"Octopus" as written by and Syd Barrett....
Trip to heave and ho, up down, to and fro
You have no word
Trip, trip to a dream dragon
Hide your wings in a ghost tower
Sails crackling at every plate we break
Cracked by scattered needles
Little minute gong
Coughs and clears his throat
Madam you see before you stand
Hey ho, never be still
The old original favorite grand
Grasshoppers green Herbarian band
And the tune they play in us confide

So trip to heave and ho, up down, to and fro'
You have no word
Please leave us here
Close our eyes to the octopus ride
Isn't it good to be lost in the wood
Isn't it bad so quiet there, in the wood
Meant even less to me than I thought
With a honey plough of yellow prickly seeds
Clover honey pots and mystic shining feed

Well, the madcap laughed at the man on the border
Hey ho, huff the Talbot
Cheetah he cried shouted kangaroo
So through their tree they cried
Please leave us here
Close our eyes to the octopus ride
The madcap laughed at the man on the border
Hey ho, huff the Talbot
The winds they blew and the leaves did wag
And they'll never put me in their bag
The seas will reach and always see
So high you go, so low you creep
The winds it blows in tropical heat
The drones they throng on mossy seats
The squeaking door will always creep
Two up, two down we'll never meet
So merrily trip for good my side
Please leave us here
Close our eyes to the octopus ride


Lyrics submitted by Shoot_Me, edited by StanHuff, andywitmyer

"Octopus" as written by

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Octopus song meanings
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27 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentSome of this stuff has more meaning than at first glance, just really listen and try to imagine what he's saying. I would agree, most of his imagery only a person so "on the border" betwen reality and madness would understand, but if you try you can get close. If you think about it, why would he put so much spirit and energy into performing the song if he just put words together in 10 minutes....He refers to himself alot in the song, the "madcap" is him completely insane laughing at the "man in the border" which is also him. He's trapped in the madcap's side and can't cross the border, therefor the madcap laughs at him for even trying. He refers to tripping and sides alot, almost as if he himself knows he's on a continuos trip (reference to insanity) that he can't or wants to get out from ("please leave us here")....Don't dismiss what he says as just rambling, just pay attention and you'll get the big picture...
    TANSDon June 25, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI don't get a fun vibe from it at all. Reminds me of a scary trip and those horrible octopus rides at carnivals and midways. I have bad childhood memories from those.
    To me the images are twisted and confused carnival/ jungle hallucinations.
    mammadaddioon June 24, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentSome of this stuff has more meaning than at first glance, just really listen and try to imagine what he's saying. I would agree, most of his imagery only a person so "on the border" betwen reality and madness would understand, but if you try you can get close. If you think about it, why would he put so much spirit and energy into performing the song if he just put words together in 10 minutes....He refers to himself alot in the song, the "madcap" is him completely insane laughing at the "man in the border" which is also him. He's trapped in the madcap's side and can't cross the border, therefor the madcap laughs at him for even trying. He refers to tripping and sides alot, almost as if he himself knows he's on a continuos trip (reference to insanity) that he can't or wants to get out from ("please leave us here")....Don't dismiss what he says as just rambling, just pay attention and you'll get the big picture...
    TANSDon June 25, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe song could be about obtaining moksha, the goal of forestdwellers everywhere, where "the octopus ride" stands for life or samsara and the singer is pleading to "please close our eyes" to this repeating cycle of death and rebirth, where the "squeaking door will ALWAYS squeak" and *cough* nothing is "ever still", contrasting this to the woods wherein it is "good to be lost" and where it's "so quiet there" that earthly life "means even less to me than i thought". In the end though, the man in the border keeps tripping out of it, to the apparent delight of "the madcap".
    fumanon June 15, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis is the best dissemination of the meaning behind Octopus that I have ever read:

    socialartsnetwork.ning.com/profiles/blogs/…
    StanHuffon November 03, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General Comment2 points: 1) the lyric is actually "...mad CAT laughed at the man on the border"
    2) i know it's incorrect but, the "little mini gong..." line i've always heard as "little mini GUN..." which, when followed by "...coughs and clears it's throat", seems to make more sense
    THEOTHR1on January 16, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General Commentman, i love this song ^_^
    it sort of reminds me of a beatles song....
    its such a fun song, a lot of fun images.
    pinkfloydsydbarretton May 30, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song reminds me of a Beatles song to. Surprisingly not octopus's garden though.
    crashkaboomon April 14, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI am The Walrus
    Onthelongviewon November 19, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentbut what could this mean?
    Russianon December 03, 2006   Link

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