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The Rolling Stones — Salt of the Earth
Album: Beggar's Banquet
Avg rating:
7.2

Your rating:
Total ratings: 717









Released: 1969
Length: 4:45
Plays (last 30 days): 1
Let's drink to the hard working people
Let's drink to the lowly of birth
Raise your glass to the good and the evil
Let's drink to the salt of the earth

Say a prayer for the common foot soldier
Spare a thought for his back breaking work
Say a prayer for his wife and his children
Who burn the fires and who still till the earth

And when I search a faceless crowd
A swirling mass of gray and
Black and white
They don't look real to me
In fact, they look so strange

Raise your glass to the hard working people
Let's drink to the uncounted heads
Let's think of the wavering millions
Who need leaders but get gamblers instead

Spare a thought for the stay-at-home voter
His empty eyes gaze at strange beauty shows
And a parade of the gray suited grafters
A choice of cancer or polio

And when I look in the faceless crowd
A swirling mass of grays and
Black and white
They don't look real to me
Or don't they look so strange

Let's drink to the hard working people
Let's think of the lowly of birth
Spare a thought for the rag taggy people
Let's drink to the salt of the earth

Let's drink to the hard working people
Let's drink to the salt of the earth
Let's drink to the two thousand million
Let's think of the humble of birth
Comments (139)add comment
 rdo wrote:
{#Cheers}  here's to the hard working people....BTW...my ass hurts...my back hurts...I have carpal tunnel....my eyes hurt...WORKING IN A CUBE IS HELL!


True story, all kidding aside.  My bro did not graduate high school.   Works his ass off in construction and is well-off and one of the few genuinely happy people I have ever met in my life.  He tells me honestly there is no place he'd rather be than at work.  Me? Masters degree and commensurate "career".  Miserable.......  
 

I suspect that cube farms may become a thing of the past....   (because COVID)
 macadavy wrote:
Revolutionary Rolling Stones:
"Let's drink to the hard working people
Let's drink to the salt of the earth
Let's drink to the two thousand million
Let's think of the humble of birth"

 

I'm sure that this would be considered revolutionary today - just not in the "usual" direction.
Revolutionary Rolling Stones:
"Let's drink to the hard working people
Let's drink to the salt of the earth
Let's drink to the two thousand million
Let's think of the humble of birth"

 Prodigal_SOB wrote:

 I have long said that my three favorite country bands are Ray Charles, the Stones, and the Dead in that order.

 
I like your choices!
 amyhukill wrote:
So nice to hear a stones song that isn't rediculously over played! Thanks

Great tune
 

 


The Rolling Stones sing that there were 2,000 million people in 1969.  Now, only 47 years later, there are 7,300 million of us.  Yikes!
 sirdroseph wrote:

I have always felt the Stones were at their best when they went country!{#Yes}{#Clap}

 
 I have long said that my three favorite country bands are Ray Charles, the Stones, and the Dead in that order.
 h8rhater wrote:

Don't go away angry. Just... just go away.

 

indeed
that has to be thier worst song - never have heard this

It was quite moving when they sang this at the 911 Benefit concert for the responders.{#Cheers}


 fredriley wrote:
Is it me, or is the guitar in those opening chords a semi or so out of tune? Ol' Rubber Lips' singing surely is. Not one of the Stones finest, IMO. Other songs on the album are the dog's bollox, mind.


 

A Ricky double hum-bucking 12-string with the "e" set detuned.
{#Cheers}  here's to the hard working people....BTW...my ass hurts...my back hurts...I have carpal tunnel....my eyes hurt...WORKING IN A CUBE IS HELL!


True story, all kidding aside.  My bro did not graduate high school.   Works his ass off in construction and is well-off and one of the few genuinely happy people I have ever met in my life.  He tells me honestly there is no place he'd rather be than at work.  Me? Masters degree and commensurate "career".  Miserable.......  

