Subscribe: by Email | in Reader

Mother's Little Helper -- Mick Jagger and Keith Richards

Guest poem submitted by Amit Chakrabarti, the
final one in his guest theme:
(Poem #933) Mother's Little Helper
 What a drag it is getting old!

 "Kids are different today,"
 I hear ev'ry mother say
 Mother needs something today to calm her down.
 And though she's not really ill
 There's a little yellow pill
 She goes running for the shelter of a mother's little helper
 And it helps her on her way, gets her through her busy day.

 "Things are different today,"
 I hear ev'ry mother say
 Cooking fresh food for a husband's just a drag.
 So she buys an instant cake
 And she burns her frozen steak
 And goes running for the shelter of a mother's little helper
 And two help her on her way, get her through her busy day.

 "Doctor please, some more of these!"
 Outside the door, she took four more.

 "Men just aren't the same today,"
 I hear ev'ry mother say
 They just don't appreciate that you get tired.
 They're so hard to satisfy,
 You can tranquilize your mind
 So go running for the shelter of a mother's little helper
 And four help you through the night, help to minimize your plight.

 "Life's just much too hard today,"
 I hear ev'ry mother say
 The pursuit of happiness just seems a bore.
 And if you take more of those
 You will get an overdose
 No more running for the shelter of a mother's little helper
 They just helped you on your way, through your busy dying day.
-- Mick Jagger and Keith Richards
[Comments]

Whoa! Did you expect to see Jagger/Richards lyrics in this forum someday?
Well, why not? Tightness of form, good scansion, internal rhymes, plus
biting commentary on then-modern (i.e., 1960's) middle- class society...
it's all here. And the topic is original to boot. What other songs, or for
that matter, poems, do you know of about the sixties anti-depressant drug
craze? The craze has still not ended, afaik. There are any number of poems
and songs about drug addiction in general but this highlights not just one
(overlooked) kind of addiction but its association with basic middle class
boredom. If I were feeling lofty, I might have said "existential angst" but
I'm not, so I won't.

Anyway, this one almost needed to be written.

-Amit.

[Bio]

Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were the main songwriting force of the
British rock group "The Rolling Stones". Also, five times two equals ten.

[Links]

    http://www.therolling-stones.com/

[Notes]

The song is from the 1966 album "Aftermath". Unfortunately for the American
consumer, the album released under this name in the U.S. lacks this song.

[Sidenotes]

Here are two websites about those anti-depressant drugs (Prozac and its
relatives), if you want to learn more about the topic.
    [broken link] http://www.cchr.org/rape/mlh.htm
    http://www.breggin.com/minortranqs.html

[Administrivia]

Hey everybody, Sitaram's redesigned the Minstrels website! Check it out:
    http://www.cs.rice.edu/~ssiyer/minstrels/

20 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

RChamp7927 said...

It's a bit rich for rock-and-roll stars to write and sing about other people
using drugs. After all, so many of them took their own "little helpers" in
the form of booze and heroin--including, famously, Keith Richards.

Whatever merits this song has, irony isn't one of them. No doubt the aim is
to attack the lectures on drugs by middle-class parents who were themselves
hooked on tranquilizers. But the drug culture is so pervasive today that the
song seems a bit dated.

Bob Champ

leftwrites said...

There is so much truth.........but the other side is that is.......some of us ACTUALLY need something to help the mental illnesses of the day. I would
rather see limited use of tranquilizers than child abuse.

Personality disorders and stress along with job, kids, and husband sometimes
turns into a pretty ticking time bomb.............

P. Henry said...

Actually, what this 'passage' describes is the huge popularity of the use of *valium* among suburban housewives at the time. The drug was being prescribed as a 'muscle relaxer' like others called 'soma' and 'flexaril' but, in fact, was later discovered to be a potent anti-psychotic medicine which never should have been given so freely, which, in my mind, makes this commentary that much more interesting. these ladies being sung about were REALLY wasted!

Acynta said...

Nick is right about medication in general; however, the endemic depression
among housewives in the 1950s and 1960s was less of a cause than it was the
effect of social confinement and forced intellectual stagnation. I'll recommend
"The Feminine Mystique" as a counterpoint, as it is a terrifying vision into a
sort of life that those of us born post-1970 really can't remember. Emotions
are not wholly internal or chemical; they respond to stimuli. It's possible
to be malignantly unhappy not because there is something the matter with your
brain but because there is something the matter with your life. It seems to me
that if you are malignantly unhappy, and there is something the matter with
your life, then that is your brain acting correctly, as it is recognizing the
emptiness or soullessness and providing impetus to change.

I've always hated this Rolling Stones song, actually, as it criticizes the
housewife for her addiction to antidepressives and her meaningless life without
recognizing the cause and effect relationship between the two.

carlynn

Bruce Alan Wilson said...

