Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds

Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds

The Beatles

John Lennon’s son Julian came up to him after a day in pre-school and showed him a picture that he’d drawn of his friend named Lucy who was flying amidst a backdrop of bright stars. Julian’s title for the drawing: “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds”.

This inspired the classic Sgt. Pepper’s song of the same name. Given the initials of the song title’s nouns (“Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”), the psychedelic evocations of the lyrics, and the “Summer of Love” subculture of the time, it was and is commonly believed that the song is about the effects of the hallucinogenic drug LSD. For instance, according to Steve Turner, author of several books on the Beatles:

The imagery in the song is partly a reflection of John’s drug experiences, and partly his love of ‘Alice in Wonderland’.

But not so fast. While John Lennon was generally open about drug references in his songs, he always emphatically denied that this one is about LSD.

An interesting footnote is that “Lucy”, the 3.2 million-year-old hominid skeleton found in Kenya in 1974, is named after this song.