6.16-WON'T YOU TRY / SATURDAY AFTERNOON (Jefferson Airplane)

Jefferson Airplane
Paul Kantner / Grace Slick / Marty Balin


     Won't you try? (4x)

Find a way to need someone
Find a way to see
Find a way to need someone
And the sunshine will set you free.

     Won't you try
     with love before we're gone?
     Won't you try? (2x)

          Saturday afternoon (2x)

          When your head is feeling fine
          you can ride inside our car.
          I will give you caps of blue and
          silver sunlight for your hair.

     All that soon will be
     is what you need to see, my love.
     Won't you try? (2x)

               I do care that you do see


Is it time to leave, my lady?
Yes it is I know.
Round about and everywhere
Sunshine instead of snow.

     Times can change
     cause what I say is true:
     all is new
     and I'll come through for you
     and I'll come through for you, my love.
     Won't you try? (3x)

          Saturday afternoon
                    yellow clouds rising and the loon
                    acid, incense and balloons

          Saturday afternoon
                    people dancing everywhere,
                    love is shouting I don't care

               It's a time for growing and a time for knowing.

          Saturday afternoon
          Saturday afternoon (won't you try?) (3x)
          Won't you try? (Saturday afternoon) (3x)
          Wont you try? (2x)

The lyrics to Saturday Afternoon are bad. Not as bad as the sales pitch for LSD that the Hollies used in their song Try It, but close. Matthew Greenwald of allmusic reported that the lyric "acid, incense and balloons" was lifted from an article written by the Chronicle music critic Ralph Gleason reflecting on the then recent January 1967 Pow Wow--Gathering of the Tribes: Human Be-In that happened in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. [Gleason is cited in Got a Revolution, Jeff Tamarkin 2003, p. 124] By the end of the year, though, the conjunction of acid, incense and balloons was already dated. The Fifth Dimension's Up Up and Away and the Strawberry Alarm Clock's Incense and Peppermints, both chart toppers between January and December 1967 had already weakened the incense and balloon associations with LSD by the time After Bathing at Baxter's was released. The lyrics should have been released on the Surrealistic Pillow album. It was too late for them by Baxter's.

However in the Spring of 1967, I don't believe the Jefferson Airplane could have implemented the complexity of the song's structure. The essential idea seems to be the melding of two songs, each which has a verbal tag associated with it. Both Saturday Afternoon and Won't You Try support each other in mood, both exist in the experience of the Human Be-In. The two songs don't contrast with each other; instead they slowly intertwine and finally become their tags, which are exchanged between the men singers and Grace Slick’s voice. At closing, a series of repetitions for Saturday Afternoon are first sung by the men, then toward the end, passed on to Slick.