2.09-I SEE YOU (Byrds)



I see you
Under there
Behind your hair
I see you.

I see you.
Turned out eyes
Can't tell lies
I see you.

        Warm slanting sun through the cave of your hair,
        Wind washing fields, kind of space living there.

I see you.

I know you
Met before,
Seventh floor
First world war.
I know you.

Who lives there?
Hello there.
I'm aware
That you care.
Who lives there?

        Green specks bright spiraling out in the sky
        Catch my mind, turn my head, have to look, don't know why.

Who lives there?

We thought how
For a while
They just smile
Just a silent thought now.

[Repeat 1st verse]

I see you.


Whereas What's Happening?!?! pressed Why into a larger development, I See You uses the "Coltrane" slur-like guitar that Eight Miles High had used, but to lesser effect. The A section of I See You bounces between two chords, and the lead guitar is rather muted, filling in short spaces between verses until it is allowed more space in the coda. For variation, there's a singular chord drone sung in triplets that forms the B section. The songs ends with a repeat of the first verse.

The lyrics seem to be a free association praise of the beauty of a woman with long hair and powerfully "empathizing" eyes, an unusual word to find in a song lyric. The "I know you" verse conveys that the singer feels he met the woman in a previous life, a perception that LSD facilitates. Reincarnation is found in other psychedelic lyrics, such as the Beach Boys’ I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times, the Yardbirds’ Happenings Ten Years Time Ago, Simon & Garfunkel’s Fakin’ It, and Love’s Red Telephone. The second B section suggests that the effect of her green eyes on him is something like Van Gogh's Starry Night, whirling, hypnotic, almost the kaleidoscope eyes that Lucy would have in the Beatle's Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds, released nearly a year later. Perhaps the singer is addressing a tripping companion.