“Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” is a song written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney that was recorded by The Beatles for their 1967 album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Many people thought this was about drugs, since the letters “LSD” are prominent in the title, and John Lennon, who wrote it, was known to have taken acid. In 1971 Lennon told Rolling Stone that he swore that he had no idea that the song’s initials spelled L.S.D. He added: “I didn’t even see it on the label. I didn’t look at the initials. I don’t look— I mean I never play things backwards. I listened to it as I made it. It’s like there will be things on this one, if you fiddle about with it. I don’t know what they are. Every time after that though I would look at the titles to see what it said, and usually they never said anything.”

Paul McCartney recounted trading lyric ideas with Lennon in an interview, saying, “We never noticed the LSD initial until it was pointed out later, by which point people didn’t believe us.” This is confirmed by a 1971 interview of Lennon, where he described searching for acronyms in other song titles only to find “they didn’t spell out anything.” In an interview with Playboy, published in 1981, Lennon revealed the true background of the song: “My son Julian came in one day with a picture he painted about a school friend of his named Lucy. He had sketched in some stars in the sky and called it ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,’ Simple.” George Martin also denied the song was about LSD in the book The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions by Mark Lewisohn.

However, Lewisohn goes on to say “there can be little doubt that this was the very substance that provoked such colourful word imagery to flow out of Lennon’s head and onto paper.” McCartney agrees in a 2004 interview, where he noted that Julian’s painting had inspired the song, but that it was “pretty obvious” that the song was also inspired by LSD. For his part, Lennon attributed the colourful prose not to the drug, but to the writings of Carroll. George Martin also accredits the influence of Carroll and Dylan Thomas on Lennon.

Edited by jasonmorrishall on 17 Apr 2015, 01:15

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