Prodigal Son

Album: Beggars Banquet (1968)
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  • Well a poor boy took his father's bread and started down the road
    Started down the road
    Took all he had and started down the road
    Going out in this world, where God only knows
    And that'll be the way to get along

    Well poor boy spent all he had, famine come in the land
    Famine come in the land
    Spent all he had and famine come in the land
    Said, "I believe I'll go and hire me to some man"
    And that'll be the way I'll get along

    Well, man said, "I'll give you a job for to feed my swine
    For to feed my swine
    I'll give you a job for to feed my swine"
    Boy stood there and hung his head and cried
    Cause that is no way to get along

    Said, "I believe I'll ride, believe I'll go back home
    Believe I'll go back home
    Believe I'll ride, believe I'll go back home
    Or down the road as far as I can go"
    And that'll be the way to get along

    Well, father said, "See my son coming home to me
    Coming home to me"
    Father ran and fell down on his knees
    Said, "Sing and praise, Lord have mercy on me"

    Oh poor boy stood there, hung his head and cried
    Hung his head and cried
    Poor boy stood and hung his head and cried
    Said, "Father will you look on me as a child?"

    Well father said, "Eldest son, kill the fatted calf,
    Call the family round
    Kill that calf and call the family round
    My son was lost but now he is found
    Cause that's the way for us to get along"
    Hey Writer/s: Rev. Robert Wilkins
    Publisher: WYNWOOD MUSIC CO. INC.
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 12

  • Alex from MexicoCorrect me if I'm wrong, but this is not a cover. The Stones borrowed the music, but wrote the lyrics themselves. I have listened to Rev. Robert Wilkins's original and his lyrics are completely different. Please clear this confusion.
  • Russ from Miami Springs, FlI'm gonna get slagged for this, but I don't care... Prodigal Son was the best song the Stones ever did. As was pointed out in the SongFacts above, the Stones, as did so many of the bands from this period took their inspiration from the blues; the British groups in particular were very devoted to that musical form. It may technically be a cover, but with this version Keith and Mick truly made this song their own. It's perhaps one of the simplest songs they ever did, but also one of the most powerful.
  • John from Woburn, MaIf you listen closely you can hear Brian Jones playing harmonica. By the time this album's recording commenced Brian was becoming increasingly unstabble and shunned by the rest of the group (specifically Mick and Keith).They would sometimes turn off the mic next to his guitar or simply not record his part in songs. In this case it appears that either his part was played too far away form a mic to be sufficiently audible or the intentionally mixed his part down very low.
  • Craig from Melbourne, AustraliaThis song was rarely performed live. A version can be seen in the special features of the superb "Gimme Shelter" doco.
  • Michael from Santa Barbara, CaProdigal Son is a Parable form The King James Bible, which is very similar to the song. You can find this Parable at (Luke 15:11-32)
  • Steve from Ottawa, CanadaStefanie, Muddy Waters did record a song called Rollin' Stone, but it is not the same as the Robert Wilkins song. It is the song, however, from which the Rolling Stones took their name.
  • Stefanie from Rock Hill, ScDidn't Muddy Waters record a song called "Rollin' Stone" or "Rollin' Stone Blues." Is it the same as the Robert Wilkins song?
  • Sam from Shanghai, ChinaSounds a lot like a Robert Johnson track to me, especially the way Mick sings it
  • Robert from Santa Barbara, CaIt was traditional in the South to play blues(the devil's music) until you were saved(sanctified). When Robert Wilkins originally recorded the song, he called it "That's No Way To Get Along", but after he became the Reverend Robert Wilkins, he changed the lyrics(but not the music) and recorded it as "The Prodigal Son". The Stones used the sanctified title, but mixed in the secular lyrics at the end.
  • Chris from Macon, GaActually, this song is copied and shortened from Wilkins' version done earlier at Newport. From the album ' Blues At Newport 1959-1964 ' in which Wilkins does Prodigal Son to the tune of That's No Way For Me To Get Along. So the Stones didnt really "give" their version any title, Wilkins already had.
  • Eric from Franklin, MaI know this song is Robert Wilkins but I was wondering if this reminds of you of a Leadbelly type of song.
  • Naomi from Pg, Canadathe guitar part is played in open E tuning (EBEG#BE)
see more comments

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