Hurrah i awake from yesterday
Alive but the war is here to stay
So my love caterina 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 it's 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 straight ahead..
Straight 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"
That's what they say
(That's why they aint coming with us today)
And they also said
"It's 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 grade 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
so down and down and down and down we go
hurry my darlin' we mustn't be late
for the show
neptune champion games to an aqua world is so my dear
right this way smiles a mermaid
i can hear atlantis full of cheer
atlantis full of cheer
i can hear atlantis full of cheer
oh yeah


Lyrics submitted by , edited by kdepauw

1983 ... (A Merman I Should Turn to Be) song meanings
Add Your Thoughts

44 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +5
    General Comment

    Love this song and got a kick out of reading all the posts. One thing I totally dig about this song is that it really sounds like they go under water. The guitars and bass - I heard are all played by Hendrix and he spent super long working on it - but it totally sounds like underwater & it puts me in a trance like state even without acid - I mean when I had the original album I must admit I used to drop acid and listen to it while trippn my brains out laying on my floor with my big old headphones and black light and dayglow posters lol but so many years later I don't need any of that stuff and I go right into this visual sensual world Hendrix creates.

    SoCalicoon July 28, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    Read 1984. See 1983 (A Merman I Should Turn to Be). This song puts you in the place of a man that sees the global war of the socialists that will turn all the major countries into socialist regimes. Its a fantastic song, but saying its OMG VIETNAM is a baseless arguement. This is Jimi taking a horrific ideal like 1984, and saying fuck this, lets go breathe underwater away from this chaos.

    phalanxon April 07, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    I've been listening to this great piece since it was first released 40 some years ago, and I have never gotten tired of it.

    One thing about it that I don't believe has been mentioned so far is that this song is actually part of a 'suite' of songs. And to enjoy its full impact it should be listened to it as a whole. The suite begins on side three with "Rainy Day, Dream Away," which segues into "1983," which becomes "Moon Turn The Tides," which finishes side three. But it doesn't end there: Go to side four and listen to the first cut, "Still Raining, Still Dreaming," -- bookend to "Rainy Day, Dream Away" -- to complete the suite. (Total running time, 22:47).

    blumuzeon October 19, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    when jimi hendrix started the experience, nobody in america wanted to hear him, then he made it in england, and came back to america for woodstock and other music festivals and got really popular with hits like purple haze, hey joe, etc. i think in this song he talks about wanting to live a simple easy life someplace where popculture doesnt exist, living in the sea is an analogy i think for wanting to live in a place where he doesnt have to be a rock star all the time and be in the spotlight with one hit wonders.

    minorxxthreaton March 19, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    By far BEST JIMI SONG EVER!!!! i listen to this song and i cant believe its from the 60s its timeless just awesome, great lyrics, great sound, of course great guitar...!!!!

    paradison July 28, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    my first word spoken, in this newer world of cyber realities, spoken to Hey Google was "play electric ladyland" returning to the sea of the Merman that established itself in the core of my being when I made purchase on it first being floated on the sea of time (my first record bought with my own money). Wishing the original body (of my record) existed, I find I am still yet filled with Atlantis cheer, and know it will ring out till the end of human time on this earth, as the arctic still staining from blue to bloody red. He was a herald of new possibilities, music scapes, beyond polarization of race, class, generation, terrestrial identity. A medicine man of his Cherokee ancestry, they sing through his being, facilitated by our plant spirit friends and guides that have helped humans in their pathetic narrow vision of what is real. A shift from the mess into the realm of the eternal, rising up from the ashes of sacrifice (of the bodies that served us so well), not to die but to be reborn. Impossible? That's what "THEY" say, not what he sang!

    g103278045on December 22, 2018   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    o god, does it get ne better man, this and uh moon, turn the tides. yea, moon turn the tides, check that one out

    awesome

    seagulls, remember that, seeagulls yea

    hilikus02roufon September 07, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    o god, does it get ne better man, this and uh moon, turn the tides. yea, moon turn the tides, check that one out

    awesome

    seagulls, remember that, seeagulls yea

    hilikus02roufon September 07, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    lol oops

    hilikus02roufon September 07, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    This is by far one of the best songs in the world, I believe that the song is about getting away from the popluar culture or what is in style because when jimi hendrix 1st started out all the people wanted to hear was purple haze and voodoo chile. He didnt want to be a one hit wonder and when people got tired of those songs he wouldnt be remeber as we remeber him now. "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" thier getting away from that one hit wonder catagory or gettign outta the trends that everyone is going in, he wants to set himself in his out path, not a path that somone else has started, this song the greatest song on so many levels, if you havent heard it listen to it and you will get a greater appriciation for the Guitar God Jimi Hendrix "The story of life is quicker than the wink of an eye, The story of love a hello and goodbye; until we meet again"--Hendrix 1943-1970

    metallica1011063on October 15, 2002   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

