While researching this song, I learnt two important facts.
One: Donovan is Scottish. Not sure why I didn’t know that, but there you go!
Two: “Mellow Yellow” is about being chilled out. It makes sense, given ‘mellow’. I, along with many contemporary listeners, and because of its 60s origin, assumed it was about drugs.
It does have some naughtiness too it – but of a different nature…
Regardless of what it is or isn’t about, it’s a great tune. When the horn section kicks in, the track really bursts into life. There’s a slight novelty flavour to the song, but “Mellow Yellow” is a well written and well executed piece.
The song was released in 1966. It was most popular in the US, where it reached number 2 on the US Billboard Hot 100. A year later, it was included on an album of the same name.