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Hello,

I would like to know the meaning of the expression "Stoned soul picnic" - It is a song by the soul group Fifth Dimension (from the 60's): (I also found elsewhere on the net the expression "Stone Souled Picnic")

"Can you surry, can you picnic?
Can you surry, can you picnic?
Surry down to a stoned soul picnic
Surry down to a stoned soul picnic
There'll be lots of time and wine"

[...]

Thank you, Laumont.
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More to the point, what does "surry" mean? At
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it sounds as if that really is what they're singing. How you spell it I have no idea, but a number of lyric sites do seem to go for "surry" (not that I really trust lyric sites to get spellings correct).

Anyway, back to "stoned soul picnic"... as far as I know (which may be not much) this means nothing more than the sum of its parts:

"stoned" = under the influence of recreational drugs

"soul" = to do with soul music (and/or various other aspects of black American culture)

"picnic" = outdoor event or party

So, it basically sounds like some sort of outdoor get-together where there's soul music, drinking and drug-taking going on.
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I agree mostly with the interpretation given of "stoned soul picnic," but I have a different interpretation of the word "soul." One could look at this phrase, as "stoned, soul, picnic;" a picnic of soul and the stoned, but also as a picnic of stoned souls; a picnic whose inhabitants are intoxicated by recreational or illegal drugs (typically cannabis sativa?).

Given the time period...LSD is more likely
The original song was written and performed by Laura Nyro, who was a Jewish woman from NYC. I think “surry” is a word she or people she met in her travels made up, and “stoned soul picnic” definitely gives impressions of 1960s hippie culture, especially San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park where many people gather to sit out on the grassy hills and fields and smoke marijuana and relax or play music.
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ANY one? It's NOW Ten years later, and I just saw them on an old Ed Sullivan rerun and had the captions on. Otherwise, I Would've never known THAT was what the words were. Googling for the meaning of these lyrics and can't find anything. Possibly, it's simply sixties stoner nonsense lyrics like 'I am the walrus kookookuchu' . ANY better ideas, Anybody? Would really like a definitive answer from the songwriter, but don't know if they're still alive!

Re: surry

Laura Nyro (18 October 1947 – 8 April 1997), the songwriter who made up the word, said: "It's just a nice word."

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stoned_Soul Picnic(song)


"stoned soul picnic" is less problematic in my opinion. It's a picnic of stoned souls — an outdoor gathering featuring things to eat and drink and attended by people (souls) who are stoned (high on 'weed').

See also https://melhealy.wordpress.com/2016/11/13/surry-down-laura-nyro /

CJ

I always imagined that the "soul" of the title referred to that ineffable quality supposedly possessed by the American black person, one of strong personal identity and a somewhat sorrowful, yearning, quasi-religious connection with the rhythm of existence, or something like that—the "soul" of "soul music" and "soul food"—appropriated by white people often through listening to music of the very kind in question.

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Listening to the song again, I don't get any of that African-American vibe. To me a soul is just a person, possibly with slight emphasis on the spiritual side of a person.

CJ