This classic Jimi Hendrix ballad has some wonderful guitar parts. Technically it’s not a hard song to play so, it’s a great song to learn for the beginner player. Advanced players will also enjoy learning the song, because of the insight it gives us to the creativity of Hendrix.
The transcription found in these lessons are a very accurate representation of what Hendrix actually played in the official recorded version found on his debut album Are You Experienced?
“(“The Wind Cries Mary”) was recorded at the tail end of the session for “Fire”. We had about twenty minutes or so left. I suggested we cut a demo of “The Wind Cries Mary”. Mitch Mitchell and Noel Redding hadn’t heard it, so they were going about it without a rehearsal. They played it once through. In all, he (Hendrix) put on four or five more overdubs, but the whole thing was done in twenty minutes. That was our third single.” -producer Chas Chandler
A lot of people assumed this was about marijuana, which is also known as “Mary Jane”, but that was not the case. it was inspired by his girlfriend at the time, Kathy Mary Etchingham. He’d gotten into an argument with her about her cooking. She got very angry and started throwing pots and pans and finally stormed out to stay at a friend’s home for a day or so. When she came back, Jimi had written “The Wind Cries Mary” for her.
Kathy Mary recalled, “We’d had a row over food. Jimi didn’t like lumpy mashed potatoes. There were thrown plates and I ran off. When I came back the next day, he’d written that song about me. It’s incredibly flattering.”
In the video below you can hear some of the stories behind the recording of the song:
If you haven’t heard the song in a while and need a refresher, here’s a live performance by Hendrix: