Jumpin' Jack Flash

Album: Through The Past Darkly (Big Hits, Vol. 1) (1968)
Charted: 1 3
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  • Who is "Jack Flash"? His name is Jack Dyer, and he was Keith Richards' gardener. Richards explained to Rolling Stone in 2010: "The lyrics came from a gray dawn at Redlands. Mick and I had been up all night, it was raining outside, and there was the sound of these boots near the window, belonging to my gardener, Jack Dyer. It woke Mick up. He said, 'What's that?' I said, 'Oh, that's Jack. That's jumping Jack.' I started to work around the phrase on the guitar, which was in open tuning, singing the phrase 'Jumping Jack.' Mick said, 'Flash,' and suddenly we had this phrase with a great rhythm and ring to it."
  • Bill Wyman wrote some of this song, but it was still credited only to Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, which Wyman was never happy about. He explained: "We got to the studio early once and... in fact I think it was a rehearsal studio, I don't think it was a recording studio. And there was just myself, Brian and Charlie - the Stones NEVER arrive at the same time, you know - and Mick and Keith hadn't come. And I was just messing about and I just sat down at the piano and started doing this riff, da-daw, da-da-daw, da-da-daw, and then Brian played a bit of guitar and Charlie was doing a rhythm. We were just messing with it for 20 minutes, just filling in time, and Mick and Keith came in and we stopped and they said, 'Hey, that sounded really good, carry on, what is it? And then the next day we recorded it. Mick wrote great lyrics to it and it turned out to be a really good single."
  • Mick Jagger said this song is about "having a hard time and getting out. Just a metaphor for getting out of all the acid things." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France, for above 2
  • As Richards explained in Rolling Stone, he's very proud of his guitar part in this song. "When you get a riff like 'Flash,' you get a great feeling of elation, a wicked glee," he said. "I can hear the whole band take off behind me every time I play 'Flash' - there's this extra sort of turbo overdrive. You jump on the riff and it plays you. Levitation is probably the closest analogy to what I feel."
  • A promotional film, which was an early music video, was shot with The Stones performing this wearing body paint and outrageous costumes. The paint and costumes would become a trend in the '70s with bands like Kiss.
  • "Jumpin' Jack Flash" marked a transition to guitar rock for the Rolling Stones. Early on, they were more of a blues band, which reflected the influence of founding member Brian Jones. The went psychedelic on their previous album, Her Satanic Majesties Request, but by 1968 Jones was less a factor in the band and the group shed his influence. In 1969, they fired Jones, who was found dead in his swimming pool less than a month later. With Mick Jagger and Keith Richards firmly in charge, they became lavishly successful with stadium rockers like "Brown Sugar" and "It's Only Rock 'N' Roll."

