Hear My Train A Comin’ (1967)

Jimi Hendrix

Valleys Of Neptune
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Slow, bluesy, moody as a cold, foggy morning. “Hear My Train A Comin’” is vintage angry Hendrix. It’s easy enough to imagine him sweating up his frilly faux British duke threads as he torments his guitar strings into wailing, weeping improv lines.

At first listen, it seems he’s been sent away by a woman and we come upon him waiting for a train to take him away.

Take me home, yeah 
From this lonesome place 
Well, now while a lotta people
Put me down
A lotta changes 

My girl had called me a disgrace 

But really, the song is not about twisted love, it’s social commentary on his expansive abilities and the constraints of standardized success. It seems to home in on society at large for rejecting him. (As if to drive the point home Hendrix makes a reference to “Voodoo Child,” a track that fully explores this same theme mostly viewed through the prism of racism.)

The long version from the celestially dark Valleys Of Neptune album at 7-1/2 minutes gives the master plenty of time to musically flesh out his ever-present cynical disdain for society and the frustrations people with great talents often experience.

Lyrically he reverts to a traditional Blues formula, promising – threatening – to return to the scene of his humiliation.

He’s not just waiting for the train to take him away, he’s relishing the day it returns him in triumph.

Gonna make a whole lotta money 
Gonna be big, yeah 
Gonna be big, yeah 
I’m gonna buy this town 
I’m gonna buy this town 
An’ put it all in my shoe 
Might even give a piece to you 
That’s what I’m gonna do…