Song of the Day #1,012: ‘She Smiled Sweetly’ – The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones’ Between the Buttons was released in 1967, a year after Aftermath. Again, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards wrote every track.

As was customary in the 60s, different versions of the LP were released in the United Kingdom and the United States. The US version included hits ‘Let’s Spend the Night Together’ and ‘Ruby Tuesday,’ which had been released as singles in the UK.

Ordinarily I’m against this sort of repackaging (The Beatles albums were similarly bastardized and I feel fortunate that the UK releases became the official US CD releases eventually). But in the case of The Stones, I rather like having the more popular songs available alongside the lesser-known album tracks. Of course I don’t know what I’m missing in the two songs left off the US version.

A few tracks on this album reveal The Stones’ growing interest, both musically and lyrically, in the work of Bob Dylan. I love how in the 60s all of these bands were in a sort of arms race against each other, always trying to emulate and one-up the latest and greatest work of their peers.

I bought Between the Buttons after seeing it featured in the wonderful tent scene between Margot and Richie in Wes Anderson’s The Royal Tenenbaums. Margot is listening to this album during their conversation and even holds it up to look at the cover (vinyl, of course).

Interestingly, Anderson has today’s song, ‘She Smiled Sweetly’ segue into ‘Ruby Tuesday,’ a moment that works just beautifully in the film but a misrepresentation of the album’s track order. ‘Ruby Tuesday’ actually appears two positions before ‘She Smiled Sweetly.’ I guess Anderson wasn’t going to ruin his cinematic moment over something silly like reality. In the universe of that film, the record is ordered differently.

Why do my thoughts loom so large on me?
They seem to stay, for day after day
And won’t disappear, I’ve tried every way

But she smiled sweetly
She smiled sweetly
She smiled sweetly
And says don’t worry
Oh, no no no

Where does she hide it inside of her?
That keeps her peace most every day
And won’t disappear, my hair’s turning grey

But she smiled sweetly
She smiled sweetly
She smiled sweetly
And says don’t worry
Oh, no no no

“There’s nothing in why or when
There’s no use trying, you’re here
Begging again, and ov’r again”

That’s what she said so softly
I understood for once in my life
And feeling good most all of the time

But she smiled sweetly
She smiled sweetly
She smiled sweetly
And said don’t worry
Oh, no no no
Oh, no no no
Oh, no no no

3 thoughts on “Song of the Day #1,012: ‘She Smiled Sweetly’ – The Rolling Stones

  1. pegclifton says:

    It amazes me how you noticed what position the song was on the album in the movie. I don’t even remember the scene you described. Anyway, this is a nice song, and I can’t get over how young they all look. They didn’t age very well, did they? Maybe it was all the drugs over the years that makes them look so haggard now.

  2. Dana says:

    Don’t remember this song from the Anderson movie, let alone that it was played out of order::) Nice enough song, though.

  3. Amy says:

    In the second installment of the train wreck that was American Idol’s 9th season, I give you Lacey Brown’s “Ruby Tuesday.” I actually sort of liked Lacey. but I think this was the song that sent her home 🙂

    And the scene Clay recalls so well from The Royal Tenenbaums. I love that Anderson reinvented the order to suit his purposes. That is just so great!

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