Thread: Is "Paint It Black" Really a Sad Song?

  • avatar
    • 12 years 28 days ago
    • Posts: 713
    Is it true that The Rolling Stones' 1966 hit "Paint It, Black" was (and still is) a sad song?

    I say it is a sad song going by:
    *The humming of the main riff towards the end of the tune, just before Mick Jagger sings the line "I want to see it painted/Painted black/Black as night, black as coal/I want to see the sun blotted out from the sky..." I believe the hummed riff indicates Mick is now so sad over his supposed girlfriend's death, that words can no longer express his supposed grief.
    *The sitar part, played by Brian Jones (R.I.P., 2/28/42-7/3/69)

    Selected lyrics, which may interpret why the song is so sad lyrically:
    "I see a line of cars and they're all painted black" - The limousines and hearses.
    "With flowers and my love both never to come back" - The funeral flowers and his girlfriend in the hearse. He talks about his heart being black because of his loss.
    "I could not foresee this thing happening to you" - It was an unexpected and sudden death.
    "If I look hard enough into the setting sun/My love will laugh with me before the morning comes" - This refers to his girlfriend in Heaven.

    The line "I have to turn my head until my darkness goes" was taken from Ulysses, a novel by Irish poet James Joyce.

    ~Ben
    "I am such a purist for old information on anything '70s and '80s."
  • avatar
    • 12 years 28 days ago
    • Posts: 850
    I find it a good song.
    The Gang

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  • avatar
    • 12 years 28 days ago
    • Posts: 1282
    It was used as the Closing music for Full Metal Jacket. and the opening to Tour of Duty. (the 1980's Tv show)
    I like it. I guess it's the way you think about it.
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    • 12 years 28 days ago
    • Posts: 74775
    Surely you know if you find the song sad or not? And you don't have to justify why you find it sad.
  • avatar
    • 12 years 28 days ago
    • Posts: 335
    I'll admit I never really took the time to listen to the lyrics. They sound depressing, but the song has such a bouncy beat that it's hard for me to register it as being sad.

    No, I'm not a fan of the Rolling Stones. In fact, the first time I heard "Paint It Black" was when I played Guitar Hero III.
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    • 12 years 27 days ago
    • Posts: 1841
    I found the lyrics a bit dull and negative, but part of the tune is good.
    I first came across the song in Singstar Rocks and again in Guitar Hero 3
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    • 12 years 27 days ago
    • Posts: 4311
    It's not sad, a bit dark, maybe, but not sad. Lots of music have sad, dark or "depressing" lyrics, but they're not sad songs.
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