Monday, November 14, 2005

A Jimi Thing, Part Deux: What Does It All Mean?

I can't get enough of Jimi Hendrix's "Little Wing," a beautiful -- yet deceptive -- little song.

"Well, she's walking through the clouds,
With a circus mind that's running 'round
Butterflies and zebras
And moonbeams and fairy tales.
That's all she ever thinks about,
Riding with the wind.
When I'm sad, she comes to me
With a thousand smiles,
she gives to me free.
It's alright, she says, it's alright.
Take anything you want from me...
anything...
Fly on little wing,
Yeah yeah, yeah, little wing."

13 simple lines, 70 words and 2:25 long-- That's it. This is perhaps the most intimate of Hendrix's songs, and the guitar work 1:38 into the track is wonderful.

But the rub: No one knows what the heck the song means, or is about. Some have theorized that it's about his mom, a prostitute, a groupie, drugs or a guardian angel. [Hmmm...talk about a mixed bag here.]

Your thoughts?

1 comment:

Gabriel said...

I read somewhere, forgot where, that Hendrix got the term "little wing" from the name of the RAF strategy used in the Battle of Britan which involved sending out two series of denfensive fighter planes to take on German bombing raids. If I remember my history, Initially a "little wing" - a small group of fighters - would meet the inbound raiding party to scatter them before a bombing run, which was almost impossible. The RAF would normally hold back their main force - the "big wing" - until the Germans were already flying home - making them easy targets.

As well, airelon - the flaps on plane wings that control roll - means "little wing" in French.