    "The Stones became the guitar band we know today once Brian left the band," says Danny Garcia, director of the documentary Rolling Stone: Life and Death of Brian Jones. "During the '60s the band evolved from an R&B band to a pop band to a psychedelic band until they found their sound with 'Jumpin' Jack Flash' in '68."
  • In the US, this was a hit for Aretha Franklin in 1986. Her version was produced by Keith Richards, who also played guitar. It hit #21.
  • The title was used for the name of a Whoopi Goldberg movie in 1986. Aretha Franklin's version was used in the film.
  • This was intended for Beggar's Banquet, but they left it off the album and released it as a single because The Stones were very pleased with the results.
  • This was rumored to be about drugs - a "Jumpin' Jack Flash" is supposedly a way to inject heroin into the tear ducts. It was also thought to be about speed, the same pills that were mother's little helpers.
  • Speaking about his guitar work on this track, Keith Richards explained: "I used a Gibson Hummingbird acoustic tuned to open D, six string. Open D or open E, which is the same thing - same intervals - but it would be slackened down some for D. Then there was a capo on it, to get that really tight sound. And there was another guitar over the top of that, but tuned to Nashville tuning. I learned that from somebody in George Jones' band in San Antonio in 1964. The high-strung guitar was an acoustic, too. Both acoustics were put through a Phillips cassette recorder. Just jam the mic right in the guitar and play it back through an extension speaker." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
  • Don McLean referenced this in "American Pie" with the words "Jack be nimble, Jack be quick, Jack Flash sat on a candlestick, 'Cause fire is the Devil's only friend." The "Devil" was rumored to be Mick Jagger. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Helen - York, England
  • This plays in the 1973 movie Mean Streets when Robert De Niro's character shows up. Director Martin Scorsese played the song from his original album to give it more of a raw sound. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Ace - Las Vegas, NV
  • In 2004, Chevy used this in a commercial for their Corvette, but the ads were quickly pulled over objections from viewers. The ad showed a young kid driving the car in a very dangerous manner. It was meant to portray the kid dreaming about the car, but a lot of people didn't see it that way.
  • This song was used as the finale in the rhythm-action game Elite Beat Agents for the Nintendo DS. It is the second half of a two-part scenario, the first half being "Without a Fight." In the scenario, evil aliens known as the Rhombulans invade Earth and ban music, and the game's characters band together to summon the Elite Beat Agents. In "Without a Fight," the Elite Beat Agents help to free the prisoners in the Rhombulans' concentration camp (while simultaneously making music to injure the Rhombulan guards), then dash into the path of a gigantic laser beam to save the newly-freed prisoners. This results in the EBA being turned to stone, but the game's characters chant out "EBA" repeatedly while clapping in unison. As "Jumpin' Jack Flash" begins, the stone EBA statues crack, allowing the EBA to break free. They then proceed to sing and dance, leading Earth's populace into a high-school-prom-like celebration. At the end of the song ("Jumpin Jack Flash is a gas"), the agents and the people harness the power of music to fire a huge laser at the Rhombulan lead UFO, utterly destroying it and saving the planet. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Matthew - Milford, MA
  • This is the most-performed song by the Rolling Stones. The band have played this during every tour since its release in 1968.
  • In his autobiography, Life (2010), Keith Richards wrote about the mysterious power of this song: "I love 'Satisfaction' dearly and everything, but those chords are pretty much a de rigueur course as far as songwriting goes. But 'Flash' is particularly interesting. It's allllll right now. It's almost Arabic or very old, archaic, classical, the chord setups you could only hear in Gregorian chants or something like that. And it's that weird mixture of your actual rock and roll and at the same time this weird echo of very, very ancient music that you don't even know. It's much older than I am, and that's unbelievable! It's like a recall of something, and I don't know where it came from." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France

Comments: 70

  • Lee from Kingston PaWhat does Jimmy Miller shout at the very start of Child Of The Moon?
  • Patricia from Coatbridge Having fun with this song
  • Kawa from Tokyo, JapanHi Music lovers,

    I think that the idea of the lyrics and music of this song came from the song called 'Born To Be Wild' recorded and released the rock band 'Steppenwolf' in 1968. Because both songs of the lyrics and music were very alike. Let's take a look at the two songs. You can see there are some words or meaning in common. At first on 'Born To Be wild', there are some key words like 'Born', 'Fire all of your guns', 'Smoke and lightning',and 'Thunder'. On 'Jumpin' Jack Flush', there are some key words like 'Born', 'a cross-fire hurricane' AND 'Flush'. I think both key words on both songs are very alike and same meaning, too. The songwriter of the song, Mick Jagger, was very smart to hide where the original idea came from and make the listeners believe that this was a new song, I think. But I think the traces of the original song remain.
  • Roy from SloughThe Stones like the Beatles had a knack for hiding "rude" lyrics in their songs. So i hear "its a gas" as " s--ts a gas" very evident in the fade out.....Possibly a drug reference.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn November 13th 1968, the Rolling Stones' Brian Jones purchased the Cotchford Farm* in Sussex, England; it was the former home of 'Winnie the Pooh' author A.A. Milne, and came replete with statues of Pooh characters around the grounds...
    At the time the Stones didn't have a record on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; but during that calendar year they charted twice, "Jumpin' Jack Flash" at #3 and "Street Fighting Man" at #48...
    * Sadly, just under eight months later on July 3rd, 1969 Mr. Jones would drown in the farm's swimming pool at the young age of 27.
  • Lee from UsaMeaning of jumpin' jack flash read everything and watch the 2 minute portion of a video on youtube left a link to. It won't hurt to read all of this info. Do it or never know the true meaning.

