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Have a Cigar

"Have a Cigar"
Single by Pink Floyd featuring Roy Harper
from the album Wish You Were Here
B-side "Welcome to the Machine" (US single)
"Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Part I)" (Italian and French singles)
Released 15 November 1975
Format 7"
Recorded January–July 1975 at Abbey Road Studios, London
Genre Progressive rock, hard rock, blues rock
Length 5:08
4:24 (Edit)
Label Harvest (UK)
Columbia/CBS (US)
Writer(s) Roger Waters
Producer(s) Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd singles chronology
"Us and Them" / "Time"
"Have a Cigar"
"Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)"
French and Italian Issue
Wish You Were Here track listing

"Have a Cigar" is the third track on Pink Floyd's 1975 album Wish You Were Here.[1][2] It follows "Welcome to the Machine" and on the original LP opened side two. In some markets, the song was issued as a single.

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 was largely instrumental.


  • Composition and recording 1
  • Live 2
  • Personnel 3
  • Quotes 4
  • Cover versions 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Composition and recording

The song's music and lyrics were written by Roger Waters in critique of hypocrisy and greed within the music business. The music is more straightforwardly rock-oriented than the rest of the album, beginning with a churning riff played on electric guitar and bass. The track 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 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. Both 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 ("...for a price").[3] The song is one of only two songs by the band which is not sung by one of their permanent members, the other being "The Great Gig in the Sky".


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 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/Animals 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 played the song on many of his solo tours (one exception being the 1999–2002 In the Flesh tour).


"Have a Cigar" was sung by Roy Harper, something that Waters later regretted. The song contains lyrics that are critical of the music industry.

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Cover versions

  • In 1979, Warner Bros. Records released a 12" single containing a special disco version of "Have a Cigar" by Rosebud, a studio group led by composer Gabriel Yared, from their album Discoballs: A Tribute to Pink Floyd. The song peaked at number 4 on Billboard's Disco Top 80 chart in June 1979. The B-side was a disco version of "Money".
  • In 1992, the band Primus recorded a cover of the song and included it as the closing track to their Miscellaneous Debris EP. Their version features a slight lyrical change: "The band is just fantastic, of the town you are the talk/Man, but who the hell's this guy they call Bob Cock?"
  • Foo Fighters recorded two different cover versions of the song. The first was used as b-side for the Learn to Fly CD single, while the second one, featuring Brian May on lead guitar, first appeared on the Mission: Impossible II soundtrack, and later as an bonus track on their 2009 Greatest Hits album and in the 2011 limited-edition vinyl only release Medium Rare, released for Record Store Day. Both versions were sung by drummer Taylor Hawkins.
  • The album Instead, released in 2007 by Onetwo, contains a cover version of "Have a Cigar".
  • The main riff of "Have a Cigar" is incorporated into the song "Peruvian Skies" by progressive metal band Dream Theater on their 1998 live album Once in a LIVEtime and on the Live DVD 5 Years in a Livetime. Also, from their album "Images and Words," using the main riff from "Have a Cigar" at the beginning of "Metropolis: Part I" [1992].
  • A free CD given with the October 2011 issue of UK music magazine Mojo features a cover version of "Have a Cigar" by John Foxx and The Maths.[5] This version was later announced by Mojo as 'not the finished version' and the correct version was offered as a free download from the website.[6]
  • Gov't Mule performed the song as part of their "Dark Side of the Mule" live album from 2008, which consisted of half original material, half Pink Floyd covers.


  1. ^ Strong, Martin C. (2004). The Great Rock Discography (7th ed.). Edinburgh:  
  2. ^ Mabbett, Andy (1995). The Complete Guide to the Music of Pink Floyd. London:  
  3. ^  
  4. ^ 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).
  5. ^ "Connections: Have A Cigar: Interview - August 2011". Retrieved 2012-03-03. 
  6. ^ "John Foxx & The Maths - Have A Cigar - News". 2011-08-25. Retrieved 2012-03-03. 

External links

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