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Along Comes Mary by The Association

Album: And Then... Along Comes The AssociationReleased: 1966Charted:
7
  • Many people interpreted this as a paean to marijuana, which is also known as "Mary Jane." They were probably right. The song was produced by Bones Howe, who would later work on most of the hits for the 5th Dimension. Howe spoke with Bruce Pollock for the book By the Time We Got to Woodstock: The Great Rock 'n' Roll Revolution of 1969. Writes Pollock:
    Breaking in with the pot-coded ode "Along Comes Mary," the Association had a long and troubled association with drugs a lot harder than Mary Jane. Bass player Brian Cole overdosed on heroin in 1972. "In the 60s drugs were everywhere," Bones said. "As a producer you had to find ways of getting around that. You'd work in the daytime not at night. If you're working with singers you don't let them have a whole day to laugh and carry on and have a good time and then come in the studio and try to sing. You try to get them at two in the afternoon when they've just gotten up. Most of the time I worked with studio musicians - guys I worked with all the time. I loved what they did and that's why I hired them over and over again and I loved the results we got. I worked with lead sheets, chord sheets, never written arrangements. I made jazz records in the 50s and that was improvised. In the 60s I was improvising with the rhythm section and when I got to the vocal parts we worked out arrangements."
  • This song was written by Tandyn Almer, who had some success as a songwriter in the '60s and '70s, and was one of the few people that was close friends with Brian Wilson in the early '70s. Tandyn co-wrote the Beach Boys song "Sail On Sailor."
  • This was the first hit for The Association, who gained a following in Los Angeles, but had a hard time getting a record deal. They signed to a small label called Valiant Records, who were rewarded when this became a hit, and when their follow-up, "Cherish," went to #1.
  • The Bloodhound Gang covered this on their album Hooray for Boobies. (thanks, James - Tacoma, WA)
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Comments: 53

On May 28th 1967, the Association performed "Along Comes Mary" on the CBS-TV program 'The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour'...
It was the bands' debut on national TV...
One hour earlier on 'The Ed Sullivan Show' the Temptations performed a medley of "My Girl," "All I Need," and "(I Know) I'm Losing You".
Barry - Sauquoit, Ny
The best live band I've ever heard - no question.Scott - Portland, Or
On December 8th, 1968, the Association performed "Along Comes Mary" on the CBS-TV program 'The Ed Sullivan Show'...
Two years earlier on May 29th, 1966 it entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; and on July 10th, 1966 it peaked at #7 (for 1 week) and spent 11 weeks on the Top 100...
It was the sextet's debut record on the Top 100; between 1966 and 1981 they had thirteen Top 100 hits, five made the Top 10 with two reaching #1 ("Cherish" for 3 weeks in 1966 and "Windy" for 4 weeks in 1967).
Barry - Sauquoit, Ny
What got me about Along Comes Mary is the many words of the tongue tripping lyrics. The singers must have taken deep breaths. The punch is the experience and the empty cup are the memories of the experience. "When vague desire is the fire in the eyes of chicks whose sickness is the games they play" means that teen females notice teen boys checking them out and the teen girls parry, thrust and lunge their way around the wolves but Tandyn Almer has a very negative view of the game of love and calls it a "sickness". It's just a game. Some boys-men and girls-women can't take rejection. Finally, me and my big mouth will say something about pot. I was 13 when I began to use regularly after school. I would toke up, put on the 45 r.p.m. record I borrowed from my friend called "Hideout" by the "Hideaways" and go into a daze and listen to the record 20 times while the THC accelerated my thoughts. Don't do it. Buy a hoop and a basketball and shoot some hoops. Get a job. Call the girl even if it makes you look like a fool. But to surrender to pot as "Along Comes Mary" implies is the way to asocialism I knew a few people who worked just so they could buy good pot and spend all their time stoned in their little kingdom. Not something for a 13 year old. You should be getting exercise out in the sunshine instead of thinking you are some "forward thinker".Jim - Enid, Ok
I think Mary married little Jackie Paper after he dumped that dumb dragon.Esskayess - Dallas, Tx
In Richard Goldstein's, THE POETRY OF ROCK, published in 1969, he includes the lyrics of "Along Comes Mary" in a section of the third chapter entitled Rock Rambles. That final section is introduced by a two page blurb that begins with: "Turning on has replaced love as the major repository for code in rock. Like sex, drugs are usually forbidden, but often fun. Singing about drugs is a good way to get banned on the radio. But it also sells records. So you talk about getting high the way you used to mention a tumble in the tall grass--in slang." This section also includes The Byrds "Eight Miles High," Donovan's "Sunny Groodge Street," The Mamas & The Papas' "Strange Young Girls," and Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit." In specific comments Goldstein writes: "'Along Comes Mary' is a compact little essay on the therapeutic value of getting high. The classic car-girl ambiguity provides a handy precedent for speaking about pot as though it were just another 'rainy day woman.'" I was given this paperback book as part of the curriculum of a sophomore English class, circa 1970, which also included listening to Leonard Cohen's "Suzanne" from the LP on a school record player and analyzing the lyrics to The Beatles' "A Day In The Life." At the time, I was already playing drums in a garage band, hooked on music. After that class, I was also hooked on poetry & literature. It elevated Rock & Roll, made it legitimate.Vaughn - Boise, Id
It's about drugs (weed) people. The Association even says so!!!!! when they talk about it before singing it.Janelle - Albertville, Mn
Reading more of the posts here it is hard not to offer more historical info on graal lore. As an aside, much of our music is born of an inspiration that is hard to quantify. This song, written by Tandyn Almer, is especially rife with little graal quantifications. The reference to a "she" being his chick and giving kicks, is an avant garde redux of certain graal stories from the Middle Ages. To further, the graal is the name of the eternal feminine sui generis entity....she fills your empty cup if she so desires. No, she is not the virgin mary, maybe closer to "anna". However, though she has been a "whore in the streets", she is yet pure as mountain snow and definitely virginal.Dag - Marquette, Mi
Yes, and ditto on Steve from San Diego; another slim Christian interpretation of the incomprehensible, timeless entity referenced in this song.Dag - Marquette, Mi
To further-the song is a stream of consciousness about the Holy Graal, dug from the depths of Tandyn's subconscious mind and the "collective unconscious" (jung's term for buried archetypes we all carry-ancient). If he was in fact on pot when he penned it, all the more telling. It would be nice to read the other lines written, ala, Wolfram Eschenbach's "Parzival". Tandyn, get ahold of me, there are folks that understand-Templar BishopDag - Marquette, Mi
From a Templar Bishop- Those who will see some kind of reference to the "virgin mary" are actually on a kind accurate trail. Although not properly about the virgin mary, since the virgin mary is an icon adopted into what is known as the Holy Graal pantheon of poetry and prose.
The song actually features vignettes, small poetic song pictures of the path of the Holy Graal, past, present and future. The filling of the "empty cup" with sweet punch is especially telling for those who have "encountered" the graal. Hmmm...nice little ditty to blow yer mind with the "littlegirl lost and found"
Dag - Marquette, Mi
I think you have to be either very naive or very stubborn to believe this song is not about drugs. Not just marijuana; the line "now my empty cup tastes as sweet as the punch" is clearly a reference to LSD which was ometimes used to "spike" fruit punch.

