Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Brown Sugar

Sticky Fingers
Track 1
"Brown Sugar" – 3:50


Scarred old slaver knows he's doing all right.
Hear him whip the women, just around midnight.
Brown sugar, how come you taste so good?

Am I being exceedingly politically correct if I said that I find those lyrics just a little... tasteless?

Maybe I am. It was, after all, the Stones' willingness to explore these dark corners that separated them from most of their contemporaries – in a good way. And while some bands, like the Velvet Underground and the Doors, also had material that made people a little uncomfortable, the Stones alone set these lyrics to music that would fill a dance floor. Getting a room full of people to sing and dance along to a song that celebrates slavery and rape constitutes a major accomplishment, although one with Milgram Experiment overtones.

Ah, that last sentence gave it away. Yes, I find the lyrics to the song horrifying, and I can't get past them. I can't even pretend to look at "Brown Sugar" with any sort of objectivity. Attempting to do so was a mistake. Sorry.