Rolling Stones songs: The Lantern
*Click for MORE ROLLING STONES SONGS 1962-PRESENT
You crossed the sea of night/ Free from the spell of fright…
Also known as: Fly High As A Kite
Written by: Jagger/Richard
Recorded: Olympic Sound Studios, London, England, July 7-22-Aug. 5 1967
Guest musicians: Nicky Hopkins (piano)
*Data taken from Martin Elliott’s book THE ROLLING STONES COMPLETE RECORDING SESSIONS 1962-2012
Another one of the underappreciated songs from Their Satanic Majesties Requests, “The Lantern” is indeed a psychedelic folk song and sounds as though it was inspired by the then-popular Incredible String Band. Some excellent guitar riffs from Keith Richards on both acoustic and electric foreshadow his layered work on Beggars Banquet and Let It Bleed, and drive a subtle, but slightly bluesy melody that is one of the album’s best. Lyrically, the song seems to have literary inspirations, not unlike some of Syd Barrett’s Pink Floyd songs of the period. A very restrained and beautiful horn arrangement balances true craftsmanship with the psychedelic excess of the day that permeates the album.
From the The Rolling Stones – All the Songs book:
After the blaze of color of “She’s a Rainbow,” Mick Jagger plunges the
listener into a somber, even horrific world in “The Lantern.” My face it
turns a deathly pale/You’re talking to me through your veil, The servants
sleep/The doors are barred: it is no longer Lord Dunsany who comes to
mind, but Edgar Allan Poe, or even the pioneers of the Gothic novel, such
as Horace Walpole and Sheridan Le Fanu. There is, however, a glimmer of
hope: So, please, carry the lantern high, sings Jagger in the refrain. The
narrator is addressing the one he loved and loves still—who has passed over
to the other world. And the lantern is what unites the pair across the divide,
or perhaps represents the light that will enable him to join her.
In terms of its lyrics, “The Lantern” is one of the most fascinating songs
on the album, or indeed on any Rolling Stones album. This is probably why
it was chosen for the B-side of the single “In Another Land,” which was
released in the United States.
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Categories: Can You Hear the Music?