Song of the Day #1,472: ‘Wild Horses’ – The Rolling Stones

I’ve bought nine new albums so far this year and they’re split pretty evenly between mild disappointment and happy surprise.

Over the next nine days, I’ll feature a song from each of those albums and write a mini review of each. To satisfy my pathological urge to make lists, I’ll feature them in order from worst to best.

Before I get to that, though, I’m using this extra day to feature a song from another album I bought this year — an album released not in 2012 but 1971.

I’ve wanted to own The Rolling Stones’ Sticky Fingers for years now. It is the album most often mentioned alongside the classic records of theirs I already have.

But I am the least impulsive shopper on the planet, so I’ve never gone out on a limb and sprung for the $13.99 that most stores charge for this album. Instead I’ve scoured the used bins of a dozen record stores over the years hoping to luck into a bargain. Silly, I know.

But a few weeks ago I saw Sticky Fingers on sale via digital download on Amazon.com for $5.99. And though I still very much favor physical CDs, that seemed like an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. So I finally took the plunge.

The album lives up to its hype, primarily because of a quintet of Stones classics that makes up half of its tracklist. ‘Brown Sugar,’ with its raunchy riff and references to kinky interracial sex, is the most famous track on the album, but it is equaled by ‘Can’t You Hear Me Knocking,’ ‘Sister Morphine,’ ‘Dead Flowers,’ ‘Moonlight Mile’ and today’s SOTD.

‘Wild Horses’ has long been one of my favorite Stones songs. I love its slow country-rock romanticism and the yearning in Mick Jagger’s vocals. Keith Richards once said that Jagger doesn’t have a good voice but he’s the best singer in rock-and-roll. This song proves his point.

Childhood living is easy to do
The things you wanted I bought them for you
Graceless lady you know who I am
You know I can’t let you slide through my hands

Wild horses couldn’t drag me away
Wild, wild horses couldn’t drag me away

I watched you suffer a dull aching pain
Now you’ve decided to show me the same
No sweeping exit or offstage lines
Could make me feel bitter or treat you unkind

Wild horses couldn’t drag me away
Wild, wild horses couldn’t drag me away

I know I’ve dreamed you a sin and a lie
I have my freedom but I don’t have much time
Faith has been broken tears must be cried
Let’s do some living after we die

Wild horses couldn’t drag me away
Wild, wild horses we’ll ride them some day
Wild horses couldn’t drag me away
Wild, wild horses we’ll ride them some day

5 thoughts on “Song of the Day #1,472: ‘Wild Horses’ – The Rolling Stones

  1. Dana says:

    I’ve always liked this song. Have never heard the whole album though.

    And as someone who has recently transitioned from a cd to digital collection, I say “come join us!” continuing to buy cd’s is clearly swimming against the tide these days.

  2. Clay says:

    I understand buying music digitally if it’s unavailable in CD format or a whole lot cheaper, but I don’t see the advantage otherwise. The way I see it, buying a CD costs the same and gives me liner notes and a physical backup in addition to the digital file.

    Why did you take the plunge? To free bookshelf space?

    • Amy says:

      Yup, to free space and to free ourselves from yet more “stuff” piling up in every quadrant of our library. Still, we held on to a good 100 or so that I couldn’t consider letting go for those reasons (having something tangible to hold, a cover to consider, liner notes to read).

  3. Dana says:

    Yes, primarily.

  4. Amy says:

    I will sheepishly admit that this is one of those songs I never knew until hearing an amateur cover it on an episode of American Idol. One of the things I most enjoyed about Idol in the first few seasons we watched it was discovering songs that I had somehow missed in my musical education. Then going on to listen to how they were supposed to be done. Indeed, this is one of my favorite Jagger performances and a great song.

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