Castles Made of Sand

Jimi Hendrix

2 cover versions of this song

Original 624,468 plays
Red Hot Chili Peppers34,018 plays
Red Hot Chili Peppers2,780 plays
A common interpretation of the lyrics is the message that nothing lasts forever (thus "Castles made of sand fall in the sea eventually"), not only the good things like love, dreams or life, but also the bads, like diseases, death and fears, as shown in the last part of the song.

Leon Hendrix, the younger brother of Jimi, has said that Jimi revealed privately to him that the song was about their family[1]. The first verse is their mother leaving their father Al again for the final time. The second verse is referencing his Native American heritage and the stories his grandmother (a quarter Cherokee)[2] would tell him. The boy who played "war games in the woods with his Indian friends" is said to be Leon (as stated by himself) but could also be about Jimi. The third verse recounts Jimi's mother Lucille in the hospital suffering from liver disease, wishing to die so she would suffer no more, "to her legs she smiled you won't hurt me no more." Lucille did have cirrhosis of the liver, but was recovering outside of Hospital, when she was admitted unconscious to hospital, where she died from a ruptured spleen caused by a blow from an unknown source, not a liver complaint as is often repeated, although this was listed as a contributing factor on her death certificate. The song "Little Wing" is also about his mother Lucille as stated by Leon, although in interviews he gave an alternate interpretation, most likely so he would not have to recount painful memories for strangers. Jimi himself said the song was about the Monterey Pop Festival personified as a girl.

Locals from the Moroccan town Diabat have claimed that the song title was inspired by the Bordj El Berod-watchtower ruin. This statement however is not likely to be true as Jimi stayed in Morocco in 1969 (Castles Made Of Sand was written in 1967) The song was covered by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and a live version was featured on the 1994 B-Sides, Remixes, Outtakes and Live compilation CD Out In L.A.. The same version was released on the 2003 remastered version of their album Mother's Milk. The studio version was recorded in 1991 but was unknown of to fans until it was released as an iTunes exclusive bonus track to Blood Sugar Sex Magik in 2006. Four Tet also covered the song for the Late Night Tales mix album. The song was also covered (with Little Wing) by Tuck & Patti.


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