Patti Smith, “Rock and Roll Nigger”

Patti Smith, 1978. Oh yeah!

Outside of society! That’s where I wanna be!

Baby baby baby I’m a rock and roll nigger! Yeah! Me too! I’m a rock and roll nigger! Til the day I die!

The day they play this music at the Republican Convention, I’m going to have to kill myself.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1o68h4Usqs]

Baby was a black sheep. Baby was a whore.
Baby got big and baby get bigger.
Baby get something. Baby get more.
Baby, baby, baby was a rock-and-roll nigger.
Oh, look around you, all around you,
riding on a copper wave.
Do you like the world around you?
Are you ready to behave?

Outside of society, they’re waitin’ for me.
Outside of society, that’s where I want to be.

(Lenny!)

Baby was a black sheep. Baby was a whore.
You know she got big. Well, she’s gonna get bigger.
Baby got a hand; got a finger on the trigger.
Baby, baby, baby is a rock-and-roll nigger.

Outside of society, that’s where I want to be.
Outside of society, they’re waitin’ for me.

(those who have suffered, understand suffering,
and thereby extend their hand
the storm that brings harm
also makes fertile
blessed is the grass
and herb and the true thorn and light)

I was lost in a valley of pleasure.
I was lost in the infinite sea.
I was lost, and measure for measure,
love spewed from the heart of me.
I was lost, and the cost,
and the cost didn’t matter to me.
I was lost, and the cost
was to be outside society.

Jimi Hendrix was a nigger.
Jesus Christ and Grandma, too.
Jackson Pollock was a nigger.
Nigger, nigger, nigger, nigger,
nigger, nigger, nigger.

Outside of society, they’re waitin’ for me.
Outside of society, if you’re looking,
that’s where you’ll find me.
Outside of society, they’re waitin’ for me.
Outside of society. (Repeat)

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9 thoughts on “Patti Smith, “Rock and Roll Nigger””

  1. hi. hi. i was running after you for a long time.
    i i was watching you from. . .
    actually I’ve watched you for a long time.
    i like to watch you when you’re walking
    back and forth on the beach.
    and the way your the way your cloth looks.
    i like i like to see the edges
    -the bottom of it-
    get all wet when you’re walking near the water there.
    it’s real nice to talk to you.
    i didn’t. i-i-i-i-i . . . how are you? how are you?
    (oh albino)
    i saw i saw you from your balcony window
    and you were standing there waving at everybody
    it was really great because there was about
    a billion people there, but when i was waving to you,
    uh, the way your face was, it was so, the way your face was
    it made me feel exactly like we’re
    it’s not that you were just waving to me, but
    that we were we were waving to each other.
    really it was really wonderful
    i really felt happy
    it really made me happy
    and. um. i. i just wanted to thank you
    because
    you
    you really really you made me
    you made me feel good
    and
    oh i, it’s nothing.
    i um. i. well i’m just clumsy.
    yeah.
    no, it’s just a bandaid.
    no, it’s ok.
    oh no, i’m always doing
    something’s always happening to me
    yeah. well. i’ll be seein’ ya.
    goodbye. bye.

    wave thou art pretty.
    wave thou art high
    wave thou are music
    wave thou are white
    (oh albino)
    (oh albino)
    wave thou art high
    (wave thou art pretty)
    wave to the city
    wave
    goodbye.
    goodbye sir.
    goodbye pa……pa.

    Patti Smith—-Easter album— Wave

  2. First heard this song in Natural Born Killers.

    The media would go nuts if they played this song at a Republican or Democratic convention.

    Robert how come since the Bush administration it seems that there have been more blacks at senior levels in presidential administrations than ever before yet they are the most hawkish pushing for these foreign wars?. Rice and Powell in the Bush administration and of course Obama and that black women who pushed for action in Sudan and Libya.

    1. Susan Rice although in her wikipedia page it does not mention her effort during the whole Sudanese genocide campaign action against the Sudanese government.

  3. I’m currently reading Just Kids, Patti Smith’s memoir of her life with Robert Mapplethorpe. Good book, I recommend it, though I’m not sure it was good enough to deserve the National Book Award (maybe it was a bad year for books).

    I liked Patti Smith, but I was never really a fan. Never bought any of her albums, but I did crank up the radio when they played “Kimberly.” What got me interested was coming across an interview with her on NPR, of all places. She sounded like a nice lady, a lot more normal than you’d guess from her stage persona. For instance, she said that she was always monogamous, and that she was worried when Mapplethorpe first started getting into S&M because she was afraid he’d get hurt. That’s how she comes across in the book, too, kind of naive. I’m up to 1970 so far. Both Smith and Mapplethorpe are still unknowns. Alan Ginsburg has just bought her a sandwich and tried to pick her up, thinking she was a boy.

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