"Salt Of The Earth" as written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards....
Let's drink to the hard working people
Let's drink to the lowly of birth
Raise your glass to the good and the evil
Let's drink to the salt of the earth

Say a prayer for the common foot soldier
Spare a thought for his back breaking work
Say a prayer for his wife and his children
Who burn the fires and who still till the earth

And when I search a faceless crowd
A swirling mass of gray and
Black and white
They don't look real to me
In fact, they look so strange

Raise your glass to the hard working people
Let's drink to the uncounted heads
Let's think of the wavering millions
Who need leaders but get gamblers instead

Spare a thought for the stay-at-home voter
His empty eyes gaze at strange beauty shows
And a parade of the gray suited grafters
A choice of cancer or polio

And when I look in the faceless crowd
A swirling mass of grays and
Black and white
They don't look real to me
Or don't they look so strange

Let's drink to the hard working people
Let's think of the lowly of birth
Spare a thought for the rag taggy people
Let's drink to the salt of the earth

Let's drink to the hard working people
Let's drink to the salt of the earth
Let's drink to the two thousand million
Let's think of the humble of birth


Lyrics submitted by spliphstar

"Salt of the Earth" as written by Mick Jagger Keith Richards

Lyrics © Abkco Music, Inc.

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Salt Of The Earth song meanings
Add your thoughts

10 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +2
    General CommentTo kfe2 - it is not Keith's first lead vocal. SOMETHING HAPPENED TO ME YESTERDAY from BETWEEN THE BUTTONS was.

    Song CAN be a celebration of the common/working class people but the chorus shows kind of a contempt for them - as if, screw them. They'll never improve their lot in life.

    mageestouton February 23, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentA strangely poignant celebration that ends just amazingly, on par with You Can't Always Get. i think it sums up beggar's banquet perfectly.
    johnsonvilleon March 18, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentYeah, and dont forget its also the 60s dandy hippy in them sarcastically taking the p*ss out of working class protest songs.
    hipshoton January 21, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI'll drink to that. This song is quite radical. Mick and Keith I believed went down to L.A. and got some gospel girls to sing. They obviously kept them. I love those gospel singers.
    HAHAHA
    heyjude55on May 27, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentMy favourite bit is the verse about the stay-at-home voter. I always find myself playing this song on election days, I wonder why?! "A choice of cancer or polio" - how very true.
    morbid moragon May 04, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI've heard this 1968 Stones song referred to as "the ultimate drinking song" in the rock n' roll bible. Hmm….could be. If ANYBODY could do it, it would be the Stones, the Modern Priests of Rhytym and Blues.

    Nobody here has yet mentioned that this extended filmic music video reflects the competitive fire set under the arses of The Stones in 1968 to get a film of their own for TV, just like the Beatles had in December 1967 with "Magical Mystery Tour, " (which bombed!).

    It's well-known that the Beatles and the Stones kept a sort of friendly competition going, with Macca having written and given away to Jagger a couple of early singles. (Sorry, can't recall the titles right now. Old age! {Maybe "Not Fade Away"??!})

    The Beatles' "Mystery Tour" got an awful, scathing reception from audiences and critics alike! Everybody hated it. Nevertheless the Stones liked the concept of a TV film and felt that they could best the Beatles and get it done right! And they did, really. The Rolling Stones Rock n Roll Circus was filmed in December 1968 under a real three-ring circus tent, with a cast of many stars: The Who, Taj Mahal, John and Yoko, Marianne Faithful, "The Dirty Mac" (Lennon in another persona), Eric Clapton.and others. But "Circus" never aired! Not on BBC TV as was intended, not anywhere! The Stones withheld it for mysterious reasons. (One rumour has them feeling upstaged by their guests, The Who.) So "Circus" stayed in the can until finally, in 1996 being released on DVD.THIS fan had been on pins and needles the whole time, because "Salt of the Earth" could only be procured in its filmed format as the closing number for The Rock n Roll Circus - it had never been recorded, in any form, elsewhere.

    What a thrill! This was the world's first peek at Keef singing alone. He sings the opening verse of "Salt", then Jagger takes over to finish the song. Throughout the song the camera pans across familiar faces: look,, there's Lennon, and Faithful, and Townshend of The Who! All mixing with "ordinary folk" - the "Salt of the Earth - type folk!"

    Major groovy, Man!
    quieteson December 04, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYay!
    coo2kachooon April 13, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentJust the stones paying due to those who mkae everything possible yet are never in the lime-light.
    silverprodon January 16, 2006   Link
  • -1
    General CommentKeith Richards' first lead vocal for The Stones. He and Mick Jagger both sing on this. The song salutes the working class peoples.
    kfe2on February 02, 2006   Link
  • -1
    General Commentyou people should look for the live version with mr.axl rose. it's TOTALLY LOVELY. i even loved it more than the non-live version.
    carrotkinson January 04, 2007   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain