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Astronomy Domine by Pink Floyd

Album: The Piper At The Gates Of DawnReleased: 1967
  • "Astronomy" is the study of celestial bodies, and to "Domineer" is to control something in an arrogant way. So "Astronomy Domine" means to control space for personal needs. This probably represents the space race between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics during the Cold War era. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Spencer - Los Angeles, CA
  • "Oberon, Miranda and Titania" are all moons of Uranus and are also characters in Shakespeare's plays (Oberon and Titania, King and Queen of the Fairies in A Midsummer Night's Dream; Miranda, daughter of Prospero in The Tempest). "Titan" is the largest moon of Saturn. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Ashley - Moncton, Canada
  • The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn was a hit album in England, where it reached #6. Pink Floyd got some attention when they toured there with Jimi Hendrix in 1967. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
  • Regarding the lyrics, "Stairway scare, Dan Dare, who's there?" Dan Dare is a British science fiction comic hero created by illustrator Frank Hampson, and is referenced in this song with obvious references to Space, planets, and their moons. Syd Barrett's guitar is also suggestive of the brass motif from "Mars, the Bringer of War" in Gustav Holst's The Planets.
  • There is some Morse Code at the beginning of this song, which was a way to transmit messages using a series of long and short tones. Plenty of people tried to decipher the code in this song, only to realize it was just a random series of tones with no meaning.
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Comments: 34

I always thought "Domine" was a misspelling of the word "domain," kind of like a British person would say it.Redsails - Birmingham, Al
Back in the 60's before Pink Floyd were known, their record label (Harvest) came out with albums of new artists they were trying to get new audiences for. The albums were sold at give away prices just to get them in your hands. I paid 29 cents for the one with this song on it with Pink Floyd. Other artists on this album were Linda Ronstadt, Grand Funk Railroad and about 10 others I can't think of now. The idea worked as I became instantly addicted to Pink Floyd.Cliff - Oakdale, Ny
I'm not as familiar as I would like to be with PF ... so I have a question: Was Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd using the interstellar imagery and the names of planets in an extended Dan Dare kind of fantasy, or was there a further dream metaphor at play alluding to planetary personalities; per C S Lewis, Holst? (The mention of Oberon and Titania are also from Midsummer Night's Dream.) Or were they all just high? Appreciate your thoughts...Tom - London, United Kingdom
Love the intro...Stacey - Houston, Tx
But Chris from Washington, Bike does a perfect job at being a silly fun song, its not meant to be a pretentious ballad or anything like that. Syd was really focused on story's on that time in his life. If you want metaphors and all that listen to the album Barrett. I've listened to that album 50 times and still find new meaning in some lyrics that I would've considered meaningless.Tristan - Philadelphia, Pa
i think comparing the barrett-era floyd with waters-era is useless. theyre both EXTREMELY different. i personally love syd and his lyrics, but who can deny that roger and david are also incredible? and patrick, of COURSE his solo stuff isnt that great, he was completely out of his mind by then! such a shame...wish he were here.Chloe - St. Louis, Mo
i think oldpink is secretly roger waters. on every page i look at, he/she has added some interesting trivia.Chloe - St. Louis, Mo
I once heard this was the emergence of space rock. Whatever the case, this is, IMO, the best song off of The Piper at the Gates of Dawn; certainly a great song to listen to, especially while star gazing.Harry - South Bend, In
This one is a fantastic old classic.
Syd's original studio version is great, but I must say the live performances of it were more interesting, with Dave and Rick in particular improvising a bit.
The voice at the beginning is indeed that of Peter Jenner, reading planet and other celestial body names into what is supposed to sound like a static-plagued radio.
btw...probably the most interesting version is the October 17, 1970, Pepperland, San Rafael, CA recording of this, which features three power outage false starts and Roger chatting with the audience during their difficulties.
This song was the perfect opener when I saw them open up with it in 1994, 23 years after they had stopped performing it live.
