Jagger's lyrics

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Matt Wilson
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Jagger's lyrics

Postby Matt Wilson » 09 Jan 2020, 17:57

So I made a Stones comp the other day that I listen to on my walks (about the only way I get any exercise lately) around the neighborhood. It was chronological and basically followed the Hot Rocks formula of hits plus deep cuts. Anyway, as I was reabsorbing this music that I know so well, but haven't pondered in a few years, I was struck by Mick's words and how anti-women they were. I mean, have any of you thought about this lately? He starts out with stuff like "Heart of Stone" which is simply saying how nobody will get to him because he's so hardened/jaded, etc. Or "Play with Fire" which is almost the same thing - warning a woman not to mess with him. But it begins to escalate with "Stupid Girl" (can you imagine any other band getting away with a song like this?) and then "Back Street Girl." Now I'm perfectly willing to consider that in the latter, he's adopting a pose, or creating a character of an upperclass guy who's addressing a woman of low repute (possibly a servant?), saying he wants her around to sleep with or whatever, but doesn't want her in his life/around his wife; but there's more than a passing resemblance to Jagger himself here as well (even if he wasn't married at the time).

"Under My Thumb" is another one of course, and "Out of Time" and "Yesterday's Papers" bring up his theme of growing tired of women and wanting to move on. His demonic persona comes into play in the late '60s and we have songs like "Stray Cat Blues" where he's playing the role of the predator who likes 15-year olds (13 in the live version), or "Live With Me" wherein he's soliciting a woman to come stay with him to take care of the kids. Lol...

Anyway, I'm probably rambling but it struck me that nobody wrote that way at the time. Not only that, but he was remarkably successful with this style. It's unfathomable to think of John or Paul being this consistently nasty in song after song, or any other singer/lyricist going in this direction. I realize times were different, but man.... :lol:

Thoughts?

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Re: Jagger's lyrics

Postby Positive Passion » 09 Jan 2020, 18:34

I think there is definitely a sense of him creating a menacing persona, crowing over his sexual conquests. Even in a song like Wild Horses, where the narrator is ostensibly at the beck and call of the woman, there's an idea that he remains in control because he lets himself be treated that way. Brilliant songs, though, eh?

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Re: Jagger's lyrics

Postby Matt Wilson » 09 Jan 2020, 20:03

Oh, I love them. But they're definitely from a different era. I guess some rap songs are worse. I was just struck by the misogyny over and over again. Like he was proud of it.

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Re: Jagger's lyrics

Postby Flower » 09 Jan 2020, 20:18

Here are some thoughts ... I like what the author of this article has to say.

https://www.rollingstone.com/music/musi ... iew-52609/


Yet when the Stones were at their most exploitative, they seemed their most liberating, because we became aware of the reversal of that social and psychological pathology by which the oppressed identify with their oppressors: we sensed that the Stones, from their position of indifferent power, were singing in the voice of the hurt and abused, thereby magically transcending all humiliating barriers (“But it’s all right now In fact it’s a gas”).
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Re: Jagger's lyrics

Postby John aka Josh » 09 Jan 2020, 20:27

Haven't thought about this for a long time. I'd assumed he was trying to play up to a particular stereotype, now wonder if there is more of a personal issue about it.
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Re: Jagger's lyrics

Postby Matt Wilson » 09 Jan 2020, 21:03

Flower wrote:Here are some thoughts ... I like what the author of this article has to say.

https://www.rollingstone.com/music/musi ... iew-52609/


Yet when the Stones were at their most exploitative, they seemed their most liberating, because we became aware of the reversal of that social and psychological pathology by which the oppressed identify with their oppressors: we sensed that the Stones, from their position of indifferent power, were singing in the voice of the hurt and abused, thereby magically transcending all humiliating barriers (“But it’s all right now In fact it’s a gas”).


That may be true for "Jumping Jack Flash" but he's definitely not singing in the voice of the hurt and abused in all of those songs I named previously. Interesting interview though. I'd read it before but forgotten it as I do everything else. The writer tried to pin Mick down on some of the very songs I brought up earlier. Mick was having none of it though.

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Re: Jagger's lyrics

Postby bobzilla77 » 09 Jan 2020, 22:32

I think Swinging London required the up-ending of a lot of tradition. The youthful rebellion was really offensive to their parents who were trained for wartime rationing. Everything had to be changed for the young.

I watched the doc My Generation with Michael Caine the other night and was struck how much they talked about classism. Like Twiggy becoming a famous model with a cockney accent was revolutionary. A lot of them talked about the Beatles success changing everything, suddenly they proved working class youth could be successful. Maybe even, do better than the posh cunts that looked down on them.

I bet part of the Stones appeal was some perceived "realness" compared to the likes of Herman Hermit asking the girls mom permission to ask her to tea. It's definitely different way if talking to a girl than pop songs usually expressed.

Even the girls like it, because he's talking to some other slag, and now declared himself available.
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Re: Jagger's lyrics

Postby Nervous Ned » 10 Jan 2020, 15:08

[quote="Matt Wilson"]But it begins to escalate with "Stupid Girl" (can you imagine any other band getting away with a song like this?)[/quote]

... er ... yes, quite easily actually. “Stupid Girl” from Neil Young’s Zuma springs to mind as an obvious example! ;)

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Re: Jagger's lyrics

Postby Matt Wilson » 10 Jan 2020, 16:11

Nervous Ned wrote:
Matt Wilson wrote:But it begins to escalate with "Stupid Girl" (can you imagine any other band getting away with a song like this?)


... er ... yes, quite easily actually. “Stupid Girl” from Neil Young’s Zuma springs to mind as an obvious example! ;)


You mean nine years later?