Everybody in my churches loves this song...
 
 kingart wrote:
Nice treatment this, but I'm tired of the overplayed and relentlessly FM hyped Stones, even if it's a tune seldom heard there and welcome here. Worse, by the early '80s Jagger became a parody of an impersonator of Paint it Black Jagger.  It's the paradox of a classic band and music that was both overplayed and overrated, they wore out their welcome. From now on, I'll give the Stones two votes: 8 for being irreplaceable, but a 4 for the contempt of familiarity. And after Some Girls, Jagger was no longer a good vocalist, so chances are I just turn off the speakers or change the channel. 
 
Don't go away angry. Just... just go away.
I liked that recent cover better.  You can barely understand what they are saying.  Does this need to be "remastered"?
this song always warms my heart. just love it.
Being in tune is highly overated.

Synergy can overcome that.
Keef sings! Now if we can just get "Happy" up and going here, we'd get to hear more of his lovely, nasally warble.

So nice to hear a stones song that isn't rediculously over played! Thanks

Great tune
 
 fredriley wrote:
Is it me, or is the guitar in those opening chords a semi or so out of tune? Ol' Rubber Lips' singing surely is. Not one of the Stones finest, IMO. Other songs on the album are the dog's bollox, mind.

 
   I'm sure it is and it's Keith on this one..so yeah, it's perfectly out of tune



Everybody in my hotel room loves this song...

 
 Stingray wrote:

no idea! But certainly not the "German" cover!
 
It certainly WAS this sleeve image I bought it with back in the 80s. Guess where.

Nice treatment this, but I'm tired of the overplayed and relentlessly FM hyped Stones, even if it's a tune seldom heard there and welcome here. Worse, by the early '80s Jagger became a parody of an impersonator of Paint it Black Jagger.  It's the paradox of a classic band and music that was both overplayed and overrated, they wore out their welcome. From now on, I'll give the Stones two votes: 8 for being irreplaceable, but a 4 for the contempt of familiarity. And after Some Girls, Jagger was no longer a good vocalist, so chances are I just turn off the speakers or change the channel. 
A great ending to one of the Stones' finest. Every time I hear this album or Let it Bleed or Exile, it makes me wish the Stones still made records like this.
Is it me, or is the guitar in those opening chords a semi or so out of tune? Ol' Rubber Lips' singing surely is. Not one of the Stones finest, IMO. Other songs on the album are the dog's bollox, mind.

I'm never sure whether the comments here are truly ignorant or just snarky.  Trying not to dip my toe in the water anymore, because invariably, when I do I end up with a piranha gobbling my comments and regurgitating something that in no way resembles what I said...

Wow - that was almost creative... {#Eek}
 Businessgypsy wrote:
Michael Philip Jagger, alumnus London School of Economics
 
{#Clap} Well played sir!

{#Bananajam}How come you never hear songs like this from the Stones? You always hear the same &$^%*#&$*# songs...RP is always refreshing, playing things we don't hear every day. Thanks!

 Shimmer wrote:

I think "unbelievably" is the key word in your question. Mick Jagger isn't exactly a man of the people, so the song doesn't ring true. I think that explains why the song escaped you (and everyone else) for 40 years.

 
It never escaped me.  You may want to stick to using first-person narration when stating an opinion.

Best LP they put out, due imo to Nicky Hopkins and Dave Mason. Slide by Brian was nice too.
 Paul_in_Australia wrote:
I have never heard a "British" accent in my life and I lived there for 30 years 
 
...it's called BBC received and it's fallen out of use over the past thirty years:  witness trans-atlantic english as a similarly obsolescent cultivated accent...
 jim1964 wrote:

Kind of like why the folks at NASA never really believed Elton John was a real astronaut when he sang Rocket Man.
 
{#Lol}    {#Clap}  I love this song anyway. Keith could pass for a homeless man (possibly even a dead one badly-embalmed.) And I don't think it's that Charlie Watts is a BAD drummer - he's just lazy. {#Mrgreen}
 Shimmer wrote:

I think "unbelievably" is the key word in your question. Mick Jagger isn't exactly a man of the people, so the song doesn't ring true. I think that explains why the song escaped you (and everyone else) for 40 years.
 
