June 22, 2024

Kris Kristofferson by Fans, for Fans

In appreciation of the Silver Tongued Devil

Blame it on the Stones lyrics meaning

7 min read

Wrtitten by Kristofferson/John Wilken

Blame it on the Stones lyrics meaning : A Study by Fans

From Kris Kristofferson – the Album
Released 1970 (Monument)
Re-released 1970 as Me and Bobby McGee
Re-released 2001 on cd (with 4 bonus tracks)

Lyrics study

Question 1

What was going on in Kris’ life around the time he wrote this song? (Released 1970, so written in the late ‘60s)

A: I believe Kris’ wife had left him the year before. Johnny Cash had just recorded Sunday Morning… and Kris was able to quit working odd jobs to live. Livieri Barbara Livieri

A: I think that social conscience was growing. s the song was released in ’70, it’s likely to have been written in the late ’60s. Dave Dudley recorded Kris’ Vietnam Blues in the 60s, I think war played a role A lot of Kris’ good friends were sent to #Vietnam and his family is full of military men – including Kris. Being away from family concerns, Kris had time on his hands. He knew about the protests, & he knew how the #middleclass thought. This song is interestingly not attacking gov’t (directly) but is targeting people like …. us (demographically) Lifestyle put Kris right in the middle. He came from a well off family, he was running with songwriters & I am sure he was dealing with separation & possibly personal pain & even guilt. Dealing with breakups often includes looking at what might have been, and wishing you or others felt differently. Donna Clarke

A: I remember the 60’s and he was aware of how people were but everything was blamed on rock and roll. Phyllis Strickland Hamilton

A: He sounds sarcastic. Everybody down on the new generation but here they are having affairs with secretaries, drinking martinis and popping pills. In that new generation was all about peace, love and music. That had to be very frustrating for Kris to see. Dallas Smith Dixon

A: To me I see that people have a way of overlooking their own faults, but find it necessary to blame someone, anyone. “If you can’t find somebody else”…Minerva Anne Brenner

A: In my opinion it was written, like Jesse Younger, as a dig at his parents for their stance on his abandonment in their eyes of his obligations and possible future political career, by dropping out and going to Nashville. It’s a not so veiled sarcasm at their narrow views and so-called perfect lives. Carson Annett

A: I think “Blame It On the Stones,” is about the chaos of the 60’s all totalled. Our parents: (society) could not enjoy the music we found to love, and they could not embrace our new behaviour. It has a sarcastic tone. Daniel Hoyt

A: Yes and just think our parents understood the music that came from England and the US even less because they did not speak English. So they did not know what it was about. and all the younger ones did was bad and came from the music they heard. From today’s point of view just looks weird to me because music does not make wars. It only stimulates reflection and brings people together. I hope you understand what I’m trying to say. Fefie Schwind

Question 2

The album was called “Kristofferson” – It was later re-released as Me and Bobby McGee. Why? Which record cover did you prefer?

Record execs thought it would make more money if it were renamed after the big hit on the album, the one made famous by the now deceased Janis Joplin. It certainly grabbed your attention more than Kristofferson as the album name. Especially since he was a relative unknown at the time. I liked the Me & Bobby McGee release photo but would have preferred the original title. Barbara Livieri

In South Africa at the time, only the green one was available, I never saw the black one at all until much later & on Amazon / online. Donna Clarke

A: I like the black one, it fits the atmosphere of the songs from the album such as Casey’s Last Ride, Darby’s Castle, and Duvalier’s Dream. Ivan Balogh

A: Me And Bobby McGee re-release it is more welcoming and bold bragging of the wild famous hit identifies KK better Daniel Hoyt Green

Does not make any difference to me, it was the ???. Minerva Anne Brenner

Question 3

Why do you think Blame it on the Stones was picked as the very first track for Kris’ very first album?

