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1.20-I AM WAITING (Rolling Stones)

Rolling Stones

LISTEN

I am waiting, I am waiting
Oh yeah, oh yeah.
I am waiting, I am waiting
Oh yeah, oh yeah.

Waiting for someone to come out of somewhere.
Waiting for someone to come out of somewhere.

You can't hold out, you can't hold out
Oh yeah, oh yeah.
You can't hold out, you can't hold out
Oh yeah, oh yeah.

[Refrain]

     See it come along.
     Don't know where it's from.
     Oh, yes you will find out.
     Well, it happens all the time.
     It's censored from our minds.
     You'll find out.

Slow or fast, slow or fast
Oh yeah, oh yeah.
End at last, end at last
Oh yeah, oh yeah.

[Refrain]

     ‘Stead of coming years
     And escalating fears
     (Oh, yes we will find out)
     Well, like a Winter storm
     Fears will pierce your bones
     You'll find out.

Oh we're waiting, oh we're waiting
Oh yeah, oh yeah.
Oh we're waiting (ting), oh we're waiting (ting)
Oh yeah, oh yeah.

[Refrain]

Oh we're waiting… (4x)


To be honest, I didn’t have any idea what this song was about when it was released on Aftermath, because Jagger doesn’t pronounce some of his lines clearly (a frequent complaint about him). Only on looking at the lyrics, slim as they are, do I realize that this is about death sneaking up on you “like a Winter storm”, which can be devastating in England. The lyrics have a paranoid edge as if “someone” is going to come out of “somewhere” and kill us. “It [Death] happens all the time”, is an observation Jagger makes in Paint It Black (“like a newborn baby it just happens every day”), even though we don’t like to think about it. The link between the two songs suggests there was a personal loss at this time for Jagger, and these songs in some way record his thoughts about the passing of someone dear. Unlike Paint It Black, the song is more of a meditation than a dramatization, more philosophical than grieving.

The dulcimer is again pulled out for this song, but the arrangement is not as developed as Lady Jane; it is more atmospheric than melodic, with a lot of percussive echo behind it. The couple of B stanzas lapse into familiar rock and roll. However, I feel the creepiness of the A section's tippy toe melodic line--as if in a ballet--does convey well the mood of the lyrics.

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