take up space

Take Up Thy Stethoscope and Walk

"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


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