"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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69 Comments

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  • +2
    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
  • +2
    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 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
  • +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 Commenti feel most any association to this song deserves credit. it leaves a lot of space to an open mind. the first line for instance, I always have to think about my autistic daughter. trying and misunderstanding. Yet at the same time I feel I have to try harder in order to understand her. This line goes in two directions.
    She is a beautiful girl and so is Emily, I feel.
    Maaierhawkon June 04, 2012   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI just don't see this song as being about suicide. I think the key to the meaning of this song is the name Emily. This name is not a usual name. It conjures up images of an upper-class family, or a family that has pretensions of being upper class and have foisted this on their daughter - and she feels somehow trapped by it. She longs to know what others who are more "down to earth" (thus the "gown that touches the ground" i.e. being grounded) but she is out of touch with "normal" every-day people, and so she "feels inclined to borrow somebody's dreams till tomorrow." For someone who is thinking of suicide, there IS no tomorrow. Also, why borrow dreams if you are going to commit suicide? It doesn't make sense. She wants change in her life - fundamental change - and she cannot wait "another day" because she doesn't want to have a life like her parents ("In the room the women go/Talking of Michelangelo"). She doesn't want to misunderstand what is going on in the society around her, so the "other way" to break free from this oppressive life is to lose her mind (meaning to start with a new perspective) and "play". Playing is another way of rebelling, and that is exactly what Emily is doing. It says SEE Emily play - she is playing right now. "Float on a river forever and ever" reminds me of "The Wind in the Willows" - and the name of Pink Floyd's first (Barrett) album took its name from chapter 7 of that book.
    Fluxiuson January 24, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMy mom says she didn't name me after this song, but I really think she did...
    pink_angel016on June 01, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'm inclined to think the same thing about MY mom, Pink Angel...
    emann333on June 13, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWell, you may wish to know that See Emily Play is also the name of a very old two-dimensional computer game. Who is Emily? A person, or a mere representation?
    Bobo192on June 13, 2002   Link
  • 0
    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

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