Keith Richards

"Under My Thumb" Lyrical Theorist

by William Carl Ferleman

4 November 2010

Keith Richards dissects the controversial "Under My Thumb".

The Rolling Stones’ co-lyricist and guitarist Keith Richards was on NPR recently promoting his memoir, Life. Most of the chatter has centered on the Jagger-Richards relationship, but during this interview with Terry Gross, Richards theorizes about “Under My Thumb”, one of the songs he did not actually write. The argument at hand: Are the song’s lyrics anti-girl, or not? See if you can follow his logic here: “You can take it as, you know, male-female, like or it’s just people. I mean, it could be about a guy. It could’ve been, you know, this is just a guy singing, you know, that probably you’re actually under her thumb and you’re just trying to fight back. You know, and these are all sort of relationships and stuff. And I wouldn’t take it as any sexist, I can’t even go there, you know, cause I don’t think about it. I just think we know what some people are like and then those things happen. And anyway, I didn’t write the lyrics.” Thoughts?

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