbles at the end.

A Saucerful of Secrets (Waters, Wright, Mason, Gilmour) [11:50] Vocals on Celestial Voices by Gilmour.

a. Something Else [00:00]

b. Syncopated Pandemonium [03:57]

c. Storm Signal [07:16]

d. Celestial Voices [10:14]

See-Saw (Wright) [04:28] Vocals by Wright.

Jugband Blues (Barrett) [03:00] Vocals by Barrett.

 

Musicians:

Syd Barrett: Guitars, Vocals

David Gilmour: Guitars, Vocals

Nick Mason: Drums

Roger Waters: Bass Guitar, Vocals

Rick Wright: Keyboard, Vocals

 

 

Let There Be More Light (Waters)

Far, far, far, far away, way

People heard him say, say

I will find a way, way

There will come a day, day

Something will be done

 

Then at last the mighty ship descending on a point of flame

Made contact with the human race at Mildenhall

 

Now, now, now is the time, time, time

To be, be, be aware

 

Carter's father saw it there

And knew the Rhull revealed to him

The living soul of Hereward the Wake

 

Oh my, something in my eye, eye

Something in the sky, sky

Waiting there for me

 

The outer lock rolled slowly back

The servicemen were heard to sigh

For there revealed in glowing robes was Lucy in the sky

 

Oh, oh, did you ever

No, no, never ever will they

I'll say

 

Summoning his cosmic power

And glowing slightly from his toes

His psychic emanations flowed

 

 

 

Remember a Day (Wright)

Remember a day before today

A day when you were young

Free to play along with time

Evening never comes

 

Sing a song that can't be sung

Without the morning's kiss

Queen you shall be if you wish

Look for your king

 

Why can't we play today

Why can't we stay that way

 

Climb your favourite apple tree

Try to catch the sun

Hide from your little brother's gun

Dream yourself away

 

Why can't we reach the sun

Why can't we blow the years away

Blow away

Blow away

Remember

Remember

 

 

Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun (Waters)

Little by little the night turns around

Counting the leaves which tremble at dawn

Lotus's lean on each other in yearning

Over the hills a swallow is resting

Set the controls for the heart of the sun

 

Over the mountain watching the watcher

Breaking the darkness waking the grapevine

One inch of love is one inch of shadow

Love is the shadow that ripens the wine

Set the controls for the heart of the sun

The heart of the sun

The heart of the sun

(...)

Witness the man who waves at the wall

Making the shape of his questions to heaven

Whether the sun will fall in the evening

Will he remember the lesson of giving?

Set the controls for the heart of the sun

The heart of the sun

The heart of the sun

(...)

 

 

Corporal Clegg (Waters)

Corporal Clegg had a wooden leg

He won it in the war

in nineteen forty four

 

Corporal Clegg had a medal too

In orange, red and blue

He found it in the zoo

 

Dear, oh dear, oh are they really sad for me?

Dear, oh dear, oh will they really laugh at me?

 

Missus Clegg, you must be proud of him

Missus Clegg, another drop of gin

 

Corporal Clegg, umbrella in the rain

He's never been the same

No one is to blame

 

Corporal Clegg recieved his medal in a dream

From her Majesty, the Queen

His boots were very clean

 

Missus Clegg, you must be proud of him

Missus Clegg, another drop of gin?

 

Corporal Clegg

Corporal Clegg

[...]

All right men -- in you go!

[...]

Corporal Clegg

...

 

 

A Saucerful of Secrets (Waters, Wright, Mason, Gilmour)

Instrumental

 

 

See Saw (Wright)

Marigolds are very much in love

But he doesn't mind

Picking up sister

He makes his way into the see-saw land

All the way up she smiles

She goes up as he goes down...down

 

Sits on a stick in the river

Laughter in his sleep

Sister's throwing stones hoping for a hit

He doesn't know, so then

She goes up while he goes down...down

 

Another time, another day

A brother's way to leave

Another time, another day

 

She's selling plastic flowers on a Sunday afternoon

Picking up weeds

She hasn't got the time to care

All can see he's not there

She grows up for another man, and he's down

 

Another time, another day

A brother's way to leave

Another time, another day

Another time, another day

A brother's way to leave

 

 

Jugband Blues (Barrett)

It's awfully considerate of you to think of me here

And I'm most obliged to you for making it clear

That I'm not here

 

And I never knew the moon could be so big

And I never knew the moon could be so blue

And I'm grateful that you threw away my old shoes

And brought me here instead dressed in red

 

And I'm wondering who could be writing this song

 

I don't care if the sun don't shine

And I don't care if nothing is mine

And I don't care if I'm nervous with you

I'll do my loving in the Winter

 

And the sea isn't green

And I love the Queen

And what exactly is a dream?

