Tied to the mast
…but orange now and black

About when one is disappointed to learn the actual lyrics

What I hear sometimes seems so much better than what’s akshully there.

Exhibit A: Jimi Hendrix’ “Machine Gun”

I love this song. I think, in fact, that it’s my favourite Hendrix song. He’s so there in all that makes him awesome. Anyway, my favourite non-guitar part is—what I thought was—the lyric:

Evil man make me kill you
Even though were only families apart
Well I pick up my axe and fight like a farmer
(you know what I mean)
Hey! and your bullets keep knocking me down

…which really worked for me because of his framing of the song with a shout out to the soldiers fighting in Vietnam. It seemed like a really simple and poetic way of expressing the clash between a superpower and the third world.

Actual lyric:

Well I pick up my axe and fight like a bomber

…I mean, I guess it still makes sense, especially in light of the war sounds he’s making, and in light of the failure of US bombers to seal victory in Vietnam, but It’s just really jarring because it completely reoriented the narrative perspective of the lyrics for me. I’m also sorry to lose from the song what I found to be the very moving image of a farmer trying to fight off a machine gunner with his axe and being cut down (to the ground).

I’m going back outside… Exhibit B wll have to come later.

Machine gun, yeah
Tearing my body all apart


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