Syd Barrett - Effervescing Elephant Lyrics

An Effervescing Elephant
with tiny eyes and great big trunk
Once whispered to the tiny ear
The ear of one inferior
that by next June he'd die, oh yeah!
Because the tiger would roam
The little one said, "Oh my goodness I must stay at home"
And every time I hear a growl
I'll know the tiger's on the prowl
and I'll be really safe, you know
the elephant he told me so
Everyone was nervy, oh yeah!
and the message was spread
to zebra, mongoose, and the dirty hippopotamus
who wallowed in the mud and chewed
his spicy hippo-plankton food
and tended to ignore the word
preferring to survey a herd
of stupid water bison, oh yeah
And all the jungle took fright
and ran around for all the day and the night
but all in vain, because, you see
the tiger came and said "Who me?
you know I wouldn't hurt not one of you
I'd much prefer something to chew
and your all to scant." Oh yeah!
He ate the elephant

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Syd Barrett Effervescing Elephant Comments
  1. dom eb

    me like !

  2. Neblina Vicious


  3. Scott Thompson

    Only SYD could write such a cool jewel! Happy Birthday, SYD BARRETT (January 6, 1946--2006)!!! Wouldn't we miss you? Yes, ...every day...that's why we keep playing your tunes...just stay a little longer...

  4. mikelus jp

    l'elephant di saint saens all'inizio col trombone di Gilmour

  5. Kevin Bennett

    stupid water bison. I love that.

  6. Kevin Bennett

    I always thought Syd was one of the first Mods or Goths. my mom was a 60s gothic mod in Berkeley. just interesting culture.

  7. Raul Veiga

    classic genius.

  8. Incorrigible Rogue

    plot twist

  9. Emma O

    Given what the lyrics are about, this shouldn't be as funny as it is, and yet here we are XD

  10. Katie Stait

    🔥 💕

  11. hugospiegel

    Pure genius.

  12. Dovydas Levanavicius

    There is so many addicting music

  13. Jan Knibbeler


  14. Scotch Beef

    i sit in my garden a lot and get some dodgy looks from my neighbours when this plays on my playlist. lol

  15. Melisa Zapata

  16. Lu Ann Abbate

    God, I wish he was still around. The music business would have been a lot different.

  17. Kev Cran

    I'm only a person with armbands beats on his head hangs tall....wouldn't you miss me?Wouldn't you miss me at all?

  18. Perish Song

    The "effervescing elephant" probably was no other than SYD ...

  19. rigatone

    Brilliant ditty. They didn't understand Syd's condition and (the band) felt bad enough to pay him royalties all his life and write songs about him all the time. Syd did something that only happens rarely. He captured a mood, a moment of magic. A poet really. He evokes the same feelings as Debussy, John Masefield, Helen Cresswell, Edgar Allen Poe, Kate Bush, Roald Dahl. Storytellers and poets. He pulled back the curtain of reality to the realm of magic

  20. Alex Ruiz

    I respect Syd so much, being a musician I know how hard it can be to play guitar and remember all of those lyrics at once, all of what he says is in sweet timing, but yeah it's almost like he reads a book when he sings and it's beauiful

  21. Mo's Corner

    i feel like i can hear syd laughing a bit as he's singing this

    Emma O

    He definitely sounds like it. He seems to be enjoying himself XD

  22. H. DiSalvatore

    I used to sing this to my nephew lol

  23. ShootAtHer SpareNoArrows

    He was genius this man

  24. Chris Greenhalgh

    My funeral song

  25. Vest The best

    It's written by the same person who wrote gloomy "Golden hair" and dark 'Opel"


    Vest The best he didn’t write golden hair, it’s a poem

    Vest The best

    thanks. Didn't know that

  26. gigisdad

    This song literally makes me lol!

  27. Bry Guy

    The hippo is his depression who won't listen to advice and "chews" or thinks/mulls over bacteria/hateful/ harmful thoughts, the elephant is his intellect/happiness and the tiger is his self-hatred that destroyed his happiness/intellect? He ate the elephant because it was his best quality, it was big, bubbly and informative, yet somewhat full of himself.

    There's some sort of deep, dark underlying theme of consciousness here.

