Along Comes Mary

Album: And Then... Along Comes The Association (1966)
Charted: 7
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  • Every time I think that I'm the only one who's lonely
    Someone calls on me
    And every now and then I spend my time in rhyme and verse
    And curse those faults in me

    And then along comes Mary
    And does she want to give me kicks , and be my steady chick
    And give me pick of memories
    Or maybe rather gather tales of all the fails and tribulations
    No one ever sees

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

    When vague desire is the fire in the eyes of chicks
    Whose sickness is the games they play
    And when the masquerade is played and neighbor folks make jokes
    As who is most to blame today

    And then along comes Mary
    And does she want to set them free, and let them see reality
    From where she got her name
    And will they struggle much when told that such a tender touch as hers
    Will make them not the same

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

    And when the morning of the warning's passed, the gassed
    And flaccid kids are flung across the stars
    The psychodramas and the traumas gone
    The songs are left unsung and hung upon the scars

    And then along comes Mary
    And does she want to see the stains, the dead remains of all the pains
    She left the night before
    Or will their waking eyes reflect the lies, and make them
    Realize their urgent cry for sight no more

    When we met I was sure out to lunch
    Now my empty cup tastes as sweet as the punch Writer/s: TANDYN ALMER
    Publisher: Universal Music Publishing Group
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 58

  • Dennis Ralph from Oxnard CalifAnita W Cantor - West, I'm sorry I wasn't listening?
  • Michael from Woodstock, VtOne more tidbit for this thread. If you want to sell records in the 60s you make it about drugs and you hint at it so that it becomes "cool". But to think that that is all this song is about would be ignoring many of the lyrics. Look at the last stanza:
    And then along comes Mary
    And does she want to see the stains, the dead remains of all the pains
    She left the night before
    Or will their waking eyes reflect the lies, and make them
    Realize their urgent cry for sight no more.

    In Parzival, the old keeper of the Grail is blind and in pain. Parzival is out to lunch--can't see Mary. That's the whole point of the legend. Mary, the Grail, comes in and provides the hope. Hope for the future despite all that man does by being man and making destructive machines (watch the Smother's Brothers performance of the song on Youtube). Along comes Mary; cuz even if you think your cup is empty, with Mary (Nature, salvation, etc.) it never is. If you want a good Mary Jane song by them, listen to the lyrics of Windy (trippin' down the streets of the city).
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn May 28th 1967, the Association performed "Along Comes Mary" on the CBS-TV program 'The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour’; it was the California sextet’s national TV debut...
    Almost exactly one year earlier on May 29th, 1966 the song entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #79; six weeks later on July 10th, 1966 it would peak at #7 {for 1 week} and it stayed on the chart for 11 weeks...
    Between 1966 and 1981 the sextet had thirteen Top 100 records; four made the Top 10 with two reaching #1, "Cherish" for 3 weeks in 1966 and "Windy" for 4 weeks in 1967...
    They just missed having a third #1 record when "Never My Love" peaked at #2* {for 2 weeks} in 1967...
    Founding member & bassist Brian Cole passed away on August 2nd, 1972 at the young age of 29...
    May he R.I.P.
    * The two weeks "Never My Love" was at #2, the #1 record for both those weeks was "The Letter" by the Box Tops.
  • Anita W Cantor from WestIf you weren't in the 60's scene, you might take offense at the
    mention of song lyrics referring to drugs. The fact is many of the
    mid-60's songs were! A harmless sounding title was essential to
    getting the record played. (but that's another story)
    I think the song reveals itself in the end verses. And is very anti-drug.
    Oddly, I don't find this song about mj at all!
    But that 'Mary' is used as a catch all name for much more potent chemical type 'things'.


    (sorry I split them into odd verse #'s)

    He begins the song taking the blame of trusting 'someone calling
    on him' (mj or other mind expanding substances) when he feels the
    despair of his loneliness, he curses the faults in himself.
    He considers her untrue and fake making him feel good and then
    leaving him lonely 'and then along comes Mary', again and again.
    (might want to read the lyrics to Bob Dylan's 'Rainy Day Women #5
    and 35').

    In the 2nd verse
    He asks himself if she was just giving him kicks and will always be
    there for him or will he find out she's been all lies (drugs) that no
    one realizes.
    And the chorus, 'When we met I was sure out to lunch'
    It's like he admits he was too stoned and 'far out').
    'My empty cup tastes as sweet as the punch'.
    I think is a metaphor for him losing his judgement and
    has lost what is reality from the effects of mj/drugs.
    (For those that don't know, party punch bowls were habitually
    spiked with all types of drugs anyone would throw in, even the bowls
    that were marked Not spiked.) I know, gee really?

    3rd verse
    The 'vague desire' is the fire in the eyes' (mj/drugs) becoming a
    seductive 'sickness' and 'is the games they play'.
    The 'masquerade is played'. When you're under the effects.
    'Neighbors make jokes as who is most to blame today'.
    Could be a political comment referring to the 60's gen hippies,
    Vietnam or drug takers in general (maybe all 3 or none!)
    4th verse
    And then along comes Mary.
    'And does she want to set them free'. Very drug related line. A true
    hippie culture slogan on posters and T-shirts. 'Free Your Mind'
    still selling online (tends to bring to mind, LSD, not weed.)
    'And let them see reality' (also tends to bring to mind LSD)
    'From where she got her name'.

