Rolling Stones RETIRE ‘Brown Sugar’ after criticism over slavery lyrics

  • The British band are four gigs in to a 13-date U.S. tour, which begun in Sept 26
  • The rockers are yet to play Brown Sugar – their second-most played song
  • They last performed it live in August 2019 and have now retired the song for now
  • Brown Sugar’s lyrics tell of slavery, rape, racism and sexual violence
  • Mick Jagger said the 1969 song has ‘all the nasty subjects in one go’
  • The song was released in 1971 and is one of their most popular  
  • He said in 1995 that there is no way he would have written the song now
  • Jagger said the band decided to give the song a break, potentially returning to it 

Mick Jagger and Keith Richards have announced the Rolling Stones will stop performing hit song Brown Sugar, amid discomfort about the 50-year-old classic’s references to slavery.

The band, currently on the road for a 13-date U.S. tour, have not played Brown Sugar – one of their most recognizable songs – since kicking off in St Louis on September 26.

The 1969 song has been a staple of their live show since it came out 50 years ago, and is the second most played song in their catalog after Jumpin’ Jack Flash, with 1,136 known performances, according to Rolling Stone magazine.

The last time the Stones played it live was August 30, 2019 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida.

Jagger, asked about the song’s absence from their recent set lists, told The Los Angeles Timesthey had decided to give the song a break.

‘We’ve played ‘Brown Sugar’ every night since 1970, so sometimes you think, We’ll take that one out for now and see how it goes,’ he said.

‘Hear him whip the women just around midnight’: Brown Sugar’s controversial lyrics

Gold Coast slave ship bound for cotton fields

Sold in the market down in New Orleans

Skydog slaver knows he’s doin’ all right

Hear him whip the women just around midnight

Brown Sugar, how come you taste so good

Brown Sugar, just like a young girl should

Drums beatin’ cold, English blood runs hot

Lady of the house wonderin’ when it’s gonna stop

House boy knows that he’s doin’ all right

You should have heard him just around midnight

Brown Sugar, how come you taste so good?

Brown Sugar, just like a young girl should

Brown Sugar, how come you dance so good?

Brown Sugar, just like a black girl should

I bet your mama was a tent show queen

And all her boyfriends were sweet 16

I’m no school boy but I know what I like

You should have heard them just around midnight

Brown Sugar, how come you taste so good

Brown Sugar, just like a young girl should

I said, yeah, yeah, yeah, wooo!

How come you, how come you dance so good

Yeah, yeah, yeah, wooo!

Just like a, just like a black girl should

Yeah, yeah, yeah, wooo!

🎶  https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Fmfi3UbDPnQ

‘We might put it back in.’

Keith Richards, who wrote the song with Jagger during a 1969 recording session at the famed Muscle Shoals studio in Alabama, said he was taken aback by the recent discomfort about the lyrics, since it was always a grotesque story about slavery, rape and sexual violence.

‘I’m trying to figure out with the sisters quite where the beef is,’ Richards, 77, said.

‘Didn’t they understand this was a song about the horrors of slavery?

‘But they’re trying to bury it. At the moment I don’t want to get into conflicts with all of this s***.

‘But I’m hoping that we’ll be able to resurrect the babe in her glory somewhere along the track.’

The song has been controversial from the start, and the band have frequently tried to tone down the lyrics.

It was originally titled ‘Black P****,’ but Jagger decided before releasing it that the title was too ‘nitty-gritty’.

The original phrasing was: ‘Brown Sugar, how come you taste so good? / Ah, got me feelin’ now for brown sugar, just like a black girl should.’

The band in later recordings swapped the words ‘black girl’ for ‘young girl’.

Jagger explained in an interview back in 1995 that he was uncomfortable with the lyrics.

‘God knows what I’m on about in that song,’ said Jagger, in a 1995 interview.

‘It’s such a mishmash. All the nasty subjects in one go.’

The song was written in 45 minutes, and Jagger described it as ‘a very instant thing’.

‘I never would write that song now,’ he said.

‘I would probably censor myself. I’d think, ‘Oh God, I can’t. I’ve got to stop. I can’t just write raw like that.’

READ MORE:

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10085975/Rolling-Stones-drop-hit-song-Brown-Sugar-tour-set-list-now.html

By Harriet Alexander For Dailymail.com20:31 EDT 12 Oct 2021 , updated 21:33 EDT 12 Oct 2021

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