If you need proof of the destructive power of drugs you need look no further than what happened to this very talented group of musicians.
Jeff - Boston, Ma
Hmmm...such deep subject matter surrounding what is just a flat-out great sounding song. I wonder, why all the debate on it's lyrical content and what it's all about? I see there's a host of interpretations and from what I gather, it seems that some are ready to draw a machete on this! Peace out! (LOL) Is it really that big a deal? If you really want the true answer, why not ask the writer, Tandyn Almer himself? When "ACM" hit the airwaves in 1966, I was a 3rd grader and the tune really stood out to me. Aside being very catchy and (I remember thinking) w/ a slight hint of errieness, I admired it a lot. I still love it. To say it's just a hit that's unique would not be saying enough. In 1974, when the "peace, love, hippie" era was over and Tricky D. was "Not a Crook", I delighted in buying a K-Tel album which contained "Along comes Mary" by the Association. I was 15, with one of my first paychecks ever and I believe it was one of the first albums I'd bought as well. I had been intrigued by The Association's wonderful melodies and clever form for years and I finally got to bring it home! Though not from the counter culture generation, I did indulge (like millions did/still do) but it never dawned on me what the song was about. I didn't much care, I just really liked it. I guess I thought it was merely about a chick named Mary. Now as an adult, I unmistakably see the "M" connection. It's pretty obvious. The newer, Bloodhouse Gang version is cool, but to me, the original is one of the most impressive pop tunes I've ever heard. The lyrics clearly paint the real picture, be it subliminal or whatever. I don't see the religious part at all. But if you must fence against each other, why not just contact the author? : >) The Virgin Mary?..End of the world?..The Warning? Spare me please. In my opinion, is some of those folks are STILL- "Sure out to Lunch". And maybe Mary has "Come along with you too often.Mike - Santa Maria, Ca
Almost every songwriter that pens a song with some
sort of controversial meaning will never come forward and just say what it's about. I believe
that's because they get a kick out of everyone batting it around. That's why I like Jennifer of L.A.'s explanation; inspired nonsense to get everybody in a tizzy over "the real meaning".
The joke's on everybody.
Mark - Lunenburg, Ma
In an interview in the 80's or 90's can't quite remember which, Tandyn Almer stated that he sat on the sidewalk on Sunset Strip in Hollywood, stoned, and wrote 419 verses to this song. It had nothing to do with religion but was solely about the perspective that marijuana gave him about the people who passed by and the events taking place at the time.Hippie - La Mirada, Ca
Steve in San Diego, apparently you're one of those people that see holy images in pieces of toast. "Along Comes Mary" is about marijuana, plain and simple. I was there during the 60's, and the buzzwords and euphimisms for that culture are a part of my life. Believe me, religion was the LAST thing on the mind of the Association when it was written!Dan - Houston, Tx
Second Comment..............Virgin Mary??????? And does she want to give me kicks and be my steady chick??????? Come on. You'd have to be stoned to pull the Virgin Mary out of that?!?? PeaceErn - Fresno, Ca
James, Dallass Tx. This is a Pro Marijuana song. You've probably never smoked and don't know whereof you speak! I've been smoking for 40+ years. Never any issue except what a great recreational drug!! Way Better than booze. It will be legal in California soon.Hooray!!!!!Ern - Fresno, Ca
I like this song "Along Comes Mary." Sure, it could be about marijuana, but that's subject to interpretation according to the listener. As I heard this song the first few times in a parochial school environment with some 'hippie' priests and nuns, I, too, tend to associate it with the Virgin Mary. Whatever the actual meaning as intended by the writer, it's still an awesome song that has stood the test of time.Sabrina - Corvallis, Or
Our high school cheerleaders used to dance to this song at halftime to basketball games. The administration was totally clueless about the lyrics meaning. And Steve in San Diego - you're full of it, dude.Bill - Houston, Tx
I always thought this is a rather extraordinary song (and perhaps also extraordinary because it was sung by The Association, a group that generally sung and was associated with songs like Cherish that were really VERY soft rock -- actually it's almost difficult for me to even classify most of their songs as rock).

On the one hand, it may seem that the lyrics and meaning are unclear and subject to interpretation. On the other, many aspects of the song are actually rather literal. I don't think it's that difficult to interpret some of the lines or phrases that aren't clear, or are well-known slang references if you try.

There is one post here from a person who states that the song is definitely about Mother Mary of Jesus Christ, and another (better) post which questions whether "the marijuana connection is a misinterpretation," but says that the song is remarkable (I agree with the latter; indeed it is a remarkable song).

