The song contains nascent existentialist themes, as singer Syd Barrett compares his own existence to that of the scarecrow, who, while "sadder" is also "resigned to his fate". Such thematic content would later become a mainstay of the band's lyrical imagery.
The US single (Tower 356) was released by Tower Records 3 times between between July 1967 and late 1968. Each time it failed to duplicate its UK success.
A promotional film for the song, made for a Pathe newsreel and filmed in early July 1967, features the band in an open field with a scarecrow, generally fooling around. It shows Roger Waters falling down as if he were tired, and Nick Mason exchanging his hat with scarecrow's. Part of this film was featured in Roger Waters' Dark Side of the Moon Tour.