Rolling Stones songs: Salt of the Earth
*Click for MORE ROLLING STONES SONGS 1962-PRESENT
Let’s think of the wavering millions/ Who need leaders but get gamblers instead…
Also known as: SILVER BLANKET
Written by: Jagger/Richard
Recorded: Olympic Sound Studios, London, England, May 9-10 & 13-18 1968; Sunset Sound Studio, Los Angeles, USA, July 1968
Guest musicians: Nicky Hopkins (piano), Watts Street Gospel Choir (backing vocals)
*Data taken from Martin Elliott’s book THE ROLLING STONES COMPLETE RECORDING SESSIONS 1962-2012
From the The Rolling Stones – All the Songs book:
The salt of the earth refers to a passage in the Bible: the Sermon on the
Mount as told in the Gospel according to Saint Matthew. “Ye are the salt of
the earth: but if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted? It is
thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under
foot of men.” In other words, people can become the “salt of the earth” by
following the precepts of Jesus Christ, which promote a taste for life itself.
In this case, the “salt of the earth” represents the “best of humankind,” what
could be called the elite. Over the course of the centuries, however, the
expression has taken on a different meaning, and is now used to denote
those who are engaged in a struggle: the workers against the bosses, the
exploited against the exploiters, and the weak against the strong.
Mick Jagger raises his glass to the hardworking people, to the lowly of
birth. He prays for the common foot soldier, for his wife and his children
who burn the fires and who still till the earth. He spares a thought for the
wavering millions who need leading but get gamblers instead, for the stay-
at-home voter his empty eyes gaze at strange beauty shows and a parade of
the gray-suited grafters. The cynicism of the Rolling Stones’ singer is
rivaled only by that of society itself.
“‘Salt of the Earth,’ I think I came up with the title of that and had the
basic spur of it, but Mick did all the verses,” reveals Keith in Life. “This
was our thing. I’d spark the idea… and after that, Mick, it’s all yours.
Halfway through he’d say, where do we break it? Where do we go to the
middle? Where’s the bridge?”
It is worth noting that the working title of this song was “Silver Blanket.”
(Ref. rolling stones salt of the earth)
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