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Careful With That Axe Eugene - Five Words and a Scream

A Thing Inspired By A Seven Days In Blog Post And The Pink Floyd Song

By Mike Singleton - MikeydredPublished 27 days ago 3 min read
8
An AI Creation By The Author

Introduction

A blog post on Seven Days In was getting some attention and you can read it here:

It got me thinking about the Pink Floyd song and the effect it has on the listener, and what those few words really mean.

Five Words And A Scream

The form of the song is slightly unusual in that the rhythm is driven by the guitars and the drums provide embellishment. There are some unspecific vocals before the quietly spoken words, followed by the scream and then the instruments following that op with fuzz guitar and more "Ooooh" vocals and screams.

But it is the things that come to mind from the words and the subsequent scream. Those five words are only spoken once. and the studio version of the "song" goes on for six minutes, live versions double that.

So who is saying "Careful With That Axe Eugene" and why are they saying it?

Who has the Axe?

Is the one saying the words, Eugene's friend or family member, or another, a woodsman or psychotic murderer intent on bloody harm of anyone in their path?

Rick Wright the band's keyboard player said this about the song:

The title has no specific meaning; keyboardist Richard Wright explained "We often pick titles that have nothing really to do with the songs"

Here is the Wikipedia entry from which that was taken:

Although Rick Wright said there is no story behind the song, we can all make a story from the words and the scream.

Eugene may have the axe in his hand or may be being threatened by the axe. I have used an axe many times and they can be dangerous if you get things wrong. I use axes mainly for chopping logs and a number of times I have hit knots and nails resulting in the axe being knocked dangerously off the course chosen by me.

So the warning may be to Eugene to be careful with the item that he is chopping, but he may have done what I did and not been so fortunate, hence the blood-curdling scream and one of his limbs is smashed and severed.

It could also be an Indiana Jones scenario where axes fly from walls to decapitate the unsuspecting intruder in the ancient temple. Obviously, Eugene would have to be warned.

Eugene may be attempting to kill himself and the person warning him may be trying to dissuade him, but we know from the scream that they fail, or we assume that. Eugene may have got mad and attacked the speaker.

We don't know the story because we have to extrapolate it from the only thing we have, five words and a scream.

Then again it may be a plea for mercy from the speaker trying to placate Eugene who is attacking them with an axe. Is Eugene the psychotic axe murderer? The words are very quiet so the speaker is not being aggressive towards Eugene, are they trying to be quietly persuasive to come out of the situation in the right number of pieces?

Conclusion

I have created a number of possible situations that could result in those words being stated. There are probably many more options but these are a few to apply to a single five-word song. that is listed as an instrumental on the Wikipedia listing (check the link above).

There are a number of versions of the song available on record and the "Ummagumma" live album version is the one I usually go for.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this and listening to the song and I would love to know your take on the five words and a scream.

CONTENT WARNINGsong reviewsbands70s music60s music
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About the Creator

Mike Singleton - Mikeydred

Weaver of Tales, Poems, Music & Love

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Comments (4)

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  • Arnold Guappo14 days ago

    The article delves into the enigmatic nature of Pink Floyd's "Careful With That Axe, Eugene," exploring the profound impact of its minimalistic lyrics and chilling scream.

  • Interesting read. Pink Floyd was such a cool band! It's one of my all-time favs. I always like finding out the origins of songs.

  • Carol Townend21 days ago

    I think that it sounds like a gothic murder or a psychological song of ones mind when things are not what they seem. The melody seems quite dramatic yet spooky in tone, and there are whispers in the song. When you hear the scream, it is piercing. Judging by these themes, it could depict somebody trying to escape their own mind. I listen to Pink Floyd a lot, and they are popular for the psychology in their songs which to them has no real meaning; though to the listener, there are many ways in which the music can be interpreted.

  • Love this Mike. Killing it man, keep it up. 👍 I am a fan. I have a challenge can you do 1 on Rob Zombie Dracula.

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