I’ve always been a huge fan of this song but it was yesterday while I was driving home from work and this song came up on the radio did I realize how awesome this song is. In fact, it might be the most gangster song ever written.
And why do I think so? Here are my reasons.
- This song came out during a time of war. Back in 1969, there was war, violence, injustice and a whole lot of crap going in in the world. This song embodies the despair and pain during that time. When I think of a war song — or a song of injustice — this is the one for me.
- Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. Do I need to say more? The voice, the guitar. So perfect.
- The intro is very haunting. It’s slow and mellow, yet the vocals of Merry Clayton gives you chills as you feel that something big is going to happen. But her voice doesn’t give you a sound of hope. Yet it’s a sound of sadness and fear. You know that this song isn’t a song of joy, but of sadness.
- The lyrics are haunting. “Rape, murder. It’s just a shot away.” This couldn’t have been a bigger, outstanding message. All the terrible things that are going on are said right in the lyrics. And when Merry Clayton bellows out those lines, it cost her her child.
- The lyrics are talking about the storm of despair, but at the end, a little hope of love. Does it work? It gives you, the listener, wanting for more.
- And you can sing along to this song. It’s so powerful and the lyrics are very simple.
- When the Stones rivaled The Beatles, they decided to go away from the pop scene and get real serious. And how this song became so “gangster” and “bad ass” is because they attacked a real issue. The Beatles also did the same, but The Stones gripped the issue and squeezed out all they can do with it.
- It has stood the test of time. It’s the band’s best song in my opinion and to some people, they identify the struggles of the `60s with that song.