"Arnold Layne" as written by and Syd Barrett....
Arnold Layne had a strange hobby
Collecting clothes
Moonshine washing line
They suit him fine
On the wall hung a tall mirror
Distorted view, see through baby blue
Oh, Arnold Layne
It's not the same, takes two to know
Two to know, two to know
Why can't you see?
Arnold Layne, Arnold Layne, Arnold Layne, Arnold Layne

Now he's caught, a nasty sort of person
They gave him time
Doors bang, chain gang, he hates it
Oh, Arnold Layne
It's not the same, takes two to know
Two to know, two to know
Why can't you see?
Arnold Layne, Arnold Layne, Arnold Layne, Arnold Layne

Don't do it again

Lyrics submitted by Demau Senae

"Arnold Layne" as written by Syd Barrett

Lyrics © Peermusic Publishing

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Arnold Layne song meanings
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  • +2
    General Commentit occurs to me: only an Englishman could have made these lines rhyme: "now he's caught/a nasty sort"

    With American pronunciation "caught" and "sort" aren't even close enough for intended rhyme.
    foreverdroneon June 15, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Commentits about a crossdresser?
    dysphoriaon April 18, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Commentyah it's about a transvestite who steals women's underwear from clotheslines...there sure are some weird people out there
    crazydiamond84on July 20, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAlright, to support the "pervert from their childhood" theory, I tried googling for a respectable source.

    This is the most respectable I could find:

    Not only is it by an *unknown* author, but it also has Syd saying "I thought 'Arnold Layne' was a nice name, and it fitted very well into
    the music I had already composed" and "I pinched the line about 'moonshine washing line' from Rog, our bass guitarist - because he has an enormous washing line in the back of his house."

    This seems to say that the perpetrator was not someone anyone from the band knew, but rather the story is a work of fiction.

    Plus, it's from an unknown author. And this was the most authoritative information I could find. If anyone has any sources to support their other theories, by all means share them.
    frijolito_tson February 20, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commentbarrett imagined a name first then gaven him an unusual hobbie:collecting clothes;which caused outrage at the time because of 1969 and crossdressin,its pure pink floyd imagination
    oilyon December 11, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAccording to Syd's girlfriend at the time there was someone who went around knicking clothes of washing lines which is what the song is about.
    Arnold Layneon January 02, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI don't think the LSD was the main reason he went crazy, cus Roger and Dave did LSD too, and they are both perfectly sane. I think the pressure of fame hurt him more than LSD.

    The drugs certainly didn't help though
    WYWHon March 10, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentHere's what Rick Wright said, according to the 'Echoes' website:

    "Syd came up with this song. It was his song. It was banned because of its lyrical content, which is quite extraordinary considering what goes down now. I think it's one of the best examples of Syd's work and mind. It's based on a true story, or rumour about a man who went around stealing knickers off washing lines. I sang the harmonies on it. It wasn't about love like so many songs at that time.

    We have often considered doing it live, recently. It doesn't mean that much to me now, although I feel sentimental about it. It was a different incarnation of Pink Floyd"
    Grind838on July 15, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentSyd became a genius composer because of LSD, that's a fact
    lostgeniuson November 17, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentArnold Layne is extraordinary because of subject matter, performance, arrangement, sound: everyhting superb in just one song.
    BTW, as good as Dave Gilmour is, he can´t even touch Syd who is in a league of his own.
    FLFIOREon March 22, 2008   Link

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