A: Perhaps “Blame it on the Stones” would get some attention from fans of the Rolling Stones, and the song was catchy and kind of sounded like the Stones’ own “Mother’s Little Helper” song. Parts of it anyway. Barbara Livieri

A: In short, it was right on trend. Blame it on the Stones is, I think, about passing the buck. My guru friend once said that if we could lose the NEED to justify ourselves & BE RIGHT that the world would change quickly for the better. The need to be right is the root of a lot of conflicts. Blame it on ….. came out when the media started to be more available. This was also a time when injustices were legal & quite tolerated. Apartheid, segregation, interfering in civil wars were all on the go. People like to blame circumstances rather than accept responsibility. There was a sense of – Not MY problem – so rock music, trends and fashions were blamed when kids went off the rails when problems were a lot closer to home. Donna Clarke

Question 4

Was there anything happening in the news or socially that might have inspired this song?

A: Sounds like the song is about the disintegration of the typical middle class married and family life. Kids were rebelling, women’s lib was going strong, I believe birth control was being made more efficient and becoming legal. And it was the time of hippies and free love. Of course, that devil “rock & roll music” was the culprit for it all. Barb Livieri Barbara Livieri

A: Vietnam. Dudley had recorded Vietnam Blues, Joan Baez was around and she is very socially aware and engaged – Kris must have been conflicted about his love for friends that went to war (& his family were military& possibly involved) and his anger for the futility of the whole thing. The anti-war movement was very IN and the country was divided – There was no agreement on how a good citizen should feel and behave. The reference to tranqs supports this because valium was the big cure-it-all – It’s actually very cheap to produce, and widely prescribed for mums and wives who were left waiting for their man – or a telegram. Donna Clarke

A: And especially the Rolling Stones!!!! Janice Campbell

Question 5

Why is the nation bleeding?

A: I think the “bleeding” was a metaphor, like “bleeding hearts” meaning a whining or complaining nation. Middle-aged folks complaining about the breakdown of society and looking for a scape-goat – the Rolling Stones. Barbara Livieri

A: “Bleeding” just means “effing.” British swear word. So is “Bloody.” Virginia Wilson

A: I think it has to do with the war in Vietnam. America is a very patriot country but it was divided on the Vietnam war, so many thought they should not be over there, and I believe Kris was one of those and so the great nation of the United States was bleeding which is just a metaphor for the above statement. Ilene Armstrong

A: “Bleeding” is an interesting word. Kris had already spent time in the UK – it’s used as a swear word – a cuss really. “Bleedin’ hell …” – It’s used to magnify another unpleasant word. The NATION is bleeding because it is divided – Once again – the #Vietnam war – Patriots were confused about how to feel – The country was torn apart – bleeding. The war caused casualties and death – bleeding. NATION is often used to describe the native population – I really think the war filtered more for Kris than we realise. It says online that “Kraigher (Kris’ brother) was a United States Navy fighter pilot and served in the Vietnam War” – There is little more info on his brother and nothing that implies Kris was not on good terms with him. In short, I think the nation was bleeding because according to Kris, it was hurt, divided and cut apart. – #WarProtests were common and often resulted in casualties too when the public and the police clashed. The lyrics from Johnny Lobo also return to this theme – “Loaded down with lessons that he carried – Home from Viet Nam to Wounded Knee” Donna Clarke

How do you think Mick Jagger felt is/when he heard this song?

A: I have neither read nor heard of any reactions from Mick or any of the Stones, but I think he/they would probably have liked the song – perhaps wish they would have thought of it themselves? LOL Barbara Livieri

A: He likely put those big lips of his in a frown Llene Armstrong

A: I think Mick would’ve appreciated Kris’ sympathy with their plight at the time; being targeted over and over by tabloid press and even raided (and having things planted in their homes sometimes) by police, etc. So b/c the song is satire I think Kris was defending the Stones; saying like “Mr. Modern Middle Class” always has to find a scapegoat rather than examine himself for why his life, his job, his wife, his children aren’t fulfilling relationships.
 Like for example the song might have been “Blame it on Madonna” or “Blame it on TuPac” if written during a different time idk. Virginia Wilson

A: Mick Jagger has never been known for being shy 🙂 The Stones did set out to shock people when they were a young group. I don’t know what Mick might have thought, but I can guess that it improved his STRUT lol . Donna Clarke

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