Rolling Stones – Dead Flowers

When I saw the Stones on the 2006 Bigger Bang tour I was looking forward to this song than any other. It was the second time I had gone to see them. This time it was in Kentucky at the famous Churchill Downs venue that is not meant for Rock and Roll but it was cool.

The lyric “Making bets on Kentucky Derby Day” drew a huge response from the rain-drenched crowd. The song was on the great Sticky Fingers album released in 1971. Gram Parsons who was into country music heavily and hanging around with the Stones probably influence this track to a point.

This song rolled during the final credits of The Big Lebowski. Allen Klein, the ex  Rolling Stones manager and owner of the song initially wanted $150,000 for the movie’s use of it. He was then convinced to let them use it for free when he saw the scene in which The Dude says, “I hate the f—in’ Eagles, man!”. The version in the movie was a Townes Van Zandt cover.

From Songfacts

In this song, Mick Jagger addresses a girl named Susie with more than a little disdain: She’s welcome to send him dead flowers, but he’ll put roses on her grave. The music and lyrics both have a distinct country vibe. Jagger explained in 1995: “I love country music, but I find it very hard to take it seriously. I also think a lot of country music is sung with the tongue in cheek, so I do it tongue-in-cheek. The harmonic thing is very different from the blues. It doesn’t bend notes in the same way, so I suppose it’s very English, really. Even though it’s been very Americanized, it feels very close to me, to my roots, so to speak.”

Mick Jagger, 2003: “The ‘Country’ songs we recorded later, like ‘Dead Flowers’ on Sticky Fingers or Far Away Eyes on Some Girls, are slightly different (than our earlier ones). The actual music is played completely straight, but it’s me who’s not going legit with the whole thing, because I think I’m a blues singer not a country singer – I think it’s more suited to Keith’s voice than mine.” >>

The line, “I’ll be in my basement room with a needle and a spoon” is probably a reference to shooting up heroin. 

Dead Flowers

Well when you’re sitting there in your silk upholstered chair
Talkin’ to some rich folk that you know
Well I hope you won’t see me in my ragged company
Well, you know I could never be alone

Take me down little Susie, take me down
I know you think you’re the queen of the underground
And you can send me dead flowers every morning
Send me dead flowers by the mail
Send me dead flowers to my wedding
And I won’t forget to put roses on your grave

Well when you’re sitting back in your rose pink Cadillac
Making bets on Kentucky Derby Day
Ah, I’ll be in my basement room with a needle and a spoon
And another girl to take my pain away

Take me down little Susie, take me down
I know you think you’re the queen of the underground
And you can send me dead flowers every morning
Send me dead flowers by the mail
Send me dead flowers to my wedding
And I won’t forget to put roses on your grave

Take me down little Susie, take me down
I know you think you’re the queen of the underground
And you can send me dead flowers every morning
Send me dead flowers by the U.S. Mail
Say it with dead flowers in my wedding
And I won’t forget to put roses on your grave
No, I won’t forget to put roses on your grave

Rolling Stones – Moonlight Mile

Next to Memory Motel, this is one of my favorite Stones songs. It has yet to be played into the ground by radio.

Keith Richards was not at the recording session because of one reason or another. Richard likes the song, though. With Richards gone, Mick Taylor did all the guitar work on the recording.

The song was on Sticky Fingers and the album peaked at #1 in the Billboard Album Chart, #1 in the UK, and #1 in Canada in 1971.

Mick Jagger: That’s a dream song. Those kinds of songs with kinds of dreamy sounds are fun to do, but not all the time – it’s nice to come back to reality.”

From Songfacts

This was the result of an all-night recording session at Stargroves, The Stones’ mobile recording studio. A moonlight mile is a night time cocaine session. 

he working title was “The Japanese Thing.”

Jim Price, who usually arranged horns and played the trumpet and piano.

Paul Buckmaster, known for his work with Elton John, arranged the strings.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal’s Marc Myers, Jagger explained the creation of the song: “I also came up with an Oriental-Indian riff on my acoustic guitar. At some point during the tour I played it for Mick Taylor, because I thought he would like it. At that point, I really hadn’t intended on recording the song. Sometimes you don’t want to record what you’re writing. You think, ‘This isn’t worth recording, this is just my doodling.’

“When we finished our European tour in October 1970, we were at Stargroves… We were sitting around one night and I started working on what I had initially written. I felt great. I was in my house again and it was very relaxing. So the song became about that – looking forward to returning from a foreign place while looking out the window of a train and the images of the railway line going by in the moonlight.”

Moonlight Mile

When the wind blows and the rain feels cold
With a head full of snow
With a head full of snow
In the window there’s a face you know
Don’t the nights pass slow
Don’t the nights pass slow

The sound of strangers sending nothing to my mind
Just another mad mad day on the road
I am just living to be lying by your side
But I’m just about a moonlight mile on down the road

Made a rag pile of my shiny clothes
Gonna warm my bones
Gonna warm my bones
I got silence on my radio
Let the air waves flow
Let the air waves flow

Oh I’m sleeping under strange strange skies
Just another mad mad day on the road
My dreams is fading down the railway line
I’m just about a moonlight mile down the road

I’m hiding sister and I’m dreaming
I’m riding down your moonlight mile
I’m hiding baby and I’m dreaming
I’m riding down your moonlight mile
I’m riding down you moonlight mile

Let it go now, come on up babe
Yeah, let it go now
Yeah, flow now baby
Yeah move on now yeah

Yeah, I’m coming home
‘Cause, I’m just about a moonlight mile on down the road
Down the road, down the road