1983... (A Merman I Should Turn to Be)

1983... (A Merman I Should Turn to Be)

The Jimi Hendrix Experience

Several songs from the second half of the 1968 album Electric Ladyland reflect Hendrix’s weariness with the world and his desire to find a better place. “1983” is arguably the most (musically and conceptually) creative of them all.

Hendrix imagines himself and his lover escaping a war-torn world by becoming merpeople and living under the sea. The music lends heavily from Indian raga style.

Behind “Voodoo Chile”, this song from the Jimi Hendrix Experience’s final studio album is the second longest in their discography, clocking in at 13:39.

As per Jimi Hendrix: Electric Gypsy, “1983” combines Jimi’s favored metaphors—water and sand—and, given its experimentation, which is in a sense also taken down by the return of a dominant electric guitar, it works as “a song of firsts and lasts.” A quote from the man himself, mentioned in the same book, states that it is “something to keep your mind off what’s happening … but not necessarily completely hiding away from it like some people do;” from that perspective, too, the piece’s inclusion at the end of Spec Ops: The Line gains additional power still.