    1. Spring-heeled Jack is an entity in English folklore of the Victorian era.

    2. Google "Spring-heeled jack entity" if you want evidence. Click Wikipedia's explanation.

    3. From Wikipedia Spring-heeled Jack section 2.2 Paranormal Conjectures in the box labeling all the sections on the left. This is the part of theory that explains how this entity possibly got the nickname Jumpin' Jack Flash. Here is what is written in Wikipedia.

    Fortean authors, particularly Loren Coleman and Jerome Clark, list "Spring-heeled Jack" in a category named "phantom attackers", with another well-known example being the "Mad Gasser of Mattoon". Typical "phantom attackers" appear to be human, and may be perceived as prosaic criminals, but may display extraordinary abilities (as in Spring-heeled Jack's jumps, which, it is widely noted, would break the ankles of a human who replicated them) and/or cannot be caught by authorities. Victims commonly experience the "attack" in their bedrooms, homes or other seemingly secure enclosures. They may report being pinned or paralyzed, or on the other hand describe a "siege" in which they fought off a persistent intruder or intruders. Many reports can readily be explained psychologically, most notably as the "Old Hag" phenomenon, recorded in folklore and recognized by psychologists as a form of hallucination. In the most problematic cases, an "attack" is witnessed by several people and substantiated by some physical evidence, but the attacker cannot be verified to exist.

    4. Someone apparently started calling this entity Jumpin' Jack Flash because it could jump long distances because of the springs in its heels.
    5. YouTube has a four part series of videos titled "They Sold Their Souls For Rock N Roll (Part 3 of 4)." I leave a link for part 3 because from the 38:40 - 39:45 minutes section it states, and I quote "Marianne Faithfull said that Jagger harnessed all of the entities... Lucifer, Jumpin' Jack Flash... The dark, violent, group mind of the crowd-chaos, and Pan. That frenzied power caused many of the casualties of the 60's."
    Quoted from Marianne Faithfull, Biography
    Here is a link to that (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NfSBVewinE

    6. Regardless of whether Jack was a real "entity", a "phantom attacker", "prosaic attacker", or "Old Hag" phenomenon it is apparent that somewhere along the line Spring-heeled Jack garnered the nickname Jumpin' Jack Flash.

    7. Here is a link to a YouTube video titled "They Sold Their Souls For Rock N Roll" so you can go to minute 38:40 and watch to minute 39:45 and see for yourself.

    8. This is the best evidence I have found on this subject. Decide for yourself after watching the 1 minute and 45 seconds part of the YouTube video and by reading what is in Wikipedia. Or, become friends with Mick and Keith and ask them personally. Also, please read Wikipedia's info on Spring-heeled Jack. Or, buy Marianne Faithfull's biography and read it, but it seems there a more than one biography's about Marianne. In that case, buy all the biographies about Marianne and kill a weekend reading until you find "Marianne Faithfull said that Jagger harnessed all of the entities... Lucifer, Jumpin Jack Flash... The dark, violent, group mind of the crowd-chaos, and Pan. That frenzied power caused many of the casualties of the 60's..."

