Hey Joe
Jimi Hendrix Lyrics


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Hey Joe, where you goin' with that gun of your hand?
Hey Joe, I said, where you goin' with that gun in your hand? Oh
I'm goin' down to shoot my old lady
You know I caught her messin' 'round with another man, yeah
I'm goin' down to shoot my old lady
You know I caught her messin' 'round with another man
Huh, and that ain't too cool
Hey Joe, I heard you shot your mama down
You shot her down now
Hey Joe, I heard you shot your lady down
Shot her down in the ground, yeah
Yeah

Yes, I did, I shot her
You know I caught her messin' round, messin' round town
Yes, I did, I shot her
You know I caught my old lady messin' 'round town
And I gave her the gun
I shot her

Alright
Shoot her one more time again, baby
Yeah
Oh, dig it
Ah, alright

Hey, Joe
Where you gonna run to now? Where you gonna run to?
Hey Joe, I said
Where you gonna run to now? Where you, where you gonna go?

Well, dig
I'm goin' way down south
Way down to Mexico way
Alright
I'm goin' way down south
Way down where I can be free
Ain't no one gonna find me
Ain't no hangman gonna
He ain't gonna put a rope around me
You better believe right now
I gotta go now

Hey, Joe
You better run on down




Goodbye, everybody, ow
Hey, hey, Joe

Overall Meaning

Jimi Hendrix's iconic song Hey Joe has been interpreted by many as a straightforward tale of murder, jealousy and fleeing justice. However, a closer look reveals a more nuanced narrative with possible societal commentary. The song starts with the singer, Joe, talking about his intention to shoot his 'old lady' whom he caught cheating with another man. His statement is then followed by the first instance of someone else questioning him about his intention, "Hey Joe, I heard you shot your mama down," which he confirms.


After another repetition of the initial statement, the second instance of questioning is more forceful, "Hey Joe, where you gonna run to now?" which is followed by Joe's response of going down south to Mexico where he can be free. Here, the lyrics can be interpreted as a commentary on the societal pressures that lead to a cycle of violence, particularly against women, and the impossibility of escape. The mention of Mexico can also be seen as a reference to a place where Jimi Hendrix himself was able to find greater creative freedom as a black artist.


Interestingly, the origins of this song have been a topic of debate. While the song has been credited to Billy Roberts, there are speculations that the song is a rewritten version of a traditional song called 'Little Sadie' or that Hendrix himself wrote it. Additionally, there have been other versions of this song released by various artists like Tim Rose and The Leaves. Hey Joe has been ranked among the greatest rock songs of all time and has been covered by famous artists like Patti Smith and The Offspring.


Line by Line Meaning

Hey Joe, where you goin' with that gun of your hand?
Asking Joe where he is going with his gun in his hand.


I'm goin' down to shoot my old lady You know I caught her messin' 'round with another man, yeah
Joe is going to shoot his girlfriend for cheating on him.


Hey Joe, I heard you shot your mama down You shot her down now Hey Joe, I heard you shot your lady down Shot her down in the ground, yeah Yeah
Joe shot his girlfriend and his mother.


Yes, I did, I shot her You know I caught her messin' round, messin' round town Yes, I did, I shot her You know I caught my old lady messin' 'round town And I gave her the gun I shot her
Joe admits to shooting his girlfriend and claiming it was because he caught her cheating.


Hey Joe Where you gonna run to now? Where you gonna run to? Hey Joe, I said Where you gonna run to now? Where you, where you gonna go?
Asking Joe where he plans to run away to avoid the consequences of his actions.


Well, dig I'm goin' way down south Way down to Mexico way Alright I'm goin' way down south Way down where I can be free Ain't no one gonna find me Ain't no hangman gonna He ain't gonna put a rope around me You better believe right now I gotta go now
Joe plans to flee to Mexico to avoid getting punished for his crimes and hopes to be free from the pursuit of law enforcement.


Hey, Joe You better run on down Goodbye, everybody, ow Hey, hey, Joe
Saying goodbye to Joe and advising him to run away quickly.




Lyrics © O/B/O APRA AMCOS
Written by: Billy Roberts

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Comments from YouTube:

@useth3forceforgood

This is the first song my big brother learned on the guitar. He was a hell of a good player, and a good man. He died a few weeks ago; all I have left of him are memories and music. Thank God for Hendrix, because he’s keeping the past alive for me.

@brittneyking4361

@Jennifer Bittle I’m sorry for your lost.

@useth3forceforgood

Brittney King thank you, I really appreciate that.

@cualquieradeporahi9445

Your Bro was/ is a badass

@useth3forceforgood

Cualquiera de por ahí Thank you, he truly was.

@KarenBH

So sorry for your loss. Keep the memories and the music playing

474 More Replies...

@nikolakaravida9670

That drumming is actually insane. Mitch is all over the place, constantly doing erratic, unpredictable fills, yet it never sounds wrong. It's like he isn't drumming (as in keeping a beat) but rather playing the drums as if they were some solist instrument, complementing Hendrix perfectly.

@quest8795

Yeah. Serious talent on display.

@river737

Well said.

@milankotevski1663

Yeah, he is literally soloing on the drums, as if it was a guitar.

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