Epistle to Dippy

Album: Donovan's Greatest Hits (1967)
Charted: 19

Songfacts®:

  • An epistle is a letter, and this song takes the form of Donovan writing to a friend - a technique he later used on his song "To Susan On The West Coast Waiting." He talked about this song at a 2004 appearance to promote his album Beat Café: "Dippy was a school pal. He had signed up in the army, so I wrote a song that I hoped he would hear on the radio and call me. It related to school and what I was going through and had references that he got and he called me - and I bought him out of the army, which you could do. So it was a creative use of radio."
  • Before he joined The Yardbirds and founded Led Zeppelin, Jimmy Page was a session guitarist. This was one of the tracks he played on. He also played on Donovan's "Sunshine Superman."

Comments: 3

  • Tdot from Lakewood, Wa.The correct lyrics from the songbook are: Line 9: "I can see you had your fun." Line 10: "During hours paperback reader." Line 12: "Fingers always touching, girl." (The comma changes the meaning).
  • Matthew from Toronto, OnWow! How come this song isn't better known? Following hot on the trail of mega hits "Sunshine Superman" and "Mellow Yellow," it deserved a much better fate. The intricate arrangement, the baffling lyrics, the drug-inspired imagery, the tempo changes, the hooks, it all should have added up to an irresistable major chart presence. It came at the right time, too, the wistful and idealistic mid-60's when radio audiences were willing to listen to anything different & original. It did okay, but it should have done much, much better. Today, it's forgotten.
  • Sara from Silver Spring, MdLike many Donovan songs of the time this is said to have LSD references. In his autobiography Donovan says Dippy was the sax player in a band where Donovan was the drummer.
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