Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds – The Beatles

the-beatlesThe Beatles were a rock and pop band from Liverpool, England that formed in 1960. During their career, the group primarily consisted of John Lennon (rhythm guitar, vocals), Paul McCartney (bass guitar, vocals), George Harrison (lead guitar, vocals) and Ringo Starr (drums, vocals). Although their initial musical style was rooted in 1950s rock and roll and skiffle, the group worked with different musical genres, ranging from Tin Pan Alley to psychedelic rock. Their clothes, style and statements made them trend-setters, while their growing social awareness saw their influence extend into the social and cultural revolutions of the 1960s. After the band broke up in 1970, all four members embarked upon successful solo careers.

The Beatles are one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed bands in the history of popular music, selling over one billion records internationally.

Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds

At the time of its release, the Beatles claimed that the inspiration for the song came from a drawing by John Lennon’s son, Julian, which Julian called “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”. The song sparked controversy when released, including being banned by the BBC because of the supposed reference to the drug LSD, with the letters of the title spelling Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. Lennon would later deny the reference during an interview with Rolling Stone. Despite John Lennon’s denial of the title and content of the song having to do with LSD, on June 2, 2004, McCartney told BBC that the song is, in fact, about LSD.

On September 22, 2009 Lucy Vodden died.  The following is the story posted by most news outlets:

Lucy Vodden, who provided the inspiration for the Beatles’ classic song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” has died after a long battle with lupus. She was 46.

Her death was announced Monday by St. Thomas’ Hospital in London, where she had been treated for the chronic disease for more than five years, and by her husband, Ross Vodden. Britain’s Press Association said she died last Tuesday. Hospital officials said they could not confirm the day of her death.

Vodden’s connection to the Beatles dates back to her early days, when she made friends with schoolmate Julian Lennon, John Lennon’s son.

Julian Lennon, then 4 years old, came home from school with a drawing one day, showed it to his father, and said it was “Lucy in the sky with diamonds.”

At the time, John Lennon was gathering material for his contributions to “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” a landmark album released to worldwide acclaim in 1967.

The elder Lennon seized on the image and developed it into what is widely regarded as a psychedelic masterpiece, replete with haunting images of “newspaper taxis” and a “girl with kaleidoscope eyes.”

Rock music critics thought the song’s title was a veiled reference to LSD, but John Lennon always claimed the phrase came from his son, not from a desire to spell out the initials LSD in code.

Vodden lost touch with Julian Lennon after he left the school following his parents’ divorce, but they were reunited in recent years when Julian Lennon, who lives in France, tried to help her cope with the disease.

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Picture yourself in a boat on a river,
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 girl with the sun in her eyes,
And she’s gone.

Lucy in the sky with diamonds,
Lucy in the sky with diamonds,
Lucy in the sky with diamonds,
Ah… Ah…

Follow her down to a bridge by a fountain,
Where rocking horse people eat marshmallow pies.
Everyone smiles as you drift past the flowers,
That grow so incredibly high.

Newspaper taxis appear on the shore,
Waiting to take you away.
Climb in the back with your head in the clouds,
And you’re gone.

Lucy in the sky with diamonds,
Lucy in the sky with diamonds,
Lucy in the sky with diamonds,
Ah… Ah…

Picture yourself on a train in a station,
With plasticine porters with looking glass ties.
Suddenly someone is there at the turnstile,
The girl with kaleidoscope eyes.

Lucy in the sky with diamonds,
Lucy in the sky with diamonds,
Lucy in the sky with diamonds,
Ah… Ah…

  • Audio from the 1967 album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band:

album-sgt-peppers
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