Four different versions of that song were recorded that New Year's Eve/Day at the Fillmore (there were four shows), but the 3rd one appeared on the 1970 LP and is the best version IMHO. The others lack the opening solo which reminds me of the opening scene in Orson Welles's Touch of Evil:
Shoot down some of those airplanes you been ridin'...'specially the ones that are flyin' too low...
...Shoot down some of those airplanes...'specially the ones that are flyin' too low
Come on back up to earth my friend, come on back up with me
We've all been up through the night time baby now let's read the rays of reality
With the power of soul anything is possible...What do those words mean? What do these words mean?:
...With the power of soul anything is possible.
Playing too much with one toy baby "tends to lead into the fog"?I think these lyrics represent Hendrix' attempt to express his personal struggles with substance abuse at the time. A little less than a month after this show, the Band of Gypsys would play Madison Square Garden but Hendrix, severely impaired, ended the show after just two songs and the Band of Gypsys would never play live again.
It's so groovy to fool around sometimes -- even a jelly fish will tell you that
I said flotation is groovy and easy and even a jelly fish will agree to that.
Yeah, but old jelly fish been floatin' so long and so slack-lord he don't got a bone in his jelly back
Floatin' every day and every night, ridin' high, but there's a risk, sometimes the wind ain't right
As for singing through the fingers -- this comes later in the song when Hendrix uses "call and response" guitar riffing with Buddy Miles' singing, all while playing rhythm! When Jimi's actual voice suddenly appears to harmonize with his guitar voice, I get a spooky feeling that I've been listening to three voices instead of just two. I cued up this part of the song here.
The best part of the Band of Gypsys is the concert footage of these shows and songs. I couldn't find any to link to here, but I know it's out there. It typically goes up and comes down very quickly.
Bonus YouTube video: my favorite Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock: link Good close-ups of Hendrix's fingers as he drives a repetitive riff over and over using just modulation.