Kind of like why the folks at NASA never really believed Elton John was a real astronaut when he sang Rocket Man.
There ya go.
These guys are horrible!  What kind of music is this?  Worthless hacks.
Nice!!
I love in "Rock and Roll Circus" when they play this song, Mick is holding a lyric sheet in front of him.  Awesome stuff.  It's easy enough to find on Youtube.
 Precisely.  While this is great music off my fave Stones album, it was ultimately just blue collar poseur art.  Look to Billy Bragg or even Mark Knopfler for the real deal.  

Shimmer wrote:

I think "unbelievably" is the key word in your question. Mick Jagger isn't exactly a man of the people, so the song doesn't ring true. I think that explains why the song escaped you (and everyone else) for 40 years.
 

 sandpebble wrote:
Sing it Keith!!!
 
Keith in the right channel... Mick in the left!
Back ground singers all over the place. {#Jump}


Sing it Keith!!!
 gjeeg wrote:
How did this unbelievably class-conscious song escape me for the past forty years?
 
I think "unbelievably" is the key word in your question. Mick Jagger isn't exactly a man of the people, so the song doesn't ring true. I think that explains why the song escaped you (and everyone else) for 40 years.

peter_james_bond wrote:
"Raise your glass to the hard working people
Let's drink to the uncounted heads
Let's think of the wavering millions
Who need leaders but get gamblers instead"

How could they know about the Wizards of Wall Street in 1968? {#Cheers}
Michael Philip Jagger, alumnus London School of Economics

Why does the lead singer effect such a strong English accent?

;-) 
I have never heard a "British" accent in my life and I lived there for 30 years 

 sirdroseph wrote:

I have always felt the Stones were at their best when they went country!{#Yes}{#Clap}

 
I guess this is countryish because of the strong acoustic guitar and slide? I like this.
 OldFrenchie wrote:
Why is it that just because this is the Stones, it has to be loved and revered?
Can't a guy just not like the sound of a song, despite who performs it?
This is a 4 at best.
 
4 out of 4, yes, agreed.

 tom-kenna wrote:

My favorite Stones LP. This must be the English Album cover.

 
no idea! But certainly not the "German" cover!


 sirdroseph wrote:

I have always felt the Stones were at their best when they went country!{#Yes}{#Clap}


 

Ooooh - is that what the "MONGOLS" think...? Interesting!
Another proof that Charlie is one of the lousiest drummers ever born!

How can he boss a jazz-band?
I just don't get it!

...and certainly dislike this anti-Stones song!
 sirdroseph wrote:

I have always felt the Stones were at their best when they went country!{#Yes}{#Clap}


 
Interestig...i hear more blues in this than country...but I agree that this is the stones at their finest!

I have always felt the Stones were at their best when they went country!{#Yes}{#Clap}


 gjeeg wrote:
Jesus.
How did this unbelievably class-conscious song escape me for the past forty years?

My appreciation of the Stones just grows with the years.

Maybe if Mick had enunciated better, their message would have been better heard.

 
Ditto & well said

I can't drink right now...I'm working. {#Wink}
 roccoeugene wrote:
Hooray for the stones deep cuts!
 
My favorite Stones LP. This must be the English Album cover.

{#Mrgreen}
I am working too hard to drink{#Arghhh}
 roccoeugene wrote:
Hooray for the stones deep cuts!
 
Any deep cuts from any great band, RP at its best...{#Sunny}

let's drink hard to working people
Let's drink to the hard working people! {#Cheers}

This is why I LOVE Radio Paradise! Never heard this song before. Thanks Bill!
 birdland wrote:
Maybe you had to be there. I don't know. I'm tired of trying to pump sense into heads. When I first heard Beggars Banquet, I was 12. It blew my little mind, along with all the rest of the stuff that was happening then. In that context, I have a fondness for the sound of these songs. But they don't just remind me of that, they show me the brilliance of effort they represent in time, when I lay that context over what's available today - even the peak of brilliance today. They are hard to match in so many ways.

