Eight miles high, and when you touch down
You'll find that it's stranger than known
Signs in the street, that say where you're going
Are somewhere just being their own

Nowhere is there warmth to be found
Among those afraid of losing their ground
Rain gray town, known for its sound
In places, small faces unbound

Round the squares, huddled in storms
Some laughing, some just shapeless forms
Sidewalk scenes, and black limousines
Some living, some standing alone

Lyrics submitted by magicnudiesuit

Eight Miles High Lyrics as written by Gene Clark David Crosby

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management, RESERVOIR MEDIA MANAGEMENT INC, Warner Chappell Music, Inc.

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Eight Miles High song meanings
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  • +4
    General Comment
    It's about a plane flight, from America to England for a tour, I believe. It was a fairly early psychedelic song, but not the first. The underground psychedelic movement began around 1965.
    TheOldRevolutionaryon April 16, 2006   Link
  • +3
    General Comment
    Eight Miles High is about the Byrds flight to England on one of their first tours there. Is it also a song about drugs? Roger McGuinn denies this and that is good enough for me. When it was released, it was generally banned from the radio because of the assumed drug reference. Eight Miles High was one of the most innovative rock songs. It is too bad that it did not get more air play when it first came out. The song is also heavily influence by jazz, especially John Coltrane's song "India". listen to the similarities in the intro guitar solo and the guitar simulating Coltranes rapid fire sax playing.
    g1479on July 27, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General Comment
    sumflow is correct - in an interview, David Crosby casually mentioned an interest in LSD - then Eight Miles High was written, and the Byrds were taken to task for it - automatically it was deemed a drug song, even with the London trip connotations - the Byrds were called "America's answer to the Beatles" in some publications, and their tour of England was rough
    rockboy52on December 15, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General Comment
    Most often is is misthought as being high on drugs. It's just about expiencing life.
    kfe2on February 04, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Comment
    Pshychedelic lollipop by the blue magoos. is another psychedelic album from 1966.
    Eisanon May 09, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Comment
    I once saw Roger McGuinn interviewed. He said, with a wink in his eye, that some people thought that this song was about drugs!
    chrisb1on August 26, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Comment
    Rain Grey Town that's known for it's sound is Liverpool and the Mersey Beat
    Massapequaon November 20, 2007   Link
  • +1
    My Interpretation
    I'm pretty confident that this song was originally about a mere psychedelic experience, but to me it represents something a little different, although possibly related. When I hear this song, I think of a depressed person attempting suicide, probably through inhaling gas like nitrous oxide that might at first induce a "high." When the gas is starting to reach dangerous levels and the user is nearly unconscious, the lyrics describe the faint visions that are just beginning to take shape in the suicidal person's mind, perhaps mere hallucinations (they certainly seem fragmented enough to be the inventions of an oxygen-starved mind!) perhaps distant memories, or perhaps remote visions of heaven, hell, or glimpses of an afterlife too strange for the living mind to comprehend. Whatever these visions are, the dying individual can only wonder whether those "shapeless forms" will become tangible and he will at last "touch down" in this foreign land when he closes his eyes to sleep (and to die) or whether they will simply fade as the last of his thoughts slip away. This could frighten him and inspire second thoughts, although he knows he cannot turn back; that could cover the "Nowhere is there warmth to be found/Among those afraid of losing their ground" stanza. Sorry if that seemed unnecessarily morose, but I've always found this offbeat interpretation beautiful in its own strange way. If I'm ever in a situation where I know I'm near the end, I'll put on this song, or maybe the Leo Kottke version.
    serenityvalleyon May 16, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General Comment
    The funny thing about this is they got in trouble for writing Eight miles high, about their trip to England. But actually Gene wrote it with the help of Brian Jones in Philadelphia before they left for GB.
    Sumflowon December 08, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General Comment
    Come on are you kidding? These lyrics, psychedelic guitar, the 60s to the top. This song is totally about being high on drugs!!
    PeluCrespinson September 21, 2021   Link

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