  28. J.H. Warrior

    # 1 Syd Barrett song.

  29. Nancy Iannucci

    Thirty-three people so far tended to ignore THE WORD / Preferring to survey a herd
    of stupid water bison, oh yeah!

  30. DANCING CHEESE Productions

    I don't think he went crazy. They say he went mad because of all the LSD he took, but his sister and even a therapist said there was nothing wrong with him. Maybe he was just tripping all the time!

  31. Random Username

    When Syd takes LSD, LSD gets high

    Los Huxleys

    Random Username yeah and it starts making random masterpieces, man...

  32. Jack Kelly

    currently making a LP for childrens music
    And this song is one of the covers.... ironic and beautiful at the same time
    Lol XD

  33. Sourav Das

    Syd Barrett thank you.

  34. Dufftata

    Is it weird that this might be my favorite song of all songs?

  35. newtmonkey

    The lyrics in this song! Poetry! Read them without listening to the song, and you can hear the musicality. It doesn't even need music.

  36. Xanadu Xanadu

    Oh Syd!

  37. Gabriela Soriano

    my babe was awesome💜

  38. danielle adams

    go syd your a fucking genius. and so goddamn adorable.

    giacomo cappellari


    Jack Kelly

    YOUR A F*CKING GENIUS, too lov

    Jack Kelly

    your a genius for waking up and just being here at all

  39. morning glory 1982

    this song > elephant by tame impala

    Los Huxleys

    morning glory 1982 yeah, syd stomps

  40. I Don't Care

    How 'bout that Pontiac? Was that a prototype? Was it only sold in the UK? I need one of those. Too bad Syd was in the way. Those body lines are super sexy. 64ish? 389? Or as the Brits would say, 6.5?

  41. lizzy Anne Rodgers-Andersonwright

    shine on you crazy Dimond

    Heather ofScots

    I like your taste in music, Syd and Yes are my two very favorite artists/bands .

  42. zzebowa

    Such a silly and humerous song. Love it!

  43. Broc felix

    Syd was certainly no Ian Curtis by a long shot

    Caio Moraes

    Why he would be?

    DAE Creative Imaging

    Ian who?


    Pretty sure Ian Curtis was influenced by Syd Barrett. Check out "Wolfpack" or "No Man's Land".

  44. Rodney Leibenguth

    nah, pink floyd was better with syd barrett. he was the best singer and songwriter they had


    ....until he went solo, like Peter Noone.

    Arathorn Dezeus

    i have to disagree waters is far far better

    Sheldon F

    he didn't go "solo".  He lost his mind.


    @Sheldon F He didn't lose his mind. He just decided he's rather have a quiet life painting and gardening than be a rock star.

  45. Brent Holman

    Genius, Lyricist

  46. Space Monkey

    You miss the point....... He ate the Elephant.......

  47. isaac thrash

    pink floyd was way better off without barrett

    Lane Kays

    isaac thrash to each their own. pink floyd turned turned towards their tubular and easier psych rock while syd wanted to move his beautiful groove with his lyrics

    Lane Kays

    isaac thrash to each their own. pink floyd turned towards their tubular/ easier psych rock (new-wave drug phase) while syd wanted to move his beautiful groove with his lyrics

    Randy Jones

    @Lane Kays Syds groove?

    Lane Kays

    @Randy Jones yes?

    Randy Jones

    @Lane Kays Syd wanted to take as much dope as he could and he took way too much acid and the Floyd couldn't deal with Syd any longer. Syd Barrett was a good songwriter , guitarist but the Floyd doesn't make Dark side of the moon , wish you were here , animals or the wall had Syd stayed in the band .

  48. macguiness64

    The beginning is The elephant from camille saint saens. genius.

  49. Matheus Rossi

    ahhh que maravilha

  50. Danny Workman

    clever as hell

  51. Luke Johnson

    feels as though Syd was reading Rudyard Kipling

  52. Diego Navarro

    La tuba del principio está sacada del "carnaval de los animales" de Saint sens!

  53. Scotty Plays Guitar

    Camille Saint-Saens shoutout!

  54. Joshua Baptista

    sol.. marry me noob :)

  55. Jon

    21 people are too scant.

