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"Have a Cigar" is the third track on Pink Floyd's 1975 album Wish You Were Here.[5][6] It follows "Welcome to the Machine" and on the original LP opened side two. In some markets, the song was issued as a single. The song, written by Waters, is his own critique of the music industry at the time, and the hypocrisy of the band's record label to continue releasing more material.

"Have a Cigar"
Artwork for Belgian vinyl release[1]
Single by Pink Floyd featuring Roy Harper
from the album Wish You Were Here
Released15 November 1975 (1975-11-15)
Format7-inch single
RecordedJanuary–July 1975
StudioAbbey Road, London
  • 5:08
  • 4:24 (edit)
Songwriter(s)Roger Waters
Producer(s)Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd singles chronology
"Us and Them"
"Have a Cigar"
"Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)"

English folk singer Roy Harper provided lead vocals on the song. It was one of only two Pink Floyd recordings to feature guest lead vocals, the other being "The Great Gig in the Sky" with Clare Torry, though the latter piece featured no lyrics.


Composition and recordingEdit

The song's music and lyrics were written by Roger Waters in critique of hypocrisy and greed within the music business. Waters has frequently implied it to be a follow-up to "Money" with the lyrics representing the demands of a record executive after the runaway success of The Dark Side of the Moon.

The song is more straightforwardly rock-oriented than the rest of the album, and is the only one on the album that starts abruptly (the other four either fade in or segue from the previous song). It begins with a churning riff played on electric guitar and bass and is filled out with additional guitar, electric piano and synthesizer parts to create a rock texture.

"Have a Cigar" concludes with a guitar solo, which is abruptly interrupted by a synthesizer filter-sweep sound effect as the music reduces in volume to tinny, AM radio-like levels. Finally, the song ends with the sound of a radio being dialled off-station; this effect is used as a transition to the title track, "Wish You Were Here".

The song's lead vocals are performed by Roy Harper. Waters and David Gilmour had each attempted to sing the song on separate takes, as well as on a duet version (available on the 2011 Experience and Immersion editions of Wish You Were Here), but they were unhappy with the results. Harper was recording his album HQ in Studio 2 of Abbey Road at the same time as Pink Floyd were working in Studio 3, and Roy Harper offered to sing the part as Gilmour had already provided some guitar licks for Roy ("...for a price").[7]

In his book Pigs Might Fly: The Inside Story of Pink Floyd, author Mark Blake recounts that Gilmour had been unwilling to sing the lead vocal as he didn't share Waters' opinions, as expressed in the lyrics, on the nature of the music industry.[8] Waters has since said he dislikes Harper's version, saying he would have liked it to emerge "more vulnerable and less cynical", adding that Harper's version was too parodic while Gilmour loved Harper's vocal delivery and called it the "perfect version".[9]


Harper performed the song with the band on one occasion, the group's 1975 Knebworth Festival appearance, during the period Wish You Were Here was being recorded. The song was also performed on the band's 1975 North American tours sandwiched in between the multi-part "Shine On You Crazy Diamond", with Gilmour and Waters singing lead. It was last performed by the band on the 1977 In the Flesh tour, as part of the Wish You Were Here set with Waters on lead vocals, Gilmour on backing vocals and rhythm guitar and Snowy White playing the guitar solos.

Waters has also played the song on his solo tours, except for the 1999–2002 In the Flesh tour and the 2017 Us + Them Tour.[10]




A lot of people think I can't sing, including me a bit. I'm very unclear about what singing is. I know I find it hard to pitch, and I know the sound of my voice isn't very good in purely aesthetic terms, and Roy Harper was recording his own album in another EMI studio at the time, he's a mate, and we thought he could probably do a job on it.

— Roger Waters, October 1975, Interviewed by Nick Sedgewick in the Wish You Were Here songbook[11]

"Have a Cigar" was a whole track on which I used the guitar and keyboards at once. There are some extra guitars which I dubbed on later, but I did the basic guitar tracks at one time.

