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Syd Barrett "Octopus" lyric source found!

 
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jefflewis



Joined: 21 Nov 2005
Posts: 1397

PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2021 7:56 pm    Post subject: Syd Barrett "Octopus" lyric source found! Reply with quote

Am I the only person who doesn't already know this?? I was reading the Saul Bellow novel "Herzog" and there's a part that quotes from a British children's rhyme, and I noticed some similar words to Barrett's Octopus, so I googled the rhyme to learn more about it, and I found this poem which just gives me chills. It is the source of a portion of Syd's Octopus song, and it also is just FULL of the exact sort of poetic spirit that is in all of Syd's work that we fans love so much. I feel like I'm seeing a direct portal into Syd's inspirations and personality. This is so full of feeling and beauty and creepiness and magic. It is SO Syd.
I found it here: https://www.mamalisa.com/?t=es&p=5268
(Maybe it's famous and everybody already knows about this but me.)

Rilloby-Rill
a poem by Sir Henry John Newbolt (1862-1938)

Grasshoppers four a-fiddling went,
Heigh-ho! never be still!
They earned but little towards their rent
But all day long with their elbows bent
They fiddled a tune called Rilloby-rilloby,
Fiddled a tune called Rilloby-rill.

Grasshoppers soon on Fairies came,
Heigh-ho! never be still!
Fairies asked with a manner of blame,
"Where do you come from, what is your name?
What do you want with your Rilloby-rilloby,
What do you want with your Rilloby-rill?"

"Madam, you see before you stand,
Heigh-ho! never be still!
The Old Original Favourite Grand
Grasshopper's Green Herbarian Band,
And the tune we play is Rilloby-rilloby,
Madam, the tune is Rilloby-rill."

Fairies hadn't a word to say,
Heigh-ho! never be still!
Fairies seldom are sweet by day,
But the Grasshoppers merrily fiddled away,
O but they played with a willoby-rilloby,
O but they played with a willoby-will!

Fairies slumber and sulk at noon,
Heigh-ho! never be still!
But at last the kind old motherly moon
Brought them dew in a silver spoon,
And they turned to ask for Rilloby-rilloby,
One more round of Rilloby-rill.

Ah! but nobody now replied,
Heigh-ho! never be still!
When day went down the music died,
Grasshoppers four lay side by side,
And there was an end of their Rilloby-rilloby,
There was an end of their Rilloby-rill.
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misshelenc



Joined: 23 Nov 2007
Posts: 872
Location: Cardiff, Wales, UK

PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2021 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didnít know about it but I do now! Also no one told me that nursery rhyme when I was a kid that I remember x
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dazmann



Joined: 19 Sep 2012
Posts: 72

PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2021 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Jeff - good detective work.

There's a more detailed essay looking at Syds influences here :
https://web.archive.org/web/20120617210113/http://socialartsnetwork.ning.com/profiles/blogs/untangling-the-octopus
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jefflewis



Joined: 21 Nov 2005
Posts: 1397

PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2021 5:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow! Incredible article!! I'm going to send that to some people.
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