Earlier I mentioned that the parts of the song are literal. The poster who is so sure that the song is about Mother Mary, and who also mentions some of the lyrics left out some lines which I believe tell you straight out that it isn't:

"And then along comes Mary
And does she want to set them free, and let them see reality
FROM WHERE SHE GOT HER NAME."

I see that as a part of the song that is as close to being as clear, literal, and straight-forward as it comes. Many people who use/used marijuana, particularly from the sixties through the eighties when the drug was available in high quality relatively cheaply, apparently felt that the effects of the drug could be compared to those of Mary of Jesus Christ. In the line that I posted in all caps, Tandyn Almer seems to be virtually telling you why "Mary" became a double-entendre.

There are parts of the song that are more enigmatic. Consider the refrain:

When we met I was sure out to lunch
Now my empty cup tastes as sweet as the punch

"Out to lunch" is a relatively common figurative expression meaning mentally not there, not comprehending, etc. (even if physically there).

The second line is slightly tougher, but still clear in meaning (at least to me).

If you have an "empty cup," you have nothing in actuality (or a lack of understanding about things). But if it "tastes as sweet as the punch," you have the illusion that you do have something.

Thus, the two lines could be rephrased as:

Before I smoked marijuana there were many things that I didn't understand or see clearly. When I smoke marijuana, those things seemingly become clearer, and more understandable (the empty cup tastes as sweet as if it were full of punch), but this is just an effect of the drug -- in reality, it's illusory.

That's my two cents, for what it's worth.


that may be a reason that Mary is a slang term for marijuana (although it's not used nearly as much today as it probably was 40 years ago).
Simon - London, United Kingdom
I read all of the above comments and I just can't believe that this song can be about anything but drugs. In fact, it is against drugs. "Every time... I'm only one who's lonely" means a continuous time line reference. "Does she want to give me kicks..." and the following line have to refer to the highs and lows. And why would the Virgin Mary care about the "games" chicks play? In the third stanza, the singer talks about morning and the "night before," again in a continuous sense. Finally, their "waking eyes, reflect the lies and make them realize" has to refer to the burned out feeling afterward. So the singer thinks that "Mary" is a lie on a continuing basis. That can only be marijuana. But the song itself is terrific, with a very inventive meter and rhyming pattern.James - Dallas, Tx
Well what now?
"Along Comes Mary"-"Everytime I think that I'm the only one that's lonely someone calls on me..."
Could definitely be about smoking weed, but could also be about someone's faith in biblical things.
In our 5th grade music class (1971), Mrs. Baldo made us learn this song and sing it too. We were all 10 or 11 year olds playing and singing a song about Marijuana?
You'd NEVER be able to get away with this today. Or did we even get away with it?
Three years earlier (1968), the entire year was believed to be the last year of Earth. ALL YEAR LONG we were repeatedly told the world would end that year. MLK and RFK's assasinations didn't change those views too much.
We even had a substitute teacher in our 2nd grade class come in one day-introduce herself, and then say to all of us 7 or 8 year old kids: "So this is the last year of the world?"
You sure as hell could NOT say something like that today. But the point is-if this song, a great song by the way-does point out the end of things in 2012; well than I guess I remain skeptical. Again.
At least six separate times in my 48 years the World, as we know it, was supposed to have come to an end and it hasn't. But-this year the NY JETS are in 1st place and that sure as hell has NEVER happened in MY life-so maybe...
(think interceptions...)
Francis - Long Island, Ny
I have done (or perhaps over-done) a rather elaborate literary analysis of this song on my blog. Since I've used some material from this site, I thought I'd share it with you. Visit http://jveeds.wordpress.com/ to the unraveling of the mystery.Jim - Phoenix, Az
The song seems to me to refer to violent protest demonstrations, like the one at the Democratic Convention in 1968 (except that it was released in 1966, so it wasn't that one). "The gassed and flaccid kids are flung across the stars" with "psychodramas and traumas" having been experienced, but now gone. It sounds like being tear-gassed by aggressive police. The "where she got her name" may have something to do with the Virgin Mary, but I'm not sure what. I don't think it's about marijuana, but I'd like to know what it is about. Has anyone directly asked the author(s)?Danny - Bronx, Ny
This song is about marijuana, not about the "Virgin Mary".

it's about the different affects that pot has on people. Those who say it's about "the Warning" and all that Catholic Virgin Mary stuff, are only wishing. The lyrics saying "and does she want to give me kicks, and be my steady chick" hardly describes the Virgin Mary.

