A man once walked on earth that treads in our dreams now,
He may have vanished but his words still linger in our hearts now,
His embellishments have espoused our fate now.
This not an introduction to a star or an idol or even an inspiration. But to a genius, an iconoclast, to his words, a mental monster, also his disintegration and breakdown. I am talking about a forgotten king of music –Syd barrett. Remnants of his ideas remain in the form of his music and his words.
I have been an avid fan of Syd barrett for a long time now. Even though I have been aware of his tragic end, I have never been less astonished. His secret lies in the fact that his songs and their meaning still remain relevant and how even a man on the verge of breakdown could speak for the feelings and emotions of the majority (sane majority to be precise).
“Bike “- a song some would interpret as a description of childish love and its innocence. But how many times have you been inclined to say “You’re the kind of girl that fits in with my world.” to someone and in the exact same way? This song also has a sense of desperation of “adult” love, “I’ll give you anything, everything if you want things.”. Have we not felt the same way? But what amuses me about this song is the way he is trying to convince the “girl” in the song. The same blandishments we must have experimented with. Telling a girl how decorated and beautiful our own world is “ I’ve got a bike. You can ride it if you like. It’s got a basket, a bell that rings and things to make it look good.” and how even the smallest things matter.
Another song that catches my imagination and I can certainly relate to is “Jugband blues” and no I am not an addict. But I have certainly felt the aloofness and a similar kind of non-attachment . And how can we run away from the fact that we have lived our life thinking about the world we are not part of and have (sometimes)swiftly melted way into that world without concurring to world we live in “It’s awfully considerate of you to think of me here,And I’m much obliged to you for making it clear,That I’m not here.”.
If I was given a chance to trade my life with his, I would have done so. Not because I would have then become a genius or a legend in some ways or have created the best music even in adverse mental conditions but for the sake of “his”fervent emotions.
Oh where are you now
willow that smiled on this leaf?
When I was alone you promised the stone from your heart
My head kissed the ground
I was half the way down, treading the sand
Please, please, lift a hand
I’m only a person whose armbands beat
On his hands, hang tall
Won’t you miss me?
Wouldn’t you miss me at all?