As Tears Go By

Album: December's Children (And Everybody's) (1965)
Charted: 6
  • It is the evening of the day
    I sit and watch the children play
    Smiling faces I can see
    But not for me
    I sit and watch
    As tears go by

    My riches can't buy everything
    I want to hear the children sing
    All I hear is the sound
    Of rain falling on the ground
    I sit and watch
    As tears go by

    It is the evening of the day
    I sit and watch the children play
    Doing things I used to do
    They think are new
    I sit and watch
    As tears go by Writer/s: Andrew Loog Oldham, Keith Richards, Mick Jagger
    Publisher: Abkco Music, Inc., BMG Rights Management, T.R.O. INC.
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 23

  • Robert from Staten Island, New YorkThe songs As Tear Go By was a completed song before Yesterday by the Beatles. Marianne Faithful recorded her version of As Tears Go By, accompanied with strings in 1964, and released in the U.K. the same year. Paul McCartney had been working on Yesterday for a while but didn't finish writing the song until the Spring of 1965. When Paul McCartney brought yesterday into the studio it was supposedly George Martin's idea to add strings to the song. People are under the impression that the Stones version, which was recorded in the late summer of 1965, got the idea for strings from Yesterday by the Beatles, but yet Marianne Faithfull's version has strings in it and that was before the Beatles recorded Yesterday. That is the way the songs is supposed to sound. People have also pointed out that the songs also has an acoustic guitar just like Yesterday as well. Firstly, Keith Richards wrote ATGB with an acoustic guitar. Secondly, ATGB is a ballad, and it's very common to use acoustic guitars in ballads to give the songs a gentle soft sound.
  • Tony from St. PaulNothing on this blog site confirms this, but I was under the assumption that the lyrics to As Tears Go By were sung from the perspective of an infertile wealthy woman who wants nothing more in life but to bear a child. Has anybody else thought about this? I thought that's what Mick and Keith were thinking about when they wrote this, kind of the opposite of Mother's Little Helper. Mature and deep lyrics for 21 year old men if this is the case...
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn February 13th 1966, the Rolling Stones performed "As Tears Go By" on the CBS-TV program 'The Ed Sullivan Show'...
    At the time the song was at #50 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; three weeks earlier on January 23rd, 1966 it peaked at #6 {for 1 week} and spent 9 weeks on the Top 100...
    On the same 'Sullivan' show they also performed "19th Nervous Breakdown"; and one week later on February 20th, it entered the Top 100 at position #46; and three weeks later on March 13th it peaked at #2* {for 3 weeks} and stayed on the chart for 10 weeks...
    * The three weeks it was at #2; the #1 record for those three weeks was "The Ballad of the Green Berets" by S/Sgt. Barry Sadler.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn February 10th 1965, a video clip of Marianne Faithful performed "As Tears Go By" was aired on the ABC-TV program 'Shindig!'...
    Eighteen days earlier on January 23rd, 1965 was its last day on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; it had peaked at #22 on January 3rd, 1965 {for 1 week} and spent 9 weeks on the Top 100...
    She had four other Top 100 records and they all made the chart in 1965; "Come & Stay with Me" {#26}, "This Little Bird" {#32}, "Summer Nights" {#24}, and "Go Away From My World" {#89}...
    R.I.P. Jimmy O'Neill {Shindig's host, 1940 - 2013} and Ms. Faithful celebrated her 68th birthday this pass December 29th {2014}.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn January 23rd 1966, "As Tears Go By" by the Rolling Stones peaked at #6 (for 1 week) on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; it had entered the chart on December 19th, 1965 and spent 9 weeks on the Top 100...
    It reached #2 on the Australian Kent Music Report chart...
    Was track 3 of side 2 on the lad's fifth American studio album, 'December's Children (And Everybody's)', the album reached #4 on Billboard's Top 200 Albums chart...
    One other track from the album also made the Top 100, "Get Off My Cloud" (#1 for 2 weeks)...
    On January 3rd, 1965 Marianne Faithful's version peaked at #22 (for 1 week) on the Top 100.
  • Greg from Princeton, NjThis is a beautiful but sad song. Shear poetry from Jagger, et all. It was also used on House.
    Once during Cameron and Chase's wedding and once during the end credits but just an instrumental
    version. Either way it is one of my favorite songs from the Stones.
  • Doctor Gregory House from Princeton-plainsboro, NjI'm surprised that nobody has mentioned that this very good song by the infamous Rolling Stones was featured on an episode of "House". As House is an extremely popular medical drama on Fox I can only come to the conclusion that you people are idiots,
    don't watch television, or most likely both. If you will excuse me now I need a vicodin or two and need to screw with Cuddy (no I don't mean sex you pervert).
  • Chris from Vancouver, BcR, Montreal, QC-- McCartney wrote Yesterday in January of 1964, while The Beatles were on tour in France. It's likely that, since McCartney was showing it off to anyone and everyone he could (to try and discount his fear of plagiarism), Jagger and Richards heard Yesterday before they wrote their own "As Tears Go By".
  • Kadir Köz from Istanbul, TurkeyI cannot say more : Perfect work
  • Bobby from Boston,ma, MaOr even this poem. A songwriter might pick any number of images/ideas to incorporate into a song lyric. I'm an English Major, and let me tell you, after years of reading poetry, I was always thrilled to connect songs (Especially Stones songs!) to things I read. Mainly British bands, but American songwriters too.