I love this.
 
Well said  — sad but true IMHO ... {#Cheers} Let's drink!

Hooray for the stones deep cuts!
 thewiseking wrote:
one of the all time greats. this is rock and roll at its most powerful. the Stones at their best recorded during a brief magical time when they could do no wrong.
 
I agree. Their studio albums from Beggar's Banquet to Exile on Main Street were second to none.  (IMHO).

 peter_james_bond wrote:
"Raise your glass to the hard working people
Let's drink to the uncounted heads
Let's think of the wavering millions
Who need leaders but get gamblers instead"

How could they know about the Wizards of Wall Street in 1968? {#Cheers}
 
Because the "Wizards of Wall Street" did the same damned thing in 1898 and 1929 that they did in 2000-2008. It's that whole "learn from history so you don't have to repeat it" thing.

Or something like that. Good times! {#Wave}
 thewiseking wrote:
one of the all time greats. this is rock and roll at its most powerful. the Stones at their best recorded during a brief magical time when they could do no wrong.
 

The Stones are called "the world's greatest rock and roll band" but one has to all the way back to this album or perhaps "Let It Bleed" to have a sense of why this was once true.

one of the all time greats. this is rock and roll at its most powerful. the Stones at their best recorded during a brief magical time when they could do no wrong.
Jesus.
How did this unbelievably class-conscious song escape me for the past forty years?

My appreciation of the Stones just grows with the years.

Maybe if Mick had enunciated better, their message would have been better heard.

"Raise your glass to the hard working people
Let's drink to the uncounted heads
Let's think of the wavering millions
Who need leaders but get gamblers instead"

How could they know about the Wizards of Wall Street in 1968? {#Cheers}
And a great version of JJFlash!

jagdriver wrote:
snitramc wrote: For a good rendition of this song, as well as many English invasion bands, do check out the DVD called "The Rolling Stones' Rock and Roll Circus". It was filmed in a BBC studio around 1967. It features Jethro Tull, Marianne Faithful, The Who, John Lennon/Yoko/Eric Clapton, the Stones, and others. It rocks, especially when the Stones do Sympathy for the Devil. They close the film with this song and it made me feel very different about this song. I like the gospel feel at the end.

===========

To this I might add that the drummer playing behing Clapton and Lennon is none other than Mitch Mitchell, who passed away a couple of days ago. There's also a couple of numbers by Taj Mahal, with Jesse Ed Davis on guitar (the latter played on Lennon's Rock 'N' Roll release).
This is a terrific release, Sympathy For the Devil aside. Parachute Woman, Jigsaw Puzzle, Factory Girl... all great tunes!




Like the weird guitar sound too. They played this at the Concert for NYC.


 jim1964 wrote:
I just love the piano playing with the chorus at the end.

 
That would be Nicky Hopkins, who also played with Quicksilver Messenger Service.

I just love the piano playing with the chorus at the end.

snitramc wrote: For a good rendition of this song, as well as many English invasion bands, do check out the DVD called "The Rolling Stones' Rock and Roll Circus". It was filmed in a BBC studio around 1967. It features Jethro Tull, Marianne Faithful, The Who, John Lennon/Yoko/Eric Clapton, the Stones, and others. It rocks, especially when the Stones do Sympathy for the Devil. They close the film with this song and it made me feel very different about this song. I like the gospel feel at the end.

