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1983... (A Merman I Should Turn to Be) by Jimi Hendrix

Album: Electric LadylandReleased: 1968
  • 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 (The Vietnam War for instance) and be reborn as a merman using a machine, which is probably drugs. He decides to leave "the out of style" to their destructive ways and live underwater.
  • This song isn't simply anti-war, Hendrix shows his disgust with the whole world we have built ourselves and how all human progress has been halted by things like the war. He decides to evolve and escape from the others. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Lucas - Campbell, CA
  • Running 13:39, this is one of Hendrix' longest songs.
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Comments: 8

Context is so important here.It's 1968,the country is on fire politically and physically.Black and white youth are talking to each other for the first time.You could be killed for looking a certain way.(Oh Yes!!!)Both Bobby Kennedy and Martin King would be killed within months of each other.Upheaval.And here's Jimi talking about altering his genetic structure so he can breathe underwater and survive what's coming.He's actually remembering the future in this song.Oh and also there is no digital technology in the house --only his imagination.Don't let those with limited understanding chalk up such an incredible vision to just drugs.In the song he tals about having been called before a council and after informing them they talked about the impossibility of what he wanted to accomplish.Jimi was a human Accelerator; if you were not ready for him then you'd be left behind.He gave interviews where he would talk about one day being able to make a guitar sound like a trumpet.He would have been at the forefront of all things which would later come with MIDI and digital tech.He showed us that glimpses are possible without being high.More will come out about him as the years pass;and when they do you'll see why the events of Sept 18th 1970 really occured.Thank God there is no Statute of Limitations on murder.Now that's what we used to call Far Out Man....Cordell - Washington,dc, Dc
This is probably his most underrated song even though it shows all the parts of his genius. And it has a good message.Tyler - Oshkosh, Wi
Pippin, I read that 1983 is a reference to a section of the 1871 Civil Rights Act.


Personally I'm more interested in Jimi's use of the phrase 'straight ahead', which seems to crop up all over his work like its code or slang for something... anyone know?
Alex - Bristol, United Kingdom
The song is a dream sequence between Rainy Day,Dream Away and Still Raining,Still Dreaming.Alx - Asab, Bangladesh
This song changed my life. It is Jimi's best and still most mysterios. On this song i connect to Jimi and all spirts.Merman - Bethlehem, Ct
It's an awesome song. The whole Electric Ladyland album is awesome. But I was wondering, does the number 1983 have any significance of anything at all?Pippin - Rhye, Ca
This is Hendrix's second longest song, the first being Voodoo Chile running at 15:00.The Man - Ny, Ny
This is Jimi's way of warning of the Apocalypse.Nick - Scarsdale, United States
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