28 April 2012


Locus Focus: Take Seventy!


When I decided to do Settings in Song for April 2012, I had no idea what songs I was going to feature. All I was sure of was that I didn't want to do something as obvious Penny Lane. =P

And that was why I didn't even think of mining the rest of The Beatles' ouevre until this weekend--and why I didn't realise how many of their songs carry an excellent sense of place. Today I feature one of the more elusive ones.

(In case anyone was wondering . . . next month's theme will be our first repeater: May at the Movies! Link up a memorable cinematic setting!) 

Where Rocking Horse People Eat Marshmallow Pies
Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
by The Beatles

Picture yourself on a boat on a river/ With tangerine trees and marmalade skies . . .

And now you know (in case you didn't already) why it's called tripping! =P

I may simply mean all the methods of transportation in the song: the boat, the newspaper taxis, the train in the station. But I probably shouldn't treat this song like a meaningful poem--or even a meaningful pun. It's enough that I enjoy the fantasy world in the lyrics.

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 . . .

And it was the lyrics which drew me first, since I had no way of listening to the old LP of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band that I found in the attic one day. But the words to all the songs were on the sleeve, and Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds easily stood out. Later that night, the whole city lost power and my family and I had to amuse ourselves by candlelight for several hours. That was when I heard the melody to Lucy for the first time: at my request, my mother's playful twin brother lifted an invisible microphone to his lips and sang the whole thing in falsetto. It is still his "cover" I hear first and not John Lennon's original vocal.

My discovery of Lucy is also tied up with an old book I found in the same attic: Poems of Childhood by Eugene Field. And the poem I always remember with this song is The Dinkey Bird . . .

In an ocean, 'way out yonder,
(As all sapient people know)
Is the land of Wonder-Wander,
Whither children love to go;
It's their playing, romping, swinging,
That give great joy to me
While the Dinkey-Bird goes singing
In the amfalula tree . . .

The song and the poem don't fit together at all, but I've always thought they were set in the same universe--the "boat on the river" emptying into the ocean "way out yonder": one world seen through different (kaleidoscope) eyes.


Fairday Morrow said...

What a fun post to think about. I love the song, Lucy in the sky with Diamonds, and the poem flows with it- even though it's different. I enjoy thinking about the lyrics to that song, they are so visual! ~ Jess

Enbrethiliel said...


The lyrics are so visual that Lucy would make a great children's song. Never mind the controversy! ;-)

Thanks for commenting, Jess! I hope you come back next week or maybe even write a Locus Focus post of your own. (No pressure, though! =) Just an invitation to let you know you'd be very welcome.)

Fairday Morrow said...

I would love to do a Locus Focus for you sometime, please let me know! Thanks : ) ~ Jess