One of the long-standing debates in media, among music experts and among fans of The Beatles is whether or not the song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” glorifies the use of LSD
. Those who claim that the song is some sort of tribute to the drug site the song’s initials and its psychedelic lyrics. But whether or not the song was written as reference to the usage of LSD, “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” or simply “Lucy” is one of the many drug slangs said to denote LSD.Is Lucy a Person or a Reference for the Drug?
According to reports and interviews of the members of The Beatles, “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” was inspired by a painting made by John Lennon’s son Julian. The subject of the painting was Julian’s classmate Lucy O’Donnell, and the name of the song was taken from the name Julian had given his painting.
Lucy O’Donnell herself is not a make-believe person. She was known more as Lucy Richardson, and she worked as an art director in many movies such as The Saint; Elizabeth, The Virgin Queen; Chocolat; The Life and Death of Peter Sellers; and Ella Enchanted. Her work had garnered a couple of Primetime Emmy Awards. As a young girl, she worked in her family’s antique shop, which was frequented by John Lennon, young Julian, and the other members of The Beatles. Lucy died of breast cancer in 2005.The LSD Connection
Over the years, The Beatles have constantly denied that the song had anything to do with LSD. But Sir Paul McCartney himself noted in a recent interview that although the song was inspired by Julian Lennon’s painting, John Lennon may have written the lyrics during an LSD trip.
For many proponents of the theory that “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” is an LSD reference
, the initials of the song itself is proof enough. But those who wish to go further read into the lyrics itself. The song, after all, has vivid and colorful imagery, and it mainly describes a journey through an out-of-this-world place, told in a disjointed manner.The Psychedelic Effects of LSD
The way “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” goes is like describing a psychedelic trip that only LSD can bring. LSD chemically stands for lysergic acid diethylamide, and it is considered to be a psychedelic drug used for recreation, for meditation, and in some illicit cases, for psychotherapy.
An LSD trip is often described has seeing brilliant colors swirling into a rippling pattern, like the surface of the water when disturbed. There is a distortion in one’s sense of time and space, and this altered experience of reality can last from six to 14 hours.
Although room for doubt should be left open, parents should be alert when their children start talking about the song or about Lucy but without any references to a real person named Lucy. After all, they could be talking about LSD. It is always better to be safe than to be sorry.