Happy

Composers: Mick Jagger & Keith Richards
Recording date: July & October-November 1971 & January-March 1972
Recording locations: Rolling Stones Mobile Unit, Keith Richards' home, Villefranche-sur-mer, France & Sunset Sound Studios, Los Angeles, USA
Producer: Jimmy Miller      Chief engineers: Glyn Johns, Andy Johns & Joe Zagarino
Performed onstage: 1972-73, 1975-76, 1978, 1989-90, 1994-95, 2002-03, 2006-07, 2012-14

Probable line-up:

Drums: Jimmy Miller
Bass: Keith Richards
Electric guitars (incl. slide): Keith Richards
Lead vocals: Keith Richards & Mick Jagger
Background vocals: Mick Jagger & Keith Richards
Electric piano: Nicky Hopkins
Saxophone: Bobby Keys
Trumpet: Jim Price
Trombone: Jim Price
Maracas: Bobby Keys
 

Well I never kept a dollar past sunset
It always burned a hole in my pants
Never made my school mama happy
Never blew a second chance, oh no

I need a love to keep me happy
I need a love to keep me happy
Baby, baby keep me happy
Baby, baby keep me happy

Always took candy from strangers
Didn't want to get me no trade
Never wanted to be like papa
Working for the boss every night and day

I need a love to keep me happy
I need a love - baby won't you keep me
Happy? - baby won't you keep me
Happy? - baby please keep me

I need a love to keep me happy
I need a love to keep me happy
Baby, baby keep me happy
Baby

Never got a flash out of cocktails
When I can get some flesh off the bone
Never got a lift out of Lear jets
When I can fly way back home

I need a love to keep me happy
I need a love to keep me happy
Baby, baby keep me happy
Baby, baby keep me happy
Baby

Happy - baby won't you keep me
Happy? - baby won't you keep me
Happy? - baby won't you keep me
Happy? - baby won't you keep me
Happy? - baby won't you keep me
Happy? - well keep on dancing, keep me
Happy - 
now baby, won't you squeeze me?
Happy - baby, got the feeling and...
Happy - now, now, now, now, now keep me
Happy - come on now, keep me
Happy - keep on dancing, keep me
Happy
- keep on dancing, keep me
Happy - come on baby, keep me
Happy
 
 

TrackTalk

Happy was something I did because I was for one time EARLY for a session. There was Bobby Keys and Jimmy Miller. And we were in the South of France, it was at the time we were recording Exile. We had nothing to do and  had suddenly picked up the guitar and played this riff. So we cut it and it's the record, it's the same. We cut the original track with a baritone sax, a guitar and Jimmy Miller on drums. And the rest of it is built up over that track. It was just an afternoon jam that everybody said, Wow, yeah, work on it.
- Keith Richards, 1982


That happened in one grand bash in France for Exile. I had the riff. The rest of the Stones were late for one reason or another. It was only Bobby Keys there and Jimmy Miller, who was producing. I said, I've got this idea; let's put it down for when the guys arrive. I put down some guitar and vocal, Bobby was on baritone sax and Jimmy was on drums. We listened to it, and I said, I can put another guitar there and a bass. By the time the Stones arrived, we'd cut it. I love it when they drip off the end of the fingers. And I was pretty happy about it, which is why it ended up being called Happy.
- Keith Richards, 2002


The whole idea was there. I never kept a dollar past sunset... That was all there.
- Keith Richards, 2010


It just came, tripping off the tongue, then and there. When you're writing this shit, you've got your face in front of the microphone, spit it out... It was just alliteration, trying to set up a story. There has to be some thin plot line, although in a lot of my songs you'd be very hard-pressed to find it. But here, you're broke and it's evening. And you want to go out, but you ain't got shit. I'm busted before I start. I need a love to keep me happy, because if it's real love it will be free! Don't have to pay for it. I need a love to keep me happy because I've spent the fucking money and I have none left, and it's nighttime and I'm looking to have a good time, but I ain't got shit.
- Keith Richards, Life (2010)


That's a strange song in a way 'cause if you play it you actually become happy (laughs). Even in the worst of circumstances. There's a little magical bounce on it... I can play it now and it gives you a lift, you know. I don't know why, except maybe the word (laughs).
- Keith Richards, 2003



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