The Wind Cries Mary (3:31)

Cover of Are You Experienced?

From Are You Experienced? and 64 other releases

“The Wind Cries Mary” is a song written by Jimi Hendrix and issued by the Jimi Hendrix Experience as the band’s third single on May 5, 1967. It reached no. 6 in the UK Charts. The track is an example of psychedelic blues-rock, as the song is in the key of F major, with a guitar solo primarily involving the F major pentatonic scale. Today, it is #379 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 greatest songs of all time. It has been covered by musicians such as Jamie Cullum, John Mayer, Xavier Rudd, Richie Sambora, Sting, Popa Chubby, Pat Boone and Caron Wheeler.

In the United States, the song was first released as the b-side to the “Purple Haze” single in June 1967 and later appeared on the August 1967 American version of the album Are You Experienced, where three tracks were deleted from the British LP version to make way for the band’s three singles issued in the United Kingdom to that time.

The song was recorded at the end of the “Fire” sessions. It is said to have been inspired when Hendrix and his then girlfriend, Kathy Etchingham, had an argument over her cooking; after she stormed out of their apartment, Hendrix wrote “The Wind Cries Mary”, as Mary was Etchingham’s middle name. Another possible inspiration could be the poem ‘To Mary’ by the English poet John Clare. Kathy has said that many of the Dylanesque lyrics describe the test card that appeared at the end of BBC television transmissions at that time.

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