Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
In a Nutshell
It's psychedelic, it's controversial, it's… poetry?
Quite possibly. It's no coincidence that the iconic album this song appeared on, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
, came with a full booklet of lyrics, which was a rarity for the time. (Of course, plenty of people reading stopped at the title, where they saw the letters "LSD." Unsurprisingly, the BBC banned the song from the airwaves immediately after its release.)
Whether or not you think "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" is about drugs, you can certainly agree that it's got some of the most vivid, colorful lyrics around. You've got to remember that John Lennon, the primary songwriter, was just a far-out kind of guy in general. What's really great about this song is how accessible all of the strangeness really is. Even "marmalade skies" and "newspaper taxis" can start to make sense, when you let your mind roam free.
About the Song
||Musician(s)||John Lennon (vocals, guitar), Paul McCartney (Mellotron, bass), George Harrison (guitar), Ringo Starr (drums)
|Album||Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band|
|Writer(s)||John Lennon, Paul McCartney|
Explore the ways this song connects with the world and with other topics on Shmoop
This song may be full of nonsense, but even nonsense has to get its inspiration from somewhere.
It turns out that John Lennon was a big Lewis Carroll fan. If you've ever read Alice in Wonderland, Through the Looking Glass
, or the celebrated nonsense poem "Jabberwocky
," this probably makes perfect sense to you.
After all, Carroll is king of the land of imagination. Before him, books for children just taught lessons. He thought that was kind of boring, and wrote about places where rules were turned on their heads. Even grown-ups thought that was pretty cool. But what we're really trying to say is that Lennon took his inspiration directly from Alice in Wonderland
, and when the Beatles give a work of literature their stamp of approval, you kind of have to agree with them, don't you?
On the Charts
When Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club was released in 1967, it topped the UK album chart for twenty-seven weeks.
In the United States, the album stayed number one for nineteen weeks, and sold 2.5 million copies in its first two months.