Song Lyric Sunday — San Francisco

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday theme, Jim Adams has given us “hometown” or “city.” As some of you know, I recently moved from San Francisco to a suburb in the East Bay, and I often feel that I left my heart in San Francisco, so it’s only logical that my song choice this week would be the Tony Bennett classic, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” right?

Wrong! I’m going to defy logic and select Scott McKenzie’s “San Francisco.”

“San Francisco” is a pop song that was written by John Phillips (of The Mamas And The Papas), and was sung by Scott McKenzie, who Phillips knew from when they both played in a group called The Journeymen. The song was released in May 1967 and became one of the best-selling singles around the world in the 1960s, reaching number four on the U.S. charts and the number one on the U.K. charts.

Phillips wrote the song as the unofficial anthem for the Monterey Pop Festival, which was held near San Francisco. Phillips helped organize the festival, but when local authorities in Monterey started to get concerned over the prospect of their town being overrun by hippies, Phillips wrote the song in about 20 minutes to smooth things over with the Monterey authorities.

The song, which turned out to be one of the big hippie hits during San Francisco’s Summer of Love in 1967, tells people, “If you’re going to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair,” and that “summertime will be a love-in there.” The song is credited with bringing thousands of young people to San Francisco, California, during the late 1960s.

Many peace activists and hippies at the time wore flowers in their hair, including McKenzie, who wore flowers in his hair when he recorded this song.

Here are the lyrics to “San Francisco.”

If you’re going to San Francisco
Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair
If you’re going to San Francisco
You’re gonna meet some gentle people there

For those who come to San Francisco
Summertime will be a love-in there
In the streets of San Francisco
Gentle people with flowers in their hair

All across the nation
Such a strange vibration
People in motion
There’s a whole generation
With a new explanation
People in motion
People in motion

For those who come to San Francisco
Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair
If you come to San Francisco
Summertime will be a love-in there

If you come to San Francisco
Summertime will be a love-in there

18 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday — San Francisco

  1. Christine Bolton April 19, 2020 / 5:44 am

    Thanks for the trip back to the 60s. This was the definitely one of the anthems for peace 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. newepicauthor April 19, 2020 / 7:22 am

    Wow this is a great song and an awesome video. I saw Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and the Merry Prankster bus, so cool.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lisa Coleman April 19, 2020 / 7:58 am

    This song came out a couple of years after I was born. Scott McKenzie was quite the talent and Mamas and The Papas had their own vibe with the times that they were great! Perfect choice today.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. msjadeli April 19, 2020 / 11:48 am

    The song is old gold and will be an icon of the hippy 60s forever.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. leigha66 April 20, 2020 / 1:04 am

    Really good song! You could have also gone with The Animals “San Franciscan Nights”

    Liked by 1 person

  6. ghostmmnc April 25, 2020 / 3:12 pm

    Great song!
    We were there only twice, with a layover at the airport. We did get to cross the Bay Bridge. Wish we’d had time to stay and see more of the city. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.