♫ Ruby Tuesday ♫

Back in April, I had a request for a song that I was familiar with by an artist I was not familiar with.  Confused yet?  Well, the song, as you can see from the title, is Ruby Tuesday, and I was familiar with the Rolling Stones’ version, but the one requested was by a singer, Melanie, with whom I was not familiar.  As so often happens, life interfered (more likely Donald Trump interfered with my life), and I forgot all about it.  Tonight, I wanted to play something special for the requester of the song, so I dug back through my notes and said … AHA!!!

By the way … any of you who have requested a song that I haven’t played … feel free to nudge or remind me, for I truly am a very forgetful old woman these days, and my intentions are good, but …

This was the fourth US #1 hit for the Rolling Stones in 1967, written by Keith Richards, who says of the song …

“It was probably written about Linda Keith not being there.  I don’t know, she had pissed off somewhere. It was very mournful, very, VERY Ruby Tuesday and it was a Tuesday. That’s one of those things – some chick you’ve broken up with. And all you’ve got left is the piano and the guitar and a pair of panties. And it’s goodbye you know. And so it just comes out of that. And after that you just build on it. It’s one of those songs that are easiest to write because you’re really right there and you really sort of mean it. And for a songwriter, hey break his heart and he’ll come up with a good song.”

Originally called Title B, this was mainly written by Brian Jones and Keith Richards, but in keeping with Stones tradition, it was credited to Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.  The Stones’ version hit #1 in the U.S., #2 in Canada, and #3 in the UK.  And then along came …

Melanie Anne Safka, better known as just Melanie. She is best known for the 1971/72 global hit Brand New Key, her composition What Have They Done to My Song Ma, and her 1970 international breakthrough hit Lay Down (Candles in the Rain), inspired by her experience of performing at the 1969 Woodstock music festival.  She was at Woodstock and still I haven’t heard of her?  Odd that.  Now, I listened to the first two mentioned and I have to admit that I wasn’t fond of either.  And, sorry David, but I still prefer the Stones’ version of this one.

And with all that said, I now offer you Ruby Tuesday by both Melanie, and the Rolling Stones!  Oh … Rod Stewart also covered the song in 1993, so maybe I’ll throw that one in just for fun, too.  Which is your favourite?

Ruby Tuesday
The Rolling Stones (also Melanie, Rod Stewart)

She would never say where she came from
Yesterday don’t matter if it’s gone
While the sun is bright
Or in the darkest night
No one knows, she comes and goes

Goodbye Ruby Tuesday
Who could hang a name on you?
When you change with every new day
Still I’m gonna miss you

Don’t question why she needs to be so free
She’ll tell you it’s the only way to be
She just can’t be chained
To a life where nothing’s gained
Or nothing’s lost, at such a cost

Goodbye Ruby Tuesday
Who could hang a name on you?
When you change with every new day
Still I’m gonna miss you

“There’s no time to lose, ” I heard her say
Catch your dreams before they slip away
Dying all the time
Lose your dreams and you will lose your mind
Ain’t life unkind?

Goodbye Ruby Tuesday
Who could hang a name on you?
When you change with every new day
Still I’m gonna miss you

Goodbye Ruby Tuesday
Who could hang a name on you?
When you change with every new day
Still I’m gonna miss you

Songwriters: Keith Richards / Mick Jagger
Ruby Tuesday lyrics © Abkco Music, Inc

♫ Get Off Of My Cloud ♫

I’ve been doing music posts long enough that you all know by now this song is not my normal style.  I only vaguely remember loving the Rolling Stones, but I don’t think it was their music that was the draw as much as it was Keith Richards’ … er … um … cuteness?  Hey, gimme a break … I was 14 years old and just discovering that boys were good for something other than playing football & baseball with!

At any rate … moving along …

This song, released in 1965, was the Stones’ follow up to their #1 hit, Satisfaction.  According to co-writer Keith Richards …

“‘Get Off My Cloud’ was basically a response to people knocking on our door asking us for the follow up to ‘Satisfaction,’ which was such an enormous hit worldwide. This, to us, was mind-blowing. I mean not only was it a #1 record but, boom! We thought, ‘At last. We can sit back and maybe think about events.’ Suddenly there’s the knock at the door and of course what came out of that was ‘Get Off Of My Cloud.’ Because within three weeks, in those days hey, they want another single. And we weren’t quite ready for that. So it was our response to the knock at the door: Get off of my cloud. And I’m surprised that it did so well. I mean it has a certain charm but I really remember it as a knee-jerk reaction. And it came out better than I thought.”