    9. Follow this link to see that what I have typed here is correct.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn July 6th 1973, Johnny Winter performed a covered version of "Jumpin' Jack Flash" on NBC-TV program 'The Midnight Special'...
    Exactly five years earlier on July 6th, 1968 the original version of the song by the Rolling Stones was at #3 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn June 2nd 1968, "Jumpin' Jack Flash" by the Rolling Stones entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #62; and on June 30th it peaked at #3 (for 3 weeks) and spent 12 weeks on the Top 100 (and for 6 of those 12 weeks it was on the Top 10)...
    And on June 18th it reached #1 (for 2 weeks) on the United Kingdom's Singles chart...
    Two covered versions have made the Top 100 chart; Johnny Winter (#89 in 1971) and Aretha Franklin (#21 in 1986).
  • Bertrand from Paris, FranceCould be the Jack that Don McLean sings about in "American Pie."
  • Tom from Uitenhauge, South AfricaOne of the single greatest songs ever. Some of its credited to the fact that Keith Richards' life was like the beginning of the song.
  • Guy from Benson, NcAndrew from NY, people actually DO inject heroin in their eyes(not sure about tear ducts exactly). Junkies did this to hide any track marks.
  • Benji from Tribeca, NyThe whole heroin and tear ducts is true look here http://www.co.butler.pa.us/butler/lib/butler/drugalc/FS_Heroin.pdf
    and that is the thing with a spike through my head
  • Kevin from Lawrence, Ks[Continued from below]....verbage as "What ya do to me?" or "Here go" or "Watch this". I have to believe that Jagger is trying to create mood and attention at the intro and thus comes up with what has to be something like "Watch it!" To say, as some insist, "one-two" only stands to lower the image of the iconic figure who shouts it out.
  • Kevin from Lawrence, KsTo shout out "One-Two" at the start of this song would be too "Show Business-ie" for someone with the rebelious image that Jagger wished to portray in those days. That sort of verbage was reserved for the Tom Joneses and the Neil Diamonds of the time. Hence, Jagger never would have allowed himself to say that on a final product. Therefore, I suspect that he used what became a 70's-style ad lib of sorts, where the band's frontman typically shouted out comments and verbage as "
  • Jerry from Charlotte, NcI think that Dave Crawford, England, is closest to the truth than most. The way i heard it from Peter from London Town (rest his soul, commited suicide before viagra, you go figure, hanged himself in London) in San Francisco late 70's was that he as a kid saw the variety show in england where Jumping Jack would light a match and fart making a big fire, so the "Jumping Jack Flash, what a gas, gas, gas". He said it was hilarious. That is the version i know and the one that makes more sense. Not wanting to give Jack credit, etc... i can beleive it as True....
  • R. H. from Pauls Valley, OkJack from Perth is correct.
  • Alex from Gillingham, United KingdomFor me, this song is really important: I first heard the start of it in a trailer for the Shine a Light concert DVD. Just that sent me to look up old songs that I had been introduced to by my dad - The Beatles initially, then more of the 'Stones stuff and from that further back into the history of Rock n' Roll (which I like).
  • Jack from Usa, MaOne more. All the brainless posting about class 5 hurricanes, etc.: Have you never heard of poetry, you id---s? JJF is not a friggin weather bulletin.
  • Jack from Usa, MaIMO JJF is one of the Stones' stronger tunes. The lyric is an affectionate parody of a standard blues lyric--"nobody knows the troubles I've seen"--and, too, the relentless over-the toppishness--born in a cross-fire hurricane, drowned, stabbed, left for dead, etc.--sends up that familiar hyperbolic "I'm a king bee, walked twenty-seven miles over barbed wire" aspect of a lot of blues. But what makes the song original is the point of it all, as shown in the chorus: "But it's all right now, in fact it's a gas..." The Stones aren't so much sending up the blues as sending up their own many incongruities: an all-White, English band playing music based in the quintessential Afro-American music; a wildly successful, chateaux-owning bunch of newly rich young guys singing the cryin' blues to stadiums full of loudly enthusiastic fans. "Jumpin Jack Flash" keeps it real: The Stones are coming clean, good-humoredly acknowledging that they are by no stretch a genuwine blues band, nor pretending to be--and in the process create a song that is a true, post-
    modern, bluesy-rock classic. Which sort of modernist innovation and double-consciousness IMO was always at the heart of their best work: "Sympathy," "Gimme Shelter," "Street Fighting Man." And why I just can't get with the whole "Exile" deification: Its fans seem to think the London-born multi-millionaire Stones had somehow evolved into a real live Mississippi/Chicago/Memphis blues band. The Stones are moderns or nothing.

