Album: Some Girls
. . .
“Some Girls” is a slow groove, more of a jam with lyrics than an actual song, with Ron Wood and Keith Richard trying out some watery liquid guitar tones while Sugar Blue is back on the harmonica, and Bill Wyman eschews his bass for a synth. And, apparently, it was edited down from a 23-minute jam, as you do.
It’s also yet another provocation by Mick Jagger, who basically lists some of the things he finds wrong with some of the women he’s fucked. So he starts off with all of things they give him: money, clothes, jewelry, diamonds and heart attacks. Oh, and apparently — in a break from the theme of things he’s gotten, which bugs the OCD part of me — he also complains “Some girls I give all my bread to / I don’t ever want it back.”
This is obviously Mick in full satire mode, purposely trying to piss people off, and the first of a run of songs that are at least attempting to be funny in a way they really hadn’t tried to be since Beggars Banquet, maybe even sooner. Whether he succeeds is up to you, of course.
In between each verse, either Keith or Ron take a quick solo — just long enough for you to figure out if the last verse offended you or not — before Mick plunges right back in, this time complaining that sometimes they even give him children “I never asked ’em for.”. Eventually, there’s even a chorus.
So give me all your money
Give me all your gold
I’ll buy you a house back in Zuma Beach
And give you half of what I own
Apparently the chorus is reference to Bob and Sara Dylan building a huge house in Zuma Beach just prior their separation, a connection Mick makes even more explicit in the next verse.
Some girls take my money
Some girls take my clothes
Some girls get the shirt off my back
And leave me with a lethal dooooooose
That’s, of course, a callback to my favorite line in Dylan’s “Shelter From The Storm:” “In a little hilltop village, they gambled for my clothes / I bargained for salvation and they gave me a lethal dose”, and Mick’s still just getting started, now breaking down women’s wants by nationality: French (“Cartier”); Italian (“cars”); Puerto Rican (“just dyin to meet you!”) (oh wait, that’s “Miss You“); and American (everything in the world you can possibly IMAGINE!). And then in between dissing English girls (“can’t stand ’em on the telephone”) and Chinese girls (“they’re really such a tease”), there’s this:
White girls they’re pretty funny
Sometimes they drive me mad
Black girls just wanna get fucked all night
I just don’t have that much jam
Despite Mick trying to leaven it by pointing out that he was too inadequate to satisfy said Black girls, it was still a bit much, and for the umpteenth time in their career, the Rolling Stones found themselves in hot water. After meeting w/ Atlantic Records head Ahmet Ertegun, Jesse Jackson declared that line a “racial insult” that “degrades Blacks and women”, and threatened a boycott. The Stones issued the usual non-apology apology, but I guess those still worked in 1978, because everybody went on with their lives afterwards, though it was really the last time any of Mick’s lyrics pissed anybody off that much.
Anyways, in the end “Some Girls” saunters down the street, Sugar Blue’s harmonica leading the way, the guitars right behind, and Charlie Watts not even remotely tempted to speed it up on iota, like he already knew that speeding it up was the wrong way to go.
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