And from the other co-writer, Mick Jagger …

“That was Keith’s melody and my lyrics. It’s a stop-bugging-me, post-teenage-alienation song. The grown-up world was a very ordered society in the ’60s, and I was coming out of it. America was even more ordered than anywhere else. I found it was a very restrictive society in thought and behavior and dress.”

The song has energy … I’ll say that about it.  Today, it wouldn’t be a favourite of mine.  And yet … as I was tidying the kitchen this evening, it just popped into my head.  And so …

Get Off Of My Cloud
The Rolling Stones

I live in an apartment on the ninety-ninth floor of my block
And I sit at home looking out the window
Imagining the world has stopped
Then in flies a guy who’s all dressed up just like a Union Jack
And says, “I’ve won five pounds if I have his kind of detergent pack”

I says, “hey, you, get off of my cloud
Hey, you, get off of my cloud
Hey, you, get off of my cloud
Don’t hang around ’cause two’s a crowd
On my cloud, baby”

The telephone is ringing
I say, “hi, it’s me, who is there on the line?”
A voice says, “hi, hello, how are you?”
“Well, I guess I’m doin’ fine”
He says, “it’s three a.m., there’s too much noise
Don’t you people ever want to go to bed?
Just ’cause you feel so good
Do you have to drive me out of my head?”

I says, “hey, you, get off of my cloud
Hey, you, get off of my cloud
Hey, you, get off of my cloud
Don’t hang around ’cause two’s a crowd
On my cloud, baby, yeah”

I was sick and tired, fed up with this
And decided to take a drive downtown
It was so very quiet and peaceful
There was nobody, not a soul around
I laid myself out, I was so tired
And I started to dream
In the morning the parking tickets were just
Like a flag stuck on my window screen

I says, “hey, you, get off of my cloud
Hey, you, get off of my cloud
Hey, you, get off of my cloud
Don’t hang around ’cause two’s a crowd
On my cloud, baby”

“Hey, you, get off of my cloud
Hey, you, get off of my cloud
Hey, you, get off of my cloud
Don’t hang around ’cause two’s a crowd
On my cloud, hey, you

Songwriters: Keith Richards / Mick Jagger
Get Off Of My Cloud lyrics © Abkco Music, Inc

♫ You’re So Vain ♫

An old friend sent me a text message yesterday:

Got a song that you may want to delve in. “You’re So Vain” by Carly Simon. A good investigating song. Try and figure out who the three men are that it’s about.

Well, me being me … half deaf and never paying much attention to music trivia until recently … I had no idea that the song was actually ‘about’ anybody, but his challenge piqued my curiosity.

The song, written by Carly Simon herself in 1971, was released the following year, and apparently each of the three verses is about a different ‘vain’ man.  In 2015, she admitted that one of the men was Warren Beatty, but other than that she has only given clues, such as that one of the men’s name contains ‘A’, ‘E’, and ‘R’.  She has also said it is not about Mick Jagger, who contributed uncredited backing vocals to the song, or her ex-husband James Taylor.  Wait … what???  I never knew that James Taylor was married to Carly Simon!  And here I thought James Taylor was saving himself for me!  Where have I been all my life?

In 2015, Simon published her memoir titled “Boys in the Trees”, but she gave away no answers to the puzzle there, either, and the book is largely about her often tumultuous relationship with Taylor.

In short, I don’t know the answer.  Howard Stern does, for she reportedly told him, but swore him to secrecy.  But here are some of the possibilities:

  • Sean Connery
  • Marvin Gaye
  • Terrence Malick  (who???)
  • Bob Rafelson (again, who???)
  • Jack Nicholson
  • Kris Kristofferson
  • Cat Stevens

It is said that during each of the verses, you can hear a whisper of the name that verse is about.  Now, since I do well to even hear the words that are sung, I’ll leave it up to you guys to listen for the whisper.  And thank you, J.R., for issuing the challenge … it was fun!

