Petrological and geochemical data from interstratified sandstones, argillites and radiolarian cherts of the post-Cambrian to pre-Late Devonian Shoo Fly Complex indicate that the provenance of the sediments deposited there was multifarious. Sandstone point-count data suggest that the provenance had both subduction complex and continental related sources. Trace and rare earth element data from the cherts suggest magmatic arc and alkalic basalt influences. Major, trace and rare earth element provenance discrimination plots of argillite samples overwhelmingly argue for a passive margin source. A number of conflicting theories and models are expounded as to the significance and setting of the complex. In light of the geochemical data presented here, as well as sedimentological, structural and stratigraphical data derived from detailed field work, the trench associated with the Lesser Antilles volcanic arc is thought to be a good analogue to the depositional and tectonic setting of the Shoo Fly Complex.