Carlyn writes:

"I've always hated this Rolling Stones song, actually, as it criticizes the
housewife for her addiction to antidepressives and her meaningless life without
recognizing the cause and effect relationship between the two. "
If one has a "meaningless life" there are two ways of dealing with it. Either
change your life to make it meaningful, or to drug yourself with Valium or
alcohol or whatever so that you don't care anymore.
I'd say to the bored housewife whose main problem is too much time on her hands
is to go get a job, go back to school, or to find some worthy volunteer
activity. Better than to anesthetize yourself. There are always alternatives.
Now, if one is really clinically depressed, a specific biochemical condition,
yes, by all means get help and get on medication. There should be no stigma on
it any more than there is a stigma for a diabetic to take insulin. (I'm diabetic
myself, btw.)

Amber Grimes said...

Bruce Alan Wilson writes:

"Either
change your life to make it meaningful, or to drug yourself with Valium
or
alcohol or whatever so that you don't care anymore.
I'd say to the bored housewife whose main problem is too much time on
her hands
is to go get a job, go back to school, or to find some worthy volunteer
activity. Better than to anesthetize yourself. There are always
alternatives."

I agree with you completely, but I feel that housewives in the 50s were
slightly more limited by the confines of their lifestyle and "polite"
society than a housewife of today would be. Divorce was unacceptable, and
man of the time might have taken their wife's desire to take a job as an
insult to their masculinity, and if the wife didn't have a car, which many
more households only owned one car, then it would be more difficult for her
to volunteer, and then many of the housewife's had to care for their
children, and would not be allowed the luxury of daycare for them.

Regardless, this is one of my favorite Rolling Stones (poems) songs.

Amber Grimes
Marketing Services Coordinator
Paul Mueller Company

martha sayre said...

The Rolling Stones didn't corner the market re. this topic, I don't think. What about The Beatles' "Dr. Roberts" on the album released in the U.S. as Yesterday and Today?
Matt

Ideas de negocios said...

Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, but I am firmly convinced of this and love to learn more about the subject. If possible, acquire knowledge, would you update your blog with more information? It is very helpful to me

Anonymous said...

Nike Free Run 2 new style running shoes,
Nike Free Run womens running shoes,
Nike Free Run Plus good shoes for running,
Nike lunarglide 2 running shoes,
Nike free run 3.0 for mens,
Nike free 3.0 womens shoes,
Nike Free cheap cheap running shoes for sale.

Nike Free Run Sale online store,
Nike Free Run womens running shoes,
Nike Free Run Plus running shoes
Nike lunarglide 2 running shoes
Nike free 3.0 sale
Nike free 3.0 womens


Nike Free Run Cheap shoes for sale,
Nike Free Run womens running shoes,
Nike Free Run Plus running shoes
Nike lunarglide 2 running shoes
Nike free 3.0 sale
Nike free 3.0 womens
Cheap Nike Free Run shoes for sale.

Anonymous said...

It's impressive that you are getting thoughts from this article as well as from our dialogue made at this time.

Here is my web page - hot rods for sale in austin texas area

Anonymous said...

Excellent blog! Do you have any recommendations for aspiring writers?

I'm hoping to start my own blog soon but I'm a little lost on everything.
Would you advise starting with a free platform like
Wordpress or go for a paid option? There are so
many choices out there that I'm completely confused .. Any ideas? Bless you!

My homepage :: paleo diet breakfast

Anonymous said...

I was recommended this blog by my cousin. I'm not sure whether this post is written by him as no one else know such detailed about my difficulty. You are incredible! Thanks!

Here is my page: aaaa hot rods for sale

Anonymous said...

You're so awesome! I don't suppose I've truly read through anything like this before. So good to find somebody with some unique thoughts on this subject. Seriously.. thank you for starting this up. This website is one thing that is needed on the web, someone with some originality!

Check out my blog :: bahrain gold coins sale

Anonymous said...

I have been browsing on-line greater than
3 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours.
It's pretty worth sufficient for me. In my view, if all webmasters and bloggers made good content material as you did, the net will likely be much more useful than ever before.

Here is my web-site :: photoshop nightclub flyers

Anonymous said...

For most up-to-date information you have to go to see web and on web I found this web site as a most excellent web page
for newest updates.

my webpage: car show az

Anonymous said...

I think this is one of the most important information for me.
And i am glad reading your article. But should remark on some general things, The site style is perfect, the articles is really nice : D.

Good job, cheers

Also visit my weblog: vinyl floor tiles

William Smith said...

The article posted was very informative and useful. You people are doing a great job. Digital Electronic Products | Electronic Products Shopping | Keep going.

Post a Comment