Then the lyrics say "And does she want to set them free, and let them see reality, From where she got her name" Ummm... Where did Mary get her "name"? Mary Jane = Marijuana. Pot tends to wipe away superficial realities for a lot of people, which scares those who are very much into materialism... "pot makes me paranoid". People who deny the "vision" that there's more to life than riches and vanity, can't smoke pot and feel comfortable.
Bloodaxe - Lincoln, Ne
Tandyn Almer also wrote another interesting song called "Little Girl Lost and Found" which was released in 1967 on A&M Records by The Garden Club. Lead singer of "The Garden Club" was actually Ruthann Friedman, who wrote the Association's huge 1967 hit, "Windy."James - San Diego, Ca
dear victoria in tacoma.....when you lived with tandyn was it in the hollywood hills? my brother lived there too and i use to visit him there,, his name was manse...do you remember him?? i remember him showing me the upright piano he said tandyn wrote the song on....and the song was a very powerfull statement about our times then....you can write me at franknitti123@yahooChuck - La, Ca
Thanks, Bill (of Chico CA), for clearing up that bit of urban legend. Great song, clever lyrics.Kevin - Syracuse, Ut
"Along Comes Mary" seems to be too manic to be about marijuana, in my opinion. Victoria's suggestion that it's about drug culture is more credible.
Or perhaps it's just inspired nonsense up to anyone's interpretation.
I'm not a big Association fan, but this song is a delight.
Jennifer - Los Angeles, Ca
Tandyn Almer did not write "A Child's Garden of Grass" (still my favorite book on the subject); it was written by Jack S. Margolis and Richard Clorfene. It does, however, detail the Tandyn Slave-Master, a complicated water pipe involving flasks and a bunson burner.Bill - Chico, Ca
I think this song goes far beyond just a testimony or reference to marijuana. I don't know what The Warning is but I think it speaks volumes about people in general. The song is just awesome - lyrically, musically. Every time I hear it, I turn it up really loud. : )Jean - Sandusky, Oh
I've understood "Mary" as allusion to marijuana ever since I discovered that the lyricist, Tandyn Almer, authored a book about marijuana around the same time entitled "A Child's Garden of Grass." So what? We're talking California culture 1960s style here! It's still an amazing song. And Almer was no hack writer. His lyrics, if a bit surreal and colorfully opaque, are filled with clever and startling rhymes, alliterations, and other smart poetic devices.Kevin - Syracuse, Ut
Along comes Mary is most definately about the role of Mary the Mother of Jesus The Christ. Not only does it describe the life altering affect she has on mortals by way of numerous earth appearances & various apparition sites over hundreds of years, but you hear proof of this as the last verse refers to The Warning which has been predicted numerous times over the many years ("and when the morning of The Warning's passed the gassed & flacid kids are flung across the stars." and then..."& does she want to see the stains, the dead remains of all the pain she caused the night before." also..."Oh will their waking eyes reflect their lies & make them realize their urgent cry for sight no more?") The Warning comes a year before The Miracle In The Sky & is predicted to come on a Thursday night @ 8:30 on the anniversary of an unnamed martyr. During a 10 minute period everything will stop; literally while God our Father opens our eyes & shows us how we offend Him Who loves us so much. This will change life as we knew it up to that point. It will GRIEVE us inwardly & to some it will be such a shock that it will cause expiration. Then we'll understand life as He wants us to & submit our selfish wills for His Divine Will by surrending ourselves to Him & to the service of others who need our help. Search The Warning on your toolbar. Anyway, this is the meaning of the song. Now, listen to the words now that your lyrical eyes have been opened.{{Steve - San Diego, Ca
Tandyn was my friend, the song is not so much about the drug as about life in a drug culture that he observed first hand. His house, after the money started coming, had an apartment, Tandyn let me live there free when I needed a place to stay in the fall and winter if 1966.
