There’s Fever in the Funk House Now

The Rolling Stones’ catalogue is just so chock full of classic songs that it’s easy to overlook certain ones.  Tumbling Dice is a great example.  It’s a song that most rock fans have heard thousands of times.  It’s been stuck in my head for weeks now.

It was the biggest hit from my favorite Stones album, Exile on Main St, reaching #7 on the billboard charts in 1972.  Sometimes, the bigger hits are the easiest ones to overlook.  There are so many fantastic songs on Exile and I have a habit of overlooking the hits and digging deeper into the the album cuts. Tumbling Dice was their 23rd single in the States.  Their 23rd single, as of April, ’72.  That’s a massive amount of hits.


I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  The self proclaimed “World’s Greatest Rock n Roll Band” are severely underrated in one important aspect, their lyrics.

Wo Yeah! (Wo, wo)
Women think I’m tasty, but they’re always tryin’ to waste me
And make me burn the candle right down,
But baby, baby, I don’t need no jewels in my crown.
Cause all you women is low down gamblers,
Cheatin’ like I don’t know how,
But baby, baby, there’s fever in the funk house now.
This low down bitchin’ got my poor feet a itchin’,
Don’t you know you know the duece is still wild.
Baby, I can’t stay, you got to roll me
And call me the tumblin’ dice.
Always in a hurry, I never stop to worry,
Don’t you see the time flashin’ by.
Honey, got no money,
I’m all sixes and sevens and nines.
Say now baby, I’m the rank outsider,
You can be my partner in crime.
But baby, I can’t stay,
You got to roll me and call me the tumblin’,
Roll me and call me the tumblin’ dice.
Oh, my, my, my, I’m the lone crap shooter,
Playin’ the field ev’ry night.
But baby, I can’t stay,
You got to roll me and call me the tumblin’ dice, (Call me the tumblin’)
Got to roll me (yayes), Got to roll me, Got to roll me (Oh yeah)
Got to roll me
Got to roll me (yeah)
Got to roll me (Keep on rolling)
Got to roll me (Keep on rolling)
Got to roll me (Keep on rolling)
Got to roll me
My baby, call me the tumblin’ dice, yeah
Got to roll me
Baby sweet as sugar (Got to roll me)
Yeah, my, my, my yeah (Got to roll me)
I went down baby, oh
Got to roll me (hit me)
Baby I’m down

Our band, The Upstate Downers, is just the three of us, two guitarists and a beginner mandolin player(me).   We play a variety of folk, pop, and rock songs, mostly in our leader’s basement. We don’t play out.  I’ll need much more practice before I’ll ever be comfortable doing that.  It’s just for fun.

Almost from the start, I’ve been pushing the boys to play one of my favorite songs, Dead Flowers, from 1971’s Sticky Fingers(who has the original album with the zipper on the front?).

Probably my favorite subset of Stones’ songs comes from their “country period”, when they were hanging with Graham Parsons.  Dead Flowers is a perfect example.  Not many British bands could pull this off but the Stones nailed it.  So it took a while, but I was finally able to convince the boys to give er a try and you know what?  I think it’s one of the best tunes we do together.  With that knowledge, I’m now pushing the boys to try two others, Sweet Virginia and Tumbling Dice.  But wait, the knowledgeable music fan is saying, Tumbling Dice is hardly a country tune.  Right you are, music nerd.  But it can be.  Check this version out by The Gaslight Anthem.  It’s not hardcore Country but it’s a way into the song for our humble, little string band.


The song has been covered many times in many different ways, perhaps most famously by Linda Ronstadt, who had a top 40 hit with it in 1978.  Man, what a voice.

So stay tuned, music lovers.  I’ll let you know how it goes.  In the meantime, I’m all sixes and sevens and nines!


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