For Millennials. By Millennials.
There’s no doubt that the Beatles were the most creative band in the world. I mean, in their experimentation, they created more genres than ever existed before. But, some of those songs had references to drugs too. And the song Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds is often alleged to be about the drug LSD. Let’s see if that’s really the Beatles meant. And in this quest, we’ll be doing a review of the song too.
Where did the LSD connection come from?
Well, if you look at the song, it’s not that hard to think why people think it’s about LSD. Firstly, the initial letters of the name of the song spell out LSD – L(Lucy), S(Sky), D(Diamonds). But, it’s not just that! The lyrics of the songs are the real indication that this song is about acid. And the Beatles did a lot of acid in their days, a LOT.
Lyrics – The Beatles describe an acid trip
Now, before we dive into the lyrics, you should know that LSD is a psychedelic drug, which causes extreme hallucinations (I haven’t tried it myself, I swear). And the Beatles were famous for trying this drug, and have openly accepted it in the public as well. So, keep that in mind when we look at the lyrics that John Lennon wrote himself.
Picture yourself in a boat on a river
With tangerine trees and marmalade skies
Somebody calls you, you answer quite slowly
A girl with kaleidoscope eyes
A girl with kaleidoscope eyes? Marmalade skies? Okay, that raises doubts over the sanity of The Beatles. But wait, it gets even crazier!
Picture yourself on a train in a station
With plasticine porters with looking glass ties
Suddenly someone is there at the turnstile
The girl with the kaleidoscope eyes
I’ve been to some train stations in my life, but never like the one The Beatles explained in this song. And other than the lyrics, the music gives a hallucinating vibe too!
The music is just as trippy as the lyrics!
The song has a slow tempo until it speeds up at the chorus. However, it is mercurial and elusive and paints a vivid picture, just like the lyrics themselves. The Beatles used a number of unique instruments and gave the song a unique touch. It’s very much in sync with the general theme of the album Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band, but it stands out in itself as the most memorable one of the entire album. And this isn’t some ordinary album, but the most influential one in music history. Through this album, the Beatles changed music forever. But, here comes the fun part – John Lennon denies that this song is about LSD!
The Beatles deny that the song was a code for LSD!
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RECORDING THE WHITE ALBUM, 1968
Yeah, no one believes this claim by Lennon, but he is adamant about it. He claims that he saw the name Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds on one of his son Julian Lennon’s drawings:
My son Julian came in one day with a picture he painted about a school friend of his named Lucy. He had sketched in some stars in the sky and called it “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.” Simple.
Well, at least John Lennon accepts that the song describes the countless acid trips that the Beatles went on. But, the name of the song spelling out LSD was just a coincidence. However, rarely anyone believes in these claims by John. It’s so absurd, that he even says he only realized it spells out LSD after he read it in the papers!
Only after I read it or somebody told me. I didn’t even see it on the label. I didn’t look at the initials . . .
Okay, John’s definitely stretching it here. There’s no way that can happen under any circumstances. The lyrics were about LSD, so was the music, then how could the Beatles not have noticed this? John was even ready to swear to anyone in front of the Rolling Stones Magazine in 1970:
“Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” . . . I swear to God, or swear to Mao, or to anybody you like, I had no idea spelled LSD . . .
Here’s a video interview of John, still clinging to this explanation:
It’s really absurd at this point, but what can we say? No one believes a word of what John says, and he is known to be very clever in his interviews. So, chances are that he kept playing us. But, we all knew the Beatles well enough to know what’s what.