"Jugband Blues" as written by and Syd Barrett....
It's awfully considerate of you to think of me here
And I'm much obliged to you for making it clear
That I'm not here
And I never knew we could be so thick
And I never knew the moon could be so blue
And I'm grateful that you threw away my old shoes
And brought me here instead dressed in red
And I'm wondering who could be writing this song

I don't care if the sun don't shine
And I don't care if nothing is mine
And I don't care if I'm nervous with you
I'll do my loving in the winter

And the sea isn't green
And I love the queen
And what exactly is a dream
And what exactly is a joke


Lyrics submitted by Demau Senae, edited by karpouzi

"Jugband Blues [2010 Mix]" as written by Syd Barrett

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  • +4
    General Comment"Syd didn't "become" insane, and he didn't "lose his mind." He was always insane and he never had a "mind" as people like to call it." -- steve82c

    I think insanity could be described as a twisted or illusionary sense of reality, and interpreting events in one's life through distorted glasses.

    Anyone who reads Syd Barret lyrics and truly understand them must be able to see the hypocrisy in calling him 'insane'. The problem for us is his perception of reality is beyond what any of us could imagine. Thus, he was "a genius" (Mooey).

    Again, it was his deviation from the masses of society, and his ultra-clear view of everything, something so alien to the average person, that set him apart. Our inability to understand things on his level does not make him insane.

    However, some will say "ohh, but he was on so many drugs that there is no way you're right." This is not the case. It was the drugs that made Syd descend to the breakdown because of societal pressure, and perhaps because he was so different, and so ingenious as compared to everyone else.

    He was a genius with vision that not many can begin to comprehend. His lyrics are indicative of clear thought at its greatest height.

    "And what exactly is a dream?"
    floydismon March 21, 2005   Link
  • +4
    General CommentSyd is not a damn sanitarium, dumbass. He is living home avoiding people like you. :)
    xJadexon May 09, 2006   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI agree it is intensely sad because it's his cry for help that his friends totally ignored.

    I'm pretty sure it is 'room' - in reference to the imprisoning isolation and seclution the band aboned him too. It's blue because he's still & frozen in time - as oppossed to sea isn't green (growing / alive).

    Syd was totally sane, the apparent insanity was a mockery of other people assuming he was mad - it got real with the mis-PRESCRIBED mandrax & his fustration. "The tune they play is an ask confide" - but they never did, they just decided about him. Hence 'I wonder who could be writing this song' is a sarcastic dig directly at the culprits - Floyd (clowns), who loved to tell everyone how mad he was everytime they were promoting a song, 'he's over there but he's not really there. That makes us cool so please buy our hat'.

    Floyd was his dream - the backing band took over because they failed 'to get it'. The joke is his mockery of them - him overplaying Carry On style what they had been so ignorant & limited to assume. And then they left him with it, forever. What a great bunk of guys, crying all the way to the bank.
    Black&GreenAchilleson January 27, 2005   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI think people are really romanticizing Syd's life way too much. I think he was a young man searching for his identity and finding that he was being rewarded for being as weird as possible. And that people were responding to him as an icon and not as a human.

    It's awfully considerate of you to think of me here
    And I'm much obliged to you for making it clear
    That I'm not here.

    I think that line is a reference to the band. He knew that he was on the way out. He's saying it is nice that people are being considerate of his condition, and that he appreciates knowing that he is on the way out. This was Syd's goodbye tune, after all.

    It could also refer to his relationship with the fans, that they applaud his far-out image while not seeing the real Syd (Roger) underneath.

    And I never knew the moon could be so big
    And I never knew the moon could be so blue

    I'm pretty sure that is "moon" in both lines. There is the symmetry between the lines, for one thing. And a "blue moon" is the second full moon in the same month. It occurs every 2.5 years or so. I imagine Syd lonely and watching the moon, as people do sometimes.

    And I'm grateful that you threw away my old shoes
    And brought me here instead dressed in red

    I seem to remember a story about Syd's shoes. Something about how they had to tape them up to keep them on. And later on they were replaced by the Gohill's boots, of course. And dressed in red is very flashy, like his external image had become.

    And I'm wondering who could be writing this song.

    So here we have Syd who has become an icon, driven by fans to drop too much acid and act bizarre. He's trying to figure out which parts are the real Syd (Roger) and which parts are just an act.

    I don't care if the sun don't shine
    And I don't care if nothing is mine
    And I don't care if I'm nervous with you
    I'll do my loving in the winter.

    I hear this as the real Syd breaking out for a moment.

    And the sea isn't green
    And I love the queen
    And what exactly is a dream
    And what exactly is a joke.

    I think this last part is partly wordplay. But I also think is says that in the midst of all the drugs and fame and insanity, he is wondering what is real.


