Stoned Soul Picnic (song)

"Stoned Soul Picnic" is a 1968 song by Laura Nyro. The best-known version of the song was recorded by The 5th Dimension, and was the first single released from their album of the same title. It was the most successful single from that album, reaching No. 3 on the U.S. Pop chart[1] and No. 2 on the Billboard R&B chart. It became a platinum record.

"Stoned Soul Picnic"
Stoned Soul Picnic - The 5th Dimension.jpg
Single by The 5th Dimension
from the album Stoned Soul Picnic
B-side"The Sailboat Song"
ReleasedJune 1968
Genre Pop
LabelSoul City
Songwriter(s)Laura Nyro
Producer(s)Bones Howe
The 5th Dimension singles chronology
"Carpet Man"
"Stoned Soul Picnic"
"Sweet Blindness"

The song was composed and recorded by Nyro for her album Eli and the Thirteenth Confession, released in March 1968.[2] According to Marilyn McCoo, it was producer Bones Howe who suggested that it would be a good song for the 5th Dimension to cover.[3] The group would go on to record several more hits with Nyro songs, including "Sweet Blindness", "Wedding Bell Blues", "Blowin' Away", and "Save the Country".

An instrumental version was recorded by jazz vibraphonist Roy Ayers and became the title track to his 1968 album.[4]

The word surry, used frequently in the lyric (e.g. "Surry down to a stoned soul picnic"), is a neologism by Nyro; its meaning is unclear. The verb surry is spelled differently from the noun surrey (an old-time carriage). When asked by producer Charlie Calello what the word meant, Nyro told him, "Oh, it's just a nice word."[5] One possible meaning is that surry is a shortening of "let's hurry."


Additional personnel

Chart historyEdit

Sampling and coversEdit

Crystal Waters sampled the song on her single "Ghetto Day" from her 1994 album Storyteller. The British pop group Swing Out Sister included it on their 1997 album, Shapes and Patterns. Afro-Celtic artist Laura Love recorded the song in 2000 for her album 'Fourteen Days.' It was also recorded by Julie London on her 1969 album Yummy, Yummy, Yummy; and by the New York Voices on their 2007 album A Day Like This. It also appeared on the 2004 album Don't Talk, recorded by British jazz singer Claire Teal. Singer-Songwriter Jill Sobule recorded it for release as a single in 2001. It also appears on the Billy Childs album Map to the Treasure: Reimagining Laura Nyro sung by Ledisi.

Chicano Batman has a song with the same title on their 2014 album Cycles Of Existential Rhyme.


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 8th Edition (Billboard Publications), page 222.
  2. ^ Unterberger, Richie. Eli and the Thirteenth Confession at AllMusic. Retrieved April 25, 2019.
  3. ^ Moses, Ann (February 14, 1970). "Love Keeps Us 5th Dimensions Together says Marilyn". New Musical Express. Retrieved April 25, 2019 – via Rock's Backpages.
  4. ^ Huey, Steve. Stoned Soul Picnic at AllMusic
  5. ^ Kort, Michele (2003). Soul Picnic: The Music and Passion of Laura Nyro. St. Martin's Griffin. p. 58. ISBN 978-0-312-30318-1.
  6. ^ "Item Display – RPM – Library and Archives Canada". August 19, 1968. Retrieved February 13, 2019.
  7. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955–1990ISBN 0-89820-089-X
  8. ^ Cash Box Top 100 Singles, August 17, 1968
  9. ^ "Item Display – RPM – Library and Archives Canada".
  10. ^
  11. ^ 1968: The Top 100 Soul/R&B Singles
  12. ^ Cash Box Year-End Charts: Top 100 Pop Singles, December 28, 1968

External linksEdit