Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds

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"Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds"
Song by The Beatles

from the album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

Released 1 June 1967
Recorded 1 March 1967,
EMI Studios, London
Genre Psychedelic rock[1]
Length 3:28
Label Parlophone R6022
Writer Lennon/McCartney
Producer George Martin
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band track listing

"Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" is a song written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney [2] for The Beatles' 1967 album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.[3]

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, people realized that the first letter of each of the title's nouns spelled LSD[4]. Though Lennon denied and mocked the idea of a hidden LSD reference, the BBC banned the song.

Title and lyrics[change | change source]

Julian's drawing[change | change source]

According to the Beatles, Lennon's son, Julian Lennon showed his father a nursery school drawing he called Lucy - in the sky with diamonds, depicting his classmate, Lucy O'Donnell. Julian 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..."[5] [6] [7] Lucy Vodden née O'Donnell died of an immune system disease in 2009.[8]

Lennon was surprised at the idea that the song title was a hidden reference to LSD.[4]

It was purely unconscious that it came out to be LSD. Until someone pointed it out, I never even thought of it. I mean, who would ever bother to look at initials of a title? It's not an acid song. The imagery was Alice in the boat.

Reviews and legacy[change | change source]

Rolling Stone magazine described the song as "Lennon's lavish daydream"[9] and music critic Richie Unterberger said "'Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds' was one of the best songs on the Beatles' famous Sgt. Pepper album, and one of the classic songs of psychedelia as a whole. There are few other songs that so successfully evoke a dream world, in both the sonic textures and words."[10] In a review for the BBC, Chris Jones described the song as "nursery rhyme surrealism" that contributed to Sgt. Pepper's "revolutionary ... sonic carpet that enveloped the ears and sent the listener spinning into other realms."[11]

In later interviews, Lennon expressed disappointment with the Beatles' arrangement of the recording, complaining that inadequate time was taken to fully develop his initial idea for the song. He also said that he felt he didn't think that he sang it very well. "I was so nervous I couldn't sing," he told the journalist Ray Connolly, "but I like the lyrics."[12]

A 3.2 million year-old, 40% complete fossil skeleton of an Australopithecus afarensis specimen discovered in 1974 was named "Lucy" because the Beatles song was being played loudly and repeatedly on a tape recorder in the camp.[13]

The White dwarf star BPM 37093, which contains a core of crystallized carbon roughly 4000 km in diameter, is informally named "Lucy" as a tribute to the Beatles song.[14]

Personnel[change | change source]

Personnel per Ian MacDonald[15]

Notes[change | change source]

Other websites[change | change source]