ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Meaning of a Song "You Can't Always Get What You Want"

Updated on September 11, 2016

Interpretation of the Lyrics to Mick Jagger's song You Can't Always Get What You Want

The Meaning of a Song

Recently I watched a Trump rally on television. The rally ended with a song, composed by Mick Jagger, You Can’t Always Get What You Want. The song was one of many hits by the Rolling Stones on the 1969 Album, Let It Bleed.

This is my interpretation of the song.

During the decade of the 1960’s, heroin addiction raised its ugly head in New York City. During this period, Organized Crime imported drugs into the ports of New York and New Jersey. Very little heroin came from Vietnam and Thailand. Mexican brown dope, from the Baha Peninsula, was not transported to the East Coast.

A disruption in this Organized Crime, so called French Connection drug pipeline, would cause periodic dry spells of heroin on the streets of New York City. In the mid-1960’s, there were probably 100,000 heroin addicts in NYC and Northern New Jersey. In order to survive an uncomfortable, sickly, nightmarish withdrawal from heroin, substitute drugs were ingested.

A continuation of the lyrics of Mr. Jagger’s song, “I went down to the Chelsea drugstore to get my prescription filled.” The Chelsea drugstore I remember was not in London but in the Chelsea district of Manhattan near 8th Avenue and 23rd Street. The drugstores back then were mom and pop operations. It was not difficult to get a legal prescription from a local clinic for Doriden, a sedative, hypnotic drug, produced by Ciba Pharmaceuticals. The street name for the drug was Cibas. Doriden came in three dosages. This prescription for Doriden, usually thirty pills, no refill, was filled in the pharmacy. It was worth a short wait in line to get your prescription filled.

More lyrics, “We decided that we would have a soda, my favorite flavor, cherry red.” Some of the drug stores had soda fountains. However, this soda was codeine cough medicine. The best flavored was cherry red colored, Robitussin AC. It was perfectly legal to obtain four ounces of codeine cough medicine without a prescription. You just signed a register for the medicine.

“You can’t always get what you want, but if you try some time, you just might find, you get what you need.” When a junkie ingested four ounces of codeine cough syrup and swallowed two mid-sized Cibas, the addict would get a heroin like rush. This combination of pills and medicine was the best replacement for heroin.

There are not many addicts alive from that era. Most drug abusers died from overdoses, either heroin, or pills or a combination of the drugs. Some users were murdered in drug deals. Those that survived into the 1980’s died of AIDS.

Unfortunately, history repeats itself and in the 21st century, young people are still dying from drug addiction. No doubt that fifty years from now, a drug survivor will remember a song that will relate to the drug addiction horror of 2016, the way I related this song to the drug addiction horror of 1966.


Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • JamesCage profile image
      Author

      JamesCage 9 months ago from New Jersey

      Amanda,

      Thank you.

      James

    • profile image

      Amanda B 9 months ago

      Really great interpretation! I've always wondered what that song was about, seems alot of people misunderstand or misapply! Thanks for your article.

    • profile image

      MsLowrie 22 months ago

      It is definitely one of the best.

    • JamesCage profile image
      Author

      JamesCage 22 months ago from New Jersey

      Thank you. Let it Bleed is my favorite album.

    • profile image

      MsLowrie 22 months ago

      Love love love love love that album. In fact, I used to have all of the Rolling Stones vinyl (my baby brother has my albums now). I would venture to say that your interpretation is spot on.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 22 months ago from Oklahoma

      Interesting analysis.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)