David Crosby Gives Jimi Hendrix Credit For The Popular CSNY Lyrics

David Crosby recently took his Twitter to do justice to the iconic guitarist Jimi Hendrix for inventing a famous phrase, which Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young popularized later on.

With his exceptional guitar playing, Jimi Hendrix is one of the most significant contributors to the music scene. He is regarded as an inspiring guitarist who influenced numerous electric guitarists in popular music history. Although he had a very brief mainstream music career, Hendrix became a legend both during his lifetime and posthumously. As it turns out, he was even credited for creating a frequently used idiom.

In 1967, Jimi Hendrix recorded his second album ‘Axis: Bold As Love’ with his band, seven months after the successful debut album ‘Are You Experienced.’ One of the songs that appeared on the album was ‘If 6 Was 9.’  The song was written to voice the youth movement and express the desire for individuality. One of the things that stood out between the lyrics was the use of the idiom ‘flying the freak flag.’

Flying one’s freak flag means embracing an unconventional or uninhibited manner of being. The idiom reportedly originated from Hendrix’s ‘If 6 Was 9.’ In the song, it appears in the following part: ‘They’re hoping soon my kind will drop and die/But I’m gonna wave my freak flag high.’ Three years later, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young also used this idiom in their song ‘Almost Cut My Hair,’ which became a counterculture anthem.

Recently, the journalist and author Mark Bourrie took to his Twitter to say that he was surprised to learn the idiom ‘letting one’s freak flag fly’ came from CSNY’s ‘Déjà Vu’ album. Upon seeing this, one of his fans tagged David Crosby and showed him this tweet. Crosby then noticed this and admitted that they had actually borrowed it from Jimi Hendrix.

Mark Bourrie’s tweet read:

“I had no idea the line ‘letting your freak flag fly‘ comes from Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young’s ‘Déjà Vu’ album. I just caught it out of the corner of my ear.”

After a fan showed him this tweet, Crosby said:

I think we got it from Hendrix.”

You can check out the tweets below.