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Is it true that the Beatles wrote a song about LSD?

'Some FAB Four enthusiasts have claimed that Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds referred to LSD.'

Published 10/17/2021 | By Cambridge Now - McGill News - Joe Schwarcz PhD

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Is it true that the Beatles wrote a song about LSD? Perhaps, Perhaps Not

Lucy, in the Sky with Diamonds...Did it Mean LSD?

By Joe Schwarcz PhD, McGill University

Some have claimed that the first letters of Lucy, in the Sky with Diamonds supposedly refered to LSD, the famous hallucinogen that the Fab Four undoubtedly had some experience with.

"Tangerine trees and marmalade skies" are to be found in the lyrics of "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds," one of the Beatles' greatest hits. Some have claimed that the first letters of Lucy, Sky and Diamonds supposedly refer to LSD, the famous hallucinogen that the Fab Four undoubtedly had some experience with. LSD, or Lysergic Acid Diethylamide, does not occur in nature, but closely related compounds do.

The seeds of the morning glory plant, for example, harbour lysergic acid amide, which is a well-established hallucinogen, though less potent than LSD. The ancient Aztecs are known to have prepared a beverage, known as ololiuqui, from the seeds of the morning glory, which they used in religious ceremonies. A Spanish missionary in the sixteenth century observed that "the natives communicate with the devil, for they usually talk when they become intoxicated with ololiuqui, and they are deceived by various hallucinations which they attribute to the deity which they say resides in the seeds."

LSD itself was synthesized in 1938 by the Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann who had been studying hallucinogenic compounds found in the ergot fungus that can grow on rye. He embarked on a synthesis of chemical derivatives of these substances with the hope that they may be of pharmacological use. During his experiments, he accidentally ingested a tiny amount of LSD, probably as a result of not washing his hands. He had a remarkable experience which he later described: "I sank into a not unpleasant intoxicated condition…I perceived an uninterrupted stream of fantastic pictures, extraordinary shapes with intense kaleidoscopic play of colours." He tried a higher dose and quickly realized that there was a great downside to LSD. "A demon had invaded me, had taken possession of my body, mind and soul…I was seized by a dreadful fear of going insane." Today we know that large doses of LSD, which are still in the milligram range, interfere with the activity of serotonin, an important neurotransmitter and this can have catastrophic effects. It is best to limit one's experience with LSD to listening to Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.

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Editor’s Notes

I agree with Dr. Joe Schwarcz. Enjoy the music and avoid Satan's pharmacy. FREAKING OUT is overrated and has still not been proven to be mind expanding. There are certainly more credible ways to expand one's mind while avoiding the risk.

Covid 19 TRIP Restriction has perhaps created an opportunity for the socially adventurous to take a TRIP in the comfort of their own home … not quite the same as a STAYCATION. But does not require the services of a travel agent unless they are, in fact, your SOURCE.

Another character of the recreational drug movement was Rock Star, Jimi Hendrix. He asked “Are You Experienced?” Poor Jimi died at 25 of an overdose of heroine. Sadly the world never got to experience more from this gifted musician. Experience may look good on a résumé but as the author maintains it certainly Isn’t recommended when it pertains to LSD.

Then there was the little issue of the Girl With Kaleidoscope Eyes ... Uh-huh... more than likely LSD induced

Here are the Lyrics to the song. What are your thoughts?

Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds

The Beatles
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
Ahhhhhhhh...
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
Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Ahhhhhhhh...
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 the kaleidoscope eyes
Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Ahhhhhhhh.
Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Ahhhhhhhh.
Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Songwriters: John Lennon / Paul Mccartney
Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

 
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