    The Stolen Child /W.B. Yeats
    (Last Verse}

    "Away with us he's going,
    The solemn-eyed:
    He'll hear no more the lowing
    Of the calves on the warm hillside
    Or the kettle on the hob
    Sing peace into his breast,
    Or see the brown mice bob
    Round and round the oatmeal-chest.
    For be comes, the human child,
    To the waters and the wild
    With a faery, hand in hand,
    from a world more full of weeping than you."

  • Bobby from Boston,ma, MaAlthough Jagger would never admit it, (Royalty -$$$- issues! lol), "As Tears Go By" has a direct connection to W.B. Yeats' poem "Among School Children." Read the poem and it is obvious. I'm not criticising him, this is common. Jagger is/was known as an avid reader of poetry, especially Irish/British poets. I could give you any number of examples in the Stones song collection to prove my point. It's like the Led Zeppelin connection to "The Lord of the Rings" book. We all know Plant wrote songs that plucked their images straight from the book, but, right up until this day, he won't admit it, because if he did, Tolkien's estate would demand royalties!
    Nonetheless, ATGB is a wonderful song and I'm thrilled they added it to their setlist on the last tour.
  • Fred from Laurel, MdThe world's first color TV broadcast was "Premiere" on 5 east coast (US) affiliates June 25, 1951. The first US coast-to-coast color TV broadcast was the 4th annual airing of "Amahl and the Night Visitors" on Dec 20, 1953. The first color prime-time series was "The Marriage" in summer 1954. NBC began its regular series of color dramas in 1959, starting with "Bonanza." NBC's announcement that its fall 1965 prime-time schedule would be almost all color, coaxed the other two networks to follow suit the next season. ABC and CBS had been lagging in this, because of NBC's corporate connection to RCA, which had a near-monopoly on color set production in the US at that time, and they (ABC and CBS) didn't want to support their competitor's product. -- source: Wikipedia article,

  • Andrew from Birmingham, United StatesI don't know why, but this song always reminds me of "In My Life" by the Beatles. I guess it's just the calm layout of these two songs. "In My Life" is slightly more lively since it has drumbeats, but it's the same style otherwise.
  • R from Montreal, Qc, CanadaNobody's really sure if Jagger wrote this song before Yesterday's McCartney. Rumous said that it was written in 64; while Yesterday was written in 65.
    There is one picture taking in a studio with Jagger, McCartney and Marianne Faithfull while she was recording the song. And I'm not completely sure, but I think that Marianne's version was issued before Yesterday.
    Anyway, the idea to add strings to a song was done well before the Beatles and the Stones; listen to the Motown stuff and you will have the answer.
  • Don from Vermontville, MiMy band plays this song about once a month. Good dance tune.
  • Anne from York , EnglandThis was song was influenced by Yesterday they addded the string section after Yesterday was already on the charts but I honestly like this song better.
  • James from Vidalia, GaI'd always heard that Faithful wrote this song. Hum...bummer. Mis-informed listeners for years.
  • Kelly from San Jose, CaI had to come back and say I got muy wish, Mick & Keith played "As Tears Go By" at their show last night, I couldn't believe it! And at 62 years of age Mick sounded awesome it was great. Thanks Mick, hmmm wonder if saw my comment prior to the show and decided to play what a long time fan was hoping to hear ?

    San Jose CA.
  • Kelly from San Jose, CaI Love the Rolling Stones, This song has been one of my favorites since about third grade, and believe me that was quite some time ago : - ) to remain one of my favorites for this many years has to say something for the song. I only wish it was on the list for the show tonight that I am attending. Come on Mick play ( As Tears Go By ) for a long time faithful fan!
  • Homero from Monterrey , MexicoThis is a very depresive song. Just hear it. I don t remember where i heard ot read, i dont know; that jagger and richards did not like this song at all, they believe its ridiculous.
  • Stefanie Magura from Rock Hill, ScStone's version is great! I've also heard Marianne Faithful's version, and it's beautiful!
  • Jim from Minneapolis, Mnabsolutely wonderful ballad...
  • Chelsea from Nyc, OrJagger also recorded a version of this song in Italian called "Con Le Mie Lacrime".
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Sub Pop Founder Bruce Pavitt On How To Create A Music SceneSong Writing

With $50 and a glue stick, Bruce Pavitt created Sub Pop, a fanzine-turned-label that gave the world Nirvana and grunge. He explains how motivated individuals can shift culture.

Corey HartSongwriter Interviews

The Canadian superstar talks about his sudden rise to fame, and tells the stories behind his hits "Sunglasses At Night," "Boy In The Box" and "Never Surrender."

Black SabbathFact or Fiction

Dwarfs on stage with an oversize Stonehenge set? Dabbling in Satanism? Find out which Spinal Tap-moments were true for Black Sabbath.

Mike Love of The Beach BoysSongwriter Interviews

The lead singer/lyricist of The Beach Boys talks about coming up with the words for "Good Vibrations," "Fun, Fun, Fun," "Kokomo" and other classic songs.

The FratellisSongwriter Interviews

Jon Fratelli talks about the band's third album, and the five-year break leading up to it.

Jim McCarty of The YardbirdsSongwriter Interviews

The Yardbirds drummer explains how they created their sound and talks about working with their famous guitarists.