"Love follows knowledge." – St. Catherine of Siena

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Music Tuesday: “Salt of the Earth” by The Rolling Stones

This past Sunday’s Gospel reading at mass was the passage where Jesus calls his followers, the salt of the earth.  From Matthew 5:13-16.

Jesus said to his disciples:
“You are the salt of the earth.
But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned?
It is no longer good for anything
but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
You are the light of the world.
A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden.
Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket;
it is set on a lampstand,
where it gives light to all in the house.
Just so, your light must shine before others,
that they may see your good deeds
and glorify your heavenly Father.”

I happen to be a big Rolling Stones fan, if I haven’t mentioned it in the past.  Whenever I come across that biblical passage I instantly think of the wonderful Stones’ song, “Salt of the Earth.”    This is such an underappreciated song, and it comes from one of their greatest albums, Beggars Banquet. 

 

This is such a fine song, you really should have the lyrics before you as you listen.
 
SALT OF THE EARTH
M. Jagger/K. Richards)

Let's drink to the hard working people
Let's drink to the lowly of birth
Raise your glass to the good and the evil
Let's drink to the salt of the earth

Say a prayer for the common foot soldier
Spare a thought for his back breaking work
Say a prayer for his wife and his children
Who burn the fires and who still till the earth

And when I search a faceless crowd
A swirling mass of gray and black and white
They don't look real to me
In fact, they look so strange

Raise your glass to the hard working people
Let's drink to the uncounted heads
Let's think of the wavering millions
Who need leaders but get gamblers instead

Spare a thought for the stay-at-home voter
His empty eyes gaze at strange beauty shows
And a parade of the gray suited grafters
A choice of cancer or polio

And when I look in the faceless crowd
A swirling mass of grays and black and white
They don't look real to me
Or don't they look so strange

Let's drink to the hard working people
Let's think of the lowly of birth
Spare a thought for the rag taggy people
Let's drink to the salt of the earth

Let's drink to the hard working people
Let's drink to the salt of the earth
Let's drink to the two thousand million
Let's think of the humble of birth

Lets raise our drink
To the salt of the earth
Lets raise our drink
To the salt of the earth.......

From Keno’s Rolling Stone Lyrics. 

 
If you’re only going to own a couple of Stones albums, the 1968 Beggars Banquet is a must.  It’s one of those albums where every song reflects another either thematically or musically, and every song is near perfection.  I love in this song the arrangement of acoustic and slide guitars and piano, backed up with a gospel choir.  This is the Stones at their best.

Finally a note.  You can read in the Wikipedia entry that Mick Jagger and Keith Richards  performed this song post 9/11 for the fallen in New York City, replacing the line “Let’s drink to the good and the evil” which I assume was meant as an embrace of all humanity, with the line “Let’s drink to the good NOT the evil” which was meant to repudiate the terrorist’s actions.  You can see that performance on youtube as well, here. 


Let's drink to the hard working people
Let's think of the lowly of birth
Spare a thought for the rag taggy people
Let's drink to the salt of the earth

1 comment:

  1. For no particular reasons, I really never followed "The Rolling Stones" but for what I've read here, "IT" sounds like, they were kind of spiritually salty.

    God Bless

    ReplyDelete