Beatles: Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds Meaning
Song Released: 1967
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Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds Lyrics
with tangerine trees and marmalade skies -
somebody calls you, you answer quite slowly …
a girl with kaleidoscope eyes!
cellophane flowers of yellow and green,
towering over your head …
look for the...
DrunkenLlama Jan 18th, 2006 1:12pm report
According to the Beatles, one day in 1966 Lennon's son Julian came home from nursery school with a drawing he said was of his classmate, a girl named Lucy. Showing the artwork to his father, young Julian described the picture as "Lucy - in the sky with diamonds."
Julian later said, "I don't know why I called it that or why it stood out from all my other drawings but I obviously had an affection for Lucy at that age. I used to show dad everything I'd built or painted at school and this one sparked off the idea for a song about Lucy in the sky with diamonds."
Who was Lucy?
Four year old Lucy O'Donnell was about a year older than Julian Lennon when he enrolled at the private Heath House School in Weybridge, Surrey. John Lennon and the other Beatles visited her family's antique and jewellery shop now and then, so the family knew Julian. When the little boy became homesick or unsettled at school, Lucy would be called out of class to sit with him while he drew pictures.
In 2005, her sister Mary Foster said, "One day John Lennon came into the shop and said, 'Hello, Lucy in the sky with diamonds.' We thought it was just John being John." When the song appeared on Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, the Richardsons noticed the name but weren't sure of any connection until 1975, when Lennon told an interviewer the story of his son's picture.
anonymous Apr 25th, 2006 4:30pm report
It was said before that this song is a mirror to I am The Walrus. This is sort of correct, but it's really that I Am The Walrus reffers to THIS. I'm sure that this had some socialist means, because I Am The Walrus did, and it refers to Lucy in the Sky in that song.
I'm sure most of you are saying "it's not about LSD" and those saying "ITS SOOO ABOUT LSD" have both probably never experienced this stuff. I'm SURE he was either high, or drawing from past experiences of being high when he wrote it, but it odsnt mean that's what the whole things about.
Being a lyricist, and a strange one at that, I know where you get these things from. Sometimes ill be writing a song and say to myself "hmm I remember that one time when..." and make a small refference to something, but not make the whole song about it. It probably had refferences to Julians picture, and lucy herself, but he was clearly high or thinking of haullucinations when he wrote it.
Kaleidascope eyes gives it away. I was thinking today "when you look through a Kaleidascope, you see these shimmery things swirling around (diamonds) and then he thought about Lucy, being in this kaleidascope. Something he might have seen when high on LSD.
So look, it's based on the picture, but inspired by a trip. That's the short story. But I'm sure that everything means somthing else, even "rocking horse people eat marshmellow pies".... Its all metaphoric and based on SOMETHING. That's how the brain works.
Just don't assume it was scrambled down on paper randomly while tripping, but also don't assume that those crazy lyrics where written while clean for a week.
anonymous Dec 1st, 2006 12:34am report
Is there a reason why a song must have only one meaning? Or why the entire song must be based around and pertaining to only ONE subject? Do you honestly think that it's feasible that a song, usually have three verses and two or more chorus, is going to be so singularly oriented that it would all be only about ONE specific thing?
I can see something beautiful and appreciate it in an artistic sense, while at the same time be reminded of a childhood memory, and at the same time think, "This would be really cool on acid."
I think that the kid's picture thing is probably true. I also think that the Allison in Wonderland thing probably has some merit. The song is definately very colorful and very fanciful with some crazy imagery; it's a very skillful and detailed imagination... That could very possibly be about or inspired by LSD.
(Wow, this'd be cool on acid.)
I have looked occasionally at these lyric meaning sites, curious about how people interpret Beatles music. I am somewhat amused at how clueless most people seem to be. Not that I am anybody special but I came of age at the peak of the Beatles' popularity.
The Beatles were trying to turn people on to great esoteric truths, things which cannot always be taught directly. The Sergeant Pepper Album was very much about that.
I do not think Lennon was lying when he said the song was inspired by his son's drawing, but the song was certainly about more than that.
Something that commonly occurred when using psychedelic drugs, especially with groups of people who were close was a certain flowing together of personalities and a sort of "ego loss' where the oneness of existence is perceived. This may sound like gibberish, but if it ever happened to you it would be clear to what I am referring.
Now let me relate what I have just said to the lyrics of "Lucy in the Sky"
"the girl with kaleidoscope eyes" - the nature of a kaleidoscope is a tube with many mirrors. You look in and the mirrors cause the bits of colored glass or plastic to form brilliant patterns. The word eye sounds the same as the word I. Kaleidoscope "I's" could refer to perceiving the world as a million reflections of yourself.
Picture yourself in a train in a station with plasticine porters with looking glass ties.
It seems the picture being painted is of railway porters with neckties with mirrors on them (looking-glasses). But the word tie has more than one meaning; it can also mean the ties between people, that which connects them. Porters conduct people from one place to another. In other words when you perceive the tie between yourself and another it is like looking into a mirror. "Look for the girl with the sun in her eyes and she's gone" This psychic state cannot be reached by conscious effort. If you try, it flees from you.
