Jimi Hendrix – 1983… (A Merman I Should Turn to Be)

I have a confession…every time I look at this song my mind wants to read “Morman” not Merman. It’s an interesting song by Hendrix. Anything he did I will listen to…even songs still coming out to this day. The guy must have lived permanently hooked up to a recording console.

This song is basically a scifi story. A merman is a male version of a mermaid. In this song, Hendrix sings about how he wants to escape the war-torn world and all the horrible things going on.

This song was recorded in 1968 for the Electric Ladyland album and it featured  Chris Wood of the band Traffic.

Sometimes Hendrix would play bass himself and he had many guests such as drummer Buddy Miles of The Electric Flag, Traffic’s Dave Mason, Steve Winwood, Al Kooper and Jefferson Airplane bassist Jack Casady amongst others into the mix.

The went into the studio in February 1968 and the album was released on October 16th of that year. The final complete studio album ever recorded by the Jimi Hendrix Experience, and their only one to top the charts on both sides of the Atlantic. Electric Ladyland is Hendrix’s most experimental album and most musically varied.

Jimi Hendrix on going into the studio for Electric Ladyland: “We’ve been doing new tracks that are really fantastic and we’ve just been getting into them…“You have these songs in your mind. You want to hurry up and get back to the things you were doing in the studio, because that’s the way you gear your mind….We wanted to play [the Fillmore], quite naturally, but you’re thinking about all these tracks, which is completely different from what you’re doing now.”

Jimi Hendrix – 1983… (A Merman I Should Turn to Be)

Hurrah i awake from yesterday
alive but the war is here to stay
so my love catherina and me
decide to take our last walk
through the noise to the sea
not to die but to be re-born
away from a life so battered and torn….
forever…
oh say can you see its really such a mess
every inch of earth is a fighting nest
giant pencil and lip-stick tube shaped things
continue to rain and cause screaming pain
and the arctic stains
from silver blue to bloody red
as our feet find the sand
and the sea is strait ahead..
strait ahead…..
well its too bad
that our friends
cant be with us today
well thats too bad
“the machine
that we built
would never save us”
thats what they say
(thats why they aint coming with us today)
and they also said
“its impossible for man
to live and breath underwater..
forever” was their main complaint
(yeah)
and they also threw this in my face:
they said
anyway
you know good well
it would be beyond the will of God
and the grace of the King
(grace of the King yeah yeah)

so my darling and I
make love in the sand
to salute the last moment
ever on dry land
our machine has done its work
played its part well
without a scratch on our bodies
and we bid it farewell

starfish and giant foams
greet us with a smile
before our heads go under
we take a last look
at the killing noise
of the out of style…
the out of style, out of style

Author: badfinger20 (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

28 thoughts on “Jimi Hendrix – 1983… (A Merman I Should Turn to Be)”

  1. Very trippy music and a song that I had completely forgotten about. This is a good song for Hendrix because he was such a good adlibber and I can imagine him changing the lyrics in this sing at any live performance.

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    1. Like Otis Redding and others…Dave I would have loved to have seen where he was going. I think he would have pulled back and done more basic music but I could be wrong. He was going to work with Miles Davis…and they wanted McCartney to play bass. I was talking the other day to CB about that.

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    1. If he would have kept on evolving it’s no telling what he could have done. I don’t know how the hell he could have gotten better.

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  2. Interesting pick, Max. While I’ve listened to Electric Ladyland more than once in its entirety before, I don’t recall this tune. I think Jim/Newepicauthor said exactly what I thought – pretty trippy!

    Hendrix truly lived for music. I once read that when in his apartment, he was walking around with a guitar all the time!

    Hendrix with Miles Davis and Paul McCartney on bass? That certainly does sound intriguing!

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    1. That trio would have been interesting to say the least!
      Yea Prince reminded me of Jimi…except he was more high tech obviously…they both recorded all of the time.

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    1. Not that I’ve read about no…I know his manager was really riding him and ripping him off….I hope he didn’t anyway.

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  3. Now I have to dig that album out and spin it again after 50 years. Just my thoughts, but I think he may have gone into fusion jazz or something similar. Listen close to many of his songs and you can hear that style creeping into his playing. That trippy hippy dippy stuff can only go so far, and he was the one that took it to the limits, with no where else to go. Who knows what would have been, but I believe he would have kept making an impact on music. Sex, Drugs and Rock N Roll got the better of them before they knew what happened. You sure pick some good stuff to write about Max.

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