Saddest Songs of Rock and Roll – #42

by Lawrence J. J, Leonard

We only have two choices in life: give up or survive. Even when we find ourselves trapped, the only way out is to visualize and plan our next move.  That, or give in and play the part we are forced into. But we all know that our souls are more valuable than we can ever realize. It is an impossible situation for women and children being trafficked for sex or worse.

These themes are not such heavy topics for rock and roll. Blues composers have written songs that alluded to drug addictions, murder or crimes against the innocent. For the American rock group Aerosmith writing songs about people they met while on the road was a way of acknowledging their experiences and things gone wrong.

In 1974 Joey Kramer, Joe Perry, Brad Whitford, Tom Hamilton and Steven Tyler had just released their second album in the same number of years. The songs  for their third studio album, Toys In The Attic, magnified loneliness, vengeance, gut-wrenching sorrow, boredom, and even physical abuse like only a rock and roll band could. The beats and fuzz guitars kept you interested in learning the words. One song in particular expressed despair about an abused woman like no other song could.

Number 42
Steven and Tom collaborated on the dark ballad “Uncle Salty” which was released as a B-side cut.  The 1975 hit for the 7-inch single was “Sweet Emotion” and it came just one month after the album’s release.

The “Uncle Salty” song complimented the cool rock riffs and lyrics decrying neglect and the anger of “Sweet Emotion” on the A-side. It seems the best thing you can do if you are being abused and/or neglected is to tell somebody about it.

Lyrics:  written by Steven Tyler and Tom Hamilton

Uncle Salty told me stories of a lonely
baby with a lonely kind of life to lead
my mammy was lusted, Daddy he was busted
they left her to be trusted till the orphan bleeds
but when she cried at night, no one came
and when she cried at night, went insane

Uncle Salty told me when she was just a baby
that she’d get by and maybe someday she’d see
but soon she found her mother’s love for all the others
the pushers and the shovers was the life to lead
but when she cried at night, no one came
and when she cried at night, went insane

oooh, it’s a sunny day outside my window
oooh, it’s a sunny day outside my window
oooh, oh yeah
oooh, oh yeah, yeah yeah

now she’s doin any for money and a penny
a sailor with a penny or two or three
hers is the cunning for men who come a-runnin’
they all come for fun and it seems to me
that when she cried at night, no one came
and when she cried at night, went insane

oooh, it’s a sunny day outside my window

If you are feeling depressed, do something about it. Please find help before making any rash decisions.  Click this resource, the National Institute of Mental Health.

Copyright © 1960-2017 Lawrence J. J. Leonard All rights reserved.

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