Music Friday: Donovan Offers to ‘Make Like a Turtle and Dive for Your Pearls in the Sea’ in the Psychedelic ‘Sunshine Superman’

Scottish psychedelic singer-songwriter Donovan stars in today’s Music Friday feature with his #1 hit, “Sunshine Superman.” In this 1966 love song dedicated to his future wife, Linda Lawrence, Donovan offers to “make like a turtle and dive for your pearls in the sea,” while also bragging that “Superman and Green Lantern ain’t got a-nothin’ on me.”

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Donovan told Billboard magazine that he was traveling in Greece at the time of the song’s release in July 1966 and had only three quid (about $5) in his pocket. His manager called him and insisted that he fly back to London right away because the song had just released and it was #1 all over the world.

“Sunshine Superman” reached the top of the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart and #2 in Great Britain. The song is considered one of the classics of the Sixties and continues to be Donovan’s signature song (his web site leads off with a snippet at http://donovan.ie).

“Sunshine Superman” is also one of the first examples of a music genre that would be known at psychedelia. The term “sunshine” was a street name for the hallucinogen LSD.

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A little known fact about the song is that legendary guitarist and Led Zeppelin founder Jimmy Page played lead guitar on on the track. At the time, Page was a session musician.

Donovan, who was born Donovan Philips Leitch, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012 and the Songwriters Hall of Fame this year.

He’s been married to Lawrence since 1970, and is actively touring at 68 years old. You can catch his act on August 16 if you happen to be in Randers, Denmark.

We hope you enjoy the video of Donovan’s “trippy” long version of “Sunshine Superman.” The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along.

“Sunshine Superman”
Written and performed by Donovan.

Sunshine came softly a-through my a-window today
Could’ve tripped out easy a-but I’ve a-changed my ways
It’ll take time, I know it but in a while
You’re gonna be mine, I know it, we’ll do it in style
‘Cause I made my mind up you’re going to be mine

I’ll tell you right now
Any trick in the book a-now, baby, all that I can find

Superman or Green Lantern ain’t got a-nothin’ on me
I can make like a turtle and dive for your pearls in the sea
A-you can just sit there while thinking on your velvet throne
‘Bout all the rainbows a-you can a-have for your own
‘Cause I made my mind up you’re going to be mine

I’ll tell you right now
Any trick in the book a-now, baby, all that I can find

Everybody’s hustlin’ a-just to have a little scene
When I say we’ll be cool, I think that you know what I mean
We stood on a beach at sunset, do you remember when?
I know a beach where, baby, a-it never ends
When you’ve made your mind up forever to be mine
Hmm, hmm, hmm, hmm, hmm

I’ll pick up your hand and slowly blow your little mind
‘Cause I made my mind up you’re going to be mine
I’ll tell you right now
Any trick in the book a-now, baby, that I can find

Superman or Green Lantern ain’t got a-nothin’ on me
I can make like a turtle and dive for your pearls in the sea, yep
A-you you you can just sit there while thinking on your velvet throne
‘Bout all the rainbows a-you can a-have for your own
When you’ve made your mind up, forever to be mine

I’ll pick up your hand and slowly blow your little mind
When you’ve made your mind up, forever to be mine
I’ll pick up your hand
I’ll pick up your hand and slowly blow your little mind

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