    Jack Kelly

    haha best comment on youtube!

    Sid Arthur

    we're the ones who'll get eaten up

    XxxGacha LindaxxX

    They're just nervy

  56. GeT Memeddd

    What else could he have done we can only wonder

  57. GeT Memeddd

    How creative

  58. another commentor

    Syd was just amazing

  59. Matthijs Pals

    This makes me really happy :)

  60. ShootAtHer SpareNoArrows

    youre all too scant

  61. Kevin Wilmott

    My mum loved Syd Barrett


    your mom probably did a lot of drugs

    Маркіян Нагорнюк

    and then Kevin was born )

  62. Miguel Hernandez

    Classic Syd Barret. What a wonderful musician. His solo stuff wasn't great overall but this is a damn fantastic work of art.

    Miguel Hernandez

    @***** I actually did try to kill myself last week. Hope it makes you feel better knowing it still lingers on my mind.

    Miguel Hernandez

    @***** Well, I hope neither of them were from getting into pointless arguments on the internet.


    @Miguel Hernandez I'm not saying it's better than any of them necessarily, but writing Octopus was an amazing accomplishment on Barrett's part. There's an analysis of it, titled, "Unraveling the Octopus," and the way he pieced together all the lyrics is amazing. Furthermore, the chord progression is so unusual, yet it works. If you ask me, "Octopus" is the song that makes him a creative genius. I'd say it's at least better than "Take Up Thy Stethoscope And Walk" and "Pow R. Toc H." However, it is quite complex, and it would appear you prefer his simpler songs, given your favorites are this and "Golden Hair." And that raises a fair point, which is that a song doesn't have to be complex to be good. But I still feel that Octopus is a work of genius because of its cryptic, intricate lyrics and unusual chord progression.

    Miguel Hernandez

    @TheNightmare75II Yeah, I can't lie about me preferring his simpler songs. My favorite songs are probably Lucifer Sam, Flaming, and Bike on the first album and that's my favorite album of all time.


    The theme here, and if it's really true Miguel and myxn, Then we all gravitate towards Syd.. due to us "connecting" with him. I hope neither of you ever try again. I have mental defects. but the physical pain is what makes them so intense at times. This is youtube, so if you're posting that type of stuff publicly. and ever just need an ear to vent, just reply and I'll +1 you on my Google acct. Hope you all have a great day!!

  63. Nicolás Moreno

    ¡Happy Birthday, Syd!

  64. Jeff Stewart

    what a happy song this is makes me happy thank you very much

  65. Robert Defex

    Comparing Syd Barrett to Justin beiber is as far out there as any thing can get if Syd was alive to read these comments Syd is the reason I decided to sing my own songs


    +Robert Defex Don't bring shit here

  66. Anny música

    High ✨❤️, love u Syd .

  67. JJgamer 123

    this song reminds me of the esteate i used to live in !

  68. IndigoEye75

    great storyteller he was

  69. shaun druid

    every time I hear this I laugh my ass off, and it makes me smile

  70. Danny Hood

    FRIED! WASTED!! This is what happens Laughin! I swear too GAWD syd! barrett A result from syds coloring books as child you imbeciles! You must understand you people not in the same building as syd,.... lol! Although Syd would probably let you in, Because Syd himself was an idiot! Haha! Kiss my ass!

    Gromit Pesley

    What are you chatting about there? Are you trying to be all psychedelic and interesting like Syd? Because it really did

    Jack Pine

    +Gromit Pesley No it didn't.

    Gromit Pesley

    +Jack Pine It kind of did.

    Jack Pine

    +Gromit Pesley I already said it didn't.

    Gromit Pesley

    @Jack Pine  I already said it did.

  71. Brian Smith

    Thank you tack, me ol best friend

  72. July m92

    Solo Syd puede escribir una canción infantil y hacerla interesante. Que incluso el album que tenia tendencias a la depresión, termine con esta canción "feliz" es un poco crudo y bizarro.

  73. StrangeMachines1

    Big Syd! You dindt really lose it. That sick world lost you I think..

    Bad Tux

    He apparently wrote this song before he founded Pink Floyd. It didn't really fit in with Floyd, thus why it didn't make it onto an album until his post-Floyd albums.


