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"Machine Gun" is a song written by American musician Jimi Hendrix, and originally recorded for the 1970 Band of Gypsys album, with Billy Cox and Buddy Miles. It is a lengthy, loosely defined (jam-based) protest of the Vietnam War, and perhaps a broader comment on conflict of any kind. At a performance in Berkeley, California, Hendrix introduced the song:

I'd like to dedicate this song to soldiers fighting in Berkeley—you know what soldiers I'm talking about—and oh yeah, the soldiers fighting in Vietnam too ... and dedicate [it] to other people that might be fighting wars too, but within themselves, not facing up to the realities.

Hendrix's 12-minute performance of "Machine Gun" for the Band of Gypsys is often lauded as his greatest, and is considered a stunning display of guitar virtuosity. Hendrix's long guitar solos and percussive riffs combine with controlled feedback to simulate the sounds of a battlefield, such as helicopters, dropping bombs, explosions, machine guns, and the screams and cries of those wounded or grieving. Although a proper studio recording was never realized, several other live recordings exist.


"Happy new year first of all. I hope we'll have

A million or two million more of them... if we

Can get over this summer, he he he

Right, I'd like to dedicate this one to the draggin' scene

That's goin' on all the soldiers that are fightin'

In Chicago, Milwaukee and New York... oh yes, and

All the soldiers fightin' in vietnam. like to do

A thing called 'machine gun'."

Machine gun

Tearing my body all apart

Machine gun

Tearing my body all apart

Evil man make me kill ya

Evil man make you kill me

Evil man make me kill you

Even though we're only families apart

Well I pick up my ax and fight like a bomber

(you know what I mean)

Hey and your bullets keep knocking me down

Hey I pick up my ax and fight like a bomber now

Yeah but you still blast me down to the ground

The same way you shoot me down baby

You'll be going just the same

Three times the pain

And your own self to blame

Hey machine gun


I ain't afraid of your mess no more, babe

I ain't afraid no more

After a while your your cheap talk don't even cause me pain

So let your bullets fly like rain

'cause I know all the time you're wrong baby

And you'll be goin' just the same

Yeah machine gun

Tearing my family apart

Yeah yeah alright

Tearing my family apart

Don't you shoot him down

He's about to leave here

Don't you shoot him down

He's got to stay here

He ain't going nowhere

He's been shot down to the ground

Oh where he can't survive no no

Yeah that's what we don't wanna hear any more, alright

No bullets

At least here, huh huh

No guns, no bombs

Huh huh

No nothin', just let's all live and live

You know instead of killin'


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