Jagger, Keith Richards & Marianne
Recording date: March 1969
Recording location: Olympic Sound Studios, London
Producer:Jimmy Miller Chief engineer: Glyn Johns
Performed onstage: 1997-98
Bass: Bill Wyman
Acoustic guitar: Keith Richards
Slide electric guitar: Ry Cooder
Vocal: Mick Jagger
Piano: Jack Nitzsche
Here I lie in my hospital bed
Tell me, sister morphine, when are you coming round again?
Oh and I don't think I can wait that long
Oh you see that I'm not that strong
The scream of the ambulance is sounding in
Tell me, sister morphine, how long have I been lying here?
What am I doing in this place?
Why does the doctor have no face?
Oh I can't crawl across the floor
Ah can't you see, sister morphine, I'm trying to score
Well it just goes to show, things are not what
Please, sister morphine, turn my nightmare into dreams
Oh can't you see I'm fading fast?
And that this shot will be my last
Sweet cousin cocaine, lay your cool, cool hands
on my head
Ah come on, sister morphine, you better make up my bed
Cause you know and I know in the morning I'll be dead
Yeah and you can sit around, yeah and you can watch all the clean white sheets stain red
(Marianne Faithfull) wrote a couple of lines; she always she wrote everything, though. She's always complaining she doesn't get enough money from it. Now she says she should have got it all... (Cousin cocaine...), that's the bit she wrote.
Sister Morphine comes from '68, although we cut it in early '69.
(Ry Cooder) played slide guitar on Sister Morphine, which is killer. It's great.
Sister Morphine... is another (I used my first bass guitar on) - a lot of the slow, bluesy things, the ballady things, songs where I wanted it to sound like a string bass. I can sort of slide on it because there are no frets, and I can almost get a little bit of that slap sound playing it with the thumb. I play every other bass with a pick, but I use my thumb on that one.
It's about a man after an accident, really. It's not about being addicted to morphine so much as that. Ry Cooder plays wonderfully on that.
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