Shine a Light

Composers: Mick Jagger & Keith Richards
Recording date: July 1970 & December 1971-March 1972
Recording locations: Olympic Sound Studios, London, England & Sunset Sound Studios, Los Angeles, USA
Producer: Jimmy Miller      Chief engineers: Glyn Johns, Andy Johns & Joe Zagarino
Performed onstage: 1995, 1997-99, 2006-07, 2013, 2015




Probable line-up:

Drums: Jimmy Miller
Bass: Bill Wyman
Electric guitar: Mick Taylor
Lead vocals: Mick Jagger
Background vocals: Clydie King, Joe Green, Venetta Fields & Jesse Kirkland
Piano: Billy Preston
Organ: Billy Preston
 

Saw you stretched out in room ten-o-nine
With a smile on your face and a tear right in your eye
Oh, couldn't seem to get a line on you
My sweet honey love

Berber jewelry jangling down the street
Make you shut your eyes at every woman that you meet
Could not seem to get a high on you
My, my sweet honey love

May the good Lord shine a light on you

Make every song your favorite tune
May the good Lord shine a light on you
Warm like the evening sun

Well you're drunk in the alley, baby, with your clothes all torn
And your late night friends leave you in the cold grey dawn
Oh, just seemed too many flies on you
I just can't brush them off

Angels beating all their wings in time
With smiles on their faces and a gleam right in their eye
Oh, thought I heard one sigh for you
Come on up, come on up now, come on up now

May the good Lord shine a light on you

Yeah, make every song your favorite tune
May the good Lord shine a light on you
Yeah, warm like the evening sun

Na, na, na, na, yeah


Come on up now, come on up now
Come on up now, come on up
Come on

May the good Lord shine a light on you - my, my, oh

Make every song your favorite tune - ah
May the good Lord shine a light on you - my, my, my, my
Warm like the evening sun

Na, na, na, na, na, yeah
Yeah, yeah


 

TrackTalk

I liked Shine a Light. I played bass on that. There are quite a few things I played bass on. I used the band's Fender Jazz bass for these because Bill wasn't there; he was late, and nobody bothered to wait. That used to happen a lot, actually. I don't mean that Bill was late a lot; we didn't always get there at the same time. If we felt like playing, we would.

- Mick Taylor, 1979


There's another gospel song (in addition to I Just Want to See His Face) on that album - Shine a Light with Billy Preston. When I was very friendly with Billy in the '70s I sometimes used to go to church with him in Los Angeles. It was an interesting experience because we don't have a lot of churches like that in England. I hadn't had a lot of first-hand experience of it. I think it was James Cleveland's church we used to go to. It's still there. In fact, Billy and I were going to go there on this trip (1992), but the trouble with church is I can never get up on Sunday morning to get there. It's always a bit early for me. But I used to go. One time I saw Aretha and Erma Franklin in that church. It makes you feel a bit small sometimes when you hear these people's voices, so big and powerful.

- Mick Jagger, December 1992


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