the world's premier FREE website for learners + teachers of English

“Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” Dies

The woman who supposedly inspired the controversial Beatles’ song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” died on September 28th, 2009. At age 4, John Lennon’s son, Julian, apparently came home with a picture he had drawn of his classmate, Lucy Vodden. When Julian showed the picture to his father he described it as “Lucy in the sky with diamonds.”

This is John Lennon’s story. Many believe it was a cover up. Since its debut in 1967, the famous song, which mentions “kaleidoscope eyes”, “plasticine porters”, and “marshmallow pies”, has always been associated with the drug acid. The short form for acid is LSD. Look closely and you will notice that this is also the short form for the Beatles’ song title. Though John Lennon denied that the song title referred to the drug, the BBC banned it.

Lucy Vodden died after a battle with lupus. Lupus is a disease affecting the immune system that can cause the body’s tissues to become severely inflamed. Though he had lost touch with his old friend, Julian Lennon had reportedly reached out to her during her illness. She was 46.

Listen to the song and read along with the lyrics. Do you believe that images such as “newspaper taxis” were inspired by an innocent child’s drawing, a drug, or a combination of both?

Written by Tara Benwell for EnglishClub | September 2009
Tara Benwell is a Canadian freelance writer and editor who specializes in materials and articles for the ELT industry.

Please let us know your thoughts in the comments section below