Write Here, Write Now: 6.18 – Sweet Virginia

The Rolling Stones – Sweet Virginia. One big lazy fuck you.

I’m beginning to regret taking on this album for the rest of June. I’m a third of the way through, and most of the songs I haven’t liked, including this one. In fact I think I loathe this one. In my mind I imagine the rich drugged-up tax-exile sloths, dozing away the day in Keith Richards’ ludicrously glamorous beachfront rental Côte d’Azur, then deigning to get up, creep down to the cellar and waste hours jamming away on generic jams with ‘will this do’ lyrics. It is said that if those making a movie seem to have had a good time making the film, then the audience won’t – and it sounds like the Stones were having a riot with this song (and most of the album so far).

It’s a shame, because the first 45 seconds are rather sweet – Jagger suits a harmonica and the two acoustic guitars compliment it nicely. Then Jagger starts to sing.

I think I hate Jagger’s vocals most of all – it is the most complacent, self-satisfied drawl – an ugly disdainful, half-hearted sound. “Thank you for your whine“. He heaves and drags the song unevenly and lethargically towards its crowd mooing chorus “shooooooooeeeees“, accompanied by the usual wheezing saxophone miasma soaking into every corner – even the drums sound like Charlie Watts’ arms were a bit heavy that night.

The guitars and the piano stay strong throughout – lovely music. If only there weren’t the awful sounds that swamp them, this would be a song I’d like. But there are.

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