Song of the Day: Ruby Tuesday by The Rolling Stones (Melanie Safka cover)

Goodbye by Orrinoco

Ruby Tuesday” is a song recorded by The Rolling Stones in 1966, released in January 1967. Melanie Safka released a version of the song on her album Candles in the Rain; her version was a UK Top Ten hit that year. She recorded a second cover version on her 1978 album Ballroom Streets.

Lyrics:

She would never say where she came from
Yesterday don’t matter if it’s gone
While the sun is bright
Or in the darkest night
No one knows, she comes and goes

Goodbye Ruby Tuesday
Who could hang a name on you?
When you change with every new day
Still I’m gonna miss you

Don’t question why she needs to be so free
She’ll tell you it’s the only way to be
She just can’t be chained
To a life where nothings gained
And nothings lost, at such a cost

Goodbye Ruby Tuesday
Who could hang a name on you?
When you change with every new day
Still I’m gonna miss you

“There’s no time to lose”, I heard her say
Catch your dreams before they slip away
Dying all the time
Lose your dreams and you will lose your mind
Ain’t life unkind?

Goodbye Ruby Tuesday
Who could hang a name on you?
When you change with every new day
Still I’m gonna miss you

Goodbye Ruby Tuesday
Who could hang a name on you?
When you change with every new day
Still I’m gonna miss you

……

Original by The Rolling Stones

According to Keith Richards in a 1971 Rolling Stone interview, he wrote the song in a Los Angeles hotel room in early 1966 about a groupie he knew; he has also stated that it was about Linda Keith, his girlfriend in the mid-1960s. The song’s lyrics concern an apparently free-spirited woman, with Jagger singing, “Who could hang a name on you?/When you change with every new day/Still I’m gonna miss you.”

“That’s a wonderful song,” Mick Jagger told Jann Wenner in 1995. “It’s just a nice melody, really. And a lovely lyric. Neither of which I wrote, but I always enjoy singing it.” Bill Wyman states in Rolling with the Stones that the lyrics were completely written by Keith Richards with help from Brian Jones on the musical composition. However, Marianne Faithfull recalls it differently; according to her, Brian Jones presented an early version of this melody to the rest of the Rolling Stones. According to Victor Bockris, Richards came up with the basic track and the words and finished the song with Jones in the studio.

According to Richards’s autobiography, Life, the song was written about his girlfriend Linda Keith. Linda had taken up with Jimi Hendrix, and had got involved with drugs. She left Richards, and he tried to get her back. He eventually went to her parents and told them she was going down a dark path. Linda’s father went to New York to collect her, and by order of court she was grounded. Richards reports that Linda regarded this as a betrayal, and they did not speak again for many years. According to Richards’s autobiography, Linda Keith survived, brought up a family, and now lives in New Orleans.

Rolling Stone magazine ranked the song #310 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. The song title was the source of therestaurant chain of the same name.

The song was released on two consecutively released US albums: Between the Buttons and Flowers. The 2002 ABKCO reissues of the song is missing a vocal overdub in the chorus, but this appears to be an error, as the version on 2007’s Rolled Gold+, 2012’s GRRR!’ and the 2013 iTunes remasters contain the overdub.

Other cover versions

  • 1967: Richard Anthony recorded a French version called “fille sauvage”
  • 1967: Rotary Connection’s rendition, with Minnie Riperton on vocals, appeared on their album Rotary Connection.
  • 1969: Oliver released a version of the song on his album Good Morning Starshine.
  • 1979: Pozo-Seco Singers featuring Don Williams released a version of the song on their album Spend Some Time With Me.
  • 1984: Nazareth released a version of the song on their album The Catch.
  • 1989: Julian Lennon released a version of the song on the compilation album entitled The Wonder Years: Music from the Emmy Award-Winning Show & Its Era, a soundtrack for The Wonder Years TV series.
  • 1989: “Weird Al” Yankovic recorded this song and 11 other Rolling Stones songs in his polka medley, “The Hot Rocks Polka”.
  • 1993: Rod Stewart recorded a version of the song that was included on his 1993 compilation album Lead Vocalist.
  • 1994: Marianne Faithfull released a version of the song on the album Symphonic Music of The Rolling Stones by the London Symphony Orchestra.
  • 1999: Franco Battiato released a version of the song on his album Fleurs and it was prominently featured in the 2006 film Children of Men.
  • 2002: The Corrs recorded a version of the song with Ronnie Wood on their album VH1 Live in Dublin and also included it on their 2006 greatest hits album Dreams: The Ultimate Corrs Collection.
  • 2002: Gotthard released a version of the song on their album One Life One Soul.
  • 2007: Sylvie Vartan released a version of the song on her album Nouvelle Vague.
  • 2007: Declan Galbraith released a cover version of the song in his third album You and Me.
  • 2011: Scorpions released a version of the song on their album Comeblack.
  • 2011: Yanokami released a version of the song on their album Tohku wa Chikai.
  • A snippet of the song is often sung by Bono along with “Sympathy for the Devil” during performances of “Bad” at U2 concerts. An example of this is in the U2 documentary/concert footage film Rattle and Hum from 1988.
  • Katey Sagal, who portrays Gemma Teller Morrow on the FX drama Sons of Anarchy, recorded a cover of the song for the show’s second EP, Shelter.
  • Lacey Brown covered the song during the ninth season of American Idol during the The Rolling Stones theme week. Her full-length recording of the song was available for purchase as “Ruby Tuesday (American Idol Studio Version) – Single” on the iTunes Store during the season’s run.
  • Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine make significant reference to the song in their 1991 single “After The Watershed”.
  • Crosby, Stills, & Nash performed a cover of “Ruby Tuesday” on 31 August 2010, during their performance at the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts (The original Woodstock site in Sullivan County, New York).
  • Mick Jagger performed it with Win Butler and Regine Chassagne of Arcade Fire in a medley with “She’s a Rainbow” on the 19 May 2012 episode of Saturday Night Live as longtime cast member Kristen Wiig bid farewell to the show.

Melanie Safka

Birth name Melanie Anne Safka
Born February 3, 1947 (age 67)
Origin Astoria, Queens, New York, United States
Genres Folk, pop, country
Occupations Singer, songwriter, musician
Instruments Vocals, guitar
Years active 1967–present
Website http://www.melaniesafka.com

The Rolling Stones

Also known as The Stones
Origin Dartford, Kent, England,
Genres Rock, blues rock, rock and roll,rhythm and blues, hard rock, blues,country
Years active 1962–present
Labels Decca, London, Rolling Stones,Virgin, ABKCO, Interscope, Polydor
Website rollingstones.com
Members
  • Mick Jagger
  • Keith Richards
  • Charlie Watts
  • Ronnie Wood
Past members
  • Brian Jones
  • Ian Stewart
  • Bill Wyman
  • Mick Taylor

image by Orrinoco

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