The ROLLING STONES – ” Wild Horses ” Gram Parsons and Keith Richards

Posted: November 17, 2016 in MUSIC
Tags: , , , , ,

Did Gram Parsons wrote “Wild Horses.”

Or at least maybe he co-wrote it. maybe he gave the lyrics to Keith. Whatever, I don’t care. Is it Gram’s style of songwriting, we also know the Stones‘ style, both before and after meeting Gram (and musically, Ry Cooder).

Now in the February ’13 issue of Uncut we have Mick’s brother saying it was a Gram Parsons’ composition (“not that he ever got anything for it”). And we have an old quote from Mick himself, “I remember we sat around originally doing this with Gram Parsons…” Etc. Really Mick, you “remember” that much… in ’71? And knowing Gram, I imagine he wasn’t doing anything? Just sitting around, watching?.

No, there’s no proof. Unless you believe in the analysis of art and life as proof.Is it possible that the original lyrics, written by Gram and perhaps modified slightly by the Rolling Stones, were written about/for Gram’s sister Little Avis. Gram Parsons felt tremendous responsibility for Avis after their parents’ death, and overwhelming guilt at times for leaving her. And, no doubt, some guilt over what was happening to him, and that he would also soon be leaving her for good. “Faith has been broken, tears must be cried.” His letters to Avis mirror the thoughts and feelings in the song. The notebook, with the lyrics and chords to Wild Horses wtitten in Grams handwriting that people point to as “evidence” that Gram wrote the song actually points to the opposite conclusion. The lyrics are all written out exactly as they are on the record. When you compose a song you scribble out lines, try new ones and write stuff in the matgins. It looks messy. The version in Gram’s notebook looks more like it was transcribed from another source.

Keith Richards has stated in interviews and in writing that he began writing the song for his son, Marlon, as he was about to leave on tour. He showed the roughed out lyrics to Mick and Mick turned it into a love song. What reason would Keith have to lie about it? He has always gone out of his way to sing Gram’s praises. Mick and Keith are two of the most prolific song writers in the history of popular music history and have more big hits under their belts than you can count. They also have a history of doing lots of covers and giving the writers of those covers their due.

Childhood living is easy to do
The things you wanted I bought them for you
Graceless lady you know who I am,
You know I can’t let you slide through my hands

I watched you suffer a dull aching pain,
Now you’ve decided to show me the same
No sweeping exits or offstage lines
Can make me feel bitter or treat you unkind

I know I dreamed you a sin and a lie,
I have my freedom but I don’t have much time
Faith has been broken, tears must be cried,
Let’s do some living after we die

Wild horses couldn’t drag me away.

Originally published in Gram Parsons InterNational blog, 2013

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