"Why" is a song by the American rock band The Byrds, written by Jim McGuinn and David Crosby and first released as the B-side of the band's "Eight Miles High" single in March 1966. The song was re-recorded in December 1966 and released for a second time as part of the band's Younger Than Yesterday album. Born from Crosby's fondness for the music of Ravi Shankar, the song was an attempt to assimilate traditional Indian music into a rock and pop format. However, rather than actually using Indian instruments on the song, the band instead used McGuinn's raga-flavored guitar playing to emulate the sound of the sitar. "Why", along with "Eight Miles High", was influential in developing the musical styles of psychedelic rock and raga rock.
The song was written predominantly by David Crosby in late 1965 and was largely inspired by his love of the Indian classical music of Ravi Shankar. Crosby's affection for Indian ragas stemmed from his friendship with the session guitarist Eric Hord, who would often play in a style approximating the drone-like qualities of traditional Indian music. Crosby's love of the genre was further cemented when he was invited by The Byrds' manager, Jim Dickson, to...