===========

To this I might add that the drummer playing behing Clapton and Lennon is none other than Mitch Mitchell, who passed away a couple of days ago. There's also a couple of numbers by Taj Mahal, with Jesse Ed Davis on guitar (the latter played on Lennon's Rock 'N' Roll release).
This is a terrific release, Sympathy For the Devil aside. Parachute Woman, Jigsaw Puzzle, Factory Girl... all great tunes!

still, a big fav of mine.
saw shine a light this past weekend. great stuff.
Why is it that just because this is the Stones, it has to be loved and revered?
Can't a guy just not like the sound of a song, despite who performs it?
This is a 4 at best.
Maybe you had to be there. I don't know. I'm tired of trying to pump sense into heads. When I first heard Beggars Banquet, I was 12. It blew my little mind, along with all the rest of the stuff that was happening then. In that context, I have a fondness for the sound of these songs. But they don't just remind me of that, they show me the brilliance of effort they represent in time, when I lay that context over what's available today - even the peak of brilliance today. They are hard to match in so many ways.

I love this.


A totally underrated tune from the rock and rolling uglies.  "Jigsaw Puzzle" is another.  Total respect for longevity and their love for playing - see "Shine a Light"
 Pyro wrote:
Ok, I'll probably get flamed for this.

Sloppy playing, crappy intonation on Mick's vocals...this just isn't their best....

 

