Have you ever heard a band perform live and realized that they switched up some lyrics on you? It's not because the singer was too stoned to remember the right words, it's because songs frequently go through major changes, particularly when it comes time to lay the track down in the studio. Sometimes, for example, important verses get cut to be more audience-friendly, simply because they're about all-male orgies or hobo sex.
But damn, when you see these original lyrics, it puts the song in a whole new, unsettling light ...
5"Honky Tonk Woman" Cuts the Part About a Bisexual Orgy
In "Honky Tonk Woman," the Rolling Stones sing of hopping from woman to woman, trying to get over one lover in particular. First the singer drowns his sorrows in Memphis until a barfly drags his (unconscious?) ass upstairs. Then the action shifts to New York, where the singer hooks up with a divorcee. He resists her advances at first, but she wins him over; she blows his nose and blows his mind, and so on. It's basically Mick Jagger singing about the sexual escapades of a man who still had way less sex than Jagger did in real life:
But in one version that the Stones would perform live, the adventure continues with a third verse (sometimes it replaces the second verse):
To start with, the verse goes:
Strollin' on the boulevards of Paris
Ah, there we go. Classic sequel escalation. The third installment goes international! Now we'll presumably get to hear about the Stones entering some cafe or whorehouse for further amorous escapades.
Naked as the day that I will die
"AND be buried."
Uh ... OK. Didn't think the song was going to go with public nudity, but Europeans are more open-minded, or so we hear. And props for replacing the "as the day I was born" cliche with the image of an erect Keith Richards in the coffin. (An inaccurate image, of course; he will never die.) So, walking les rues de Paris, cock flapping in the wind, surely it's time for the singer to run into his next female love interest.
The sailors, they're so charming there in Paris
Again, unexpected. But let's not jump to conclusions. He's run into a crowd of sailors because ... maybe they're all going to hunt down some ladies together?
But they just don't seem to sail you off my mind
"Would you care to make a donation ... to the dick bowl?"
Well, that settles it. This follows the same template as the previous verses ("Cause I just can't seem to drink you off my mind"; "She blew my nose and then she blew my mind"). Having exhausted America's supply of women, the singer next seeks satisfaction by flailing nude into a pack of very confused French sailors. And even as he's being (presumably) beaten and arrested, he still can't get the Honky Tonk Woman off his mind.