Rolling Stones – Salt Of The Earth

Hope everyone had a great long weekend.

Let’s drink to the hard-working people
Let’s drink to the lowly of birth
Raise your glass to the good and the evil
Let’s drink to the salt of the earth

This song is on the great album Beggars Banquet. I had this album and it remains one of my favorite albums by the Stones. There is not a bad song on the LP. This one and Prodigal Son I always liked. Beggars Banquet peaked at #5 on the Billboard album charts in 1969.

Keith and Mick Jagger both sing on this with the  Los Angeles Watts Street Gospel Choir singing background…Nicky Hopkins is on piano.

The title refers to the working class…they are “The salt of the Earth.” Jagger later said: “The song is total cynicism. I’m saying those people haven’t any power and they never will have.” 

From Songfacts

This was one of Keith Richards’ first lead vocal performances for The Stones (his first was on “Something Happened To Me Yesterday” from Between The Buttons). 

The Stones played this on Rock and Roll Circus, a British TV special The Stones taped in 1968 but never aired because they were upstaged by other acts on the show. A series of musical acts and circus performances, it was released on video in 1995.

The Stones performed this in Atlantic City in 1989 with Axl Rose and Izzy Stradlin of Guns N’ Roses on vocals.

Mick Jagger and Keith Richards performed this at the 2001 “Concert For New York,” which honored the rescue workers, cops, and firefighters in New York City after the World Trade Center disaster.

Salt Of The Earth

Let’s drink to the hard working people
Let’s drink to the lowly of birth
Raise your glass to the good and the evil
Let’s drink to the salt of the earth

Say a prayer for the common foot soldier
Spare a thought for his back breaking work
Say a prayer for his wife and his children
Who burn the fires and who still till the earth

And when I search a faceless crowd
A swirling mass of gray and
Black and white
They don’t look real to me
In fact, they look so strange

Raise your glass to the hard working people
Let’s drink to the uncounted heads
Let’s think of the wavering millions
Who need leaders but get gamblers instead

Spare a thought for the stay-at-home voter
His empty eyes gaze at strange beauty shows
And a parade of the gray suited grafters
A choice of cancer or polio

And when I look in the faceless crowd
A swirling mass of grays and
Black and white
They don’t look real to me
Or don’t they look so strange

Let’s drink to the hard working people
Let’s think of the lowly of birth
Spare a thought for the rag taggy people
Let’s drink to the salt of the earth

Let’s drink to the hard working people
Let’s drink to the salt of the earth
Let’s drink to the two thousand million
Let’s think of the humble of birth

Author: badfinger20

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

4 thoughts on “Rolling Stones – Salt Of The Earth”

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