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Re: Jagger's lyrics

Postby Geezee » 10 Jan 2020, 16:18

Matt Wilson wrote:
Flower wrote:Here are some thoughts ... I like what the author of this article has to say.

https://www.rollingstone.com/music/musi ... iew-52609/


Yet when the Stones were at their most exploitative, they seemed their most liberating, because we became aware of the reversal of that social and psychological pathology by which the oppressed identify with their oppressors: we sensed that the Stones, from their position of indifferent power, were singing in the voice of the hurt and abused, thereby magically transcending all humiliating barriers (“But it’s all right now In fact it’s a gas”).


That may be true for "Jumping Jack Flash" but he's definitely not singing in the voice of the hurt and abused in all of those songs I named previously. Interesting interview though. I'd read it before but forgotten it as I do everything else. The writer tried to pin Mick down on some of the very songs I brought up earlier. Mick was having none of it though.


That is a great interview, from 1978 no less. The interviewer really stays focused on the lyrics for an inordinately long time, and while Jagger seems fairly polite/game, he never allows himself to get properly pinned down, and he's pretty scathing of anyone who may see any offence in his lyrics.

My anima is very strong….I think it’s very kind….What you’re saying, though, is that there are two different types of girls in my songs: there’s the beautiful dreamy type and the vicious bitch type. There are also one or two others, but, yeah, you’re right — there are two kinds of girls…only I never thought about it before.
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Re: Jagger's lyrics

Postby Nervous Ned » 10 Jan 2020, 16:23

My bad Matt. I thought your point was the underlying mysogyny in Jagger’s lyrics, not their position at the cutting edge of the counter culture.

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Re: Jagger's lyrics

Postby Matt Wilson » 10 Jan 2020, 17:59

Nervous Ned wrote:My bad Matt. I thought your point was the underlying mysogyny in Jagger’s lyrics, not their position at the cutting edge of the counter culture.


I'm just saying that for the mid '60s, no one was writing like that, but by the mid '70s - the whole culture had changed. Neil Young has always said he's a big Stones fan. You know he was thinking of that Aftermath song when he wrote his own tune with the same name. He even has a song called "Borrowed Tune" which he copped from the music of "Lady Jane," and you know what album that song is on.

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Re: Jagger's lyrics

Postby C » 10 Jan 2020, 18:06

Back in the day, in the UK, circa 1965/66 it was expected that us kids either went for the 'good guys' or the 'bad guys'.

No sitting on the fence.

I went for the bad guys.

The Rolling Stones

The lyrics helped

[Who would have thought that 55 years later my youngest two children would go to the same secondary school as Mick Jagger!]




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Re: Jagger's lyrics

Postby Matt Wilson » 10 Jan 2020, 18:08

"I'm just sitting on a fence, you can say I've got no sense..."

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Re: Jagger's lyrics

Postby C » 10 Jan 2020, 18:11

C wrote:[Who would have thought that 55 years later my youngest two children would go to the same secondary school as Mick Jagger!]


.



ooof!




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Re: Jagger's lyrics

Postby C » 10 Jan 2020, 18:13

Matt Wilson wrote:"I'm just sitting on a fence, you can say I've got no sense..."


Trying to make up my mind. Really is too horrifying





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Re: Jagger's lyrics

Postby Matt Wilson » 10 Jan 2020, 18:22

C wrote:Back in the day, in the UK, circa 1965/66 it was expected that us kids either went for the 'good guys' or the 'bad guys'.

No sitting on the fence.

I went for the bad guys.

The Rolling Stones

The lyrics helped.


My esteemed colleague, as far as I can tell, neither one appeals to you all that much as your top ten lists have not included either band (not even solo Beatles).

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Re: Jagger's lyrics

Postby C » 10 Jan 2020, 18:29

Matt Wilson wrote:My esteemed colleague, as far as I can tell, neither one appeals to you all that much as your top ten lists have not included either band (not even solo Beatles).


Well observed my dear friend

Well observed

That, is indeed true. Well almost

I grew up with them (and The Beach Boys) and as a 10 year old (onwards) bought all three bands singles as they came out and when I was about 12 their albums too.

I loved them all - particularly The Stones

But that was then - I lived through it and moved on.

From time to time I still play Revolver, For Sale, The White Album, Between the Buttons, Let it Bleed, Beggar's Banquet, Pet Sounds, Wild Honey but they are just not there now when it comes to what I rate as 'great' albums.

Thick as a Brick, to me, is better than anything The Beatles ever did and I know that for 99.999% of the world that's weird. Not quite 'Carlsson top 10 album' material








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Re: Jagger's lyrics

Postby Flower » 10 Jan 2020, 18:33

A tangent of sorts brought on by the words "bad boys"

https://www.decades.com/lists/5-acts-th ... d-sullivan


The Rolling Stones performed on the show six times, but they certainly weren’t Sullivan’s favorite people. Not only was he annoyed with the British bad boys’ appearances – when they didn’t wear jackets during their first performance, he requested that they wear jackets and wash their hair – but vocalist Mick Jagger didn’t even attempt to hide his eye roll on camera when he had to change the words from “let’s spend the night together” to “let’s spend some time together.”
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Re: Jagger's lyrics

Postby C » 10 Jan 2020, 18:47

Flower wrote:but vocalist Mick Jagger didn’t even attempt to hide his eye roll on camera when he had to change the words from “let’s spend the night together” to “let’s spend some time together.”[/i]


Excatly the same when they appeared on 'Sunday Night at the London Palladium'

They were to perform both sides of the single Let's Spend the Night Together and Ruby Tuesday

They did Ruby and changed the lyric under duress

The tradition was that at the end of the show all acts would appear on a revolving stage waving goodbye to the audience.

The bad boys refused do that finale!

I remember watching that on our black and white television as if it were yesterday!!






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