Saturday, February 14, 2009

Beatles Song: Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds

There are many myths and facts about the Beatles’ “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.” Ever since the release of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, people analyzing the song claimed that the letters of the first words in the title formed the acronym LSD. This was denied by Lennon, who said that the title came from a drawing made by his four-year-old son Julian, who at school had rendered a sky full of exploding stars and named his artistic creation “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.” Paul McCartney, George Martin, and Pete Shotton have all verified Lennon’s story, saying that they themselves saw the picture. The BBC nevertheless banned the records from its airwaves because of the alleged drug reference.

While this is undoubtedly the case, Lennon was using acid heavily at the time and there has been little doubt in the minds of most biographers that the song, to a certain extent, used some degree of psychedelic imagery. Lennon also said some of the images were from Alice in Wonderland, a work of extreme surrealism. McCartney has verified in interviews that the general approach to the song was to capture the dreamlike quality of Alice. Lennon also said that some lines, such as “a girl with kaleidoscope eyes” was a reference to meeting Yoko Ono and that the song might well have been called “Yoko in the Sky with Diamonds.”

A fossilized skeleton was named Lucy by the famous archeologists, the Leakeys, who had been playing the song in camp when the discovery had been made at their dig.

The song, recorded March 1, 1967 at Abbey Road, was primarily a Lennon composition, although McCartney is said to have helped with some of the lyrics.

Lennon sings lead, with Harrison and McCartney both lending backing vocals. Lennon played lead guitar, McCartney bass and Hammond organ, Harrison sitar, and Starr drums.

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