Saturday, January 27, 2018

The Rolling Stones: 19th Nervous Breakdown (1966)


The Rolling Stones perform “19th Nervous Breakdown” on Bandstand (1958–1972; TCN-TV), broadcast from Sydney, Australia, on February 17, 1966. The song is the first track on side two on the 1966 album, Big Hits (High Tide and Green Grass).
Via: Youtube


This song, recorded in December 1965, was released a few months later. The lyrics, self-explanatory, are essentially about spoiled rich girls who never grow up into kind responsible adults. A bit of social commentary from a rock band at a time when the term “nervous breakdown” was in vogue.

Not so much now, it seems. Today, for example, mental breakdowns are called psychological burnout, depression and mental health disorders, which, despite the different terms, are all just as severe and debilitating to the human mind. You better stop, look around.

To be sure, there are still rich girls and boys, who have too much toys, and who were never brought up right, but they do not cry all night. Such persons have learned their lessons well; now they make others have nervous breakdowns with their economic spells.

A performance, though a greatly subdued one, in comparison to the one above, on “The Ed Sullivan Show” (CBS-TV; February 13, 1966), can be viewed [here]; Jagger is wearing a jacket, which is not his usual stage attire. Constriction.Infliction.Restriction.

19TH NERVOUS BREAKDOWN (Mick Jagger & Keith Richards)

You’re the kind of person you meet at certain dismal dull affairs.
Center of a crowd, talking much too loud running up and down the stairs.
Well, it seems to me that you have seen too much in too few years.
And though you've tried you just can't hide your eyes are edged with tears.

You better stop, look around,
Here it comes, here it comes, here it comes, here it comes.
Here comes your nineteenth nervous breakdown.

When you were a child you were treated kind
But you were never brought up right.
You were always spoiled with a thousand toys but still you cried all night.
Your mother who neglected you owes a million dollars tax.
And your father's still perfecting ways of making sealing wax.

You better stop, look around,
Here it comes, here it comes, here it comes, here it comes.
Here comes your nineteenth nervous breakdown.

Oh, who’s to blame, that girl's just insane.
Well nothing I do don’t seem to work,
It only seems to make matters worse. Oh please.

You were still in school when you had that fool who really messed your mind.
And after that you turned your back on treating people kind.
On our first trip I tried so hard to rearrange your mind.
But after a while I realized you were disarranging mine.

You better stop, look around,
Here it comes, here it comes, here it comes, here it comes.
Here comes your nineteenth nervous breakdown.

Oh, who’s to blame, that girl's just insane.
Well nothing I do don’t seem to work,
It only seems to make matters worse. Oh please.

When you were a child you were treated kind
But you were never brought up right.
You were always spoiled with a thousand toys but still you cried all night.
Your mother who neglected you owes a million dollars tax.
And your father’s still perfecting ways of making sealing wax.

You better stop, look around,
Here it comes
Here comes your nineteenth nervous breakdown.
Here comes your nineteenth nervous breakdown.
Here comes your nineteenth nervous breakdown.
Here comes your nineteenth nervous breakdown.
Here comes your nineteenth nervous breakdown.
Here comes your nineteenth nervous breakdown.

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