Country Honk

Composers: Mick Jagger & Keith Richards
Recording date: May & October-November 1969
Recording locations: Olympic Sound Studios, London, England; Sunset Sound & Elektra Studios, Los Angeles, USA
Producer: Jimmy Miller        Chief engineer: Glyn Johns
Never performed onstage


Drums: Charlie Watts
Acoustic guitar: Keith Richards
Slide Selmer acoustic guitar: Mick Taylor
Lead vocal: Mick Jagger
Background vocals: Mick Jagger, Keith Richards & Nanette Newman
Violin: Byron Berline

Here we go


I'm sitting in a bar, tippling a jar in Jackson
And on the street the summer sun it shines
There's many a barroom queen I've had in Jackson
But I just can't seem to drink you off my mind

It's the honky tonk women
Gimme, gimme, gimme the honky tonk blues

I laid a divorcée in New York City
I had to put up some kind of a fight
The lady she all dressed me up in roses
She blew my nose and then she blew my mind

It's the honky tonk women
Gimme, gimme, gimme the honky tonk blues

Ah yes


It's the honky tonk women, yeah, yeah
Gimme, gimme, gimme the honky tonk blues all over
It's the honky tonk women
Gimme, gimme, gimme the honky tonk blues


On Let It Bleed, we put that other version of Honky Tonk Women on because that's how the song was originally written, as a real Hank Williams/Jimmie Rodgers, '30s country song. And it got turned around to this other song by Mick Taylor, who got into a completely different feel, throwing it off the wall completely.

- Keith Richards

Country Honk was the original way Mick and I wrote Honky Tonk Women and sang it. That was the song as far as we were concerned. Then we said, Ah, that's great, it should be a single. So we cut it with the band and made it sort of funky, drums, organized it for the band. But we were still interested in doing it the way that we originally thought of it - a sort of Hank Williams, Jimmie Rodgers, early pre-Nashville sound. I always loved Merle Haggard.

- Keith Richards, 1982

It was a process of writing Country Honk and "this sounds like Jimmie Rodgers or Hank Williams - how would it be played now?". And so we then projected it forward but at the same time it's a damn good old country song. And a damn good country song quite often is a damn good rock & roll song.

- Keith Richards, 2017

My part on Country Honk wasn't on a regular guitar; it was on one of those cheap little Selmer Hawaiian guitars, which I played on my lap in regular tuning.

- Mick Taylor, 1979

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