Start Me Up

The Rolling Stones never liked to sit down and work out a song, as they would always jam it first and the song would evolve only after they played it enough times.  ‘Start Me Up’ took about six hours for the Stones to record and about 70 takes and I can just picture them in the studio saying “Let’s play it again!”.  Microsoft paid them $10 million so they could use this song for their Windows ‘95 advertising campaign.  This song was used at a lot of sporting events before the game started.  This song could be about a girl getting this guy all worked up, but it is more likely about a car, a tractor, or even a lawnmower that this guy likes.  The song appears to be a conversation between the machine and the man and it begins with lines that are sung by the machine and other lines are sung by the guy.

He spreads out the oil, and the gasoline and once he gets this machine started, he doesn’t want it to ever stop.  He wants to use the vehicle for racing, but it is not running as smooth as he likes, so he says he, “can’t compete with the riders in the other heats”.  He talks to this vehicle like it is a person and he is probably going to apply some grease to it so he can “slide it up”.  He tells the machine not to “make a grown man cry”.  His eyes have dilated, his lips turned green, his hands are greasy, but none of that matters as “She’s a mean, mean machine”.  In the end he tells the machine that she “made a dead man come”, which might mean that he came back to life because of her, or it could also be something sexual.

‘Start Me Up’ was written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards and it was recorded on their 1981 album Tattoo You.  The song reached #7 in the UK charts and went to #2 in the US.

If you start me up
If you start me up I’ll never stop
You can start me up
You can start me up I’ll never stop

I’ve been running hot
You got me ticking going to blow my top
If you start me up
If you start me up I’ll never stop
Never stop, never stop, never stop

You make a grown man cry
You make a grown man cry
You make a grown man cry

Spread out the oil, the gasoline
I walk smooth, ride in a mean, mean machine
Start it up

If you start it up
Kick on the starter
Give it all you got, you got, you got
I can’t compete with the riders in the other heats
If you rough it up
If you like it, I can slide it up
Slide it up, slide it up, slide it up

Don’t make a grown man cry
Don’t make a grown man cry
Don’t make a grown man cry

My eyes dilate, my lips go green
My hands are greasy
She’s a mean, mean machine

Start it up
Start me up
Ah, give it all you got
You got to never, never, never stop
Slide it up, baby, just slide it up
Slide it up, slide it up, never, never, never

You make a grown man cry
You make a grown man cry
You make a grown man cry

Ride like the wind at double speed
I’ll take you places that you’ve never, never seen
If you start it up
Love the day when we will never stop, never stop
Never, never, never stop
Tough me up
Never stop, never stop

You, you, you make a grown man cry
You, you made a dead man come
You, you made a dead man come

Written for Randomness Inked Scribbling the Unspoken Let it Bleed Weekly Prompt Challenge 31, where the prompt today is “Let’s play it!”.

16 thoughts on “Start Me Up

  1. It never fails to astound me when such solid gold classics never made it to #1 in their heyday. This is one of them. I am headed to GR to go to a movie (Ford vs Ferrari, which is perfect mesh with your post) then dinner with my kids. Will do my listening to SLS selections, which I’m sure will be good this week, when I get back. Have a great afternoon!

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  2. To me…this was their last great classic song. They had some good songs after but this fit along side Jumpin’ Jack Flash and the rest.

    Liked by 1 person

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