The Lucy that inspired John Lennon to write “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” was Lucy O’Donnell. She was a classmate of John’s son Julian at Heath House School. Lucy came to the attention of John when Julian came home from school one day with a drawing that he showed his father. Julian described the picture as “Lucy — in the sky with diamonds.” Julian later said, “I don’t know why I called it that or why it stood out from all my other drawings, but I obviously had an affection for Lucy at that age. I used to show dad everything I’d built or painted at school, and this one sparked off the idea for a song about ‘Lucy in the sky with diamonds’.”
“Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” was included on The Beatles’ critically acclaimed 1967 album Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
In 2009, Julian Lennon reached out to Lucy (married name Lucy Vodden) after learning that she suffered from the immune system disease lupus. She had been battled the disease for 15 years and her health was declining. He sent her flowers with a personally written card and gift vouchers for a garden center, as she took solace from gardening and plants. She reacted by saying, “It was lovely of Julian.” In a recent interview she said “The last time I saw Julian was when we were in our early 20s and he asked me, “So how’s Lucy in the sky getting on?”‘
Sadly, Lucy O’Donnell Vodden died on September 22, 2009, at the age of 46. After her passing, Julian said that he is “shocked and saddened” by the death of his former classmate.