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 (1967-08-05)
Recorded 12–18 April 1967
Genre Psychedelic rock
Length 3:07
Writer(s) Syd Barrett
Producer(s) Norman Smith
ISWC T-010.164.823-0

"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; 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.

Barrett later performed the song with his 1972 band Stars.[4]

Lightning Seeds covered the song as a B-side, and it appeared on their 2006 best of collection.[5]

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,[6] 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.


  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. ^ "Syd Barrett Pink Floyd Psychedelic Music Progressive Music: Syd Barrett Stars - Everything (So Far)". Retrieved 12 January 2015. 
  5. ^ Mawer, Sharon. "The Very Best of the Lightning Seeds - The Lightning Seeds : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 29 October 2012. 
  6. ^ Palacios, Julian (2010). "Home". Syd Barrett & Pink Floyd: Dark Globe (Rev. ed.). London: Plexus. p. 418. ISBN 0859654311. 

External links[edit]