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....
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
And they also threw this in my face:
They said
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
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  • +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


    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


    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

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