Released in 1968 ~ Written by Steve Winwood and Jim Capaldi
Were you Dreaming last Night or Not?
40,000 Headmen might explain it?
Steve Winwood has been around the world and back a billion times. Starting at age 15 as Lead Singer for the Spencer Davis Group. This man has wrote, composed and made a lot of Music. Damn Good Music. Traffic formed in 1967, it’s members: Steve Winwood, Jim Capaldi, Chris Wood and Dave Mason. 40,000 Headmen was from their second album: Traffic
There wasn’t an Album or Song I didn’t like from this group. Steve Winwood was in and out of Traffic before and after ” Blind Faith ” Another group that Pure Magic came from.
A particular memory from this song has it’s own meaning for me. Too complicated for this Blog. But I always got into laid back music with lyrics that had you reaching for the depths of their true meanings. Then it made perfect sense. In a cloud surrounds and describes this song.
Many other of my favorites from Traffic were:
Low Spark of High Heeled Boys, Rainmaker, Rock-n-Roll Stew, Glad, Dear Mr. Fantasy
This Band seemed to be the first to Fuse Rock with Jazz, or the first I noticed in a psychedelic way that worked. At times best describing Traffic as Folk, Rock & Jazz combined. And the music that came from them was almost mystical at times. And what we were smoking back then only enhanced the sound. You drifted with Traffic’s music like the smoke drifting the room. The whole jam just felt good as if you were transited into it slowly.
Forty thousand headmen couldn’t make me change my mind
If I had to take the choice between the deafman and the blind
I know just where my feet should go and that’s enough for me
I turned around and knocked them down and walked across the sea
Hadn’t traveled very far when suddenly I saw
Three small ships a-sailing out towards a distant shore
So lighting up a cigarette I followed in pursuit
And found a secret cave where they obviously stashed their loot
Filling up my pockets, even stuffed it up my nose
I must have weighed a hundred tons between my head and toes
I ventured forth before the dawn had time to change its mind
And soaring high above the clouds I found a golden shrine
Laying down my treasure before the iron gate
Quickly rang the bell hoping I hadn’t come too late
But someone came along and told me not to waste my time
And when I asked him who he was he said, ‘Just look behind’
So I turned around and forty thousand headmen bit the dirt
Firing twenty shotguns each and man, it really hurt
But luckily for me they had to stop and then reload
And by the time they’d done that I was heading down the road
And BTW: Blood, Sweat & Tears also covered this song in 1970. The way David Clayton-Thomas and Fred Lipsius arranged their version (BS&T 3) it worked fantastically. And I saw them perform it Live in 2004 and it brought the goosebumps out.
Their version is a very worthy listen.
Live it was awesome, not the greatest audio though and it was better when I saw them.