More Featured Meanings

Album art
Dreamwalker
Silent Planet
I think much like another song “Anti-Matter” (that's also on the same album as this song), this one is also is inspired by a horrifying van crash the band experienced on Nov 3, 2022. This, much like the other track, sounds like it's an extension what they shared while huddled in the wreckage, as they helped frontman Garrett Russell stem the bleeding from his head wound while he was under the temporary effects of a concussion. The track speaks of where the mind goes at the most desperate & desolate of times, when it just about slips away to all but disconnect itself, and the aftermath.
Album art
Mountain Song
Jane's Addiction
Jane's Addiction vocalist Perry Farrell gives Adam Reader some heartfelt insight into Jane’s Addiction's hard rock manifesto "Mountain Song", which was the second single from their revolutionary album Nothing's Shocking. Mountain song was first recorded in 1986 and appeared on the soundtrack to the film Dudes starring Jon Cryer. The version on Nothing's Shocking was re-recorded in 1988. "'Mountain Song' was actually about... I hate to say it but... drugs. Climbing this mountain and getting as high as you can, and then coming down that mountain," reveals Farrell. "What it feels to descend from the mountain top... not easy at all. The ascension is tough but exhilarating. Getting down is... it's a real bummer. Drugs is not for everybody obviously. For me, I wanted to experience the heights, and the lows come along with it." "There's a part - 'Cash in now honey, cash in Miss Smith.' Miss Smith is my Mother; our last name was Smith. Cashing in when she cashed in her life. So... she decided that, to her... at that time, she was desperate. Life wasn't worth it for her, that was her opinion. Some people think, never take your life, and some people find that their life isn't worth living. She was in love with my Dad, and my Dad was not faithful to her, and it broke her heart. She was very desperate and she did something that I know she regrets."
Album art
I Can't Go To Sleep
Wu-Tang Clan
This song is written as the perspective of the boys in the street, as a whole, and what path they are going to choose as they get older and grow into men. (This is why the music video takes place in an orphanage.) The seen, and unseen collective suffering is imbedded in the boys’ mind, consciously or subconsciously, and is haunting them. Which path will the boys choose? Issac Hayes is the voice of reason, maybe God, the angel on his shoulder, or the voice of his forefathers from beyond the grave who can see the big picture and are pleading with the boys not to continue the violence and pattern of killing their brothers, but to rise above. The most beautiful song and has so many levels. Racism towards African Americans in America would not exist if everyone sat down and listened to this song and understood the history behind the words. The power, fear, pleading in RZA and Ghostface voices are genuine and powerful. Issac Hayes’ strong voice makes the perfect strong father figure, who is possibly from beyond the grave.
Album art
Just A Little Lovin'
Dusty Springfield
I don't think it's necessarily about sex. It's about wanting to start the day with some love and affection. Maybe a warm cuddle. I'm not alone in interpreting it that way! For example: "'Just a Little Lovin’ is a timeless country song originally recorded by Eddy Arnold in 1954. The song, written by Eddie Miller and Jimmy Campbell, explores the delicate nuances of love and showcases Arnold’s emotive vocals. It delves into the universal theme of love and how even the smallest gesture of affection can have a profound impact on our lives." https://oldtimemusic.com/the-meaning-behind-the-song-just-a-little-lovin-by-eddy-arnold/
Album art
Plastic Bag
Ed Sheeran
“Plastic Bag” is a song about searching for an escape from personal problems and hoping to find it in the lively atmosphere of a Saturday night party. Ed Sheeran tells the story of his friend and the myriad of troubles he is going through. Unable to find any solutions, this friend seeks a last resort in a party and the vanity that comes with it. “I overthink and have trouble sleepin’ / All purpose gone and don’t have a reason / And there’s no doctor to stop this bleedin’ / So I left home and jumped in the deep end,” Ed Sheeran sings in verse one. He continues by adding that this person is feeling the weight of having disappointed his father and doesn’t have any friends to rely on in this difficult moment. In the second verse, Ed sings about the role of grief in his friend’s plight and his dwindling faith in prayer. “Saturday night is givin’ me a reason to rely on the strobe lights / The lifeline of a promise in a shot glass, and I’ll take that / If you’re givin’ out love from a plastic bag,” Ed sings on the chorus, as his friend turns to new vices in hopes of feeling better.