Hang Fire (2:20)

Cover of Tattoo You

From Tattoo You and 16 other releases

“Hang Fire” is a song by rock and roll band The Rolling Stones off their 1981 album Tattoo You.

Written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, “Hang Fire” is a fast-paced, up-tempo surfer style rock and roll track, which belies the happy beat with sharp, satirical lyrics directed squarely at England’s economic decline through the 1970s.
“In the sweet old country where I come from, Nobody ever works, Yeah nothing gets done/We hang fire, we hang fire.”

The song is a bleak look at English society at the time, where labour unrest was common and high taxes prevented growth. The lyrics parody the English economy, lamenting an unemployed working class Englishman who would rather bet on the horses than try to marry into the upper class, the only way to get ahead in English society.
“ You know marrying money is a full time job/I don’t need the aggravation/I’m a lazy slob.”
The song is one of the few times the band wrote an overtly political song, and it is notable that it was never released as a single in England, even though the band was touring Europe during the single’s North American release. The lyrical irony and commentary on English society harkens back to some of the group’s more socially contentious songs of the sixties like “Mother’s Little Helper”, “19th Nervous Breakdown” and “Street Fighting Man”.

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