Yo Ho, WeRCatz here!
We’re taking a little retrospective on the song “Jugband Blues” performed by Pink Floyd and written by co-founder Syd Barret. This would be his only written and last work for Floyd’s second album A Saucerful of Secrets released in the summer of 1968. Barret, however, was out of the band on 6 April 1968.
“Jugband Blues” is a song about someone going down a path of a schizophreniac and ending up with a mental breakdown. It is a song that makes no sense yet makes perfect sense at the same time. Most people who knew Syd call this song a great masterpiece of art and music despite the fact that it’s disturbing in nature.
However, the song is about Syd; the lyrics are directed to the world within Syd’s reach. His mind was already fading by this point due to LSD and his feeling of being alienated by the band and everyone else. One of Floyd’s managers, Peter Jenner, states that the trio of songs “Jugband Blues,” “Scream Thy Last Scream,” and “Vegetable Man” should be staples of instruction for all medical colleges similar to Van Gogh’s paintings. Indeed, mental health is not a light issue and must be taken seriously even if the symptoms are small.
Syd Barret left a legacy of secrets that ended too quickly; there was no help available to him. One must appreciate songs like “Jugband Blues” for its upbeat nature and unique message despite the sad reality behind the words.