Song of the Day #1,438: ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’ – The Beatles

Best Albums of the 60s – #19
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – The Beatles (1967)

The first Beatles album on this list is one I’ve long considered overrated.

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was a game-changing masterpiece — almost by definition — but I’ve never really loved it as a collection of songs. ‘Being For the Benefit of Mr. Kite,’ ‘She’s Leaving Home,’ ‘Within You Without You,’ ‘When I’m Sixty-Four’ — these songs wouldn’t make it on any Beatles mix tape I’d ever make.

That said, I couldn’t in good conscience keep the album off of my 60s list, simply because it so defines the era. Plus, it does feature ‘With a Little Help From My Friends,’ ‘Getting Better’ and ‘A Day in the Life,’ three songs that would easily find their way onto one of those mix tapes.

And in ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,’ it has the best description of a child’s crayon drawing to ever be mistaken for an ode to LSD.

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.

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.

3 thoughts on “Song of the Day #1,438: ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’ – The Beatles

  1. Daniel says:

    Hello, It’s been a while since I’ve posted so I;m back and I’m ready to write down my opinions. Lucy in the sky with diamonds is one of my favorite Beatles songs. I mostly love that when you play it on Rock band that the music video is very colorful and has many different shapes. Although I have heard the rumors… I still think that the lyrics are whimsical and very fun to sing and listen to. I mean “kaleidoscope eyes” come on people.

  2. Dana says:

    I think it’s hard to say this album is overrated from a historical and production perspective. The record was a game changer. I agree, however, that the songs you referenced are not so great, at least by Beatles standards (though I like “She’s Leaving Home” more than you apparently do),

    As for today’s song, I remain convinced it was a song written while on and about LSD. The Beatles made contradictory statements over the years about both the drug use and the drug references in songs. Obviously, John is no longer around to give the definitive answer, and nobody else could speak for him.

  3. Shawn says:

    There are snippets of an interview McCartney did back in the 80’s, just available, where he says Pepper would not have been made without drugs. They were never completely wasted like the Stones, but it was a factor, certainly in giving them the courage “to go there,” he says. The interviews, done by a music mogul, are going to the Library of Congress and will be available in full soon. Dylan is in there too and its nice to hear him talk in a rather relaxed way.

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