"Rats" as written by and Syd Barrett....
Got it hit down
Spot knock inside a spider
Says: "That's love yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah!"
"That's love yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah!"
Says: "That's love, all know it
TV, teeth, feet, peace, feel it
"That's love yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah!"
"That's love yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah!"

Like the fall that brings me to
I like the fall that brings me to
I like the cord around sinew
I make a cord around sinew

Duck, the way to least is less
Tea craving of the metal west
'ell tomorrow's rain and test
'ell tomorrow's rain and test
Love an empty son and guess
Love an empty son and guess
Pimples dangerous and blessed

Heaving, arriving, tinkling
Mingling jets and statuettes
Seething wet we meeting fleck
Seething wet we meeting fleck
Lines and winds and crib and half
Each fair day I give you half
Of each fair day I give you half
I look into your eyes and you,
Flathe in the sun for you

Bam, spastic, tactile engine
Heaving, crackle, slinky, dormy, roofy, wham
I'll have them, fried bloke
Broken jardy, cardy, smoocho, moocho, paki, pufftle
Sploshette moxy, very smelly,
Cable, gable, splintra, channel
Top the seam he's taken off

Rats, rats lay down flat
We don't need you, we act like that
And if you think you're un-loved
Then we know about that
Rats, rats, lay down flat!
Yes, yes, yes, yes, lay down flat!

Lyrics submitted by spickly

"Rats" as written by

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Rats song meanings
Add your thoughts


sort form View by:
  • 0
    General CommentHow creative.. While Roger Waters was brilliant in his own right, his lyrics aren't even comparable to Syd's.
    shoegazinon November 21, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwhat does it mean
    Russianon January 29, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentits kindof just like a list of all the stuff that syd enjoys about life in my opinion.
    Acidlumpon February 24, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti sign up to comment on this. this song is dark. it was writen during the beatles & the worlds "love" period. the first verse shows some one singing "that's love, yeah yeah yeah" but it's sung very sarcastically. it kind of goes down hill from there & in the end the unloved are all rats.
    beaneateron April 28, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI expect many folks would characterize this as druggy ramblings; the impact of LSD and other drugs on Syd is probably overstated. IMO he was mentally ill, and also a genius (not an unusual combination).

    LSD and other psychedelics are known for their ability to provoke the release of psychotic symptoms, but in nearly all cases this is occurs with someone whose underlying mental illness is already present. (I tend more toward depression and anxiety, and can attest that--in my case, anyway--tripping always made things much worse.)

    Whether Syd was schizophrenic is harder to say. It does seem he became increasingly isolated and (using the shrink's jargon) in later stages displayed flattened affect i.e. blunted emotions.

    But is categorization necessary? I am reminded of Szasz and Breggin's theories that we put people in a box labelled "insane" if they act and speak in ways we find confusing (or irritating) -- and that it may be more appropriate to regard these not as symptoms of illness, but as creative methods to cope and to find meaning when one is confronted by an overwhelming spiritual crisis.

    The lyrics of "Rats" could be taken as "word salad" but I would consider a much more appropriate touchstone something akin to Finnegan's Wake, and other great works of stream-of-consciousness and/or surrealist literature. Also I would contend that such work resists analysis. Interpretation is irrelevant, and probably lessens one's enjoyment of the song. How does it sound, and how does it make you feel? That's what it means.
    foreverdroneon July 11, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentforever done right on the spot man. Analysing parts of this song leads nowhere, but as a unity of wordplay and sound its a fucking trip like none other :)
    GanjaStaron April 03, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwhen my brother and were about 16 and 14 respectively, we used to play a game which we called trading nonsequiturs. when it's your turn, you begin speaking: and everything you say has to be completely meaningless.

    the rather loose rules: you can't say anything which makes sense, or which is clearly something you thought of by looking at nearby objects (or reading off of words printed on them), and you can't use a phrase or sentence conceptually related to the previous one.

    break one of these rules, and the other would call out "non sequitur!" (or we'd both realize it simultaneously & collapse into giggles.) then you switch places; it becomes the other person's turn to speak nonsensically.

    if we'd been ten years younger, it would have been easy. but we were sufficiently "mature" (ha!) that it was extremely difficult to keep it up for more than 2 or 3 utterances. we played this many times (especially if the family was traveling & we shared a room), and I don't think either of us ever kept a turn going for more than about 15 to 20 seconds.

    if this sounds easy, try it. you may be surprised to discover how unintentionally rational you are.

    internal monologue is not at all the same. you need at least 2 people, and you must speak.

    when I hear the part of this song immediately preceding "rats, rats, lay down flat" I think of the non sequitur game. we'd have been no match whatsoever for syd.
    foreverdroneon June 15, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentdon't know why we did the calling out, except that it was fun. obviously we had it backwards, and should have yelled "you're making sense!" or something like that.
    foreverdroneon June 15, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentmy brother and I were not terribly original. odd that I happened to stumble onto this just now. there's a BBC radio show--I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue--which has been broadcasting since 1972. a panel of comedians is "given silly things to do," according to the Wikipedia entry. One possibility is the Word For Word game. Inspired by the concept of word association, this is a game of "word disassociation"; each person must choose a new word, one with no conceptual relationship to the previous word spoken by another panelist. The article asserts, "this is surprisingly difficult to do," which my experience would indicate is correct. They may have been tougher in enforcing the rules than we were; for example:

    ...in one episode, a player said "cardigan" and the next "pier". Another then said "Cardigan has a pier" and was corrected: "Cardigan was a peer".
    foreverdroneon June 27, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHey guys, I just read the lyrics again --

    I think the song is about being unwanted, hence the semantics of the song: Spot, spider, pimpels, very smelly etc. and the line about being un-loved. And the title, RATS, obviously - the definition of something not wanted.

    Otherwise just a lot of funny Syd moments here, his lines full of assonance, fun words, stream of consciousness - it's all there, but with the departure in the subject of something not welcome.
    Jonathan_Hon April 25, 2016   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top