See Emily Play (2:52)

Cover of Works

From Works and 37 other releases

Syd claimed to have fallen asleep in the wood and woken up to see a girl, that girl was Emily.

I was sleeping in the woods on night after a gig we’d played somewhere, when I saw this girl appear before me. That girl is Emily.

— Syd Barrett, quoted by Nick Kent, New Musical Express, April 13, 1974

Games for may, was a “happening” held at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on May 12, 1967 and Syd was commissioned to write a theme song for the event. Jenner and King felt certain that the result had ‘hit’ written all over it and suggested Syd rework it for the charts. Needing a new lyrical theme to fill the now redundant chorus line of “Free games for May” Syd looked around him for inspiration and found The Honourable Emily Young, a 16-year-old raver that the UFO crowd had nicknamed “the psychedelic schoolgirl” and looked down upon. Syd echoed this in the opening line: “Emily tries but misunderstands.”

— Jones, “Wish You Were Here”.

…’See Emily Play’… was initially entitled ‘Games For May’ in honour of the event the Floyd had undertaken at the South Bank Queen Elizabeth Hall. “(They) intended this concert to be a musical and visual exploration - not only for themselves but for the audience too,” proclaimed the attendant press release and the show did mark a watershed in their career.

— Brian Hogg, 1993, Crazy Diamond Box Set Booklet

…The tour of America was rife with stories of Syd’s eccentric behaviour. The band played on ‘American Bandstand’ and Syd refused to lip sync the words to ‘See Emily Play’. He stood facing the camera, lips impassively shut.


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