    classic. A post-modern blues
  • Mike from New York, NyCross-fire hurricane is a hurricane category 5 with cross winds blowing against each other. Jimmy Miller played maracas on JJF. The reference in Don McLean's song is not about the Stones playing Candlestick Park since American Pie was written in 1971 and the Stones had yet to play Candlestick Park. The Stones' brief American tour in 1964 was the first time any of them had ever been to America. I play this song every day before I go out into the world because it gives me the strength to deal with it all. I've had many an argument around the Internet about what Jagger says at the start of JJF. I state categorically and unequivocally that Jagger shouts "One Two!" Some lugheads insist he is saying "Watch It!" Where they get that from, I don't know. Great comments here; obviously real Stones fans and Andrew in NY's comments are like a seminar on guitar (cut 'n pasted that, I did).
  • Christy from Morristown, TnThis is my favorite song of all time by The Stones. This is why I consider them to be the greatest rock band, ever!
  • Ben from Perth, Australiahttp://eil.com/shop/moreinfo.asp?catalogid=345656

    You can all buy their book here, titled CROSS FIRE HURRICANE.

    As for being born in the back of a car, I am not too
    sure that Mick was born in a 2004 Chrysler with heated seats.
  • R. H. from Pauls Valley, OkGary from the U. K.:
    Don't know if accent there differs as much according to what part of the country someone may be from. Here in the U.S., though they may be from the same country, the difference in accent between someone from Boston, Mass. and say someone from Dallas, Texas is VERY different. I've never been to England but I have heard many times on tv and in movies British accents pronounce words like blasted as blosted and say bostard instead of... well you know. So unless they were faking it for the cameras then you're wrong! Sorry. I may wrong about "closs five" also. It's no big deal. Just a theory. As was pointed out, hurricanes didn't have classes back then. I was merely stating that I have never heard of a "cross fire" hurricane. That's all. No need to get upset.
  • Jack from Perth, AustraliaI was born in a crossfire Hurricane, is reference to the place of birth. A Crossfire Hurricaine is a Car people. He was born in the back seat of a car.
  • Gary from Hertford, United Kingdomre: "Why does everybody think the line is cross fire hurricane? That makes no sense. What the hell is a cross fire hurricane. He say "class five" hurricane which is the strongest there is. He just says it with that British accent which would be pronounced "closs"."