    Lastly, I think that Syd's mental condition was probably way overplayed by the media. Still, it is clear that he was having problems and was not able to keep it together. He is not in a sanitarium, though he did see several psychiatrists. He went to live with his mother, produced a few more records, then became reclusive, preferring to paint rather than to make music.
    Branciforteon December 18, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI think the song is Syd's way of actually saying why he's acting the way he is.
    He feels trapped by the musical industry the throwing away of the old shoes and being dressed in red part I think symbolizes that the record industry the fame and all that was making him into something he didn't like.
    At the same time he really doesnt care about anything anymore he just wants to take a break from everything.
    then the ending lyrics is kinda like Syd saying that he's gone numb

    I dont know this all just came to me now, comments?
    Onthelongviewon August 17, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI don't think Syd Barrett was insane, and I don't think he thought he was either. He had grown tired of everything and was acting strange simply because he felt trapped. This song addresses how people are treating him

    It's awfully considerate of you to think of me here
    And I'm much obliged to you for making it clear
    That I'm not here.

    This almost seems like he's sick of people telling him he's mad or treating him like he is, or simply diagnosing his problems(as Dave and Roger were known to do later publically, perhaps they did so privately then).

    And I never knew the moon could be so big
    And I never knew the room could be so blue
    And I'm grateful that you threw away my old shoes
    And brought me here instead dressed in red
    And I'm wondering who could be writing this song.

    I don't really know this part except the end, I'm wondering who could be writing this song, if he were mad, how could write a song?

    I don't care if the sun don't shine
    And I don't care if nothing is mine
    And I don't care if I'm nervous with you
    I'll do my loving in the winter.

    He doesn't care what people think about him, he's going to do his own thing, regardless.

    And the sea isn't green
    And I love the queen
    And what exactly is a dream
    And what exactly is a joke.

    Just questioning what normal is basically, what is a dream, and what is a joke? If you think about it, they're both very deep questions. I do not think Roger "Syd" Barrett was insane, I think he knew full well what was going on and was just striving to be different.
    TheFranzFerdinandon July 12, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI agree, floyd never cared for him.

    You can see syd crying for help in almost every song he wrote. And everyone ignored his messages.

    Syd thought his dream was for people to recognize his pain. But instead it all turned into a joke.

    And thats why he quit. Because others could not understand him... And in the end, he could not understand himself either...


    Then floyd made money off of him, 'calling' him insane. psh, this is really upsetting...
    Tepesson September 09, 2007   Link
  • +2
    My Interpretationok, so this is what i got from the song:

    It's awfully considerate of you to think of me here
    And I'm much obliged to you for making it clear
    That I'm not here.

    This is a joke that Syd wrote to the rest of the band, if you read the past comments you will understand why.

    And I never knew the moon could be so big
    And I never knew the moom could be so blue
    And I'm grateful that you threw away my old shoes
    And brought me here instead dressed in red
    And I'm wondering who could be writing this song.

    The first two lines are talking about his supposed insanity, while the following line is saying that people were forcing him to change, and this is said in a ironic way (beeing the shoes his habits)
    the next line i have no clue what it might mean, but its possible that its what someone said on a older post about that talked about sacrifice.
    "And I'm wondering who could be writing this song."
    well, this is just pure sarcasm, what he means by this is, if I'm not here, then who is writing this song? (he is saying that he is lucid)

    I don't care if the sun don't shine
    And I don't care if nothing is mine
    And I don't care if I'm nervous with you
    I'll do my loving in the winter.

    This paragraph is just showing his disinterest to everything that might happen from that time on.

    And the sea isn't green
    And I love the queen
    And what exactly is a dream
    And what exactly is a joke.

    And these last two lines, i just can't put to words what i got from here, its just has way too mutch meaning :P
    Ikilikuzon February 28, 2010   Link
  • +2
    Song MeaningI find it interesting how many people seem to completely misinterpret this song as being about Syd losing control of his mind, when in reality the whole thing was his own thinly veiled jab at the rest of the Floyd. It's true that Syd was le...tting go of his grip on reality at this point and had completely retreated as a performer, but as far as he was concerned the lyrics were meant to sarcastically call the people around him out on their shit. He felt the constant back biting and accusations about his sanity were demeaning and unwarranted, which is what this song is really about.

    He sings about how "considerate" it is of the people in question to think of him as being present, while they simultaneously mention him and his supposed mental vacantness at any given opportunity for the sake of publicity. He then "thanks" them for "throwing away his old shoes" (taking away his authority in the band) and "bringing him here dressed in red" (as a martyr). Finally he wraps it up nicely with "and I wonder who could be writing this song?" It's pure sarcasm. I'm not saying he wasn't completely losing it at this point, but it's pretty clear to me what the song was actually trying to say..."The sea isn't green, and I love the queen. And what exactly is a dream? And what exactly is a joke?". Sorry Syd.
    MBArkestraon December 21, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis song goes from 3/4 into 2/4 and then 4/4 it is maddness. Did you know Syd just got a Salvation Amry band in to do the middle section? Amazing
    craiguson March 28, 2003   Link

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