Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby,
Standing in the Shadow?

Composers: Mick Jagger & Keith Richards
First release: single, September 1966
Recording date: August-September 1966         Recording location: 
RCA Studios, Los Angeles, USA; IBC Studios, London
Producer: Andrew Oldham          
Engineers: Dave Hassinger & Glyn Johns
Performed onstage: 1966

Probable line-up:

Drums: Charlie Watts
Bass: Bill Wyman
Acoustic guitars: Keith Richards
Electric guitars: Keith Richards & Brian Jones
Lead vocal: Mick Jagger
Background vocals: Mick Jagger & Keith Richards
Pianos: Keith Richards & Jack Nitzsche
Tambourine: Jack Nitzsche
Trumpets: The Mike Leander Orchestra
Hand-claps: ---
 

Have you seen your mother, baby, standing in the shadow?
Have you had another, baby, standing in the shadow?

I'm glad I opened your eyes
The have-nots would have tried
To freeze you in ice


Have you seen your brother, baby, standing in the shadow?

Have you had another, baby, standing in the shadow?

Well I was just passing the time

I'm all alone but won't you give
All your sympathy to mine?


Tell me a story about
How you adore me
and we
Live in the shadow and we
See through the shadow 
and we
Live through the shadow and we
Tear for the shadow and we

Hate in the shadow and we
Love in your shadowy life


I said have, have you seen your lover, baby, standing in the shadow?

Has he had another, baby, standing in the shadow?

Just where have you been all your life?

Talking about all the people
Who would try anything twice - oh


Have you seen your mother, baby, standing in the shadow?
Has she had another, baby, standing in the shadow?

Well you take your choice at this time

The brave old world or the slide
To the depths of decline - of decline, oh

 
   

TrackTalk

We tried trombones, saxes and nearly all permutations of brass before arriving at the trumpets. Everything but the trumpets dragged.

- Keith Richards, 1966


I liked the track, I hated the mix. Mainly because there was a fantastic mix of the thing, which was just right. But because they were in a rush and they needed to edit it down for the Ed Sullivan Show - 'cause we were booked to play our latest single which was gonna be Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing in the Shadow? - the mix was rushed and the essential qualities of it, for me, disappeared. Because... just because of the lack of time, you know...

- Keith Richards, c. 1982


It needed another couple weeks. The rhythm section is almost lost completely.

- Keith Richards, 1971


Keith always felt that the incorrectly mixed version was released as the single. The rhythm section is buried in the mix and it failed to create as much excitement as we all felt it should have done. Although we took longer to record and mix this single than any of our previous releases, Keith always felt it needed more - this was the beginning of the future!

- Bill Wyman, Rolling With The Stones, 2002


I get the ideas for the words by sitting down and following a train of thought - one thing just leads to another. This is simply about a boy and his bird. Some songs I write are just for a laugh. Others are extensions of ideas. This is a mixture of both. You must listen to it and place your own interpretation on the lyric. There is no attempt to present a controversial Mother theme. Mother is a word that is cropping up in a lot of numbers.

- Mick Jagger, 1966


I'm not going to burst into tears if this doesn't go to number one. At least it is the best we could do and I am satisfied that we have given our best.

- Mick Jagger, 1966


Have You Seen Your Mother? was like the ultimate freakout. We came to a full stop after that. I just couldn't make it with that anymore; what more could we say? We couldn't possibly have kept it up like that. You just drain out totally. Because it's just the end of a certain period and we just had to stop. Because we'd done it, you know, there was nothing more we could do. And we just had to wait until we'd organized ourselves, and, you know, things have changed a little.

- Mick Jagger, 1968



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