Song Stories

“Time Is on My Side”

The Rolling Stones | 1964

Introduced by a triumphant drawn-out guitar riff, "Time Is On My Side" was a vehicle for the Rolling Stones to boast of their inevitable victory in a relationship, set to an arrangement as much gospel as rock. The gospel feel was more pronounced in the version by New Orleans soul singer Irma Thomas that served as the model for the Stones' more rock-oriented interpretation. "I made it up one day, and I hated it!" declared writer Jerry Ragovoy in Rolling Stone. "But I did it because of the difficulty of submitting material, as I was already known as a producer."

Song Stories Main Next

Song Stories

“Santa Monica”

Everclear | 1996

After his brother and girlfriend both died of drug overdoses, Art Alexakis -- depressed and hooked on drugs himself -- jumped off the Santa Monica Pier in California, determined to die. "It was really stupid," said the Everclear frontman, who would further explore his personal emotional journey in the song "Father of Mine." "I went under the water. Then I said, 'I don't wanna die.'" The song, declaring "Let's swim out past the breakers/and watch the world die," was intended as a manifesto for change, Alexakis said. "Let the world do what it's gonna do and just live on our own."

More Song Stories entries »