The Truth About 'Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds:' Is It About LSD, Or What?

By | December 31, 2019

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Left: Elton John's chart-topping cover of 'Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds.' Right: cover art for the sheet music for the song. Sources:; Wikimedia Commons

Picture yourself in a boat on a river, using your kaleidoscope eyes to read about the writing and recording of “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds,” the seminal Beatles hit from 1967’s Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band that became a hit again in 1975 when Elton John covered the song for Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy.

Whether you’ve heard the song once or you’re a Lucy fanatic you’ve definitely wondered what the eff is going on in this song. Is it about gettin' off your noggin on LSD? What does "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" mean? Is it a play at Alice in Wonderland? Or just a bunch of gobbledygook? We’ll get into that, and how John Lennon came up with the song, how it was interpreted, and how Elton John had secret help from a Beatle (hint: it was John) in making his cover a #1 song. 

The song came to John Lennon after seeing his son's drawing

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source: reddit

So duh, the song was written by The Beatles as the centerpiece for one of their most beloved albums. But it wasn’t the call for their listeners to tune in, turn on, and drop out that everyone thought it was… at least not completely. When Lennon’s son Julian brought home a drawing of his classmate Lucy O'Donnell, papa John Lennon saw that it was titled “Lucy – in the sky with diamonds.” Lennon said, "I thought that beautiful. I immediately wrote a song about it."

Even though that’s pretty good evidence that the song was inspired by Julian’s drawing, eagle eyed fans noticed something about the song’s title - the letters L S and D. The trippy lyrics definitely seem to reference the hallucinogenic effects of taking LSD, but throughout his life John Lennon claimed that the song was nothing but a childlike bit of pop reverie.