Rolling Stones songs: Saint of Me
*Click for MORE ROLLING STONES SONGS 1962-PRESENT
Augustin knew temptation/ He loved women, wine and song/ And all the special pleasures/ Of doing something wrong…
Written by: Jagger/Richards
Recorded: Ocean Way Recording Studios, Hollywood, USA, March 13-July 1997
Guest musicians: Me’Shell Ndegeocello (bass), Waddy Wachtel (guitar), Billy Preston (organ), Pierre De Beauport (6-string bass), Jamie Muhoberac (keyboards), Bernard Fowler and Blondie Chaplin (background vocals)
*Data taken from Martin Elliott’s book THE ROLLING STONES COMPLETE RECORDING SESSIONS 1962-2012
This song was written as a tribute to legendary R&B performer Billy Preston, who plays keyboards on this track. Preston has had a long history of run-ins with the law for charges such as assault and drug possession. The only man ever to have recorded songs with both The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, Preston played the famous keyboard solo on the Fab Four’s “Get Back.”
Husband and wife duo Mark Gaillard and Mary Anderson sued The Stones, claiming that this was a rip-off of a song they wrote called “Oh Yeah.” They claimed Stones engineer John Bernard was in the studio when they recorded “Oh Yeah” in 1996 and brought the idea to The Stones.
Meshell Ndegeocello played bass on this track. She had a popular song as a solo artist with “If That’s Your Boyfriend (He Wasn’t Last Night)” and played on sessions with Madonna and Indigo Girls.
Samuel Bayer directed the video for this song and another Bridges To Babylon track, “Anybody Seen My Baby?”
From the The Rolling Stones – All the Songs book:
In an interview given to Paul Du Noyer in 2001, Mick Jagger revealed: “I
like using religious themes in songs. There’s quite a few, whether they’re
gospel things like the one on Exile [‘Just Wanna See His Face’] or
‘Sympathy for the Devil,’ or ‘Saint of Me’ on the last album. If it’s part of
your life then it should be part of your expression. But it’s very hard to
write a song about spirituality—as opposed to a car, for instance.” In
“Saint of Me,” Jagger refers to a number of symbolic figures from
Christianity: Saint Paul, prior to his conversion a persecutor of the early
disciples of Jesus; Saint Augustine, a devotee of the pleasures of the flesh
before repenting for his sins; John the Baptist, who paid with his life for
denouncing the sinful marriage of Herod and his sister-in-law Herodias.
The Stones singer calls them as witnesses to plead his cause. I do believe in
miracles/And I want to save my soul/And I know that I’m a sinner/I’m
gonna die here in the cold, he sings. No doubt he was alluding here to his
recurrent transgressions, in particular with the actress Uma Thurman and
the Czech model Jana Rajlich, which led to his divorce from Jerry Hall.
Released as a single with “Anyway You Look at It” as the B-side, “Saint
of Me” peaked at number 26 in the United Kingdom and number 94 in the
United States (although it also reached number 13 on the Billboard
Mainstream Rock Tracks chart).
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