The Rolling Stones’ “Brown Sugar” Was Removed From Their Setlist After 50 Years For These Reasons.
The Rolling Stones have had an unmistakable impact on rock ‘n’ roll music. Their music has reached almost half a century of listeners, and the group is still selling out stadiums today as one of the most popular groups in the genre’s history. The Rolling Stones have had numerous chart-topping successes during that time, have won multiple Grammy Awards, and have even been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
“Brown Sugar,” a song that has been a vital part of their regular performance setlists and is one of their most well-known compositions, even to those who aren’t fans of the band, has been one of their biggest hit singles throughout the years. However, the underlying meaning of the legendary song is a little more contentious than many may believe, and the group has decided to stop performing it. So, what exactly is the meaning of “Brown Sugar”? Continue reading to learn more.
You may not have caught up on the racially tinged innuendos conveyed throughout “Brown Sugar” if you were simply listening to it. However, a closer examination of the lyrics reveals that the song has a number of troubling meanings. The opening lyrics of “Brown Sugar,” which was released in 1971, mostly pertain to a woman being sold into slavery and being thrashed by an alleged slave owner.
“Gold coast slave ship going for cotton fields / Sold at the market down in New Orleans / Scarred old slaver knows he’s doing okay,” for example, are examples of slavery-themed lyrics.
Furthermore, lines like “Hear him lash the women just around midnight,” “Brown Sugar, exactly like a young lady should,” and references to a “Black girl” throughout the song obviously support the song’s dark racial overtones.
Despite the fact that it’s garnering a lot of attention now, Mick Jagger, the band’s frontman, originally addressed the controversy around the lyrics almost three decades ago.
In 1995, the rock ‘n’ roll legend told Rolling Stone, “I would never write that song now,” adding, “I would definitely censor myself.”
Mick and bandmate Keith Richards explained to The Los Angeles Times that “Brown Sugar,” which has been a fixture of their regular tour itinerary for decades, will no longer be performed.
“Since 1970, we’ve played ‘Brown Sugar’ every night, so you figure, ‘We’ll pull that one out for…’ Brinkwire in a nutshell.