Take Up Thy Stethoscope and Walk
|"Take Up Thy Stethoscope and Walk"|
|Song by Pink Floyd from the album The Piper at the Gates of Dawn|
|Published||Magdalene Music/Essex Music|
|Released||5 August 1967|
|Recorded||20 March 1967|
|Genre||Psychedelic rock, proto-punk|
|Label||EMI Columbia (UK)
This song was Roger Waters' debut songwriting credit, continually building in speed until the end and featuring frantic guitar playing by Syd Barrett and manic keyboard parts by Richard Wright. The song's title is a reference to John 5:8—"Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk". Its morbid lyrics are quite unlike anything else on the album, the rest of which was penned by Barrett, but is characteristic of much of Waters' work; the clinical motif would recur in compositions like "Free Four" and "Comfortably Numb". Similarly, "Sheep", contains more Biblical quotations adapted by Waters to fit the song.
The song parallels the title track to Waters' 1992 solo album Amused to Death by beginning with the phrase "Doctor, Doctor."
Alternative, live versions and covers
- The song was performed live by the band in 1967. Live versions were significantly longer, with the middle section containing more of Barrett's spacey slide guitar.
- It was covered by At the Drive-In for Steve Lamacq and released along with their single "Invalid Litter Dept.", and later on the compilation This Station Is Non-Operational.
- It was covered by Ty Segall and Mikal Cronin on their 2009 release Reverse Shark Attack.
- Roger Waters – bass guitar, lead vocals
- Syd Barrett – electric guitars, backing vocals
- Nick Mason – drums, timpani
- Richard Wright – Farfisa organ, piano
- Strong, Martin C. (2004). The Great Rock Discography (7th ed.). Edinburgh: Canongate Books. p. 1177. ISBN 1-84195-551-5.
- Mabbett, Andy (1995). The Complete Guide to the Music of Pink Floyd. London: Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-7119-4301-X.