Write Here, Write Now: 4.20 – Fool To Cry

The Rolling Stones – Fool To Cry.

A song from the mid-seventies, this sounds very different from the riff-tastic songs that I know the Stones for. The falsetto voice adopted by Jagger in the choruses, the synths, the piano, the oozing bass, the wah-wah guitar, the slow hopalong of the drumming – I wouldn’t have guessed this was the Stones.

The sentimental daddy/daughter lyrics fit in with what I think of as the self-indulgent seventies, when music was easy. Mind you, I’m used now to being told what’s what by my older daughter. The younger one, once she’s mastered speech will probably be just as judgemental and free-dispensing of her worldly wisdom. It’s a small price to pay for the pleasure of their company, particularly when things are going their way, or they are fully engaged is some project (whether or not that’s their father’s moral improvement).

I like the way the song starts off straight away with most of the instruments playing as an organic whole – bass, piano, electric piano and drum taps, each playing a different part of the musical body. The vocals and guitar come in for the verse and then chorus respectively, but there’s the real feel of a group playing together.

A fool is one who cries. One who lets their guard down, gives in to the emotions, lets feelings overwhelm them. Allows weaknesses to show. These are not necessarily bad things, if one is at ease with being out of control. Fooling and feeling – these things are connected. What strengths do we get from letting ourselves be weak? Greater self-knowledge, or just self-indulgence?

Going against my general antipathy for the Stones, I quite like this mellow song, and am tempted to listen for more from this period of their music.


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