The comments that I read seem to be judging the writer, that is too bad since no one seems to know him. He is trained classically, rock and roll was a departure for him. He was highly respected by many Hollywood musicians, Neil Young, Steven Stills, Gene Clarke, David Crosby, MaMa Cass loved him, Jim Morrison, The Door's and Gabrial Meckler are just a few.
He was loyal to old friends and gracious to new friends. So please, talk about the writer and his talent at story telling, it's just a story and at that a bit sad certainly not a advertisment for drugs.
Victoria - Tacoma, Wa
lar, Ontario: Absolutely dead on!--the part about being unlike anything before or since. All: I was in college when this came out (BTW, lots of amazing stuff seems to have poured out of rock/pop radio in or around the summer of '66), and this song was so refreshing, I was disappointed when their 2nd single, Cherish, came out, 'cause it seemed like pap compared to "Mary." Then their 3rd single, "Pandora's Golden Heebie-Jeebies," was another groundbreaker, so I thought they were back on track. Somewhat after that, Gary Alexander left the group and they were never the same, although I still really dig several of their later works, just not in the same way. Anyhow, I always had the impression that this song, along with their other early ones, were the products of Gary's fertile brain. Now that I read that "Mary" was written by Tandyn Almer, I have 3 questions: 1) Is that true? 2) What then was Gary Alexander's role in this and other Association songs during his presence in the group? and 3) Who the hell is Tandyn Almer? As far as being about grass, we (college-age types) found the references in the last verse to be more sexual than anything else. And I believe you could make the drug-case. But I really think that all these claims of any particular song being secretly, or not-so-secretly, about this or that, say more about those (I include myself!) making the claims than about the songs.Fred - Laurel, Md
Pretty good song, though some of the words come too fast!Meredith - Wauwatosa, Wi
There is film of a terrific performance of this song by The Association on the "Complete Monterrey Pop" DVD set from the Criterion Collection. It's on the 3d disc, the "Outtakes" disc, which actually contains some of the best performance footage of a number of bands that weren't originally include in the theatrical release of the movie. The Association opened Monterrey Pop & the clip contains a fine bit of comedy from Brian Cole as he introduces the band. (Jerry Scheff may have originated the bass lines for this song in the studio, but Cole does an impressive job on bass in concert.) All in all The Association really gave a great & energetic perfomance.Ginnykub - Denver, Co
I have always found it bizarrely ironic that some people thought this song was about weed -- I remember that a lot of my high school friends thought the Association was 'square', they never even considered them hip enough to be doing something like smoking marijuana!Michael - Chicago, Il
I'm 46 and everytime I hear this song I regret that I still haven't committed the lyrics to memory It's difficult to do without listening to the song while reading the lyrics at the same time. I have my own interpretation of the symbolism of the lyrics but it is a controversial one (I think) and I could be completely wrong, anyway. I believe my interpretation is right so I continue to love this wonderful song every time I hear it.John - Fort Worth, Tx
As you may have read before, this song was covered by The Bloodhound Gang. The first time I heard this song was on the Half Baked soundtrack, a movie about "best buds." Regardless of it's original intended meaning, Jimmy Pop Ali and the other members of the BHG have likened it's meaning to marajuana.Grant - Tampa, Fl
"Mary" is about the least popular name for baby girls nowadays. As for "Darrell", it has about the same ranking, except for the fact that fans of Daryl Hannah are bending gender and using my name for girls. Well, I guess "Mario" is kind of similar to "Mary", and Mr. Andretti is one of my favorite race-car drivers.Darrell - Eugene
It must be about grass. It was written by Tandyn Almer, who patented a design for a bong! He also collaborated with Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys in the early '70s, including a co-writing credit for "Sail On, Sailor."Mary - Rodeo, Ca
Tory,
