|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|
|Label||EMI Columbia (UK)
|The Piper at the Gates of Dawn track listing|
Music and lyrics
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. This is augmented by bowed bass and increasingly agitated organ and percussion effects.
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"). 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.
- Syd Barrett – electric guitars, slide guitar, lead vocals
- Richard Wright – Farfisa organ, piano
- Roger Waters – bass guitar, bowed bass
- Nick Mason – drums, maracas
Live and cover versions
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, Voivod, Shockabilly, La Muerte, The Sadies, The Three O'Clock, MGMT, Spirits in the Sky, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Cat's Eyes, The Well 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.
- Toby Manning (2006). The Rough Guide to Pink Floyd: p.155
- John Cavanagh (2003). The Piper at the Gates of Dawn: pp.39–41
- Vernon Fitch (2005). The Pink Floyd Encyclopedia: p.186
- Mawer, Sharon. "The Very Best of the Lightning Seeds - The Lightning Seeds : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 29 October 2012.
- Palacios, Julian (2010). "Home". Syd Barrett & Pink Floyd: Dark Globe (Rev. ed.). London: Plexus. p. 418. ISBN 0859654311.