Psychedelic Rock Music
The song was written by Pink Floyd member Syd Barrett and was recorded and released in 1967. The stories vary as to whether Emily referred to a girl named Emily whom Barrett hallucinated while awakening from a nap in the woods after taking a psychedelic drug or to the Honourable Emily Young, daughter of Wayland Hilton Young, 2nd Baron Kennet, known as “the psychedelic schoolgirl.” Nevertheless, Pink Floyd has been known for their progressive and psychedelic rock music. They experimented with different sounds (as well as drugs) and gave great live shows. “See Emily Play” was released as a single in 1967 backed with “The Scarecrow.” It went to #6 in the U.K. The song was also on the American edition of their debut album The Piper at the Gates of Dawn. “See Emily Play” is on The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s list of “500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.”
Pink Floyd formed in London, England, in 1965, and continued with personnel changes, of course, over many decades. On the track for “See Emily Play” were Syd Barrett (lead vocals, electric guitar, slide guitar), Rick Wright (Farfisa organ, piano, tack piano, Baldwin Spinet electric harpsichord, backing vocals), Roger Waters (bass, backing vocals), and Nick Mason (drum). It has been said that Barrett did the slide guitar work on the song with a Zippo lighter. Barrett also drew the artwork for the record cover.