Under My Thumb

The Rolling Stones

About Under My Thumb

"Under My Thumb" is a song written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. The Rolling Stones recorded it for their 1966 album Aftermath. Although it was never released as a single in English-speaking countries, it is one of the band's more popular songs from the period and appears on several best-of compilations, such as Hot Rocks 1964-1971. In 1968, it was released as a single in Japan. It was also released in Italy. The group frequently performed "Under My Thumb" on their 1981 US Tour and 1982 European tour as the opening number at each concert. The Stones have played the song sporadically on subsequent tours in 1997–1998 and 2006. 


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Under my thumb
The girl who once had me down
Under my thumb
The girl who once pushed me around

It's down to me
The difference in the clothes she wears
Down to me, the change has come,
She's under my thumb

Ain't it the truth babe?

Under my thumb
The squirmin' dog who's just had her day
Under my thumb
A girl who has just changed her ways

It's down to me, yes it is
The way she does just what she's told
Down to me, the change has come
She's under my thumb
Ah, ah, say it's alright

Under my thumb
A Siamese cat of a girl
Under my thumb
She's the sweetest, hmmm, pet in the world

It's down to me
The way she talks when she's spoken to
Down to me, the change has come,
She's under my thumb
Ah, take it easy babe

It's down to me, oh yeah
The way she talks when she's spoken to
Down to me, the change has come,
She's under my thumb
Yeah, it feels alright

Under my thumb
Her eyes are just kept to herself
Under my thumb, well I
I can still look at someone else

It's down to me, oh that's what I said
The way she talks when she's spoken to
Down to me, the change has come,
She's under my thumb
Say, it's alright.

Say it's all
Say it's all

Take it easy babe
Take it easy babe
Feels alright
Take it, take it easy babe.

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The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones are an English rock band formed in Dartford in 1962. The earliest settled line-up consisted of Brian Jones (guitar, harmonica), Ian Stewart (keyboards, piano), Mick Jagger (lead vocals, harmonica), Keith Richards (guitar, vocals), Bill Wyman (bass) and Charlie Watts (drums). Since Wyman's retirement in 1993, the band's full members have been Jagger, Richards, Watts and guitarist Ronnie Wood who joined in 1975. Darryl Jones (bassist) and Chuck Leavell (keyboardist) are regular contributors but not full band members. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted the Rolling Stones in 1989, noting that "critical acclaim and popular consensus has accorded them the title of the “World’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band.”Rolling Stone magazine ranked them 4… more »

26 fans

Written by: Keith Richards, Mick Jagger

Lyrics © Abkco Music Inc.

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind

16 facts about this song

Song Origin
1. "Under My Thumb" is a song written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. 2. The song was first featured on The Rolling Stones’ 1966 album "Aftermath".
Song Composition
3. The song is known for its distinctive marimba part played by multi-instrumentalist Brian Jones. 4. Despite the provocative nature of the lyrics, the song's melody is quite pop-oriented and catchy.
Lyrics and Interpretation
5. The song's lyrics, which are sung from the point of view of a man who is in control of a once-dominant woman, have often sparked controversies. 6. Some critics argued that the song's lyrics could be interpreted as a celebration of male domination over women. 7. The Rolling Stones have defended the song by asserting it's all about "a girl who once had the upper hand is now being dominated by her ex-lover."
Impact and Performance
8. "Under My Thumb" was not released as a single in the U.S and the UK. 9. Nonetheless, it has remained one of The Rolling Stones' more popular and enduring songs, often featured in their concert setlists. 10. The song became infamous after it was being played during a concert at the Altamont Speedway in 1969 where a fan was fatally stabbed.
Cover Versions
11. A number of artists have covered "Under My Thumb". These include Tina Turner, Del Shannon, The Who, Social Distortion, and Wayne Gibson. 12. The most successful cover version was by Wayne Gibson, which reached the UK Top 20 in 1974.
Critics' Reaction
13. Despite controversies, rock critics have generally praised the song's catchy melody and distinctive instrumentation. 14. It's often considered one of the high points on the "Aftermath" album. 15. It stands as an iconic representation of The Rolling Stones’ manipulation of pop formulas in the mid-1960s.
The song "Under My Thumb" was penned by the duo, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, who are regarded as one of the greatest songwriting partnerships of the 20th century.
It was initially released as a track in the "Aftermath" album in 1966. This Rolling Stones' album was their first to consist entirely of original compositions, marking a turning point in their career.
"Under My Thumb" is regarded as a pop song with a minor-key melody, showcasing the band's exploration into different genres, away from their blues roots.
Brian Jones, the original leader of The Rolling Stones, innovatively played the marimba on this track, adding a unique layer to the song's sound.
Lyrics Theme
The song was critiqued by some for its lyrics, which seemingly project the theme of celebrating the subjugation of women. However, Mick Jagger defended by stating the lyrics were only a reflection of that period time in society.
Performance History
Despite its initial controversy, "Under My Thumb" continues to feature in The Rolling Stones' live shows. It was also performed as their opening song at the concert in the Altamont Free Festival in 1969, where the Hells Angels, serving as security, killed a man during the performance.
Cover Versions
Various artists have covered "Under My Thumb", including Del Shannon, Tina Turner, Social Distortion, and The Who. Such covers show the song's wide influence across the music industry.
Pop Culture
The song has been used in different media outlets. For instance, it can be heard in the opening of the film 'Mean Streets' directed by Martin Scorsese.
Album Reception
The parent album "Aftermath" peaked at number one in the UK and number two in the US, demonstrating the commercial success associated with the song "Under My Thumb".
Despite the controversy surrounding its misogynistic undertones, "Under My Thumb" is frequently cited as a classic example of the Rolling Stones' mid-sixties musical style, showcasing their artistry and the start of their transition away from the blues genre.

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