    What utter bollocks. I'm English and I've never heard anyone pronounce class as 'closs.' Only an american trying to do a british accent would pronounce it that way. It's quite clearly 'cross fire hurricane.'
  • Reed from New Ulm, MnI remember being quite young at that time, and not having listerned to much of the stones stuff, but i sat up and took notice of that one! Great ,great song!
  • Ken from Booneville,ms, MsBrian played lead guitar on this one
  • Shyguy from Super Mario Land, AfghanistanThis song is about being so high on the gas nitrous oxide that you think you're a messiah-like figure and wearing a crown of thorns("Spike right through my head").
  • Frances from Vancouver, BcJust realized that cross-fire hurricane refers to the Hurricane planes that fought the battle of Britain in 1944.That's what was happening in Britain when Mick and Kieth were born.
  • Frances from Vancouver, BcFor a totally hilarious take on what the lyrics really are see the movie 'Jack Flash' with Whoopie Goldberg. She is trying to understand the lyrics in order to breakdown a code from an MI5 spy.Best translation of what the heck Mick Jagger is actually saying.Does anybody really know?
  • Ashley from Quincy, Ilmy 2 favorite stones song I listen to it every day I not kiding!
  • Bertrand from Paris, FranceIn the history of the Stones, this is where our bad boys become unstuck from the mire of psychedelia and emerge from their paisley chrysalis as antiheroes who would never again be tied down to either roots or trends (although they'd flirt with both). The vicious lyrics are the Stones' own blues mythology, a "Mannish Boy" that reinvents them as monsters. This being rock, it only made them more popular.
  • Dill from Alexandria, VaCloss five makes more sense than crossfire -- but guess what, didn't have hurricane classes in the 60's...
  • Anthony from London/buenos Aires, EnglandSTAY was written by Mick Taylor but credited only to the Glimmer Twins like so many others of that time. Anthony
  • Anthony from London/buenos Aires, EnglandNah, It's just Jagger's imagination running away with him on Jack The Gardner Becomes Jack The Ripper! GREAT RIFF( Base player's riff), Anthony Buenos Aires/ London
  • R.h. from Pauls Valley, OkWhy does everybody think the line is cross fire hurricane? That makes no sense. What the hell is a cross fire hurricane. He say "class five" hurricane which is the strongest there is. He just says it with that British accent which would be pronounced "closs".
  • Matthew from Milford, MaThis song was the finale in Elite Beat Agents. Any EBA fans out there? "EBA! EBA! EBA! EBA! EBA! EBA! EBA!" (ad infinitum)
  • Hippiejoe from San Francisco, CaYou guys got it all wrong, this song is about being high on nitrous oxide and thinking you're Jesus because of the bad things that happened to you in your life.
  • Musicmama from New York, NyThis is one of my two favorite 'Stones songs. (The other is "Paint it Black.") In tone and mood, they are almost polar opposites. But in terms of technique and tempo, they're not so different. And they both show what the 'Stones could do. The only problem with them is they spent about 30 years too many on the road and recording. The Beatles, whether or not they realized it, had the right idea: Most bands can only spend five years--seven or eight if they have particularly good chemistry. The breakup allowed John, Paul and George to develop in their own ways. Alas, this has not happened for Mick or anyone else who's played for the Rolling Stones.
  • Craig from Melbourne, AustraliaEasily the greatest rock song in history. Not just a return to form for the band, but the beginning of their golden period.

    There are NO electric guitars on this track. It's all accoustic guitars miked into one of the 1st Phillips cassette recorders.
  • Bobpape from Austin, TxTo Brett in Edmonton- I doubt if you would ever go to church, but if you did, YOU would probably think that there were cryptic references to drugs in the words to the hymns! To Andrew in N.Y.- I really like your sensiblenand informative comments. There should be more such comments to all of the songs, especially those where the druggies have "claimed" it.
  • AnonymousIs it realy a gas? Or is it our lifeless reality, I mean the modern civilisation, brain-washing machines we are unconsciously in? We all are Jumping Jacks, that's why this song touches all of us.
  • Mark from Mchenry, IlThis is my favorite rock song of all time. It's the song that made me a Stones fan. Whenever I hear the first chord come through the speakers, it grabs me and my attention is held through the end of the song. I cannot sit still when this song is on. And it's a classic Stones arrangement, starting with a single instrument and building to a complete wall of sound. Perfection! Regarding the suggestions that this song is about drugs, it sometimes seems hard to find a song on this site that someone doesn't say is about drugs. While the Stones had their share of such songs (especially on "Sticky Fingers"), I don't think this is such a song.
  • Andrew from New York, United StatesDAMN you people are NUTS! Why the HELL would ANYONE "inject heroin into their tear ducts"?? That's absolutely crazy! You inject heroin into your muscle, like Keith did - look at the mangled area on his left bicep - or you inject it directly into the vein so it goes right to your bloodstream for a bigger kick (also more chance of OD- probably why Keith didn't do this). Or you snort it or smoke it. PERIOD. You DO NOT inject it into your freakin' TEAR DUCTS!! You would get very little if any "high" from that, it would be VERY difficult- do you know how small a tear duct is?? AND it would HURT!! It would be an utter waste of good drugs, something no drug user ever does, no matter how rich and jaded- because you never know where your next fix is coming from, or the one after that...Someone is REALLY pulling your leg on this one. People will believe ANYTHING about drug-users!! To the best of my knowledge, the title of the song is, as noted above, loosely based on Keith's gardener Jack who had huge feet. Nothing at all to do with drugs.
    The song, while played in Open-D, is tuned so sharp that it sounds in E-flat. My guess is this was done to play along with Wyman's keyboards; E-flat and B-flat are very common keys on instruments other than the guitar, particularly keyboards and horns, because they're easier to play in. Guitarists who don't use open tunings tend to play in keys like A, G, E, D, etc., because they are easier on guitar where you can make use of the open strings- tuned to E, A, D, G, B, and E.
    I missed that atricle about George Jones' band, but I can confirm that Keith often used Nashville tuning, aka high-strung tuning, where you replace the 4 lowest strings of the (usually acoustic) guitar with the thinner octave strings from a 12-string set. One of the guitars on "Wild Horses" is in Nashville tuning.
  • Tj from Champaign, Il"Where the hell did you hear that?"