;-)
Oldpink - New Castle, In
I found out, it's 'dominnee'.Sibella - Pretoria, --
Is it pronounced 'domine' as in an English way or 'dominnay'?Sibella - Pretoria, --
Patrick, how can you say something like that? Waters and Gilmour would've gotten nowhere without Barett. Waters couldn't even tune his bass in the early days, And while Gilmour is a great guitarest his playing does not come close to matching the early visions of Syd's. On another note the voice in the beginning of the song is of Peter Jenner, their manager.Tristan - Philadelphia, Pa
Hey dan it was an orange and a plum...Tristan - Philadelphia, Pa
I agree with Brain here. I love Syd's stuff with Pink Floyd, but his solo stuff sucks. Waters and Gilmour are both better than him though.Patrick - Chicago, Il
Great song to play along with. It's British and distorted and astronomical. Three of my favourite things.Wayne - Leesburg, Va
is that acually roger waters commenting?Brandon - Downingtown, Pa
One of my favourite songs... personally i've allways prefered syd's pink floyd...Mentor - Cambridge, England
i don't personally much care for pink floyd's syd barrett-led era, but this song is pretty good. so is interstellar overdrive, but it's purely instrumentalAchory - Warner Robins, Ga
if you think this song is not about the space race, think again. pink floyd was a very philosophical, thought provoking rocknroll band. their music was known as "the thinking man's rock and roll." this is definitely about the space race. do some research and you will find that everything floyd did was done to state an opinion about a political issue or about human nature in general.Adam - Lexington, Ky
i like syd pink floyd more than rogers and gilmour because syd was such a genius and mde the music so happy. i miss him so much though!even though he wasn't as popular solo his music was still good. plus he was real good-looking before he went totally insane.Ozzy - Fresno, Ca
Yeah, definitely not sure it's about any politicial things. Ashley from Moncton, Canada is right- it's very Syd Barrett, simple and cool but still smart. Waters-era Floyd seems much more focused on politics than Barrett-era Floyd. The latter produced more nonsensical and fun songs. (Though there ARE admittedly some fun ones that were made post-Syd. =] ).Shelby - The Other Side , United States
I personally wouldn't say Syd is better than Waters or Gilmour simply for Waters's lyrics and Gilmour's amazing solos he wrote. Still, a good artist.Bryan - New York, Ny
Astronomy Domine has inspiration from an early '50s comic called "The Eagle" that feature astronaut Dan Dare. With his assistant Digby, he fought against an alien named the Mekon. Dan Dare was also a popular radio serial. The Comic/radio ran when Syd was a young boy. "Stairway Scare, Dan Dare - who's there?" Dan Dare would go anywhere.Robert - Moulton,northants, England
I heard they had one of those farmers' almanacs or a book about space (something like that) and their manager read random things out of it in the beginning part. The rest of the song continues in that vain.Lizz - Tampa, Fl
chris, if you think syd barrett can t write music then listen to arnold layne (the single version), if you haven't already. he is a little bet better than waters and gilmour.Joey - Hw, United States
all I know is that Syd Barrett cannot write music at all, his lyrics are so plain for example listen to bikeChris - Everett, Wa
This song is about Syd Barrett tripping on acid holding a lime and an orange thinking they were planets.Dan - Winthrop, Ma
I always thought the voice at the start was reading military manouevers or something, until I heard that it was just planet names, which could link back to the cold-war I guess. Lyrics seem pretty meaningless "Stars can frighten?!" honestly The music's great though, but the vocals are a little lifeless.
- Gerard, Honikiwi, New Zealand --If you listen to some of Syd Barrett's solo work, his vocals usually tend to sound that way.
Ryan - Plano, Tx
This song was one of the first pure space-rock songs of that time. I think the music is great, and I like the simple way Barrett plays the guitar, a good song to discover the Barrett-era if you're a Pink Floyd fan. I think the original version is the best, I personally do not enjoy the Ummagumma version at all.Dom - MontrÃ?al, Canada
"Domine" is the Latin word for "Lord". The title is been pronounced as dom-in-ee rather than the Latin prounciation dom-in-ay. And I agree with Don from San Antonio re: Voi Vod's cover - excellent. The best Floyd version is the live one from Ummagumma.Steve - Ottawa, Canada
The version on Pulse is pretty good as well.Alex - Fort Mill, Sc
You don't need to complicate the song with all the unnecessary analyses. Maybe it's just about space?Ashley - Moncton, Canada
Space race? Not my guess. Try Magick. Also try Voi Vod's version. Total justice to the original.Don - San Antonio, Tx
I always thought the voice at the start was reading military manouevers or something, until I heard that it was just planet names, which could link back to the cold-war I guess.
Lyrics seem pretty meaningless "Stars can frighten?!" honestly
The music's great though, but the vocals are a little lifeless.
Gerard - Honikiwi, New Zealand
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