Arnold Layne (2:53)

Cover of Works

From Works and 34 other releases

The Pink Floyd’s first single, a manic song about a convicted crossdresser. Reached #20 in the UK, put the Pink Floyd on the map.

The first manifestation of Barrett’s songwriting talents was a bizarre little classic called ‘Arnold Layne’. A sinister piece of vaguely commercial fare, it dealt with the twilight wanderings of a transvestite/pervert figure and is both whimsical and singularly creepy.

“It wasn’t just the drugs, we’d both done acid before the whole Floyd thing, it’s just a mental foible which grew out of all proportion. I remember all sorts of strange things happening - at one point he was wearing lipstick, dressing in high heels, and believing he had homosexual tendencies…”

— Nick Kent, New Musical Express, 1974.

Roger Waters’ mother noticed that washing, particularly underwear belonging to her female lodgers, kept vanishing from her line during the night. The Cambridge Knicker Snatcher became the cause of much local gossip and Roger would keep Syd abreast of events as more laundry disappeared from his garden. Amused, Syd began work on a song about the story. It took him three weeks to perfect during frequent train journeys between London and Cambridge…

— Jones, “Wish You Were Here”.


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  • wiseblood-

    One of the greatest songs of ALL TIMES!

    10 May 11:09pm Reply
  • muerto14


    3 Jul 2014 Reply
  • jomabbs

    Arnold Lane, See Emily Play, and The Bicycle Song, all played there part in what made Pink Floyd great, so I don't know what your all arguing about, with out one you would never have had the other.

    20 Jun 2014 Reply
  • k_naruchiha94

    Currently using the clip from this song as my avatar, it's just too funny xD

    12 Jun 2014 Reply
  • SoporAeternus-

    I like Syd era. If you don't like "travel" with his music, just don't listen to it. People prefer his music as you prefer overrated PF.

    25 Dec 2013 Reply
  • tomrud73

    great Syd Barrett song.

    4 Nov 2013 Reply
  • gonetobeach

    I like the Syd Barrett stuff, Roger Waters stuff, David Gilmour stuff. Hell, I like it all, but what do I know? LOL

    21 Aug 2013 Reply
  • ShuyinArg

    psychedelic pop at its finest

    4 Aug 2013 Reply
  • VIsForViking

    pink floyd serious business

    3 Jul 2013 Reply
  • Nimbie

    >Pink Floyd from Dark side onwards is progressive music ahead of its time. - lol seriously?

    20 Jun 2013 Reply
  • alainchaumont


    16 May 2013 Reply
  • LivingShit

    @essex853: dark side is radio-friendly soft, overproduced horseshit for the sleepwalking masses. the rot started to set in after they stopped following barrett's lead and playing around with chaos. bunch of wimps

    12 May 2013 Reply
  • essex853

    It angers me how bad this crap is, I don't get it, Pink Floyd from Dark side onwards is progressive music ahead of its time AND musical in a way no other band has ever touched...when I go back and listen to Barrett era Floyd I hear this flouncy hippie trippy shit with spaced out semi comedic lyrics and I can't help but think, without Gilmours guitar they would be forgotten along with all the other acid induced nonsense that came out of the late sixties. Early Floyd is the best? for fuck sake man, put this bollocks toe to toe with anything from Darkside or Wish You Were Here and then tell me this is Floyd at its best...Jesus fucking Christ we exist on different planets.

    8 Jan 2013 Reply
  • Nimbie

    so many musical ideas in a single song

    22 Dec 2012 Reply
  • lord_of_beer

    great song!

    23 Jul 2012 Reply
  • lukasz_pulawski

    also performed by David Gilmour during his solo tour promoting On an Island

    19 Jun 2012 Reply
  • robrues

    UK#20 45 years ago...

    14 Mar 2012 Reply
  • oldiesfanjohn

    the drugs were real good back then

    8 Jan 2012 Reply
  • pogopatterson

    I've got stranger hobbies....but I don't want to talk about them :)

    31 Dec 2011 Reply
  • strat-struck

    Great song, sickening theme.

    6 Nov 2011 Reply
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