The Rolling Stones: Is ‘Paint It Black’ Really About the Vietnam War?

by Jeremy Spirogis
The Rolling Stones: Is ‘Paint It Black’ Really About the Vietnam War?

The Rolling Stones are among the many hottest rock bands ever. While the band generally gave the world easy songs, they may be very lyrical. “Paint It Black” stays one among their extra lyrical hits.

What’s nice a few tune like “Paint it Black” is its lyrics are price pondering – like a superb poem. It’s typically interpreted as a tune concerning the horrors of the Vietnam War. Does this interpretation mirror the Rolling Stones’ intent?

The Rolling Stones | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

What the Rolling Stones’ ‘Paint It Black’ is about — and its context

Many Rolling Stones songs are about relationships. According to the e-book Rocks Off: 50 Tracks That Tell the Story of the Rolling Stones, “Paint It Black” is a tune a few man mourning his useless lover. In addition, the e-book Back Up says the tune was partially impressed by among the prose of James Joyce’s traditional novel Ulysses. However, the tune’s context influenced how individuals interpreted it.

Pop music and the War in Vietnam

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“Paint It Black” by the Rolling Stones

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It’s inconceivable to grasp the rock music of the late 1960s and early 1970s with out having a cursory understanding of the Vietnam War. The battle left an enormous shadow over the favored tradition of the period. The Rolling Stones created a number of songs coping with their anger relating to the battle.

“Paint It Black” is an indignant tune that was launched in 1966, a time when many individuals within the United States and the United Kingdom wished the battle to finish. It’s not completely unreasonable to assume the tune was a response to the battle. However, the Rolling Stones didn’t write it with any political that means in thoughts.

Other the reason why individuals affiliate ‘Paint It Black’ with the Vietnam War

Soldiers within the Vietnam War | Larry Burrows/The LIFE Picture Collection through Getty Images

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So why do some see “Paint It Black” as a protest tune concerning the Vietnam War? The e-book 50 Licks: Myths and Stories from Half a Century of the Rolling Stones contains an nameless testimony from a Vietnam veteran who stated the tune’s morbid lyrics resonated with many troopers who fought within the battle. The tune definitely conveys a mixture of anger and despair that many individuals felt concerning the battle — whether or not they have been preventing in it or not. In addition, the media solid an affiliation between the battle and “Paint It Black.”

Full Metal Jacket is among the many most well-known movies concerning the battle. “Paint It Black” performs over the movie’s closing scene. Many youthful persons are aware of the battle primarily by films, so the usage of the tune in a well-liked Vietnam War film prompted some individuals to interpret it as a tune concerning the battle. In addition, the monitor was performed within the opening credit of Tour of Duty, a present concerning the Vietnam War which ran from 1987 to 1990. The tune resonated with individuals, even when it wasn’t in the way in which the Mick Jagger and firm supposed.

Also see: What Happened When the Beatles & the Rolling Stones 1st Met

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