    Carlos confused Spring-Heel Jack for Jumpin' Jack Flash.
  • Steven from West Carrollton, OhThis is my FAVORITE Stones song!!!! It's too bad they've ruined their dignity by still touring...
  • Dave from Dave Crawford, EnglandThere's so many stories about how j.j.f. came about: any of them could be true of course. In England there was/is an old folk song called Jumpin Jack that was in guitar books in the 50s/60s. It was also the name of the Jumping Cracker (fire-work)- which we always called jumpin jack cracker, and my gran' called the 'Jack Flash' ( cos it flashed when it went off..). Plus we even had a pub called The jumping jack around our way. I always just assumed that it was a common name of anything a bit devious strange or scarey - maybe in folk-law, and therefore a great title for the mythical life of a strange human being.
  • Henry from Kingston, Ny"Jumping Jack Flash is a creature that molested women in London in 1837, it had fire eyes, ice breath, and jumped from a roof to the other. He was never trapped."

    That's one of the weirdest things I've ever heard. Where the hell did you hear that?
  • Craig from Irvine, CaMick was over at "Keef's" working on songs. The garner Jack was outside stomping around in his wader boots. Mick said, " What's that" Keef said, " It's Jumpin Jack, my gardner" He started playing a riff, and supposedly they both started singing Jumpin Jack, Jumpin Jack...which they strecthed into Jumpin Jack Flash. NOTE: In Don McLean's American Pie, Jack Flash jumped over a candlestick, refers to the Stones playing Jumpin Jack Flash at Candlestick Park.
    Mr. R's Histroy of Rock
  • Carlos from Toluca, MexicoJumping Jack Flash is a creature that molested women in London in 1837, it had fire eyes, ice breath, and jumped from a roof to the other.

    He was never trapped.
  • Keith from Front Royal, VaDave from Toronto got it right. This is Keith Richards favorite Stones song. I've never heard of it being written in Florida, that was "Satisfaction". The Byrds member you refer to is Gram Parsons, one of Keith's best friends. Wyman whines to this day about this writing this riff but it's very similar to the "Satisfaction" riff which was most definitely written by Keith Richards.
  • James from Vancouver, CanadaI found a Guns N Roses cover it that rocks pretty hard (apparently it was some demo they recorded never on any album though). Slash has a kick ass solo and Axl (I guess to be a "badass") changes the lyric "bearded hag" to "big dicked hag".
  • Steve from Utica, NyWhat is a Cross-Fire Hurricane? Who ever wrote this song, I think, wrote Class Five Hurricane. A class five hurricane is the strongest. I'm wrong most likely. But it fits and makes sense. Was this song written while they were in Florida. I think I read somewhere that Sympathy for the Devil was written at the Don Cesar in St Petersburg FL. Maybe one of the Byrds help co-write.
  • Jordan from Hollywood, CaCross-Fire Hurricane, to me that means a storm of cross-fire on like a battlefield or something. Mick and Keith were both born in 1943 durring WWII in England where there was fighting, only it was overhead in the sky, like a hurricane. The rest is that he was born when it was raining, and had a quite crap life untill it was a gas. I personally don't think that it's about drugs.
  • Dave from Toronto, Ontario, CanadaRegarding the opening line " I was born in a Cross-Fire Hurricane" I read in an old late 70's book by the Author Barbara Charone who interviewed and Stayed with Keith and Anita, that it's about Keith being born( in 1943) amidst the German bombings and V1 and V2 rocket attacks of the time around London and really over a large portion on England during WWII.

