"Take Up Thy Stethoscope and Walk
" is a song by British psychedelic rock
band Pink Floyd
, and appears on their debut album, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn
(1967). This was Roger Waters
' debut song-writing credit, continually building in speed until the end and featuring frantic guitar-work by Syd Barrett
and manic keyboard parts by Rick Wright
. It has been suggested that the drum pattern which bookends the song was intended to simulate a heartbeat, perhaps foreshading the intro to the later The Dark Side of the Moon
. The song's title is a reference to John
5:8 - "Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk."
Its morbid lyrics are quite unlike anything else on the album, the rest of which was penned by Barrett
, but is characteristic of much of Waters' work; the clinical motif would recur in compositions like "Free Four
" and "Comfortably Numb
." Similarly, in "Sheep
," we find more Biblical quotations adapted by Waters to fit the song.
In what is probably a coincidence, the song parallels the title track to Waters's Amused to Death by beginning with the phrase "Doctor, Doctor."
Alternative and live versions