Jagger, Keith Richards & Andrew Oldham
Recording date: October 1965 Recording location: IBC Studios, London
Producer: Andrew Oldham Engineer: Glyn Johns
Performed onstage: 2005-06*, 2013, 2017*
(*in 2006 in Milan and 2017 in Lucca, as Con Le Mie Lacrime)
Acoustic guitar: Keith
Vocal: Mick Jagger
Strings: The Mike Leander Orchestra
We never dreamed of doing As Tears Go By ourselves when we wrote it. We just gave it straight to Marianne Faithfull. We wrote a lot of songs for other people, most of which were very unsuccessful.
We just wrote it. And Andrew Oldham was managing (Marianne Faithfull) so decided to do it with her. I think we thought it was very soft for us to do at the time, being a sort of blues band.
It was pop and we didn't record it (at first) because it was crap. We had a successful crap ballad... I can say now it's a wonderful tune, but we didn't think it was that great at the time.
I wrote the lyrics, and Keith wrote the melody... It's a very melancholy song for a 21-year-old to write: The evening of the day, watching children play... It's very dumb and naive, but it's got a very sad sort of thing about it, almost like an older person might write. You know, it's like a metaphor for being old: You're watching children playing and realizing you're not a child. It's a relatively mature song considering the rest of the output at the time. And we didn't think of doing it, because the Rolling Stones were a butch blues group. But Marianne Faithfull's version was already a big, proven hit song... It was one of the first things I ever wrote.
I sang about children then. I wrote that song when I was 20. It was reflective - though they weren't my children at that point (laughs).
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