So, somebody objected to performing, “Brown Sugar”

… at talkbass, and I responded:

While often drug-addled and hedonistic, and writing in and of the 60’s-70’s, I believe Jagger in “Brown Sugar” attempted to criticize American society to the extent that slavery existed, even as he acknowledged the psycho-sexual results of living during those times when he sings even “the houseboy knows he’s doin’ alright” – it’s an uncomfortable juxtaposition, the critical and the celebratory, just like “Under My Thumb” is* – it’s the bloody Stones.

And in “Gimme Shelter” the singer is looking to get away from the bad things, even, hold yer breaf, asking for shelter from them.

I mean, doya’s really think Jagger wants sympathy for Satan?

But of course, if you don’t understand those backstories, are uncomfortable with the songs, or can’t convey the true meaning in the context of the song’s world (including when it was written) …

I say you drop all yer songs and do a set by GG Allin as penance.

But I will also add, I would be uncomfortable doing such a seriously personal and political song as “Strange Fruit” because I would feel I was appropriating a tragedy that is only secondarily (as an American) mine – ain’t it funny where we draw our lines.

I also wouldn’t do a Gary Glitter song, me …

*Give a listen to “won’cha hit me” at the end of “Stray Cat Blues”, etc.

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