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likipie's avatar

Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds: LSD or Just a Song?

Asked by likipie (1454points) April 18th, 2012

Do you believe the myths that the song by the Beatles is really a hidden drug reference, or is it just another song by one of the greatest bands to ever exist?

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29 Answers

AngryWhiteMale's avatar

Just a song, based on a drawing John’s son Julian did in preschool, featuring his classmate Lucy (O’Donnell) Vodden. She died a couple years ago, from lupus.

likipie's avatar

THANK YOU!!!!! You are the first person that I’ve ever had this conversation with that actually agreed with the man who wrote the FREAKING SONG! Ugh, people can be so dense sometimes!

AngryWhiteMale's avatar

You’re welcome, @likipie. :-) Lyrics are like poetry, and the source of great lyrics/poetry can be anything from something complete and mind-blowing, or a simple drug (Coleridge composed “Kubla Khan” [“In Xanadu did Kubla Khan/A stately pleasure-dome decree:/...”] after an opium-inspired vision). But in this case, it can come (and did) from something as simple as a pre-school-aged kid’s drawing.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Old myths take a long time to die. There was a lot of controversy around the meaning of the title for awhile and apparently still exists. It was speculated that the title’s initials, LSD, was a reference to the drug. John Lennon denied it. His son Julian defended his father saying that he did indeed paint a picture of classmate Lucy and titled it that. The actual Lucy told the story of the day Julian painted the picture while sharing an easel at school.

But that is just the title. The lyrics may be a whole other matter. John Lennon claimed that “It is not an acid song. The imagery was Alice in a boat.” I’m no expert, but I assume this is a reference to the boat ride that Alice Pleasance Liddle took with Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (a.k.a. Lewis Carroll) which inspired him to write Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through The Looking Glass and What Alice Found There.

When Paul McCartney, who also received credit for contributing to the creation of the song, was asked if it pertained to drugs, the response was, “It’s pretty obvious.” In my opinion, his answer is ambiguous. While it implies that the lyrics were drug-inspired, this has never been publicly stated by by either Lennon or McCartney as far as I know.

flutherother's avatar

The BBC banned the song when it was released because of its supposed reference to LSD.

JLeslie's avatar

I say it is LSD.

wilma's avatar

I also believe the explanation about the art work by son Julian. He drew/painted his friend in the sky portion of his drawing, like a lot of children will do. Whether or not any of the song is about drugs, I don’t know. But I believe that the inspiration was from the kid.

FluffyChicken's avatar

Could be both. Not every song is just about one thing.

filmfann's avatar

Lennon said it wasn’t about LSD, and he was arrogant enough to admit some songs that were (Dr. Robert was one). So, if he said no, the answer is no.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@filmfann Arrogant enough?

wundayatta's avatar

Once you create words, they no longer belong to you. The painting is a nice story. The idea that it is about LSD is pretty compelling. It is no longer up to the authors to tell us what the truth is. We are capable of doing that ourselves.

To me, it is very clear that it is about a mind-bending view of the world. I don’t care if it is drug-induced or arisen from a child’s imagination. The song is wobbly and wavy like you can’t stand up. The images are fantastic. It is how I might imagine a hallucinatory trip, although I have never had one, personally. I never want to. I don’t think I could survive it.

Although, if you talked to a past lover, you might wonder, since I do tend to have visions of a sort after coitus. I feel like I am seeing into other worlds I never usually see, and the things that happen there are so fascinating. But it has been a bit freaky for for the women who have to listen to my descriptions at a time like that. But it might help explain why I like sex so much.

Trillian's avatar

These are the same people who sang “I am the walrus, coo coo kachoo”. Do you think you’ll ever know for sure?
You already have your idea about what the truth is, why bring it up?
Why can’t it be both? Why can’t it have begun with the idea from the kid just as the acid kicked in?
“Ugh, people can be so dense sometimes!”
So, you asked the question just to see how many “dense” people there are onsite today? Just to start an argument? Why?

marinelife's avatar

Why does it matter if you just like it as a song?

El_Cadejo's avatar

Is it just a coincedence that this question is being asked on the 69th anniversary of Hoffmans bicycle ride?

likipie's avatar

@uberbatman Actually, yes it is a coincidence. I don’t even know what that is.

likipie's avatar

@marinelife It doesn’t really matter, I was just wondering what other people thought.

deni's avatar

Kaleidescope eyes, I don’t know, sounds like drugs to me. I love it though.

likipie's avatar

@deni I love it too, one of my favorite Beatles songs.

AngryWhiteMale's avatar

I think it was based on the drawing, but it’s entirely plausible LSD helped with the imagery later on. It’s also possible, as @Pied_Pfeffer says, that Lennon was drawing on British literature. Wouldn’t be the first time an artist drew on others’ work to create something new. ;-)

In any event, it’s a great song with a unique perspective of its own. :-)

jazmina88's avatar

ABBY Hoffman was a scientist working with LSD, he was biking home after work, and all the sudden (BAM), Alice in Wonderland. The first acid trip.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@jazmina88 first INTENTIONAL acid trip. He had felt the effects of it before at low doses but that was the first time he intentional dosed himself and with 250 micrograms thinking thatd be a low dose lol. Must have been a hell of a bike ride.

Coloma's avatar

Yep, I’ve heard that it was Julian Lennon that made the comment about a classmate, infact the real :Lucy” died of a health issue a few years ago and the story was circulating then. It was the imagination of a child not about LSD as commonly thought. Not that LSD wasn;t a part of some of the Beatles composing openings, it was.

FluffyChicken's avatar

@jazmina88 and @uberbatman Abby Hoffman was a track and field athelete from Canada. Abbie Hoffman was an activist from the 60’s and 70s who cofounded the Youth International Party and was part of the protest group called the “Chicago Eight.” Albert Hoffman is the scientist who first discovered LSD and on April 19, 1943 took that fateful bicycle ride into psychonaut history.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Yes… I’m well aware of his name….

Coloma's avatar

@FluffyChicken The scientist Albert Hoffman born in 1906 was the discoverer of LSD.
Abby Hoffman activist of the 60’s was only 7 years old in 1943, kinda young to be dropping acid. lol You’ve confused your Abbys. haha

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Coloma You might want to read @FluffyChicken‘s post again.

Coloma's avatar

Oops, never mind, how’d I miss that? Must be flashbacks from the 70’s lol, mea culpa, I guess I’ll just go flag myself. haha

filmfann's avatar

WTG @Coloma, or should I say Emily Litella

Coloma's avatar

@filmfann LOL..Love that!

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