And what exactly is a joke?

 

 

NOTER

The success of Pink Floyd's two first singles and Piper proved to be too much for Syd. The other members of the group decided to bring an additional guitarist to cover for Syd. With the addition of Gilmour, shortly after New Years, 1968, and Syd's declining state, it was decided that the band could carry on without him, and so one night they simply didn't pick him up on the way to a show. So it was decided, on March 2, to break up the management partnership of Blackhill Enterprises, and Syd was thus formally and officially out of the group. The press wasn't informed until April 6th. Incorrectly sensing the end, managers Peter Jenner and Andrew King jumped off the ship. Pink Floyd went to be fantastically successful.

 

Peter Jenner: "It was really stressful waiting for Syd to come up with the songs for the second album. Everybody was looking at him, and he couldn't do it. Jugband Blues is a really sad song, the portrait of a nervous breakdown. The last Floyd song Syd wrote, Vegetable Man, was done for those sessions, though it never came out. He wrote it round at my house; it's just a description of what he's wearing. It's very disturbing. Roger took it off the album because it was too dark, and it is. It's like psychological flashing."

 

Rick Wright: "I did the title track and I remember Norman saying, You just can't do this, it's too long. You have to write three-minute songs. We were pretty cocky by now and told him, If you don't wanna produce it, just go away. A good attitude I think. The same reason why we'd never play See Emily Play in concert."

 

David Gilmour: "I remember Nick and Roger drawing out A Saucerful Of Secrets as an architectural diagram, in dynamic forms rather than in any sort of musical form, with peaks and troughs. That's what is was about. It wasn't music for beauty's sake, or for emotion's sake. It never had a story line. Though for years afterwards we used to get letters from people saying what they thought it meant. Scripts for movies sometimes, too."

 

Syd plays on some tracks on the album, including "Remember a Day" and "Jug Band Blues". He's also on a tiny bit of "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun". Also, some people say that he played on "Corporal Clegg" and "See Saw".

 

In many ways, "A Saucerful Of Secrets" is the Floyd's strangest album. Something of a transitional work, it features recordings made during the "Piper" sessions the previous year alongside tracks from May 1968, after Syd Barrett had left the group. It is, in the words of the late Pink Floyd biographer Nick Schaffner, "a hodgepodge of possible Floyds".

 

It was the first Pink Floyd album to feature cover art by Hipgnosis. The cover art uses Dr. Strange (of Marvel Comics fame), astrology and infrared photography symbolizing altered states of consciousness. The band is shown on the cover as well.

 

The lyrics to "Let There Be More Light" are influenced by various Science Fiction books and historic persons, including:

 

Mildenhall: a United Kingdom air force base

Hereward the Wake: An Anglo-Saxon rebel leader, known as "the last Englishman". Fought against the Norman oppressors, and hid on Ely island (where Ely cathedral, from the cover of The Division Bell is now located.

Carter's father: Edgar Rice Burroughs (creator of Tarzan) wrote a series of novels about John Carter of mars.

The Rhull: A.E.Van Voght wrote a book called "The War against the Rull." The Rull should not be confused with the "Krull" from the silver age Fantastic Four (a Marvel comic book series) stories.

Roger Waters based the lyrics for "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun" on a book of Chinese poetry. Some of the poetry came from Li Ho (his poem "Don't go out of the door" contains the line "witness the man who raved at the wall as he wrote his question to heaven") and Li Shang-Yin, whose poetry contained the lines "watch little by little the night turn around", "countless the twigs which tremble in dawn" and "one inch of love is an inch of ashes". The title of the song is taken from a Michael Moorcock novel, "Fireclown", which was also released as "The Winds Of Limbo".

 

Roger Waters explained the song "A Saucerful of Secrets" as being about war or a battle. (where Something Else and Syncopated Pandemonium are the actual battle, Storm Signals is the aftermath and Celestial Voices the mourning of the dead).