Thursday, January 15, 2009

Lucy In the Sky With Diamonds

The Legend:  The Beatles song, "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds" is about tripping on LSD.

Status:  John says False, Paul says True


For decades the Beatles denied it, but the public held fast to the idea that the song's title must be more than mere coincidence, especially at a time when LSD was popular and on an album featuring psychedelic designs. What else could they mean by "marmalade skies" and "Kaleidoscope eyes" unless they were singing about tripping?

John Lennon explained that the title was just a coincidence.  It was taken, verbatim, from the name John's four-year-old son Julian had given to a painting he made of his friend Lucy, a classmate of Julian's at Heath House School. (You can see the watercolor at  Lennon claimed he had no idea that the title formed the acrostic L-S-D until it was pointed out to him after the album's release. Lennon never changed his story.

Ron Shaumburg, author of Growing Up With The Beatles, agreed that it was a coincidence, saying that Lennon had always been quite honest about his own drug use, so why would he lie about a song?  Additionally, Bill Harry's Encyclopedia of Beatles People (1997) says the Lucy in question was Lucy the classmate and not LSD.

Then, in June 2004, in an interview with Uncut magazine, Paul McCartney admitted that Lucy in the Sky was indeed about LSD, obviously.

It's no secret that John and Paul had their differences over the years, so with John gone, you'll need to make up your own mind about who is telling the truth on this one.