Rolling Stones drop hit song Brown Sugar from tour set list 'for now'

Rolling Stones drop hit song Brown Sugar from tour set list 'for now'
Rolling Stones drop hit song Brown Sugar from tour set list 'for now'

Mick Jagger has announced the Rolling Stones have decided to stop performing Brown Sugar 'for now', amid discomfort about the 50-year-old classic's references to slavery.

The band, currently on the road for a 13-date U.S. tour, have not played Brown Sugar - one of their most recognizable songs - since kicking off in St Louis on September 26.

The 1969 song has been a staple of their live show since it came out 50 years ago, and is the second most played song in their catalog after Jumpin' Jack Flash, with 1,136 known performances, according to Rolling Stone magazine. 

The last time the Stones played it live was August 30, 2019 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida

Jagger, asked about the song's absence from their recent set lists, told The Los Angeles Times they had decided to give the song a break.

Mick Jagger is pictured in 1969 at the Altamont Speedway festival in California - the first time they played Brown Sugar. He is seen with Mick Taylor, who left the band in 1974 and was replaced with Ronnie Wood

Mick Jagger is pictured in 1969 at the Altamont Speedway festival in California - the first time they played Brown Sugar. He is seen with Mick Taylor, who left the band in 1974 and was replaced with Ronnie Wood

Mick Jagger, Keith Richards (right) and Ronnie Wood (left) are seen on stage in Nashville on Saturday night. The band have decided to stop performing Brown Sugar on this tour

Mick Jagger, Keith Richards (right) and Ronnie Wood (left) are seen on stage in Nashville on Saturday night. The band have decided to stop performing Brown Sugar on this tour

'We've played 'Brown Sugar' every night since 1970, so sometimes you think, We'll take that one out for now and see how it goes,' he said. 

Brown Sugar lyrics 

Gold Coast slave ship bound for cotton fields

Sold in the market down in New Orleans

Skydog slaver knows he's doin' all right

Hear him whip the women just around midnight

Brown Sugar, how come you taste so good

Brown Sugar, just like a young girl should

Drums beatin' cold, English blood runs hot

Lady of the house wonderin' when it's gonna stop

House boy knows that he's doin' all right

You should have heard him just around midnight

Brown Sugar, how come you taste so good?

Brown Sugar, just like a young girl should

Brown Sugar, how come you dance so good?

Brown Sugar, just like a black girl should

I bet your mama was a tent show queen

And all her boyfriends were sweet 16

I'm no school boy but I know what I like

You should have heard them just around midnight

Brown Sugar, how come you taste so good

Brown Sugar, just like a young girl should

I said, yeah, yeah, yeah, wooo!

How come you, how come you dance so good

Yeah, yeah, yeah, wooo!

Just like a, just like a black girl should

Yeah, yeah, yeah, wooo!

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'We might put it back in.'  

Keith Richards, who wrote the song with Jagger during a 1969 recording session at the famed Muscle Shoals studio in Alabama, said he was taken aback by the recent discomfort about the lyrics, since it was always a grotesque story about slavery, rape and sexual violence.

'I'm trying to figure out with the sisters quite where the beef is,' Richards, 77, said. 

'Didn't they understand this was a song about the horrors of slavery? 

'But they're trying to bury it. At the moment I don't want to get into conflicts with all of this s***. 

'But I'm hoping that we'll be able to resurrect the babe in her glory somewhere

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