You’re So Vain
Carly Simon

You walked into the party
Like you were walking on a yacht
Your hat strategically dipped below one eye
Your scarf, it was apricot
You had one eye on the mirror
And watched yourself gavotte
And all the girls dreamed that they’d be your partner
They’d be your partner, and

You’re so vain
You probably think this song is about you
You’re so vain,
I’ll bet you think this song is about you
Don’t you?
Don’t you?

Oh, you had me several years ago
When I was still naive
Well, you said that we made such a pretty pair
And that you would never leave
But you gave away the things you loved
And one of them was me
I had some dreams, they were clouds in my coffee
Clouds in my coffee, and

You’re so vain
You probably think this song is about you
You’re so vain, you’re so vain
I’ll bet you think this song is about you
Don’t you?
Don’t you?

Well I hear you went to Saratoga
And your horse, naturally, won
Then you flew your Learjet up to Nova Scotia
To see the total eclipse of the sun
Well, you’re where you should be all the time
And when you’re not, you’re with some underworld spy
Or the wife of a close friend,
Wife of a close friend, and

You’re so vain
You probably think this song is about you
You’re so vain, you’re so vain
I’ll bet you think this song is about you
Don’t you?
Don’t you?

Songwriters: Carly E. Simon
You’re So Vain lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

♫ As Tears Go By ♫

This song was written by Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, and Rolling Stones’ manager Andrew Loog Oldham, and was one of the first original compositions by Jagger and Richards, as until that point The Rolling Stones had chiefly been performing blues standards. A story surrounding the song’s genesis has it that Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham locked Jagger and Richards in a kitchen in order to force them to write a song together, even suggesting what type of song he wanted: “I want a song with brick walls all around it, high windows and no sex.”

In a 1992 interview with Guitar Player magazine, Keith Richards said: “… suddenly, ‘Oh, we’re songwriters,’ with the most totally anti-Stones sort of song you could think of at the time, while we’re trying to make a good version of (Muddy Waters’) ‘Still A Fool.’ When you start writing, it doesn’t matter where the first one comes from. You’ve got to start somewhere, right? So Andrew locked Mick and myself into a kitchen in this horrible little apartment we had. He said, ‘You ain’t comin’ out,’ and there was no way out. We were in the kitchen with some food and a couple of guitars, but we couldn’t get to the john, so we had to come out with a song. In his own little way, that’s where Andrew made his great contribution to the Stones. That was such a flatulent idea, a fart of an idea, that suddenly you’re gonna lock two guys in a room, and they’re going to become songwriters. Forget about it. And it worked. In that little kitchen Mick and I got hung up about writing songs …”

And per Mick Jagger …

“I wrote the lyrics, and Keith wrote the melody. It’s a very melancholy song for a 21-year-old to write: The evening of the day, watching children play – it’s very dumb and naive, but it’s got a very sad sort of thing about it, almost like an older person might write. You know, it’s like a metaphor for being old: You’re watching children playing and realizing you’re not a child. It’s a relatively mature song considering the rest of the output at the time. And we didn’t think of doing it, because the Rolling Stones were a butch Blues group. But Marianne Faithfull’s version was already a big, proven hit song… It was one of the first things I ever wrote.” 

The song was first recorded by Marianne Faithfull in 1964, and a year later the Stones recorded their own version.  I prefer the Stones version, but I understand that Faithfull’s was more popular in the UK, so I offer both here.  First, The Rolling Stones …

And then, Marianne Faithfull …

As Tears Go By
The Rolling Stones

It is the evening of the day
I sit and watch the children play
Smiling faces I can see
But not for me
I sit and watch
As tears go by

My riches can’t buy everything
I want to hear the children sing
All I hear is the sound
Of rain falling on the ground
I sit and watch
As tears go by

It is the evening of the day
I sit and watch the children play
Doing things I used to do
They think are new
I sit and watch
As tears go by

Songwriters: Andrew Loog Oldham / Keith Richards / Mick Jagger
As Tears Go By lyrics © Abkco Music, Inc, T.R.O. Inc.