See Emily Play


See Emily Play

Infobox Single
Name = See Emily Play


Artist = Pink Floyd
from Album = The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (US version)
B-side = The Scarecrow
Released = 16 June, 1967
Format = 7"
Recorded = May, 1967
Genre = Psychedelic pop
Length = 2:53
Label = Columbia (EMI) (UK)
Tower/Capitol (US)
Writer = Syd Barrett
Producer = Norman Smith
Chart position = * #6 (UK)
Last single = "Arnold Layne"
(1967)
This single = "See Emily Play"
(1967)
Next single = "Apples and Oranges"
(1967)
Misc =Extra tracklisting
Album = The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (US version)
Type = Studio album


prev_track =
prev_no =
this_track = "See Emily Play"
track_no = 1
next_track = "Pow R. Toc H.
next_no = 2
Extra tracklisting
Album =
Type = Compilation album
prev_track = "Astronomy Domine"
prev_no = 1
this_track = "See Emily Play"
track_no = 2
next_track = "The Happiest Days of Our Lives"
next_no = 4
"See Emily Play" was the second single recorded by British psychedelic rock group Pink Floyd. It was written by original frontman Syd Barrett and recorded on May 23, 1967. The single featured "Scarecrow" as its B-side. It later appeared on the compilations "Relics" (1971), "Works" (1983), "Shine On" (1992), "" (2001) and "The Piper at the Gates of Dawn" 40th Anniversary Edition (2007).

tructure and release

The song was reportedly about a girl named Emily, whom Barrett claimed he saw while sleeping in the woods after taking a hallucinogenic drug. Barrett later stated that the story about sleeping in the woods and seeing a girl before him was made up "...all for publicity." According to "A Saucerful of Secrets: The Pink Floyd Odyssey", by Nicholas Schaffner, Emily is the Honourable Emily Young (b. March 13, 1951), daughter of Wayland Hilton Young, 2nd Baron Kennet, and nicknamed "the psychedelic schoolgirl" at the UFO Club. An article in Mojo magazine called "See the Real Emily" supposedly shows a picture of Barrett's Emily.

Barrett, reportedly, wasn't happy with the final studio cut. He protested against its release, which producer Norman Smith has speculated was based on Barrett's fear of commercialism. During the sessions for the song, David Gilmour was a visitor to the studio, after being invited by Syd. He was shocked by what he perceived as a change in Syd's personality, and Syd did not appear to even recognise his old friend, despite having invited him there in the first place. For many years Gilmour would recall this encounter with the saying, "I'll go on record as saying, that was when he changed."

The US single (Tower 356) was released by Tower Records 3 times between July 1967 and late 1968. Each time it failed to duplicate its UK success.

The slide guitar work on the song is said to have been done by Barrett with a Zippo lighter. The train depicted on the single's sleeve was actually drawn by Barrett himself.

In 1968, Pink Floyd travelled to Belgium where they filmed an odd lip-synched promotional film for "See Emily Play", as well as for "Astronomy Domine", "The Scarecrow", "Apples and Oranges", "Paint Box", "Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun", and "Corporal Clegg". Syd Barrett did not go to Belgium; he was replaced by David Gilmour, with Gilmour and Wright lip-syncing Syd's role in the songs.

In Switzerland, the song has been released on 7" Single and has been marked with two special attributes, the record's label "CH 01" and the icon of Swiss crossbow in the record's stamper code

"See Emily Play" is also known as "Games for May," and sometimes "Free Games for May," after a free concert in which Barrett's Pink Floyd performed.

Part of the vocal melody was played on a Mini Moog at the very end of "Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts VI-IX)" at the end of the "Wish You Were Here" album, as a tribute to Syd. The bass riff from the song is similar to the one used in "Goodbye Cruel World", from the 1979 Pink Floyd double album "The Wall".

Other Versions

A version of "See Emily Play" by the Canadian band called Three to One was recorded in the same time period as the original release. This version was released in 1984 on the compilation LP, "Pebbles, Volume 14".

David Bowie recorded a version of "See Emily Play" for his "Pin Ups" album in 1973.

All About Eve played the song live ca. 1992 and recorded a demo, which was not released until 2006 as part of the Keepsakes compilation.

The song was covered on the Echoes of Pink tribute album in 2002 by Erin Alden.

A cover of "See Emily Play" appears on the 2008 album "I Know You're Married But I've Got Feelings Too" by Martha Wainwright.

A cover of "See Emily Play" also appears on the 2008 re-release of the album "The End Is Begun" by the band 3. This is a heavily modified version, with an added bridge made by rearranging lyrics from the final verse.

It was covered by Japanese avant-garde group Salon Music on the album "La Paloma Show" in 1984.

Personnel

*Syd Barrett - Lead Vocals and Guitars
*Richard Wright - Keyboard, Organ and Backing Vocals
*Roger Waters - Bass and Backing Vocals
*Nick Mason - Drums and Percussion

External links

* [http://www.emilyyoung.com/biography.html Biography of Emily Young]
* [http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=8BptZA3qWBk Early rock video of the Floyd performing "See Emily Play"] at YouTube. Accessed September 2008


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