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Ummagumma LP - Floyd Fans

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Calling all Floyd Fans!

I am seeking some information about the song "Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together In A Cave and Grooving With a Pict". I am looking for any information about how it was recorded, how the sounds were made, what it is supposed to mean, what inspired it, anything of that nature. I'm using the piece in a music speech on monday, so any information before then would be appreciated!

Thanx heaps

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Oh man, I read about that song in a book but I can't remmember. I'm sure most of the song is vocals dubbed and played at different speeds. Some backwards I think. Lots of studio tricks from the mind of Roger Waters. I'm gonna try to find the album and I'll get back to ya later.

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Always seem to me all these creatures were gathering to listen to some kind of leader or supreme being who could speek. You can even hear one of the creatures singing a short fanfare as if welcoming a king or something. This guy seems extremely pi$$ed-off.

Anyways, I did a lil search and found what he's saying:

"Aye an' a bit of Mackeral settler rack and ruin

ran it doon by the haim, 'ma place

well I slapped me and I slapped it doon in the side

and I cried, cried, cried.

The fear a fallen down taken never back the raize and then Craig Marion, get out wi' ye Claymore out mi pocket a' ran doon, doon the middin stain picking the fiery horde that was fallen around ma feet.

Never he cried, never shall it ye get me alive ye rotten hound of the burnie crew. Well I snatched fer the blade O my Claymore cut and thrust and I fell doon before him round his feet.

[...]

...and the wind cried back."

HTH

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A pict is one of an ancient people of northern Britain. In the ninth century they joined with the Scots to form a kingdom later to become Scotland. So the pict is the person talking in the song. As far as what he is saying, according to allfloyd.com, here are possible lyrics:

Aye an' a bit of Mackeral settler rack and ruin

ran it doon by the haim, 'ma place

well I slapped me and I slapped it doon in the side

and I cried, cried, cried.

The fear a fallen down taken never back the raize

and then Craig Marion, get out wi' ye Claymore out mi pocket

a' ran doon, doon the middin stain

picking the fiery horde that was fallen around ma feet.

Never he cried, never shall it ye get me alive

ye rotten hound of the burnie crew.

Well I snatched fer the blade O my Claymore

cut and thrust and I fell doon before him round his feet.

Aye!

A roar he cried

frae the bottom of his heart that I would nay fall but as dead,

dead as 'a can be by his feet; de ya ken?

...and the wind cried back.

As far as the song itself, it sounds mostly like a Roger Waters creation to me.

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I love the album(s)!

I did find this -

Release date: October 25th, 1969

Recorded at: The live part was recorded at 3 live venues - Bromley Technical College, Bromley Common, Kent (April 26th, 1969); Mothers, Erdington, Birmingham, Warwickshire (April 27th, 1969); and College of Commerce, Manchester, Lancashire (May 2nd, 1969).

Apparently this double disc--an obligatory purchase for all hipsters on its release in 1969--isn't too highly regarded by the Floyd themselves these days ("Ummagumma-- what a disaster!", Roger Waters is said to have remarked); but it's one of the most adventurous mainstream rock ventures of all time, and certainly the Floyd's best stab at being avant-garde.

As with the original LP, the CD set is divided into two discs. The first contains the live album of four old favourites, recorded at favoured Floyd venues of the time, with studio overdubs added later. The sparkling version of "Astronomy Domine" and a chilling "Careful With That Axe, Eugene" (the first of many Floyd tracks about insanity) are particularly outstanding, and helped cement the Floyd's status as cult superstars. Each group member was given half a vinyl side to experiment with (doing it all by himself, including lyrics, playing, etc) in the second disc -- the studio one. It is said that Nick Mason probably cheated as the flute is most likely played by his wife.

The original intention of the band was to include those live songs as a sort of "farewell" gesture. They would release the live versions, and then stop playing them. However with the popularity of the album, the public kept wanting to hear the songs from Ummagumma Live, and so they stayed in their set lists.

A version of "Interstellar Overdrive" was also recorded and mixed with the intention of being included on the album, but was eventually not included. John Peel received an acetate of it, which he liked very much, but this was stolen. What happened to it is unknown.

Nick Mason: "This was absolutely not a band album. The live stuff sounds incredibly antiquated now, although the fact of Pink Floyd playing at Mothers in Birmingham was considered a bit of an event at the time. We were looking for new ways of constructing an album, although I think what this demonstrates is that our sum is always better than the parts. EMI was very hidebound in those days. It was still run by guys in white coats. I was prevented from editing my own tapes by a studio manager who told me I wasn't a union member."

David Gilmour: "I'd never written anything before. I just went into the studio and started waffling about, tacking bits and pieces together. I rang up Roger at one point to ask him to write me some lyrics. He just said, No."

"Ummagumma" was a slang term for knockin' boots. (Knockin' boots of course being a slang term for doing the Wild Thang; which is, of course, slang for having sex.) Of course, Rock and Roll was a slang term for -- you get the picture. So, looked at that way, the album "Ummagumma" could simply mean "Rock and Roll." (From David Schuetz and Steven Dobbs)

On some album cover pressings, the album seen leaning on the wall is the soundtrack to "Gigi." It was deleted in US pressings due to copyright ownership problems. The US pressing had a "Special Buy" label on the cover. Also, the last "reflection" in the wall is of the cover to "A Saucerful of Secrets".

The picture on the back is taken at Biggin Hill airfield. The roadies on the picture are Alan Stiles (the same referred to in Atom Heart Mother's "Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast") and Pete Watts. The "Jude" listed alongside Waters is Judy Trim, Roger's first wife.

The song "Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving With a Pict" was done all by Roger Waters himself. The weird sounds are obtained by playing human voices back at various speeds, whereas the drumming sounds are created by Water drumming with his hands on his body and a table (or something similar). A "pict" is a member of a possibly non-Celtic people who once occupied Great Britain, carried on continual border wars with the Romans, and about the ninth century became amalgamated with the Scots. There is are still discussions as far as what is said during the song.

On Rick Wright's "Sysyphus" you can hear the opening melody of "Silent Night, Holy Night". Sysyphus, more commonly spelled as 'Sisyphus,' was a figure of Greek mythology who was punished by being made to roll a rock up a hill for all eternity.

Tracks:

Live album:

Astronomy Domine (Barrett)

[08:28] Vocals by Waters (name chanting), Gilmour (high harmonies) and Wright (low ones).

Careful With That Axe, Eugene (Waters, Wright, Mason, Gilmour)

[08:47] Vocals by Waters; Gilmours does the "ooooh".

Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun(Waters)

[09:22] Vocals by Waters

A Saucerful of Secrets (Waters, Wright, Mason, Gilmour)

a. Something Else [00:00]

b. Syncopated Pandemonium [03:57]

c. Storm Signal [07:16]

d. Celestial Voices [10:14]

[12:49] Vocals on Celestial Voices by Gilmour

Studio album:

Sysyphus [part 1-4] (Wright)

[13:17] Vocals on part 4 by Wright.

Grantchester Meadows (Waters)

[07:28] Vocals by Waters.

Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving With a Pict (Waters)

[04:57] Vocals by Waters.

The Narrow Way [part 1-3] (Gilmour)

[12:14] Vocals on part 3 by Gilmour.

The Grand Vizier's Garden Party(Mason)

Part 1 (entrance)

Part 2 (entertainment)

Part 3 (exit)

[08:45] Instrumental.

Total Playing Time: 86'33

Musicians Featured:

David Gilmour: Guitar, Vocals

Nick Mason: Drums

Roger Waters: Bass Guitar, Vocals

Rick Wright: Keyboards, Vocals

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