Song Facts – Tidbits You Want And Don’t Want To Know

While listening to a song, have you ever wondered who or what inspired it? I have…I’ve often wondered who Layla was and if the song Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds  was really inspired by LSD…It turns out that Layla and a couple of other songs by Eric Clapton Why Does Love Have To Be So Sad and Wonderful Tonight as well as George Harrison’s Something and For You Blue were all inspired by the same woman, Pattie Boyd…Pattie was married to Harrison when Clapton expressed his love for her in the song Layla…Clapton and Harrison remained good friends and Harrison even played at their wedding in 1979…Eric and Pattie divorced in 1988…

I was happy to learn that the inspiration for the Beatles song Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds came from a drawing by John Lennon’s son, Julian and not from LSD but was soon depressed when I read that Sarah McLachlan’s Angel is about drugs and is based on Smashing Pumpkins’ touring keyboard player Jonathan Melvoin, who overdosed on heroin and died in 1996..The “angel” symbolizes the drugs the addict gives in to repeatedly…

My research revealed some unappealing nuggets like the ‘body’ in John Mayer’s Your Body is a Wonderland is Jennifer Love Hewitt’s body and that the highly controversial You Oughta Know by Alanis Morisette was inspired by her ex-lover Dave Coulier of the television sitcom Full HouseFull House (in case you didn’t know) was the same sitcom that spawned morons like the Olsen twins, Bob Saget and Jon Stamos…

I also found out that We Are the Champions by Queen (written by Freddie Mercury) was originally written as a gay anthem and became a sporting event cliché much later and that You’re So Vain by Carly Simon was based on her relationship with actor Warren Beatty…Some say it was based on her affair with Kris Kristoffson but I would like to believe it was Beatty as I think he’s vain…

I’m sure you must have heard How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You by legendary Motown singer Marvin Gaye (it was later covered by James Taylor in 1975)…It turns out that the title of the song was inspired by the trademark line of Jackie Gleason, “How sweet it is!” as it was said on The Jackie Gleason Show…

If you have heard of other ‘shocking’ origins, please let me know…I’m really interested in such nuggets…

Edited to Add:

  • Paul McCartney wrote the song Lovely Rita, Meter Maid for the album Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band after getting a parking ticket from a female warden in Abbey Road
  • Hey Jude was written by Paul in his car…Paul was on his way to visit Julian, John Lennon’s son, who was disturbed by his parents’ divorce…Paul wrote this song to cheer him up
  • The Beatles song Dear Prudence was written about Mia Farrow’s sister Prudence when she wouldn’t come out and play with Mia and the Beatles at a religious retreat in India

12 thoughts on “Song Facts – Tidbits You Want And Don’t Want To Know

  1. I liked Full House,my kids watched it and often made me sit and watch with them…
    I know the twins grew up to use animal fur…
    And the middle daughter Steffi (wrong spelling) shares her birthday with my daughter 🙂

    I also thought ‘Lucy in the sky with diamonds’ was about LSD.
    I will come back with any nuggets I remember, I have more of personal associations with some songs 🙂
    Was ‘I have a dream; (Abba) based on Martin Luther King Jr’s dream??
    And I know Cliff Richard was half Indian, grew up in Lukhnau, born 14th Oct and never married, maybe because he was always an ‘Outsider’ 😉
    And Lennon and Yoko Ono (spelling ?) gave some interviews/press conference from their bed… I adore those two for their originality!


    • The Olsen twins were cute in the show but they are insufferable now…I have absolutely no idea how young girls like them – each to his/her own, I guess…

      Did you know that Sir Cliff’s name is Harry Roger Webb and Sting’s Gordon Sumner? The former used to love flying kites in Lucknow and has a successful Indian restaurant in London…He had 14 number 1 hits between 1958 to 1999…

      John and Yoko were interesting…They had many ‘interesting’ photographs published…


    • Yoko Ono and Lenon even made video, All We Are Saying is Give Peace a Chance, protesting by growing their hair 🙂

      Very interesting post. I too thought that the song by Beatles, Lucy in the Sky… was about LSD!

      Have heard most of the songs, but knew only a few of the facts! Thank you 🙂


  2. That was priceless! I had heard some of these before – but did not know about Layla..

    As for the Olsen twins – they were adorable in Full house – but cannot stand what they have become today, can’t believe that they are apparently ‘role models’ for young girls!!!

    I did not know tha Cliff Richard was half Indian! WOW!


  3. Cool post 🙂 I LOVE ‘Dear Prudence’ and ‘Hey Jude’ so it was nice hearing the anecdotes about them. Trying to rack my brains about anecdotes but your Layla song reminded me of the Hindi ‘Laila o Laila’ from Qurbani- the story behind that is that Feroz Khan wanted a song commemorating his daughter (now the artist Laila Rajpal) and so the song was about her. Frankly, it scandalized me because the lyrics are rather sensual :-p “har koi chahe mujhse milna akela” :-p


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