Mick Jagger Rewrote a Rolling Stones Song Because of the Coronavirus Pandemic

Mick Jagger wrote a number of inflammatory lyrics for The Rolling Stones’ songs. Despite this, he felt some of the lyrics of a Rolling Stones song sounded too bleak during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Because of this, he altered the song’s lyrics somewhat.

This Rolling Stones song might remind people of the coronavirus pandemic

The Rolling Stones released most of their famous songs between the 1960s and the 1980s. They have released music in the decades since. While The Rolling Stones’ sound remains indebted to their past, it’s sometimes distressingly relevant.

For example, the band’s song “Living in a Ghost Town” has lyrics that are reminiscent of the ongoing pandemic. It’s about a place that was full of life before everyone was “locked down.” The narrator of the song mentions trying to have a good time while he’s alone.

How Mick Jagger altered the lyrics of The Rolling Stones’ ‘Living in a Ghost Town’

During an interview with Zane Lowe of Apple Music, Jagger explained the relationship between “Living in a Ghost Town” and the pandemic. “It wasn’t written for now, but it was written about being in a place which was full of life,” he said. “And then now there’s all bereft of life, so to speak. And when I went back to what I’d written originally lyrically, it was all full of, well, I didn’t use them in the lyrics, it was all full of plague terms and things like that. 

“I never actually used that, but it was all there,” Jagger continued. “It was very close to the times that we’re living through now. But Keith Richards and I both had the idea that we should release it.”

Jagger discussed changing the lyrics of “Living in a Ghost Town.” “But I said, ‘Well, I’ve got to rewrite it,’” he recalled. “Some of it is not going to work and some of it was a bit weird and a bit too dark. So I slightly rewrote it. I didn’t have to rewrite very much, to be honest. It’s very much how I originally did it.”

How the world reacted to ‘Living in a Ghost Town’ after Mick Jagger changed it

“Living in a Ghost Town” became a minor hit in the United Kingdom. According to The Official Charts Company, the song reached No. 61 in the U.K., staying on the chart for two weeks. It was The Rolling Stones’ first song to chart in the U.K. since their 2012 single “Doom and Gloom.” On the other hand, “Living in a Ghost Town” did not chart on the Billboard Hot 100. None of The Rolling Stones’ songs reached the Billboard Hot 100 since remixes of “Sympathy for the Devil” charted in 2003.

“Living in a Ghost Town” was initially too bleak for Jagger’s taste; however, the final version of the song seemed to resonate somewhat with U.K. audiences.

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