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19th Nervous Breakdown

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This Rolling Stones song was written by Keith Richards and Mick Jagger and it was released in 1966 on their Big Hits (High Tide And Green Grass) album.  ‘19th Nervous Breakdown’ went to #1 in the UK and it reached #2 on the US charts, spending three weeks behind Nancy Sinatra’s ‘These Boots Are Made For Walkin”.  On the Billboard Hot 100, by a remarkable coincidence, the single also spent three weeks at No. 2 in March and early April 1966, beaten only by Staff Sgt. Barry Sadler’s ‘The Ballad of the Green Berets.’  ‘19th Nervous Breakdown’ came in at #62 on the Billboard Year-End Hot 100 chart for 1966.  Incidentally, ‘The Ballad of the Green Berets’ was the top song and ‘These Boots Are Made For Walkin” came in at #13 for the year.

The title describes how Mick Jagger felt during a US tour in 1965, concerning his contempt for poor little rich girls and the neuroses of over privileged youth.  Jagger explained in the Rolling Stones Monthly magazine, “We had just done five weeks hectic work in the States and I said, ‘Dunno about you blokes, but I feel about ready for my nineteenth nervous breakdown’.”  The rest of the Stones thought that would make a great song title and Jagger wrote lyrics about the trendy neurosis of posh London girls who didn’t appreciate all that they had.  Keith and Mick worked on the number while Brian, Charlie and Bill egged them on to finish it.  When Jagger was asked about this song he said, “We’re not Bob Dylan, y’know.  It’s not supposed to mean anything.  It’s just about a neurotic bird, that’s all.  I thought of the title first – it just sounded good.”  A lot of people think that this song was written about Marianne Faithful, but this song was recorded in December of 1965 and Mick was still with the English model Chrissie Shrimpton at this time.  Mick would often complain about her being very spoiled, high maintenance and self absorbed.  Mick Jagger began dating supermodel Jean Shrimpton’s kid sister when they were teenagers and she may have been the muse for some of the lyrics, however this song isn’t entirely about her.

Brian Jones plays the songs’ signature lead guitar riff, which was inspired by Bo Diddley’s ‘Diddley Daddy’.  There is an interesting interplay between Brian Jones’ and Keith Richards’ bouncy rhythm guitar lines and as the song fades out, Wyman uncorks an intense wild dive-bombing bass sound that makes the song.  Mick Jagger sang lead vocals, and Charlie Watts played drums.  Coming in at almost four minutes in duration, it is long by the standards of the time.  This song infuriated a lot of the establishment, because the Stones were singing about mental disorder and they threw in a drug reference line.  It was reported that Shrimpton overdosed on sleeping pills in December 1966 after Jagger stood her up when they were supposed to go on vacation together, and this overdose drew parallels to the pill-popping character in the song.  It was rumored that the line “On our first trip” is a reference to the first time Jagger dropped acid with Shrimpton.  This was a breakthrough song for the Rolling Stones, and it showed that the Stones could pack sharp social criticism into their brand of rock & roll.

You’re the kind of person you meet at certain dismal, dull affairs
Center of a crowd, talking much too loud, running up and down the stairs
Well, it seems to me that you have seen too much in too few years
And though you’ve tried you just can’t hide your eyes are edged with tears

You better stop, look around
Here it comes, here it comes, here it comes, here it comes
Here comes your nineteenth nervous breakdown

When you were a child you were treated kind
But you were never brought up right
You were always spoiled with a thousand toys but still you cried all night
Your mother who neglected you owes a million dollars tax
And your father’s still perfecting ways of making sealing wax

You better stop, look around
Here it comes, here it comes, here it comes, here it comes
Here comes your nineteenth nervous breakdown

Oh, who’s to blame, that girl’s just insane
Well nothing I do don’t seem to work
It only seems to make matters worse, oh please

You were still in school when you had that fool who really messed your mind
And after that you turned your back on treating people kind
On our first trip I tried so hard to rearrange your mind
But after a while I realized you were disarranging mine

You better stop, look around
Here it comes, here it comes, here it comes, here it comes
Here comes your nineteenth nervous breakdown

Oh, who’s to blame, that girl’s just insane
Well nothing I do don’t seem to work
It only seems to make matters worse, oh please

When you were a child you were treated kind
But you were never brought up right
You were always spoiled with a thousand toys but still you cried all night
Your mother who neglected you owes a million dollars tax
And your father’s still perfecting ways of making sealing wax

You better stop, look around
Here it comes
Here comes your nineteenth nervous breakdown
Here comes your nineteenth nervous breakdown
Here comes your nineteenth nervous breakdown
Here comes your nineteenth nervous breakdown
Here comes your nineteenth nervous breakdown
Here comes your nineteenth nervous breakdown

The challenge today is to focus on this song and use it for inspiration in any form of creative expression (including but not limited to short stories, poems, lyrics, artwork, photography, (etc.).  Alternatively, if you are a musician, and you have played this song solo or in a group, it would be awesome if you could post a video to showcase your own work.  You could write about how you learned to play the chords or how you learned the lyrics.  There is no need to stick with this song, as if there is another Rolling Stones song that you like to write about, that will be fine, so basically this writing challenge is wide open.  The whole point of this MM Music challenge is to get you to think, to trigger something so that you can show how creative you are.