If you think I am off the track just look at how much of the Beatles music returns to this theme.. i.e.Day in the Life, I am the Walrus, Looking through a Glass Onion, Within you, Without You, Come together, Tomorrow never knows, and the list goes on and on. The famous album cover of Sergeant Pepper has pictures of many famous cultural icons (musicians, actors, artists, authors) but there are also many pictures of leaders of spiritual disciplines such as Paramahansa Yogananda, Aleister Crowley and many others. Just some thoughts on this subject.
anonymous Mar 21st, 2013 3:39am report
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GreatestBandEver Jan 10th, 2013 1:45am report
The Beatles were masters at writing songs with multiple meanings. It may have started from a picture but they didn't miss the fact that Lucy, Sky, and Diamonds was also LSD. Now for almost 50 years the controversy goes on and so does the song. Same thing with Hey Jude and many of their songs. May have started one way but they certianly weren't opposed to people believing it had some other meaning... I think they were amused by everything that fans came up with... all part of their genius.
anonymous Nov 16th, 2012 11:19pm report
Thanks for your post on this web site. From my own experience, there are occassions when softening way up a photograph might provide the professional photographer with a dose of an imaginative flare. Often times however, this soft clouds isn't just what exactly you had under consideration and can often times spoil a normally good snapshot, especially if you thinking about enlarging it.
anonymous Jun 17th, 2012 6:10pm report
this song is clearly about being high on acid or LSD Lennon lied it isn't about any person its about being high
anonymous May 4th, 2012 5:16pm report
If you never really peaked on acid you have no clue what so ever
anonymous Jan 26th, 2012 1:04pm report
It's about a drawing, not about drugs. Why would he lie about it being about drugs, if it's already banned by the BBC and radio?
anonymous Sep 8th, 2011 9:36am report
Many of you are overanalyzing the song, coming up with interpretations that are very weakly supported by the song's lyrics.
Regardless of how the song was inspired, the song's lyrics consist of a series of visual imagery that is utopian, colorful, surreal, and childlike in nature. Think Alice in Wonderland, and you've got the right idea.
That's all there is to it. Newsflash: not all artistic works have specific meanings or messages. John Lennon in particular wrote plenty of songs that were meaningless, or that were even meant to perplex the bozos that think that everything has some kind of deeper meaning.
Also, for the record, the song's title was inspired by a drawing one of Lennon's sons drew, and the actual lyrics of the song were inspired by Lennon's experiences on LSD. The initials of the song's title was a coincidence though, surprisingly.
anonymous Sep 8th, 2011 9:30am report
WIKIPEDIA SAYS- Lennon's son, Julian, inspired the song with a nursery school drawing he called "Lucy — in the sky with diamonds". Shortly after the song's release, speculation arose that the first letter of each of the title's nouns intentionally spelled LSD. Although Lennon denied this, the BBC banned the song.
BUT IT ALSO SAYS-
In a 2004 interview, Paul McCartney said that the song is about LSD, stating, "A song like 'Got to Get You Into My Life,' that's directly about pot, although everyone missed it at the time." "Day Tripper," he says, "that's one about acid. 'Lucy in the Sky,' that's pretty obvious. There's others that make subtle hints about drugs, but, you know, it's easy to overestimate the influence of drugs on the Beatles' music."
anonymous Jul 3rd, 2011 7:58pm report
I agree with the song being mixed between john looking at julians picture, and him being on lsd... hha... thats the most fair answer... hhe.. but the truth lies within his grave... and all hes doin is laughing at us debating about it... ill be like that one day... i want people to debate about me... haha.. anything about me... hehehehe
anonymous Jun 9th, 2011 6:29pm report
It's reported that it was about Julian's school drawn picture. But consider this people...
(L)ucy in the (S)ky with (D)iamonds
Quite a coincidence, no?
Also don't forget to note this song was written around their heaviest LSD use.
anonymous May 7th, 2011 5:45pm report
Its inspired by Lennon's first son, Julian. He was a little "trippy" and high on LSD when writing this or at-least still under a mind altering psychedelic influence which is an explanation of the odd surreal lyrics. The lyrics simply seem to talk about a girl named Lucy who he continuously finds and looks for who he or the character in the song seems to love or have a slight interest and affection for. I find there to be references(Excluding actual LSD)and surreal odd and random lyrics.
anonymous May 7th, 2011 5:19am report
I'm a little older than Julian and back then I couldn't understand the depths of the Baptists' hate for the Beatles who mostly sang about peace and love. Having learned here about Julian's picture of his friend Lucy (?perhaps the kids imagined her able to fly [in the sky] and rich [with diamonds]?).
Now I can see it clear as day: Lennon wrote an *awesome, catchy kid song* that is filled with LSD influence. There's the watery sound filled with bendy notes and a potential drug reference in almost every line. All of the imagery is playful, harmless kid stuff and much may have come from playground storytelling. And it perfectly describes a trip in a 'newspaper taxi' where you 'climb in the back with your head in the clouds and you're gone'. -- LeMoyne
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