    and the title was about his gardener and as for any overt drug references , I've never read that , but if other people thought that and it sold records , then who is going to argue.
  • Matt from Monroe, LaIf this guitar lick doesnt get you going...U need to check your pulse..
  • Jim from Minneapolis, MnOne of the all time best rock and roll songs... but I had always thought the lyrics went "I was born in a cross-eyed hurricane." Makes more sense, since hurricanes have an eye. What is a cross-fire hurricane, anyway?
  • E from Vancouver, CanadaPeter Frampton performs Jumpin' Jack flash on his album 'Peter Frampton Comes Alive'. Its a very good album, but i highly prefer the original Rolling Stones version
  • Zack from Hinesburg, Vtwoah thats wierd. I always thought the first lyric was "i was born in a class-five hurricane" im not sure if this is the actual way they measure them but i doubt the Stones would either.
  • Eric from Cincinnati, OhThat Corvette commercial is one of my all time favorites for many reasons, including the use of such an awesome song (the excitement of "JJF" plus America's premier automobile -- What a combo!) My wife loves it because in his dream, the boy's hard-top Vette meets an even cooler, drop-top Vette driven by a little girl. It's too bad such an awesome ad was pulled because of easily offended pu**ies... See a full ad review on http://motortrend.com/features/consumer/112_0412_tv/index.html
  • Chris from New York , NyCould this song in a weird way be about the human part of Jesus? For example, being "born in a crossfire hurricain" sort of describes the dangerous and perilous world that Jesus was born into... and then the last verse, "I fell down to my feet and I saw they bled. I frowned at the crumbs of a crust of bread. Yeah, yeah, yeah
    I was crowned with a spike right thru my head", to me refers to the Last Supper, and the Passion of the Christ that Jesus went through.
  • Dill from Alexandria, VaIn Oct 02 "Guitar World" Keith Richards says something about this song that is amazing to me -- he got the special guitar tuning years earlier when he was in San Antonio in 1963 from a member of country star George Jones' band. Replacing the four heavy guitar strings with lighter strings and tuning them an octave high. What? Keith Richards was in pre-Beatles SOUTH TEXAS? Getting guitar lessons from country stars backup players!
  • Luke from Pittsburgh, PaReally good song. The Pittsburgh Pirates play this for every Jack Wilson at-bat.
  • Paul from London, EnglandOriginal version of this song is currently being used in a Corvette TV commercial in England.
  • Dana from Albany, NyLeon Russell did an extended version of "Jumpin Jack Flash" on George Harrison's "Concert for Bangladesh" album that is one of the great songs of rock n roll. Johnny Winter turned in a pretty fair version too.
  • Rhett from Melbourne, Australiathe strength of this song is its opening line - "I was born in a cross fire hurricain".
  • Simon from Brno, Czech RepublicKeith Richards played the bass guitar and Bill Wyman played the organ.Ian Stewart played the piano and Mick Jagger(or Brian Jones) played the maracas.
  • Michael from Oceanport, NjAlso featured in the movie "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" with Johnny Depp and Benecio Del Toro. It plays through the last scene and into the end credits.
  • Greg from Calgary, United StatesAbout a suicidal guy. "Spike right through my head", "Drowned, washed up and left for dead" etc. refer to failed suicide attempts.
  • Brett from Edmonton, CanadaThe whole "tear ducts" rumour may be fiction, but how could this sound be about anything BUT heroin? (Besides, drug songs always rule.)
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