"See Emily Play" as written by and Syd Barrett....
Emily tries but misunderstands, ah ooh
She's often inclined to borrow somebody's dreams till tomorrow

There is no other day
Let's try it another way
You'll lose your mind and play
Free games for May
See Emily play

Soon after dark Emily cries, ah ooh
Gazing through trees in sorrow hardly a sound till tomorrow

There is no other day
Let's try it another way
You'll lose your mind and play
Free games for May
See Emily play

Put on a gown that touches the ground, ah ooh
Float on a river forever and ever, Emily (Emily)

There is no other day
Let's try it another way
You'll lose your mind and play
Free games for May
See Emily play


Lyrics submitted by Demau Senae

"See Emily Play" as written by Syd Barrett

Lyrics © T.R.O. INC.

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See Emily Play song meanings
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79 Comments

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  • +6
    General CommentI think pasqualalalala is right. It sounds too gloomy to be another drug song. It makes sense as the confused girl story. I'm not trying to sound off on you guys, but I've been reading some of the other posts for the other Syd songs, and it seems like people has this completely skewed image of Syd as some drugged out reject who writes every song about doing drugs, or that he just writes a bunch of gibberish. That is completely not true. Maybe people think it's gibberish because they can't understand the meanings, but I have been able to figure out most of what I've heard from him (though I mostly just listen to Piper cuz that's my favorite Floyd album). The only gibberish song he's made is the words song, which somebody explains on its interp page. Well, maybe that's not the only one. I'm just saying people should give Syd a little more credit. :)
    steve82con November 22, 2004   Link
  • +3
    General CommentBefore "Syd" Barrett wrote this song he was in a forest and he saw a girl in the distance, and her name was Emily. That's who Emily is in this song.
    pink_angel016on June 21, 2002   Link
  • +3
    General Commentazreal is right
    the girl used to go to this club that they played at all, the time and she was too young to be there (i think 17 or so) and she would try to fit in and be like everyone but she was still green to it all. "eemily tries, but misunderstands."

    also, the song was originally called 'free games for may' after a concert that was held in may in london for free. they ended up getting in trouble because the song was too trippy or whatever the hell margaret thatcher or whoever said (i cant remember exactly who.)
    k3boyleon June 19, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThe way I heard the Emily story was that Syd woke up in a forest, not knowing why he was there or how he got there and saw her in the distance between the trees and her name was emily, not really certain if her name was emily or he just thought it was, or maybe it was a hallucination, who knows.
    drgonzothxon August 27, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General CommentNo other song can make me quite like this one does... To me its about the despair a child feels. There is no past and there is no future, only the eternal present of existence. This song hauntingly beautiful.
    Overskyon February 15, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General CommentTo me this song is about a girl going from the playfull freedom of childhood into the captivity of adult womanhood. She tries to figure out why it has to be like this, but it doesn't make sense to her (nor me). "Put on a (wedding?) gown that touches the ground. Float on a river for ever and ever, Emily": It's like, accept your destiny girl and live on your childhood memories, because you're a grown woman now and freedom is only a thing of the past.
    trbjolon July 09, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General Commentsyd barrett made up the girl in the woods story to protect a common attender of pink floyd underground rock concerts identity named Emily kentwood or something like that
    azrealon June 24, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General Commentmeans nothing to me BUT.....i love the line "put on a gown that touches the ground....float on a river forever and ever, emily"
    literalrockon June 23, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentYes, a bt of an Ophelia is Emily
    Black&GreenAchilleson January 28, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI came up with a crazy theory one night that it could be partially about Syd's anima. Just throwing it out there. Especially because Syd doesn't seem like the type who had an exact meaning consciously worked out for everything he wrote.
    Sandwich-Mastaon May 01, 2009   Link

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