"No Good Trying" as written by and Syd Barrett....
It's no good trying to place your hand
Where I can't see because I understand
That you're different from me
Yes I can tell
That you can't be what you pretend
And you're rocking me backwards
And you're rocking towards the
Red and yellow mane of a stallion horse.

It's no good trying to hold your love
Where I can't see because I understand
That you're different from me
Yes I can tell
That you can't be what you pretend
The caterpillar hood won't cover the head of you
Know you should be home in bed.

It's no good holding your sequin fan
Where I can't see because I understand
That you're different from me
Yes I can tell
That you can't be what you pretend
Yes you're spinning around and around in a car
With electric lights flashing very fast...


Lyrics submitted by Shoot_Me

"No Good Trying" as written by

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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No Good Trying song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentThis song also could be about Pink Foyd without him.

    ''It's no good trying to place your hand
    where I can't see because I understand
    that you're different from me''

    It's no use trying to hide, I know you don't miss me. I know that you'll move on without me.


    ''yes I can tell
    that you can't be what you pretend''

    This might be about Roger Waters. I saw on him on TV saying he didn't really get about the psychodelic movement, he just wanted to be a big rockstar driving nice cars and sleeping with lots of girls.

    ''and you're rocking me backwards''

    Pretty self-explanatory.

    ''and you're rocking towards the
    red and yellow mane of a stallion horse.''

    Don't really get this part...LSD?


    ''It's no good trying to hold your love
    where I can't see because I understand
    that you're different from me''

    It's no use trying to walk away from me, I know that you still like me, or that you care about me.


    ''the caterpillar hood won't cover the head of you
    know you should be home in bed.''

    This could be: I know you since you were a child, all that pose won't cover who you really are.


    'It's no good holding your sequin fan
    where I can't see because I understand
    that you're different from me''

    It's no use trying to hide all your sucess. Syd didn't want to be a big rockstar and he hated all this wonder-band stuff, but roger and the other guys didn't. Roger said on an interview that Syd got very suspicious when they started getting famous, and he got all ''Wait a minute, wasn't that what you wanted? We wanted to be rockstars!''


    'yes you're spinning around and around in a car
    with electric lights flashing very fast...''

    This is may be a reference to the big cars Roger daydreamed about driving, and the lights could be a reference to Pink Floyd early gigs, when they would flash lights all over the stage.

    I don't know why, but this song sounds so spiteful.

    Well, that's just my two cents.


    amandavenicioon November 09, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Commenthe is such a great artist and this is such a great song.
    eshtaryuson December 04, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentYes, this is a very sweet song.
    Eatcarpeton December 29, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"....red and yellow mane of a stallion horse" I love that part for some reason. I can imagine a horse like that when I hear this part if the song. Such a cool sight.
    WWolfSSheepon October 25, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI don't think saying a song is good is necessarily a negative thing to say, much less being rude
    Feezyon January 15, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI really like the feel of this song, and Syd's how singing goes in a downward motion in the "It's/ no\good\try\ing-to/place\your\hand
    where/I\can't\see bec-ause-I /understand" part.(Slashes show vocal melody, lol). The guitar is very unique how it uses volume fading sounds, sort of modern sounding. Definitely one of Syd's best, IMO.
    Rage2112on February 14, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"There is no use trying, said Alice; one can’t believe impossible things.

    I dare say you haven’t had much practice, said the Queen. When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."

    I stumbled upon this quote on this you tube page :

    youtube.com/…

    Has this been documented elsewhere? It seems like this song title is obviously a Lewis Carroll lift... maybe the most pilfered children's book in the psych era.

    It's no good trying to place your hand
    where I can't see because I understand
    that you're different from me
    yes I can tell
    that you can't be what you pretend
    and you're rocking me backwards
    and you're rocking towards the
    red and yellow mane of a stallion horse.

    It's no good trying to hold your love
    where I can't see because I understand
    that you're different from me
    yes I can tell
    that you can't be what you pretend
    the caterpillar hood won't cover the head of you
    know you should be home in bed.

    It's no good holding your sequin fan
    where I can't see because I understand
    that you're different from me
    yes I can tell
    that you can't be what you pretend
    yes you're spinning around and around in a car
    with electric lights flashing very fast...


    'It's no good trying to place your hand, where I can't see because I understand that you're different from me' recalls a gentler version of Dylan's 'something is happening that you don't understand' (Ballad of a Thin Man)... at least my first impression of this song was that it is directed at observers of the scene/ himself.

    Theres a jokey play on words with 'rocking'... watching the youtube above got me thinking this could be a lighthearted put down of Mick Rock, given Barrett's tendency to throw in cryptic references to his friends/ girlfriends. Probably not though. Maybe not even a reference to the 'rock' world.

    There's all the fun of the fair as Barrett and companion are 'rocking backwards and rocking towards me' on 'the red and yellow mane of a stallion [fairground] horse.'

    Rhythmically this is kind of a companion to Octopus/ Clowns and Jugglers and draws from the same fairground imagery:

    nfa.dept.shef.ac.uk/history/rides/…

    I remember going on one of these at Cambridge Midsummer Fair back in the early 80s... you are already 'spinning around in a car with electric lights flashing very fast' when suddenly the caterpillar hood mechanically covers over each car and you're plunged into darkness whilst bumping up and down at speed... an exhilerating experience, matched here by the choppy drum rolls, carnivalesque bleepy organ and wailing lead guitar.

    I think the song as a whole alludes to the fairground nature of the music business/ psychedelic scene... Barrett has had too many late night's larging it, 'you know you should be home in bed', but there's no 'caterpillar hood' to protect him, he is instead standing completely exposed on stage through all this.

    You could go further into the significance of fairgrounds and carnivals in English culture, their demonisation as a manifestation of 'pure hedonism'. Anyway, my recollections are that even in the 80s, the Midsummer fair was a big deal in the semi-rural flatlands of Cambridge, as this other world of travelling people, bright lights and scary rides sprawled accross Midsummer Common (a conglomeration of several travelling fairs together)

    Not sure about 'sequined fan', any ideas?

    Like the 'you shouldn't try to be what you can't be' line in 'Waving my hands...' I'm not sure if the 'you' is pointed at anyone particular or is more inward looking.

    This was reportedly a very difficult track to record, with Syd significantly changing performance, length of bars etc between takes. As has been discussed elsewhere, this seems to have fazed Barrett's old bandmates (who on his departure settled into a plodding 4/4, with the odd exception such as 'Money' aside) more than the Soft Machine crew. His 'play what you like' approach might have been unusual, but in the context that his musical route seems to have come not through classical training but blues/ beat/ rnb morphing into an interest in free jazz does not seem unreasonable... perhaps also because he somewhat unwittingly found himself in the role of 'band leader'

    Is that Rick Wright on the organ? It seems reminiscent of the Tonite Lets Make Love take of Interstellar Overdrive/ Nick's Boogie... I think those two had a good musical chemistry.
    mookundion February 13, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGreat, no, good, yes.
    inpraiseoffollyon September 25, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentPlease inpraiseoffolly, if your'e gonna have negative things to say about artists or songs, don't say them. Keep your opinion to your self, and don't be a downer to other people. Maybe some people think it is a great song, I do. Just don't be rude anymore, thanks.
    WWolfSSheepon October 25, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti agree with feezy, wwolfssheep...stop looking for a fight, but i agree with the sheep man, i happen to enjoy syd barrett and just about all his work...but inpraise...you go right on ahead thinking how you do..thats the beauty of being individuals
    a voiceon March 18, 2008   Link

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