Sloppy playing, Keith's opening vocals and craggy backups out of tune.......a CLASSIC  YEAH — Bring in the Choir ——Did you hear this at the Concert for Heroes after 9-11 — Amazing Moment — great underrated album - sloppy and fabulous- just like Exile......Rock and Roll
And if you don't like this than you don't like rock and roll
Great song! One of the best old bluesy Stones songs, I think. 
{#Puke}
Doesn't get much better than Charlie's playing on this.
Wow, I have been noticing the Stones everywhere lately (in the movie theater, on the radio, their own station on Sirius and even here on RP). I am enjoying rediscovering them. They were one of the few things my Dad and I always agreed on.
That's MY bathroom goddamit! :shifty:
A failed effort.
Love the song, hate the vocals here, meh.
Hannio wrote:
I can't either, now that you mention it.
Scroll down...it's an awfully boring cover.
the Stones at their transcendent best. powerful, still.
Pharlap wrote:
Ah the original cover, which was deemed too racy for the American consumer. I remember somehow getting a facsimilie of the Import cover and gluing it over my domestic cover. I'd been looking at that since 1969 and can't remember what the "real" US cover looked like.
I can't either, now that you mention it.
Ah the original cover, which was deemed too racy for the American consumer. I remember somehow getting a facsimilie of the Import cover and gluing it over my domestic cover. I'd been looking at that since 1969 and can't remember what the "real" US cover looked like.
Ok, I'll probably get flamed for this. Sloppy playing, crappy intonation on Mick's vocals...this just isn't their best....
ronniegirl wrote:
Ah, when the lads were young! As were we all then!
i agee i saw the film was taken back there,esp when they talk about what was really going on then....spanish tony the dealer,hes in the crowd too.....he he
snitramc wrote:
For a good rendition of this song, as well as many English invasion bands, do check out the DVD called "The Rolling Stones' Rock and Roll Circus". It was filmed in a BBC studio around 1967. It features Jethro Tull, Marianne Faithful, The Who, John Lennon/Yoko/Eric Clapton, the Stones, and others. It rocks, especially when the Stones do Sympathy for the Devil. They close the film with this song and it made me feel very different about this song. I like the gospel feel at the end.
Ah, when the lads were young! As were we all then!
The line about drinking to the two thousand million reminds me that when this came out in 1968, there were less than three billion people on Earth. In 2007, we're going on seven billion. Yikes!
suddenchad wrote:
The single most overlooked and underrated Stones song ever. You people who complain about the tempo? Listen to the whole thing. It builds and builds and gets fast at the end. It's a really uplifting, almost spiritual song in my opinion.
I'm with you, bro.
ch83575 wrote:
There was also a great banquet shot inside that also didn't appear in the dumbed down version. My father-in-law has the original... i have the dumbed down :-(
I might be remembering this backward... perhaps he has the white cover and that is the on with the cool inside, and mine is a re-issue with the great cover but without the inside art. Either way this and Let it Bleed are probably my two favorite stones albums.
junebaby65 wrote:
Love this album, their best 60's release. This album cover was deemed to be too offensive since it's a photo of a rather nasty toilet area. This was just too much to take back then so a rather generic cover was put in its place.
There was also a great banquet shot inside that also didn't appear in the dumbed down version. My father-in-law has the original... i have the dumbed down :-(
snitramc wrote:
check out the DVD called "The Rolling Stones' Rock and Roll Circus". They close the film with this song and it made me feel very different about this song.
I just acquired this DVD by donating to our local PBS station...and it's so very cool.
junebaby65 wrote:
Love this album, their best 60's release. This album cover was deemed to be too offensive since it's a photo of a rather nasty toilet area. This was just too much to take back then so a rather generic cover was put in its place.
Like this one? I had never seen the original cover art until today (thank you RP)! What was considered offensive in the 60's is NOTHING today.
YEAH! I got my coffee mug raised high (in lieu of a pint)
Lotus_Miata wrote:
Hey... this is a different album cover from the one I remember. Why?
Love this album, their best 60's release. This album cover was deemed to be too offensive since it's a photo of a rather nasty toilet area. This was just too much to take back then so a rather generic cover was put in its place.
For a good rendition of this song, as well as many English invasion bands, do check out the DVD called "The Rolling Stones' Rock and Roll Circus". It was filmed in a BBC studio around 1967. It features Jethro Tull, Marianne Faithful, The Who, John Lennon/Yoko/Eric Clapton, the Stones, and others. It rocks, especially when the Stones do Sympathy for the Devil. They close the film with this song and it made me feel very different about this song. I like the gospel feel at the end.
Hey... this is a different album cover from the one I remember. Why?
The single most overlooked and underrated Stones song ever. You people who complain about the tempo? Listen to the whole thing. It builds and builds and gets fast at the end. It's a really uplifting, almost spiritual song in my opinion.
I see the pace and tone of the song differently. Spend eight or more hours on your feet day after day, and you'll feel the way they sound. As a tribute to the schlubs who keep the world running, it's fitting for the song to be one step above dirge tempo. c.
PacificNWPariah wrote:
Indeed! :cheers:
Belly up to the bar!
beansoup wrote:
MrsAustin wrote:
They sound old and tired...whaddyknow, they are. Time for meds and to bed boys.
This song is almost 40 years old. They were in their mid 20s I think? Like it or not, its still classic Stones. Not old or tired imo.
Even though i know you (beansoup) are right, i still have to agree with MrsAustin :) I like the Stones a lot and Beggar's Banquet is one of my favourite Stones album, but this song i always skip.
thanks for playing this song. first time i've ever heard it not on my own hi-fi. it is truly great
Indeed! :cheers:
Listen closely and you'll find that there's a whole lot of drinkin' going on.
Let's drink to the Orange County heads. Timothy Leary we loved you!
One of their five best albums IMHO.
siloco wrote:
this almost sound like Mick doing Zimmerman... nice underexposed track...
Sympathy demos were done with Dylan phrasing and Satisfaction was initially written as a kinda of Dylan-style song. he was big influence on them. magnificent song. I saw the Stones play this year, and they still have the goods.
MrsAustin wrote:
They sound old and tired...whaddyknow, they are. Time for meds and to bed boys.
This song is almost 40 years old. They were in their mid 20s I think? Like it or not, its still classic Stones. Not old or tired imo.
Go Sir Mick!
Requested at 2:11 CST (so 12:11) played at 1:19. Bill's the man!
A new record for RP from my observations on artist frequency. 1:19 pm - Rolling Stones - Salt of the Earth 11:53 am - Rolling Stones - Time Waits For No One 1 hour 26 minutes apart.
They sound old and tired...whaddyknow, they are. Time for meds and to bed boys.
this almost sounds like Mick doing Zimmerman... nice underexposed track...
Not a huge fan of this song, but I thought it was a nice choice for the Concert for NYC.
I\'d never heard this cut, so it was interesting....about 10 times ago. Worn out its welcome now.