The song mentions that the girl’s father was perfecting ways of making sealing wax, which is a wax material that hardens quickly and creates a seal after melting, forming a bond that is difficult to separate without noticeable tampering.  Wax is used to verify something such as a document has not been opened, and at one time it was commonly used on envelopes to verify the sender’s identity, being stamped with a signet ring.  If you would like to compose a story about writing letters, or about an invention that you are working on, that would be nice.  If you owe a million dollars of unpaid tax, that would also make a nice story.  You could also write about being a Special Forces Soldier like a Green Beret, or if you have some boots that are made for walking or styling, whether they are Prada, Gucci, Jimmy Choo, Manolo Blahnik, Louis Vuitton or Stuart Weitzman, then feel free to write about that.

Since you can’t get at the worms without opening up the can, it would be nice if someone wanted to write about mental health.  What is a nervous breakdown and are some people more susceptible to getting them than others?  Do you have to be spoiled and rich to have a nervous breakdown?  If you served in the military, or have a family member that came back suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, that would be appropriate to write about?  During World War II, General George S. Patton nicknamed Old Blood and Guts slapped two soldiers who were believed to be suffering from “battle fatigue”, “shell shock”, or “battle stress” and I don’t think that this would happen today, because we have learned more about this debility and we have become more sensitive to people’s needs.  PTSD was not particularly associated with WWII vets, partly because the term didn’t emerge until after the war in Vietnam, and partly because the military downplayed its effects, but it existed, as did something now known as survivor’s guilt.  If you would like to write about a military experience that would be perfect.

If you would like to write a real life or fictional tale about men in white coats chasing you with butterfly nets, you getting tranquilized or tasered and taken to the nut house, that would also work.  Perhaps nuthouse is not the most politically correct word, so if you want to call it a mental institution, a lunatic asylum or whatever that would be fine.  It would be great if someone wanted to write about Nurse Ratched, the fictional character and the main antagonist of Ken Kesey’s 1962 novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.  You could also write about a song that you feel helps you cope with anxiety or depression.

Dylan Hughes has next Friday, July 5 with her First Line Friday and then I will be back on Friday, July 12 with another MM Music Challenge where we will discuss the song ‘Do You Really Want To Hurt Me’.  When you are finished writing your post, create a ping back to this post, but you can also place your link in the comments section below if you desire.  This Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie MM Music challenge has a special feature called Mr. Linky, which I have working now.  This will allow you to instantly link your post after you click the Mr. Linky Button, and then follow the directions that are given.

About newepicauthor

My About Me section is meant to provide my readers with an honest picture of myself that gives a little bit of background information on who I am and I will wrap this up with a catchy image. I am a story teller and I like to use my imagination. I am interested in many things, but a few of my favorites are watching the NFL and playing golf. I do not like onions and I always make sure that my food does not contain any. I had two wonderful parents, my dad Herb Adams was a television repairman and my mother Mary Adams was mostly a stay at home mom. They are both deceased now and I miss them. I am a retired Electrical Engineer specialized in control systems. I held many different positions because I worked mostly as a consultant. I did work as a Substitute Teacher, for a while, but the kids were awful. I am happiest when I am writing, as this gives my life has a purpose. Forming a sentence with meaningful words that articulate my inner feelings is an everyday quest for me. Every writer needs to tell their story, and all writers have their own style. All stories starts off with characters, who are able to entertain the reader. Creating realistic lovable characters is the best way to tell a story. If you are able to develop characters that become real to you, then you will know exactly what they will do say and do next and this lets your story progress to the completion. Writing changes everything and having the calling to create something new through the power of words is much more than just making marks on a page. Once written, a book can be used by many people to learn and be entertained. The act of writing can be compared to the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle as it contains an inherent fuzziness, because various people may derive different meanings from reading the same words. You can never know the true nature of written words and the best I can do is hope is that people will understand the meanings that I am trying to convey. There are no clear-cut laws on how to write and it is impossible for me to determine how my readers react to my books.

18 comments on “19th Nervous Breakdown

  1. THEY WROTE SOME GREAT SONGS, CHINA

    china.alexandria@livingthedream.blog

  2. Reblogged this on LIVING THE DREAM.

  3. newepicauthor
    June 28, 2019

    Reblogged this on A Unique Title For Me and commented:

    Are you looking for a way to express your creative writing today? If so stop on by the MM Music Challenge today as there are plenty of topics that you can choose from.

  4. ivor20
    June 28, 2019

    I’ll send you this video clip of Procol Harum’s song, “in held twas I”

  5. Pingback: Someone In My Head – A Unique Title For Me

  6. Pingback: Music Challenge — Edna’s Nervous Breakdown – This, That, and The Other

  7. msjadeli
    June 29, 2019

    Jim, believe it or not I forgot this AGAIN. Sorry! I *will* be submitting an entry tomorrow, I promise.

  8. Pingback: MM Music Challenges — 19th Nervous Breakdown – Tao Talk

    • newepicauthor
      June 29, 2019

      This was so awesome, thanks for participating again Li.

  9. tedstrutz
    June 30, 2019

    What a fabulous post! I’m going to go see the Stones on August 14th with my daughter Ashley, the ultimate Rolinga.

    • newepicauthor
      June 30, 2019

      Thanks. I am not familiar with the ultimate Rolinga.

      • tedstrutz
        June 30, 2019

        That’s what they called devoted female Rolling Stone fans in South America.

  10. Pingback: Music Challenges – 19th Nervous Brreakdown – Twenty Four

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This entry was posted on June 28, 2019 by in Uncategorized.
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