Lucifer Sam

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"Lucifer Sam"
Song by Pink Floyd from the album The Piper at the Gates of Dawn
Published Magdalene Music/Essex Music
Released 5 August 1967
Recorded 12-18 April 1967
Genre Psychedelic rock
Length 3:07
Label EMI Columbia (UK)
Tower (US)
Writer Syd Barrett
Producer Norman Smith
The Piper at the Gates of Dawn track listing

"Lucifer Sam" is a song by British psychedelic rock band Pink Floyd, featured on their 1967 debut album The Piper at the Gates of Dawn.

Music and lyrics[edit]

The song is built around a descending riff, with the dominant instrument being composer Syd Barrett's electric guitar, fed through an echo machine; the resultant sound has been likened to a "sinister" Duane Eddy.[1] This is augmented by bowed bass and increasingly agitated organ and percussion effects.[2]

Though the lyric frequently refers to Lucifer Sam as a cat, some speculation has arisen as to whether this was in fact 1960s slang ("a hip cat") for a man, real or imagined, in some type of relationship with Barrett's then-girlfriend, Jenny Spires (referred to in the song as "Jennifer Gentle").[2] However, Sam was simply Barrett's Siamese Cat domestic feline; the track was originally called "Percy the Rat Catcher" during the recording sessions, which took place during April – June 1967.[3]


Live and cover versions[edit]

"Lucifer Sam" was only performed live by Pink Floyd in 1967[3] and featured as an encore during many performances, mostly notably at the Games for May concert.

Lightning Seeds covered the song as a B-side, and it appeared on their 2006 best of collection.[4]

The track has also been covered by the Black Crowes, Electric Hellfire Club, The Minders, The Flaming Lips, True West, Jay Farrar, Love and Rockets,[5] Voivod, Shockabilly, La Muerte, The Sadies, The Three O'Clock, MGMT, Spirits in the Sky, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Cat's Eyes, and Southern Culture on the Skids.

The Three O'Clock has included the track in a performances at the Paisley Underground Tour, Fonda Theater (06-Dec-13) following the release of The Hidden World Revealed.


  1. ^ Toby Manning (2006). The Rough Guide to Pink Floyd: p.155
  2. ^ a b John Cavanagh (2003). The Piper at the Gates of Dawn: pp.39–41
  3. ^ a b Vernon Fitch (2005). The Pink Floyd Encyclopedia: p.186
  4. ^ Mawer, Sharon. "The Very Best of the Lightning Seeds - The Lightning Seeds : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 29 October 2012. 
  5. ^ Palacios, Julian (2010). "Home". Syd Barrett & Pink Floyd: Dark Globe (Rev. ed.). London: Plexus. p. 418. ISBN 0859654311. 

External links[edit]