5 Interesting Facts About “Happy” By The Rolling Stones
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The Rolling Stones‘ hit song “Happy” has some interesting facts behind it. We list down five of them below,
1. Keith Richards wrote “Happy” and the first Stones song to chart with him singing lead
“That’s a strange song, because if you play it you actually become happy, even in the worst of circumstances.”
Richards said on Happy. He continued,
“It has a little magical bounce about it. I wrote it one afternoon when we were cutting Exile on Main St. in France and the studio was in my basement. And Bobby Keys was with me and they got this lick going. So we went down and I recorded it with just guitar and Bobby Keys on baritone saxophone. While we were doing that, Jimmy Miller, who was our producer at the time, came in. And he was a very good drummer as well. So we said, well let’s put down a dub, we’ll just sort of sketch it out and play it later. But it’s another one of those things that ended up being on the record.”
The only people to play on this were Keith (guitar, bass, vocals), producer Jimmy Miller (drums), and horn player Bobby Keys (percussion).
“It was just one of those moments that you get that are very happy. And I can play it now and it gives you a lift. I don’t know why except for maybe the word.”
Richards added. He sang this at concerts, giving him a chance to be in the spotlight.
2. “I need a love to keep me Happy”
Richards wrote this part as a play on “Anita’s love will keep me Happy,” referring to his girlfriend, Anita Pallenberg. The Italian-German model and actress was The Rolling Stones’ muse who formed one of rock ‘n’ roll’s most unforgettable love triangles.
Pallenberg was first involved with Brian Jones, but she had a much longer relationship with Richards. The couple first began dating in 1967 and continued their relationship for nearly 12 years.
They shared three children together Marlon Leon Sundeep Richards and Dandelion Angela Richards, and a son named Tara who died unexpectedly of SIDS at only 2 months old in 1976. Anita and Keith remained close until she died in 2017.
Richards called Anita “extremely bright” in his 2010 autobiography, Life:
“Anita came out of an artistic world, and she had quite a bit of talent herself. She was certainly a lover of art and pally with its contemporary practitioners and wrapped up in the pop art world.”
3. Perfect song for a Happy wedding!
When singer Lucinda Williams got married to her new husband on stage in 2009, she performed the song after they exchanged vows. Everybody was singing and dancing along making a truly happy memory for the couple.
4. E Street Band’s Nils Lofgren released a cover version
Lofgren included his rip cover of “Happy” on his 1977 album I Came to Dance. But he was unsure about the correct words of the song so he had to alter the lyrics. Niles explained,
“Jagger said that he didn’t mind… we had spent a long time trying to decipher the lyric.”
5. Richards performed “Happy” on the 2021 US No Filter Tour
On the opening night of the of the tour in St. Louis, Mick Jagger introduced the band one by one, then he called Richards on the stage and everyone cheered as he leads the Stones and performed “Happy” making the crowd really happy to see the band still playing it live.