— David Gilmour, October 1975, Interviewed by Gary Cooper in the Wish You Were Here songbook[11]

We did have people who would say to us "Which one's Pink" and stuff like that. There were an awful lot of people who thought Pink Floyd was the name of the lead singer and that was Pink himself and the band. That's how it all came about, it was quite genuine.

— David Gilmour, December 1992, In the Studio with Redbeard for "Making of Shine On" and "Making of Wish You Were Here"[12]


Chart (1975) Peak
US Cash Box Looking Ahead [13] 119
US Record World Singles Chart 101–150 [13] 126

Cover versionsEdit


  1. ^ Have a Cigar / Shine on You Crazy Diamond (Part I) (Media notes). Pink Floyd. EMI / Harvest. 4 C 006-97357.CS1 maint: others (link) Side labels say SABAM.
  2. ^ "Have A Cigar" (B-side single record label). Pink Floyd. US: Columbia Records. 1975. 3-10248 – via Discogs.CS1 maint: others (link)
  3. ^ "Have A Cigar" (B-side single record label). Pink Floyd. Italy: Harvest Records. 1976. 3C 006-97357 – via Discogs.CS1 maint: others (link)
  4. ^ "Have A Cigar" (B-side single record label). Pink Floyd. France: Harvest Records. 1976. 2C 010-97.357 – via Discogs.CS1 maint: others (link)
  5. ^ Strong, Martin C. (2004). The Great Rock Discography (7th ed.). Edinburgh: Canongate Books. p. 1177. ISBN 1-84195-551-5.
  6. ^ Mabbett, Andy (1995). The Complete Guide to the Music of Pink Floyd. London: Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-7119-4301-X.
  7. ^ The Story of Wish You Were Here. 2012.
  8. ^ Mark Blake (2007). Pigs Might Fly: The Inside Story of Pink Floyd.
  9. ^ The Story of Wish You Were Here.
  10. ^ "Roger Waters Setlist at Meadowlands Arena, East Rutherford". Retrieved 24 May 2017.
  11. ^ a b Pink Floyd: Wish You Were Here Songbook. 1975 Pink Floyd Music Publishers Ltd., London, England. ISBN 0-7119-1029-4 (USA ISBN 0-8256-1079-6).
  12. ^ "Pink Floyd-Wish You Were Here-Roger Waters, David Gilmour, Nick Mason - In The Studio with Redbeard". 6 September 2015. Retrieved 20 May 2018.
  13. ^ a b Whitburn, Joel (2015). The Comparison Book. Menonomee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. 393. ISBN 978-0-89820-213-7.
  14. ^ "Discoballs: A Tribute to Pink Floyd - Rosebud | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  15. ^ "Rosebud - Discoballs (A Tribute To Pink Floyd)". Discogs. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  16. ^ "Miscellaneous Debris - Primus | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  17. ^ "Foo Fighters - Learn To Fly". Discogs. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  18. ^ "Mission: Impossible 2 [Original Soundtrack] - Original Soundtrack | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  19. ^ "Foo Fighters - Medium Rare". Discogs. Archived from the original on 2011-04-23. Retrieved 22 July 2017. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  20. ^ "Foo Fighters To Release Covers Album". 2011-03-14. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  21. ^ Lemieux, Patrick; Unger, Adam (2013). The Queen Chronology: The Recording & Release History of the Band. Lulu. p. 132. ISBN 978-0-9919840-4-6.
  22. ^ "Onetwo - Instead". Discogs. Archived from the original on 2012-07-31. Retrieved 22 July 2017. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  23. ^ "Connections: Have A Cigar: Interview - August 2011". Retrieved 3 March 2012.
  24. ^ "John Foxx & The Maths - Have A Cigar - News". 25 August 2011. Archived from the original on 16 March 2012. Retrieved 3 March 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  25. ^ Leggett, Steve. "Gov't Mule – Dark Side of the Mule". Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  26. ^ Kaye, Ben (16 November 2014). "Gov't Mule to release Pink Floyd covers album Dark Side of the Mule". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  27. ^ Haas, Anna. "FIDLAR Drop Roughed-Up, Modern Version of Pink Floyd's "Have a Cigar"". Paste. Retrieved 2 February 2019.

External linksEdit