6.09-IN ANOTHER LAND (Rolling Stones)

Rolling Stones


In another land
Where the breeze and the trees and the flowers were blue
I stood and held your hand
And the grass grew high and the feathers floated by.
I stood and held your hand.

     And nobody else's hand will ever do.
     Nobody else will do.

          Then I awoke.
          Was this some kind of joke?
          Much to my surprise
          I opened my eyes...

We walked across the sand
And the sea and the sky and the castles were blue.
I stood and held your hand.
And the spray flew high and the feathers floated by.
I stood and held your hand.



We heard the trumpets blow
And the sky turned red when I accidentally said
That I didn't know
How I came to be here and not fast asleep in bed.
I stood and held your hand.



I believe I’m correct in stating that In Another Land was the only song that bassist Bill Wyman wrote that was recorded by the Rolling Stones, at least in the 1960s. Much of the song, according to Wyman’s own account in 1982, was recorded without the other members of the group, with the help of engineer Glyn Johns and Nicky Hopkins on keyboard. Wyman, who admitted feeling self-conscious about his voice, recorded his singing with a high degree of tremolo distortion. Two members of the Small Faces, recording next door, Steve Marriott and Ronnie Lane, joined in for the vocals. The remaining Stones liked the song and decided to include it on the album, after adding their own embellishments. Brian Jones added harpsichord and dulcimer, but the most distinctive contribution is Mick Jagger’s minor key mimicry of trumpets blowing (at the appropriate moment in the lyric), which adds a distinctively nostalgic longing to the dreamy mood of the piece. In my opinion, Jagger’s touch adds another dimension to the song, making it more complex emotionally than similar trippy songs of late classic psychedelia. (I’m thinking of some of Dave Mason’s songs for Traffic here, that I find somewhat similar, but flatter in affect, like Just For You.)

Another aspect of Another Land is the odd sort of lyrical structure it has, with a short line followed by a long one (often with interior rhyme). There is the play of color which is popular on this album, and other psychedelic albums of the time; here it entails a play between blue and red. The third verse abandons the “and” rhyme for “oh” but reinstates it in the last line, summing up a contradiction between standing in a dream and sleeping in bed. Also notable is that the song has both a refrain and a chorus, one a continuance of the verse’s pretty mood and the second, a rocking, aggressive break from it, a sudden irony: “Is this some kind of joke?” This sort of juxtaposition reminds me of I Am Waiting on the Rolling Stones’ Aftermath album.

The song ends with snoring that is best edited out for repeated listening.