I don't think it's about Marianne or Brian Jones or any generic junkie business, if you listen to the lyrics it sounds to me we have a person rushed off in an ambulance mortally wounded, looking to score morphine from the nurse mostly because of the terrible pain...
(Marianne Faithfull) wrote a couple of lines; she always says she wrote everything, though. I can’t even tell you which ones. She’s always complaining she doesn’t get enough money from it. Now she says she should have got it all. It’s not what we think it was – it’s not about Marianne Faithfull? No. If you listen to the lyrics – that’s what I remember, anyway. “Here I lie in my hospital bed.” Cousin Cocaine? Yeah, that’s the bit she wrote.
- Mick Jagger, 1995
Marianne Faithfull, I think, wrote the words to this after Brian Jones had died, and she had suffered some other calamities relating to drugs. I like Keith's menacing guitar work on this, and that echoing harpsichord (right?).
for what is surely one of the best recordings of the last 60 years this song really screams out for notice. though its no Moonlight Mile, or Sway it stands up to its AOR radio competitors any day.
a real statement of a time and a lifestyle and phenomenology that transcends those demarcations
Mick Jagger wrote the music in Rome in 1968. Marianne Faithful wrote the lyrics, but The Stones did not give her an official songwriting credit until they released it on their 1998 live album No Security.