Ok, ok, Brown Sugar

OK, ok – Brown Sugar!

There’s been a wild discussion during the last weeks about that song by The Rolling Stones.

Usually, I skip gossip, slander or fake news. I like to have the proofable facts instead, even if that’s not such a great story. When this subject came up, I superficially took knowledge, without paying too much attention. But then again, it’s about this band I love and meanwhile I think, it’s about time to write something about it.

Let’s take this tabloid, the english Daily Mail, for example. This paper states: “Rolling Stones fans fight back against woke cancellation of Brown Sugar by bombarding the band with requests to play the song at their concerts in ‘fan favourite’ vote” and

– Rolling Stones have removed Brown Sugar from the setlist of their US tour
– Came under fire from woke critics over lyrics about slavery and sexual violence
– Now fans are fighting back and urging band to reintroduce the song to shows
– Their are flooding a fan vote with requests for Brown Sugar at upcoming shows

And here’s the lyrics we are talking about:

Gold Coast slave ship bound for cotton fields
Sold in the market down in New Orleans
Skydog slaver know he’s doin’ all right
Hear him whip the women, just around midnight

Brown Sugar, how come you taste so good?
Brown Sugar, just like a young girl should, oh no

Drums beatin’ cold, English blood runs hot
Lady of the house wonderin’ when it’s gonna stop
House boy knows that he’s doin’ all right
You should have heard him, just around midnight

Brown Sugar, how come you taste so good?
Brown Sugar, just like a young girl should, yeah
Brown Sugar, how come you dance so good?
Oh, got me quittin’
Brown Sugar, just like a black girl should, yeah

Now, I bet your mama was a tent show queen
And all her boyfriends were sweet 16
I’m no school boy but I know what I like
You should have heard them, just around midnight

Brown Sugar, how come you taste so good? Oh, no no
Brown Sugar, just like a young girl should

I said, yeah, yeah, yeah, woo
How come you, how come you dance so good?
Yeah, yeah, yeah, woo
Just like a, just like a black girl should
Yeah, yeah, yeah, woo

I can tell you, that when I danced to that song in the early 70ies – in Germany that is – I had NO idea what that was all about. Lines like “Hear him whip the women, just around midnight” only translated to me much later – I was in my early teens then. Looking back on it from now, I really wonder, how the BBC could have ever played that song in 1971 and the following years without getting sued… 😉 But they did, dind’t they?

If find these lyrics quite ok. They target at the crime of slavery and sympathizes with the black people under this horrible rule back then. And to some extent, they still do, I’m afraid. Racial segregation like in the US even after WWII is a thing VERY strange to me. So, in my view, it’s a very social-critical and political song. But then,  the times in the early 70ies were exactly that: very politial and revolutionary trying. But this was for a good reason, and no way just accidential.

So, in a nutshell, that is what I think about it. The Stones should add the song again to their setlist: that would be ok for me. No problem.


3 thoughts on “Ok, ok, Brown Sugar

  • November 6, 2021 at 19:22

    That’s the one!

  • November 6, 2021 at 1:35

    Well, I guess Little Richard didn’t get the Brown Sugar memo, because somewhere back in the day, he recorded a mean boogie woogie version of Brown Sugar, exact same lyrics,. I think you can find on iTunes or wherever, until the woke police find it. It’s actually a great party song if you like to traf people with off the beaten track tracks.

    • November 6, 2021 at 2:23

      Thanks for the tip, Carmen!
      Could it be this version you meant?


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