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
Length 3:07
Songwriter(s) Syd Barrett
Producer(s) Norman Smith

"Lucifer Sam" is a song by British 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.[3] This is augmented by bowed bass and increasingly agitated organ and percussion effects.[4]

Though the lyric frequently refers to Lucifer Sam as a cat, some speculation has arisen as to whether this was in fact 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").[4] However, Sam was simply Barrett's Siamese cat (and is referred to as such in the first line: "Lucifer Sam, Siam cat"); the track was originally called "Percy the Rat Catcher" during the recording sessions, which took place between April and June 1967.[5]


Live and cover versions[edit]

"Lucifer Sam" was only performed live by Pink Floyd in 1967[5] 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.[6]

Lightning Seeds covered the song as a B-side, and it appeared on their 2006 best of collection.[7]

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,[8] Shockabilly, La Muerte, the Sadies, the Three O'Clock, MGMT, Spirits in the Sky, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Cat's Eyes, Bauhaus, Southern Culture on the Skids and Chris & Cosey.

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.


  2. ^ "Pipers at the Gates of Punk". Pitchfork. Retrieved 8 July 2017. 
  3. ^ Toby Manning (2006). The Rough Guide to Pink Floyd: p.155
  4. ^ a b John Cavanagh (2003). The Piper at the Gates of Dawn: pp.39–41
  5. ^ a b Vernon Fitch (2005). The Pink Floyd Encyclopedia: p.186
  6. ^ "Syd Barrett Pink Floyd Psychedelic Music Progressive Music: Syd Barrett Stars - Everything (So Far)". Retrieved 12 January 2015. 
  7. ^ Mawer, Sharon. "The Very Best of the Lightning Seeds - The Lightning Seeds : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 29 October 2012. 
  8. ^ Palacios, Julian (2010). "Home". Syd Barrett & Pink Floyd: Dark Globe (Rev. ed.). London: Plexus. p. 418. ISBN 0859654311. 

External links[edit]