I've tried to learn the lyrics for many years now. I used to look at the liner notes that came with the original LP but now I use this site. I'm sure I'll accomplish it because I love it when it's played on the radio...It's hard for me to imagine that this song was recorded before "Cherish" (a song from my earliest memories)
John, 45
John - Fort Worth, Tx
I've been performing this incredibly original piece for well over 9 or 10 years, & my wife pointed out that the lyrics were nothing less than about the long prophesied supernatural event that is soon to transpire called, "The Warning." It's funny to me, because I'm the one who told HER about The Warning, yet I never put 2 & 2 together. For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about (I'm sure there's many, & it's not your fault) simply click on to this link & read all about it! My opinion is that this event (which will be the most amazing event recorded by journalists since the miracle at Fatima, Porugal Spain) will happen before or during the year 2012. Anyway, here.. http://www.mdep.org/warning.htmlSteve - San Diego, Ca
I can sing the entire song. It's a lot of fun, really not as hard as it sounds.Tory - Sudbury, Ma
Along Comes Mary remains a marvel to me. It sounds unlike anything that was out at the time, before or since, so far as I'm aware. So many things on that record are amazing! ...The instrumental work, the vocal arrangement and that dump-truck-full of lyrics that are warbled out in a for-the-most-part unintelligible stream :-) -lar, ON. CanadaLar - Ontario, Canada
One of the greatest written rock songs of all time. Here's a twist. Several members of the Association were freemasons. I have a very open mind in this area as well. Some rumors say that the song is about 'Mary Magdalene' !!
My belief was that Jesus was a very revolutionary for this time period and Mary was his major inspiration inspeaking the WORD !
Dan - Freehold , Nj
I was just listening to it, and it IS about drugs!!!Jonathan - Johnstown, Pa
Interesting. At the time "Mary" was a hit (summer 1966), I was unsure of course of action in life, as a summer school student at Eastern Bap-
tist College in suburban Philadelphia. I hear one commentary about the song's being about a person who is lonely, then along comes Mary to set things right. Admittedly, the Association ran the words of "Mary" together at times, so I did not know at the time what the song was intended to mean. I thought it would have been more aptly titled "Along COmes JUDY"! There was no Mary in my class that summer, but there was a Judy. She did more for me that any drug could have done; love is more upbuilding than drugs. Besides "Mary", there were other records that I remember "Sweet Pea", "Wild Thing", "Lil' Red Riding Hood", "Popsicle", "Sunny", "Strangers in the Night", "Red Rubber Ball"-- and many others. Though this summer school experience was the sum of my attendance at
this particular institution, It DID help me find my niche! I was influenced by the summer 66 ex-
perience to build a record collection, to remind me of educational, employment, recreational, and other experiences that shaped me. This in turn led me to take a position at a record wholesaler near Philadelphia, where I have picked orders and done inventory work past fourteen years, and plan to do so for next ten years, after which I plan to retire. "Mary" is one of hundreds of records that I have to remind me of what I have been through, and that I am richer for all these experiences.
George - Havertown, Pa
I've heard this song all my life, since it came out when I was a kid, and never understood a word. When I finally read the lyrics in 2004 I was just knocked over. Try to sing those words. Try sing one verse. It is absolutely impossible. I read the guy who wrote it never had another hit, but this is still one of the all time greatest "amazing lyrics" songs.Anonymous
Thank you James from Tacoma for the lyricsSteve - Willmar, Mn
This is an absolutely remarkable song. I don't know if the marijuana connection is a misinterpretation like it says above... I think on one level that works very well. So does Mary as the Virgin Mary, as in a religious awakening. Consider that this song came out around the same time as "Hanky Panky" and "little Red Ridin' Hood," and it seems that much more remarkable for its complex lyrics and themes. Although those other two songs were great also!Jim - Cincinnati, Oh