"High Coin" was one of two Charlatans songs written by Van Dyke Parks
, who had also written for the Beach Boys, Phil Ochs, Little Feat, and others. His own album Song Cycle
from 1967 was highly respected by peers, though it sold only modestly. Parks' other contribution to the album was "When I go Sailin' By," which was the B-side to the "High Coin" single.