    5th verse
    'And will they struggle much' Once they quit taking.
    'When told that such a tender touch as hers'
    Being told it's harmless.
    'Will make them not the same'
    As they were before using it.

    6th verse
    'The morning of the warning's passed'. A beloved rock star's O.D.
    'The gassed and flaccid kids'. Because they're depressed and saddened.
    'Are flung across the stars'. They're are many o.d. rockers in heaven.
    'The psychodramas and the traumas gone'. Death reality sets in.
    'The songs are left unsung and hung upon the scars'. We won't hear
    them sing their songs, anymore. The scars are in our hearts for them.

    7th verse
    And then along comes Mary
    'And does she want to see the stains'
    Mary/mj/drugs can't see the stains or harm they've done.
    'The dead remains of all the pains'
    The dead remains are buried and the pains are left with the living.
    'She left the night before?'
    The night before and the nights before that.
    'Or will their waking eyes' People doing drugs
    'Reflect the lies, and make them realize'
    No, Don't reflect the lies, and follow in their steps. Wake up.
    'Their urgent cry for sight no more?
    The dead are telling you with an urgent cry, look at what happened to me!

  • Michael from Woodstock, VtI have recently read Wolfram Eschenbach's "Parzival" and I must say this song is scary in its poetic allusions and references to that story. The character (singer) is Wolfram's Parzival. All the lyrics tie nicely into Parzival and moreover they make the story current. For those who are not familiar with that version of the Holy Grail it is NOT Christian, well not in the sense as we think of Christianity today; the story is pretty early in its origin and the oral version harkens back to man's debt to nature and nature's gifts to us.

    And I also want to say what a great discussion this is! All this over a pop song from long ago.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn 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".
  • Scott from Portland, OrThe best live band I've ever heard - no question.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn 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).
  • Jim from Enid, OkWhat 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".
  • Esskayess from Dallas, TxI think Mary married little Jackie Paper after he dumped that dumb dragon.
  • Vaughn from Boise, IdIn 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.
  • Janelle from Albertville, MnIt's about drugs (weed) people. The Association even says so!!!!! when they talk about it before singing it.
  • Dag from Marquette, MiReading 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 from Marquette, MiYes, and ditto on Steve from San Diego; another slim Christian interpretation of the incomprehensible, timeless entity referenced in this song.
  • Dag from Marquette, MiTo 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 Bishop
  • Dag from Marquette, MiFrom 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"
  • Jeff from Boston, MaI 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.
  • Mike from Santa Maria, CaHmmm...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.
  • Mark from Lunenburg, MaAlmost 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.
  • Hippie from La Mirada, CaIn 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.
  • Dan from Houston, TxSteve 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!
  • Ern from Fresno, CaSecond 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?!?? Peace
  • Ern from Fresno, CaJames, 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!!!!!
  • Sabrina from Corvallis, OrI 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.
  • Bill from Houston, TxOur 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.
  • Simon from London, United Kingdom
    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

    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).
  • James from Dallas, TxI 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.
  • Francis from Long Island, NyWell 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...)
  • Jim from Phoenix, AzI 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 to the unraveling of the mystery.
  • Danny from Bronx, NyThe 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)?
  • Bloodaxe from Lincoln, NeThis 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.
  • James from San Diego, CaTandyn 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."
  • Chuck from La, Cadear 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 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 can write me at franknitti123@yahoo
  • Kevin from Syracuse, UtThanks, Bill (of Chico CA), for clearing up that bit of urban legend. Great song, clever lyrics.
  • Jennifer from Los Angeles, Ca"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.
  • Bill from Chico, CaTandyn 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.
  • Jean from Sandusky, OhI 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. : )
  • Kevin from Syracuse, UtI'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.
  • Steve from San Diego, CaAlong 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.{{
  • Victoria from Tacoma, WaTandyn 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.
  • Fred from Laurel, Mdlar, 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.

  • Meredith from Wauwatosa, WiPretty good song, though some of the words come too fast!
  • Ginnykub from Denver, CoThere 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.
  • Michael from Chicago, IlI 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!
  • John from Fort Worth, TxI'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.
  • Grant from Tampa, FlAs 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.
  • Darrell from Eugene"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.
  • Mary from Rodeo, CaIt 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."
  • John from Fort Worth, TxTory,
    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

  • Steve from San Diego, Ca 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..
  • Tory from Sudbury, MaI can sing the entire song. It's a lot of fun, really not as hard as it sounds.
  • Lar from Ontario, CanadaAlong 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. Canada
  • Dan from Freehold , NjOne 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 !
  • Jonathan from Johnstown, PaI was just listening to it, and it IS about drugs!!!
  • George from Havertown, 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.
  • AnonymousI'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.
  • Steve from Willmar, MnThank you James from Tacoma for the lyrics
  • Jim from Cincinnati, OhThis 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!
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