Paint It Black

It is once again Friday and that means time for another song.  This is an oldie, but a goodie.  I am not a huge Rolling Stones fan, but I have always really liked this song.  It is dark and mystic.  In the above videos, video 1 is just a original chart version.  Video 2 is the Rolling Stones performing it live in concert.  Video 3 is the song along with some footage from the Vietnam war.  This song will always be linked with that war.  It came out during that war and the lyrics lend themselves well to what that war was.  A very black time in our history.  I hope you enjoy the song as much as I do! 

I have included here some of the history of the song from Wikipedia.

Paint It, Black” is a song recorded by The Rolling Stones, released on 13 May 1966 as the first single from their fourth album Aftermath.  It was originally titled “Paint It Black” without a comma.  Keith Richards has stated that the comma was added by the record label, Decca.

The song may have been written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, though this is disputed as James Taylor is also said to have written it to depict his drug experiences in New York City.   Brian Jones contributed to the song’s signature riff.  Bill Wyman claims in his books that the song was a collective effort of the group, a ‘Nanker-Phelge’ one, but mistakenly credited to Jagger/Richards at the end.

The single reached number one in both the United States and the United Kingdom charts in 1966.  In 2004 it was ranked number 174 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.  In the US and UK, it was the first number one single to feature a sitar on the recording.Master track is featured in Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock.

History and composition

The song began with Wyman playing organ at a recording session, in parody of the group’s former co-manager Eric Easton, who had been an organist.  Charlie Watts accompanied the organ by playing a vaguely Middle Eastern drum part; Watts’ drum pattern became the basis for the final song. Brian Jones contributed the song’s signature sitar riff (having taught himself to play after a visit with George Harrison), and Jagger contributed the to lyrics (which many believe were penned by James Taylor), seemingly about a man mourning his dead girlfriend.  More literally, it is about using the visual trick of painting everything black in the mind’s eye.  Both electric and acoustic guitars and the background vocals are provided by Richards.  The piano is played by Jack Nitzsche.

The bass was also overdubbed by Bill Wyman playing on the bass pedals of a Hammond B3 organ.


Eric Burdon & War version

“Paint It Black”
Single by Eric Burdon & War
from the album The Black Man’s Burdon
B-side Nights in White Satin
Released 1971
Format 7″ single
Recorded 1970
Genre Latin, psychedelic, R&B, funk
Length 4:04
Label Liberty
Writer(s) Jagger/Richards
Producer Jerry Goldstein
Eric Burdon & War singles chronology
Tobacco Road
“Paint It Black”
They Can’t Take Away Our Music

Before Eric Burdon & War‘s 1970 version reached the charts in Netherlands, Eric Burdon & The Animals covered it in 1967 for their debut album, Winds of Change.  The original album version of Eric Burdon & War had a length of 13:41.

Eric Burdon & The Animals performed it at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967.  This version was cut and included in the motion picture of the festival.  They performed it also on the BBC.

In 1969 the song was a highlight performed live by Eric Burdon & War.  After releasing their first album they recorded shortly a second featuring “Paint It Black medley” with a length of over 13 minutes.  In 1971 they released it as a single.

Eric Burdon performed it also on his “Hippiefest” tour in 2008.

Cover versions

Paint It Black

Rolling Stones

I see a red door and I want it painted black
No colors anymore I want them to turn black
I see the girls walk by dressed in their summer clothes
I have to turn my head until my darkness goes

I see a line of cars and they’re all painted black
With flowers and my love, both never to come back
I see people turn their heads and quickly look away
Like a newborn baby it just happens ev’ryday

No more will my green sea go turn a deeper blue
I could not forsee this thing happening to you
If I look hard enough into the setting sun
My love will laugh with me before the morning comes

I look inside myself and see my heart is black
I see my red door and it has been painted black
Maybe then I’ll fade away and not have to face the facts
It’s not easy facing up when your whole world is black

I see a red door and I want it painted black
No colors anymore I want them to turn black
I see the girls walk by dressed in their summer clothes
I have to turn my head until my darkness goes

Hmm, hmm, hmm…

I wanna see it painted black, painted black
Black as night, black as coal
I wanna see the sun, blotted out from the sky
I wanna see it painted, painted, painted, painted black

Hmm, hmm, hmm…


About wmarsau

Most of the people who visit this blog already know me so it is kind of pointless to try to describe my life in this short little blurb. What is the purpose of this blog is the question. Over the course of this last year I have been exposed to some amazing people and have made personal development an important focus of my life. Being successful, not by the world's standards, but by God's has become my main focus. Mainly, I want to work to develop myself as a person who is kinder, reaches out to help those in need, and truly makes a difference in this world. To this end I am constantly reading and am exposed to so many differnet things along the way. These have been amazing and it is helping me grow so much. Then I started to think, "Why am I being so selfish?" You need to share with others these amazing things you are learning and being exposed to. That is where this blog comes into play. As I am reading and experiencing things that are truly amazing and life changing, I will be posting them on this blog. Obviously, I will not be able to post everything in it's entirity, but I will be summarizing them and letting you know the source of the article or book they come from so you can check them out later if you wish. I want this blog to be a place where you can go to often and be inspired and leave here with a smile on your face. I will be covering all kinds of different topics dealing with success and personal development. Topics like taking action, relationships, living to your potential, reinventing yourself, finances, leadership, presenting, goal setting, time management, etc. I will also be occasionally including topics on cooking, music, and gardening because they are special interests of mine. As a little disclaimer, I have given my life to the Lord and he is #1 in my life. I am his servant and everything I do in life is for his glory. With that being said, religion influences all areas of my life. There will be references to God in this blog because I can't seperate God from this or any other area of my life. I want you to know that if you do not believe in God, that is fine. That is your choice. This blog is open to anyone who wants to better their life. I will not be trying to influence or pressure anyone into having a relationship with the Lord from this site. Please don't feel uncomfortable. You can just read the portions of the blog that you wish to. I am inviting you to go on a journey with me. We will learn together to be the kind of people we were designed to be. Anyone can make a difference in this world, but it starts%
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