The “Somebody to Love” Mystery

I received this email from Chelsea this morning.  Maybe you can help.

I’ve come across a lyrical mystery.”Somebody To Love,” was originally written by Darby Slick and sung by his sister-in- law  Grace Slick. There is an original lyric sheet from him that doesn’t even include every verse as what Grace sings for The Great Society, found here.

In The Great Society version, she sings the third verse:

Now your eyes
Your eyes may(they?) look like his
And all of a sudden you find out ain’t (it/in?) that where it is

And the Jefferson Airplane version reads:

Your eyes, I say your eyes
May look like his
Yeah, but in your head, baby
I’m afraid you don’t know where it is

I see many sources list Darby as the writer, but I can’t find any information about the change of lyrics.  Or the original lyrics that she sang. Any ideas??

Here’s my take.  Back in those crazy hippie days, there was often a sense that the creation of art was a fluid communal thing.  I’m guessing that Grace conferred with Darby about the changes in lyrics, spurred by the suggestion of a producer, new ideas that arose in rehearsals as the song was rocked-up or by audience feedback.  Regardless of the change in lyrics, Darby is credited as the author of both versions, so he’s been getting the cheques for almost 50 years.

Anyone else have thoughts/theories/explanations?

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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