"I Don't Live Today"
Original album Are You Experienced
Length 3:54
Writer(s) Jimi Hendrix
Recording date(s) February 1967
Recording location(s) De Lane Lea Studios
First live performance August 27th, 1967
Last live performance June 7th, 1970
Jimi Hendrix Wiki rating

"I Don't Live Today" is a song by The Jimi Hendrix Experience, originally released on their 1967 debut album Are You Experienced. The song was written by Jimi Hendrix and recorded at De Lane Lea Studios some time in February 1967.[1][2]




"IDLT" is backed with a notable native American drum pattern by Mitch Mitchell. The guitar solo is played with four guitars; two with wah-wah effect, one with distortion, and another with a ringing sitar effect. "IDLT" was labelled as a 'freak-out' song, a label Hendrix did not approve of, saying "I might as well say [a freak-out tune] because everyone else is going to anyway."[3]


When played live, the drum intro was much longer and more complex. Much of the rest of the song was the same as the studio original, though of course much less dense due to the existence of up to four guitars on the original. Live, the song was also played at a noticeably faster tempo. Also, after the whammy covered breakdown, the main riff would come back in at a blistering pace before being joined by the rest of the band and going back into the chorus lyrics.


Will I live tomorrow?
Well I just can't say.
Will I live tomorrow?
Well I just can't say.
But I know for sure
I don't live today.

No sun comin' through my windows,
Feel like I'm livin' at the bottom of a grave.
No-oh sun comin' through my windows,
Feel like I'm livin' at the bottom of a grave.
I wish you'd hurry up and execute me,
So I can be on my miserable way.

I don't
Live today!
Maybe tomorrow,
I just can't say; but, uh,
I don't
Live today!
It's such a shame to waste your time away like this.

Well, I don't
Live today!
Maybe tomorrow,
I just can't tell you, baby; but, uh,
I don't
Live today!
It's such a shame to spend the time away like this.

Oh, no.

Oh, there ain't no life nowhere.
Uh-huh, hmm.

Are you experienced?
Get experienced.
Get experienced.
Are you experienced?


Studio albumsEdit

Live albumsEdit


Cover versionsEdit

“IDLT” has been covered by many bands, etc., in the decades since its initial release on “Are You Experienced”. One of the most unique versions was performed by the band “Last Rites” in San Francisco throughout the 80’s and 90’s. Guitarist and singer John Lind, who'd served in the USAF as a Russian linguist, translated the lyrics into Russian.

When a fan asked what had inspired him to choose “IDLT”, John Lind answered “because it translates well into Russian.”

“In reality, there were two reasons. First, it's my favorite Hendrix song. I’ve always considered it to be his most extreme, most psychedelic, and several of the live versions are among the best things he ever did.

“Second, it really does translate well into Russian, much better than a lot of other songs. The reason I translated it to begin with is because I’ve had a fascination with Russian for many years, culminating in my having studied it at the Defense Language Institute while in the USAF. I’ve concluded that I must have spoken Russian in a prior life. Translating my favorite Hendrix song into Russian is my way of paying tribute to that aspect of my life.”


  1. Foley, Randy. Jimi Hendrix Recording Chronology. Retrieved on July 30th, 2008.
  2. Shapiro, Harry; Glebbeek, Caesar [September 17th, 1990] (August 15th, 1995). "Appendix 1: Music, Sweet Music: The Discography", Jimi Hendrix: Electric Gypsy, 2nd Edition, New York: St. Martin's Griffin, p. 525. ISBN 978-0-312-13062-6.
  3. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named EG175



Are You Experienced (UK)

Original tracks: 1. "Foxy Lady" • 2. "Manic Depression" • 3. "Red House" • 4. "Can You See Me" • 5. "Love or Confusion" • 6. "I Don't Live Today" • 7. "May This Be Love" • 8. "Fire" • 9. "Third Stone From the Sun" • 10. "Remember" • 11. "Are You Experienced?"

Bonus tracks: 12. "Hey Joe" • 13. "Stone Free" • 14. "Purple Haze" • 15. "51st Anniversary" • 16. "The Wind Cries Mary" • 17. "Highway Chile"

Are You Experienced (US)

Original tracks: 1. "Purple Haze" • 2. "Manic Depression" • 3. "Hey Joe" • 4. "Love or Confusion" • 5. "May This Be Love" • 6. "I Don't Live Today" • 7. "The Wind Cries Mary" • 8. "Fire" • 9. "Third Stone From the Sun" • 10. "Foxey Lady" • 11. "Are You Experienced?"

Bonus tracks: 12. "Stone Free" • 13. "51st Anniversary" • 14. "Highway Chile" • 15. "Can You See Me" • 16. "Remember" • 17. "Red House"

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