The Rolling Stones - Street Fighting Man

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Beggars Banquet Promo 

"Street Fighting Man" is a song by English rock band the Rolling Stones featured on their 1968 album Beggars Banquet. Called the band's "most political song," Rolling Stone ranked the song number 301 on its list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Originally titled and recorded as "Did Everyone Pay Their Dues?", containing the same music but very different lyrics, "Street Fighting Man" is known as one of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards' most politically inclined works to date. Jagger allegedly wrote it about Tariq Ali after he attended a 1968 anti-war rally at London's US embassy, during which mounted police attempted to control a crowd of 25,000. He also found inspiration in the rising violence among student rioters on Paris's Left Bank, the precursor to a period of civil unrest in May 1968.

On the writing, Jagger said in a 1995 interview with Jann Wenner in Rolling Stone,
Yeah, it was a direct inspiration, because by contrast, London was very quiet...It was a very strange time in France. But not only in France but also in America, because of the Vietnam War and these endless disruptions ... I thought it was a very good thing at the time. There was all this violence going on. I mean, they almost toppled the government in France; de Gaulle went into this complete funk, as he had in the past, and he went and sort of locked himself in his house in the country. And so the government was almost inactive. And the French riot police were amazing.

The song opens with a strummed acoustic riff. In his review, Richie Unterberger says of the song, "...it's a great track, gripping the listener immediately with its sudden, springy guitar chords and thundering, offbeat drums. That unsettling, urgent guitar rhythm is the mainstay of the verses. Mick Jagger's typically half-buried lyrics seem at casual listening like a call to revolution."

Everywhere I hear the sound of marching, charging feet, boy
'Cause summer's here and the time is right for fighting in the street, boy

Hey! think the time is right for a palace revolution, but where I live the game to play is compromise solution
Hey, said my name is called Disturbance;, I'll shout and scream, I'll kill the King, I'll rail at all his servants

Well now what can a poor boy do, Except to sing for a rock & roll band?
Cause in sleepy London Town there's just no place for a street fighting man, no
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Artist: The Rolling Stones
Video title: Street Fighting Man

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Category: Rock & Alternative
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