    @ strange machines most objective comment i have read about Syd Barrett.....thankyou

    Sheldon F

    appreciated by whom?  the same people who liked it then like it now.

    Birkin Sornberger


    Juan Martín Pinos

    @Sheldon F Not really...
    I didn't know Syd a year ago but now I appreciate his music

  74. John Meowzer

    Syd wuz a mad musical Dr. Seuss!

  75. RooVeR

    Anybody know what is the animal that shouts between 15-20 seconds and in the end of the song?


    @Theresa K
    Interesting version)

    shaun druid

    I do believe that would be a yeti my friend

    ava cado

    +RooVeR an elephant i believe lmao

    Gromit Pesley

    An effervescing elephant.

  76. Alexeiy Hotsuliak

    Effervescing Elephant (Barrett) 1:52

    An Effervescing Elephant
    with tiny eyes and great big trunk
    once whispered to the tiny ear
    the ear of one inferior
    that by next June he'd die, oh yeah!
    because the tiger would roam.
    The little one said: "Oh my goodness I must stay at home!
    and every time I hear a growl
    I'll know the tiger's on the prowl
    and I'll be really safe, you know
    the elephant he told me so."
    Everyone was nervy, oh yeah!
    and the message was spread
    to zebra, mongoose, and the dirty hippopotamus
    who wallowed in the mud and chewed
    his spicy hippo-plankton food
    and tended to ignore the word
    preferring to survey a herd
    of stupid water bison, oh yeah!
    And all the jungle took fright,
    and ran around for all the day and the night
    but all in vain, because, you see,
    the tiger came and said: "Who me?!
    You know, I wouldn't hurt not one of you.
    I'd much prefer something to chew
    and you're all to scant." oh yeah!
    He ate the Elephant

    Scotch Beef

    Alexeiy Hotsuliak pure genius

    shifty fiftyonefifty

    Shit stirring elephant. Served him right

  77. Refrescospepito

    At the beggining of the song a tuba is heard playing part of the "The Elephant", from "The carnival of animals", a piece of classical music composed by Camile Saint-Saens.


  78. Alejandro Avitia

    This story is so sad. :(

  79. Zigz Zagz

    Syd wrote this long before he went mad. Great fun little ditty. Happy kind of song you might sing around a campfire or summat like that.

  80. Ezequiel Lagos

    Fuckin' brilliant.

  81. LETHE

    Lol this song xD

  82. Rebby L

    these lyrics are so deep


    for deep people :)

    Jack Kelly

    R U DEEP TOO?????????????????????????????????

  83. xoViZionZ

    I think Syd loved animals. Haha plus his song Octipus

    Brian Nava

    And rats, wolfpack, terrapin(about underwater)

    Mimi Dean

    apparently 'cause he also owned a lot of cats from what I've heard

    Alex Forbes

    He also replaced his door knobs with toy hippopotamuses haha

  84. Kathy O'Neil

    This song seriously just made my day. I love him for songs like this.

  85. ElTacoZombie

    It's funny because the lyrics start at the begining of the photo, and finish at the end of it

  86. Napoleon the XVI

    I love syd barrett. 

    Mimi Dean

    who doesn't?

    Kerwin Smith

    I've been to syd barrets in england

    Joe Mac

    And love Barrets you

  87. Yeksa Otsi'tsya

    this song is so cute. |3

    Jim Jones

    He wrote it when he was very young, like 15 or so.


    yes the lyrics are inspired from a poem of edward lear, syd used to read his books when he was a child

  88. Miss de Meanour


    There are no words. I LOVE IT!!!!! :D Crazy song from my favourite Crazy Diamond :)

  89. freejacx

    Thanks for sharing. One of my favs but then syd was a genius imoho.

  90. George Withrow

    Real Pink Flyod

  91. Raziel

    Quite? Maybe, Very? :D

  92. Raziel

    Watch out, Nobody needs two of me :P (original comment person)

  93. Raziel

    I used to think the elephant was my uncle too.

  94. Odeed

    The version on "The Madcap Cries" is better.

  95. Sundown798

    LOL are you serious?

  96. Iwin youlose

    this is definitely one of my favorite songs ever