♫ San Francisco ♫

This song was written by John Phillips of The Mamas & the Papas, and sung by Scott McKenzie.  Released in 1967, it became one of the best-selling singles of the 1960s.  McKenzie’s version of the song has been called “the unofficial anthem of the counterculture movement of the 1960s, including the Hippie, Anti-Vietnam War and Flower power movements.”

San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)
Scott McKenzie

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

Songwriters: John Edmund Andrew Phillips
San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair) lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

33 thoughts on “♫ San Francisco ♫

  1. One of my favourite songs from my favourite era. Rawgod being there saw the way the authorities brought the movement down but for those of us in other countries the hope stayed alive much longer. It was a beautiful opportunity missed to promote peace instead of bringing hope to an end.
    Cwtch.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Rawgod and I saw it from differing perspectives, and perhaps the reality is somewhere in the middle. As I said to him, we were idealists, not activists. To really change the world, I think you have to actually DO something. Then the inevitable happened and we grew up. Of course, it may be that rawgod saw it differently because he is older than I 😉
      Cwtch

      Liked by 2 people

  2. One of my all time favorite songs, an iconic anthem of the peace-loving 60’s. If ur a fan of classic rock, I recall LZ did an amazing cover of this song in a concert video, MSG 73′. Thx for the lovely share! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jill, this is a memorable song for a memorable place and time. Yet, seeing Rawgod’s comments, the flower movement was waning by the time this song came out. It was replaced with what The Beatles’ George Harrison called a bunch of rich kids doing drugs. He went to SF for some enlightenment and left disappointed. I do believe it must have been quite the experience, though. Keith

    Liked by 3 people

      • Jill, Harrison was very cerebral and searching for enlightened thinking. This was a key reason he introduced the music of India into some of his songs.

        I do think that once the word on the Flower Child movement got out, like any movement, it was on the downward slope. Keith

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Definitely at the time the Pied Piper of the Hippie Movement. the music was gentle, calling young people to San Francisco, the Mecca of the Flower Children. And so we came.
    But it turned out the song was calling lambs to the slaughterhouse. The flowers we put in our hair wilted and died, a symbol of what would happen to us. It happened slowly, but as time went by more and more people died, figuratively if not literally. The greatest experiment never conceived–taken over by drugs and money and guns. We were sitting ducks for the powers-that-be, and they overpowered us. The best thing, bringing us all to one place, turned out to be the worst thing, making us easy targets…

    Liked by 4 people

    • I’m envious that you got to experience SF in the 60’s, arguably the hippest city during the greatest period in American history. I’d give anything to time travel back to that golden era. Nowadays it’s ostentatious greed, money, technology… with very little heart, not the SF I’d enjoy.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Hmmm … what happened? We thought we were changing the world, making it more peaceful, more gentle. What happened, I think, is that we grew up and got hit full force with that thing called reality, responsibility. Sigh. You and I see it differently, I think, for I don’t feel we were targets, simply victims of the real world that cannot be changed by young people wearing flowers in their hair, smoking weed and making great music. We were idealists, not activists. Just my take on it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • We don’t necessarily see it different, but not meaning to be arrogant I think I see it from more perspectives than you. There was reality hitting us in the face, as well as our parents’ ideas of responsibility, but there was so much more. There were politicians who wanted to co-opt our ideals, thereby changing them. There was organized crime, who saw as as another source of revenue for their illegal products and actions. There were subversives who wanted to use us, and anti-subversives who wanted to turn us into what we were not. There were music companies who wanted whatever money we could spare. There were war mongers who believed we were trying to steal money out of their pockets. The pressures and stressors on us were far more numerous than we could understand at the time, and people who we could not even imagine taking advantage of us.
        Being idealistic was part of the problem, we wanted to trust ourselves, and the people around us. Yet this is why I still call myself a hippie, a flower child, etc. This is who I am on the inside, and who I still try to be on the outside. I am a peace-loving, gentle soul, trying my best not to harm others, but it is a huge fight to love peace. It is a hard fight to love everyone.
        But we try. You, I, people like us. We do not give up, or give in. Beaten up, wounded, used, and thrown in the gutter, we still try. We are living beings. We can be nothing else…

        Liked by 1 person

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