Jimi Hendrix - Spanish Castle Magic
It's very far away
It takes about a half and a day to get there
If we travel by my uh, dragon-fly
No it's not in Spain
But all the same you know, it's a groovy name
And the wind's just right.
Hang on my darling
Hang on if you wanna go
Here it's a really groovy place
It's uh, just a little bit of uh, said uh, Spanish Castle Magic.
The clouds are really low
And they overflow with cotton candy
And battle grounds red and brown
But it's all in your mind
Don't think your time on bad things
Just float your little mind around
Look out! Ow!
Hang on my darling, yeah
Hang on if you wanna go
Get on top, really let me groove baby with uh Just a little bit of Spanish Castle Magic. Yeah baby,
Yeah, ok babe, ok
It's still all in your mind babe
Hang on my darling, hey
Hang on, hang on if you wanna go
And it's happening, oh no, damn hey! That's right baby, listen
A little bit of Spanish Castle Magic
Little bit of Spanish Castle Magic
I can't uh, sing this song, no
Yeah, ok baby
Get on baby
It's all in your mind baby
Little bit of daydream here and there
Ev'rything's gonna be alright!
"Spanish Castle Magic" is a song by the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Written by Jimi Hendrix and produced by Chas Chandler, it is the third track from their second studio album Axis: Bold as Love. The lyrics refer to a club outside of Seattle, where Hendrix sometimes played with his first bands. The song was a staple on their live shows and several live recordings have been released on later Hendrix albums. The lyrics were inspired by Jimi's high school days (roughly 1958-1961), when he regularly visited a roadhouse called "The Spanish Castle". The club was south of Seattle in what was then unincorporated King County (now Des Moines, Washington). It was built in the 1930s outside Seattle to avoid the city's then restrictive nightclub laws. By 1959, it began featuring top local rock groups, such as the Wailers and occasional touring stars. Events there were hosted by Pat O'Day, Seattle's best known disc jockey at the time. Hendrix performed at the Spanish Castle on several occasions. He later described his frustration getting to the club: "[The bass player] in the band had this beat-up car, and it would break down every other block, on the way there and back". This is referenced in the line "Takes 'bout a half a day to get there". The Spanish Castle was demolished in April 1968. According to rock critic Dave Marsh, "Once you know the legend of the Wailers at the Castle and the facts of Jimi’s attendance there, the lyrics of his 'Spanish Castle Magic' seem haunted by homesick nostalgia: 'It’s very far away, it takes about half a day to get there if we travel by my...uh...dragonfly,' he sings, in the voice of a kid stranded a couple continents from home". The song features Noel Redding playing an eight-string Hagstrom bass routed through an Octavia effects unit, which Hendrix later overdubbed using the same bass. Hendrix also overdubbed some jazz chords on piano, which he had heard sound engineer Eddie Kramer playing. Hendrix biographer Harry Shapiro commented on the song's instrumentation: "[The] guitar and bass in unison has the immediate effect of locking up a song in a strong rhythmic voice ... [Hendrix uses] some unusual chord progressions and a large number of bend in the solo ending up with a crazy double-stop." AllMusic's Matthew Greenwald calls the progression "proto-heavy metal" and compares it to the early Experience song, "Foxy Lady". "Spanish Castle Magic" is one of the few songs from Axis: Bold as Love that Hendrix regularly performed in concert. Live recordings of the song are found on BBC Sessions, Live at the Oakland Coliseum, Stages, Live in Ottawa, Live at Woodstock, Blue Wild Angel: Live at the Isle of Wight, Winterland, and The Jimi Hendrix Experience box set.