The Lyrics of Syd Barrett


Publisher: Omnibus Press; Hardcover : 96 pages; ISBN 978-1787602564

A few words from Alan Dearling:

This is an absolutely gorgeous book. It exudes quality. High-quality, luxurious printing, on lovely thick velum paper. A drop-dead-for artefact to have and to hold. It is the design work of Lora Findlay from the team at Omnibus. It is a simple concept, including as it does all the lyrics of all 52 songs from Syd’s career with Pink Floyd, and during his later, erratic solo career. A damaged, surreal, magician – a Madcap Laughs, indeed!

As Rob Chapman tells us about his journey into the world of Syd:

“In 2019 Omnibus asked me to write a 5,000 word introductory essay for a book of Syd Barrett’s lyrics. I was happy to do this, and more than happy to spend the next year in regular communication with David Gilmour as with the help of pro-tools he sent me isolated vocal tracks to decipher. We managed to crack Syd’s enigma codes and here they all are in a book for the first time.”

This book is something of a smorgasbord to savour, a portal into Syd’s psyche, coupled together with a small selection of rare photos and a few examples of Syd’s own artwork. As Syd sang in ‘Bike’:

 

You’re the kind of girl that fits in my world

I’ll give you anything, everything if you want things

The book has been compiled in collaboration with the Syd Barrett estate, and it also features a foreword from former Pink Floyd manager, Peter Jenner. 

It is an enigmatic, and rarely simple love letter from Syd, to his many fans and admirers. It’s an appropriate and timely reminder that Syd was a one-off, off-the-wall talent. A challenging enigma. A Lewis Carroll of Psychedelia.  And it is great that we now have an old-fashioned little book of beauty to cherish.

From ‘Lucifer Sam’:

Lucifer Sam, Siam Cat

Always sitting by your side

Always by your side

That cat’s something I can’t explain

 

Jennifer Gentle you’re a witch

You’re the left side

He’s the right side

Oh, no

That cat’s something I can’t explain

Tortoise, 1963, by Syd Barrett (Syd Barrett Music Ltd)Rehearsing for ‘See Emily Play’, Top of the Pops, 1967. (LFI/Photoshot)

Rob Chapman website – “an irregular scribbler”: http://www.rob-chapman.com/

It’s also worth checking out Rob Chapman’s book: ‘Psychedelia and Other Colours’.

(Faber and Faber 2015) ISBN 978-0571282005

“A fantastic, exhaustive history of the genre: comprehensive but gripping, packed with eye-opening period detail and with a brilliant analysis of everything from Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band to the oeuvre of the Crocheted Doughnut Ring.”

Alexis Petridis, The Guardian

 

 


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