Jimi Hendrix - Burning of the Midnight Lamp
The morning is dead and the day is too
There's nothing left here to lead me, but the velvet moon
All my loneliness I have felt today
It's a little more than enough to make a man throw himself away
And I continue to burn the Midnight Lamp, alone
Now the smiling portrait of you
Is still hanging on my frowning wall
It really doesn't, it really doesn't bother me too much at all
It's just the eh ever falling dust that makes it so hard for me to see
That forgotten earring laying on the floor
Facing coldly towards the door
And I continue to burn the Midnight Lamp, all alone
Lonely, lonely, lonely
Loneliness is such a drag!
So here I sit to face that same old fireplace
Getting ready for the same old explosion
Going through my mind
And soon enough the time will tell
About the circus in the wishing well
And someone who will buy and sell for me
Someone who will toll my bell
And I continue to burn the same old lamp, alone
Darling, can you hear me calling you?
Gotto blow my mind
Lonely, lonely. ..
"Burning of the Midnight Lamp" is a song by The Jimi Hendrix Experience, first released as a mono single b/w "The Stars That Play with Laughing Sam's Dice" in the United Kingdom on August 19, 1967 (peaking at #18). It later appeared on the band's third and final studio album, Electric Ladyland (1968). The single features more sophisticated instrumentation and production than his earlier 1967 releases, and anticipates the richness and detail of Axis: Bold as Love (1967) and Electric Ladyland. Both songs feature the wah-wah guitar effect, a first for Hendrix and later to become a regular element of his playing. The song is also one of the few on which Hendrix plays keyboard. Recorded July 7 and 20, 1967 at Mayfair Studios, "Burning of the Midnight Lamp" features complex instrumentation and studio production. The song opens with a delicate melody played on an electric harpsichord and wah-wah guitar that is soon joined by Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell's bass and drums. During the verses, the rhythm section playing is insistent, in contrast to the angelic background vocals and harpsichord that provide a crescendo to each verse. According to engineer Eddie Kramer, the vocals are by Cissy Houston and The Sweet Inspirations, Aretha Franklin's backup group. The mandolin effect is produced by recording two or more guitars playing the same part slowly, then speeding it up so that it plays at double speed on the record, effecting a unique timbre. The building instrumentation is repeated for each verse. The song deals with loneliness, depression and possibly suicide. The narrator feels lonely, contemplates the passage of time, and has no reason to go on living. But he knows that suicide is wrong and tries to take it one day at a time. If he makes it to midnight, he feels like he succeeded surviving through another day. Hendrix speaks the line "Loneliness … is such a drag" during a turnaround in the middle of the song. Hendrix's attachment to the song is evidenced by the decision to include it on Electric Ladyland over a year after first releasing it.