"The Gnome" as written by and Syd Barrett....
I want to tell you a story
About a little man
If I can.
A gnome named Grimble Crumble.
And little gnomes stay in their homes.
Eating, sleeping, drinking their wine.

He wore a scarlet tunic,
A blue green hood,
It looked quite good.
He had a big adventure
Amidst the grass
Fresh air at last.
Wining, dining, biding his time.
And then one day, hooray!
Another way for gnomes to say
Oooooooooomray.

Look at the sky, look at the river
Isn't it good?
Look at the sky, look at the river
Isn't it good?
Winding, finding places to go.
And then one day, hooray!
Another way for gnomes to say
Oooooooooomray.
Ooooooooooooooomray.


Lyrics submitted by Demau Senae

"The Gnome" as written by Syd Barrett

Lyrics © T.R.O. INC.

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The Gnome song meanings
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42 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentSyd Barrett was the fuckin' greatest...
    pink_angel016on June 01, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis is the news on the Gnome. The gnome is Syd or at least someone else a little short on the old dopamine (satisfaction chemical).

    It's easy to see when you acknowledge that it is a story that progresses through the seperate verses.

    The Gnome is absolute and without limits, so he is discontent in the world because the world doesn't belong to him, to be outside would mean compromising which is limitation & surrender - not good. So in the first verse he stays in doors keeping himself content with wine etc and he ignores the world by shutting it out. He lives in his world that he controls.

    In the second verse he discovers Pot and he can finally go outside (a bit) and be easy going and ignore stuff close up. But then, one day... he discovers LSD (King of Dopamine) and he's more than outside, he's free. He doesn't have to ignore stuff because it all exists in his world that he has created - his trip.

    The sky is generally God or death, and the river is his life, going down by the route of least resistance, see through and formless in itself it still cuts a deep groove that it owns and it is still a beautiful & powerful force of nature. The Gnome is about taking control & escaping the limitation of reality & other people - liberation through self destruction. And as well, it's a song about a Gnome.
    Black&GreenAchilleson January 25, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think you people are looking WAY too deeply into this song, it's an allusion to the Hobbit. Very plainly, and, in fact, he had said that.
    TheFranzFerdinandon February 03, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is about the principal at my school. he is little.
    Lukeroberton December 23, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is a good song to listen to when you're on a sweet mellow high. Very happy, cute song, but I can't help feeling like there's more to it. Like we're ALL the gnome or something.....
    DubC4Lifeon April 08, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song gets really creepy when Syd starts whispering:

    "Look as the sky. Look at the river. Isn't it gooooood?"

    it gives me shivers. The good kind of shivers.
    paranoidandroid83on April 16, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentmy nickname is the gnome (not from this song, thou....im small.... lol). i bow down to this song, it is the most awesomest thing EVER.
    neveroddorevenon May 11, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHahha this is one of my favorite Barret-era songs. its so simple but when ur high its like a masterpiece. best part is(i agree with paranoid) when hes whispering.
    Iamexpiriencedon June 11, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis is probably one of the better barret songs...pow r. toc h. was better. maybe i was stoned at the time...yea come to think of it i was. but seriously people...syd blew compared to..well tons of people. the best part about this song would be "Look as the sky. Look at the river. Isn't it gooooood?". makes the song really worth listening to. a song about a gnome...nothing else dubc4life. sorry to shatter ur dreams. its a song about a gnome...thats it. a gnome. no deeper meaning...its about a gnome. its simple...a gnome. its called THE gnome for a reason, and he says "I want to tell you a story
    about a little man" yea A little man. thats 1 gnome, a certain gnome.
    kornchild60on July 04, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI feel like I really have this one figured out, but right when I start to think that, I hear something that ruins my theory. Anyway, this song does indeed sound incredible when you are smoking weed, and I think the song is about smoking weed. Hear me out though...
    The gnome's name is Grimble Grumble.... grumble means "To complain in a surly manner; mutter discontentedly"

    So we've got an angry gnome here. The part where I start to think it's about weed is "admidst the GRASS... FRESH AIR at last."
    He's still "biding his time" but now it's like "hooray" :)
    He's happy after that. He's found a new way to say hooray.
    And all the stoners out there have indeed confirmed that the song sounds stonerific... and if you have ever looked at the sky and the rivers when you are stoned, it is indeed "good" lol

    Well, you can disagree, but you better have a good theory to disprove this one. If you have a response, send me an IM or an email. Also, if you think you have found a breakthrough interpretation of a Floyd song that you'd like to share, I'd love to hear it. I just read the explanation of "Vera Lynn" from the Wall, and now I think that it is an amazing song, as opposed to before when I thought it was kind of stupid. Have fun with your Floyd everybody... I'm out! :)
    steve82con November 22, 2004   Link

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