Under My Thumb (3:42)

Cover of Rolled Gold +

From Rolled Gold + and 63 other releases

“Under My Thumb” is a song written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards for The Rolling Stones. Its first appearance was as an album track on 1966’s Aftermath, and though it was never released as a single, it is one of the band’s more popular songs from the period, appearing frequently on best-of compilations.

The song’s lyrics, an examination of a sexual power struggle, were very much in tune with the rebellious, vaguely misogynistic attitude that the mid-’60s Stones had cultivated , though the concept of Under My Thumb is arguably more sophisticated—even psychological—than any of the other controversial songs the Stones had released up to that point.

Jagger’s lyrics celebrate the satisfaction of finally having controlled and gained leverage over a previously pushy, dominating woman. Many listeners also note that the woman who is the subject of the song was previously the dominant figure in the relationship, and that the narrator was originally submissive to her, making the implications of the song more complicated than simple chauvinism.

Jagger later reflected on the track in a 1995 interview: “It’s a bit of a jokey number, really. It’s not really an anti-feminist song any more than any of the others… Yes, it’s a caricature, and it’s in reply to a girl who was a very pushy woman”.

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