Hand of Fate

Composers: Mick Jagger & Keith Richards
Recording date: March, October & December 1975
Recording locations: Musicland Studios, Munich, West Germany & Mountain Recording Studios, Montreux, Switzerland
Producers: The Glimmer Twins       Chief engineer: Keith Harwood
Performed onstage: 1976-77, 2002-03


Drums: Charlie Watts
Bass: Bill Wyman
Electric guitars: Keith Richards & Wayne Perkins (incl. solos)
Lead vocal: Mick Jagger
Background vocals: Keith Richards & Ron Wood
Piano: Billy Preston
Percussion: Ollie Brown

The hand of fate is on me now
It picked me up and it knocked me down
I'm on the run, I'm prison bound
The hand of fate is heavy now

I killed a man, I'm highway bound
The wheel of fortune keeps turning round
Turning round, turning round
I should have known it was a one-horse town

Cause my sweet girl was once his wife
And he had papers that the judge had signed
The wind blew hard, it was a stormy night
He shot me once but I shot him twice

The hand of fate is on me now

It picked me up and it kicked me right down
Kicked me right down, kicked me right down
I had to save her life
Yeah, I gunned him twice
Yeah and I watched him die - watch out boy
Yeah, I watched him die

He was a barroom man, the violent kind
He had no love for that gal of mine
And then one day in a drinking bout
He swore he'd throw me right out of town

The hand of fate is on me now

I shot that man, I put him underground
I put him underground, underground - yes I did

I'm on the run, I hear the hounds

My luck is up, my chips are down
So goodbye baby, so long now
Wish me luck, I'm going to need it, child

The hand of fate is on me now

Yeah it's too late baby
I say it's too late baby, it's too late now
The hand of fate is on me now

Oh yeah - yeah

The hand of fate is heavy now
Heavy now

The hand of fate is heavy now

Now don't you worry, don't you frown
...ah yeah - watch out, boy
Ah yeah, come on
Ah don't you frown
It's too late, it's too late now

The hand of fate is heavy now
It pick you up and it knock you down


(Keith and I) write some together. In fact, Hand of Fate we kind of did, get together. Even on the lyrics, we discussed it over a lengthy coffee... coffee BREAKS, in the studio, and we came up with the lyrics TOGETHER on that one.

- Mick Jagger, 1976

(I)t's the wrong rhythm these days. It's a bit old-fashioned Rolling Stones... Well, you've got your fucking opportunity (if you prefer dancing to this one). If you don't like to dance to THIS one (Hot Stuff), you don't have to touch it, soon enough THIS one comes on. And you're back into your old Rolling Stones booga-boom, gadda-gadda, boom-boom. All right?

- Mick Jagger, 1976

Hand of Fate seemed to be a good song to have second (on the album)... It's a narrative, you know, a sort of chopped up narrative about a Southern murder. It's better, you know, than singing about the ordinary things. A lot of people like that one. It's about someone whose woman you take and he decides to take her back. It's a simple narrative... It's quite a good idea to do if you've got the kernel of a good story. It's very hard, actually – unless you're really good – to get any kind of narrative into a song of four and a half minutes. It's so complicated: And then he... If it got as complicated as it could have been, it would really have got boring. And the thing is to not say a lot.

- Mick Jagger, 1976

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