She's a Rainbow

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"She's a Rainbow"
Single by the Rolling Stones
from the album Their Satanic Majesties Request
B-side"2000 Light Years from Home"
  • November 1967 (1967-11) (US single)[1]
  • 8 December 1967 (UK album)
Recorded17–21 May 1967
StudioOlympic, London
  • 2:48 (US promo single edit)
  • 4:10 (US single)
  • 4:35 (album version)
Producer(s)The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones US singles chronology
"In Another Land"
"She's a Rainbow"
"Jumpin' Jack Flash"
Their Satanic Majesties Request track listing
10 tracks

Side one

  1. "Sing This All Together"
  2. "Citadel"
  3. "In Another Land"
  4. "2000 Man"
  5. "Sing This All Together (See What Happens)"

Side two

  1. "She's a Rainbow"
  2. "The Lantern"
  3. "Gomper"
  4. "2000 Light Years from Home"
  5. "On with the Show"

"She's a Rainbow" is a song by the Rolling Stones and was featured on their 1967 album Their Satanic Majesties Request.[5] It has been called "the prettiest and most uncharacteristic song" that Mick Jagger and Keith Richards wrote for the Stones,[6] although somewhat ambiguous in intention.[6]

Composition and recording[edit]

The song starts with a Carnival barker saying:

Alright there now listen very closely for how to play the game, I'll tell you how to do it.
Now luv, all you gotta do, luv, is when the whistle's blown, I want you to give one spin, one spin only on your ball.
Any prize, take what you like. One winner, one prize, the pick o' th' stall. Are you all ready ?

The song includes rich lyricism, vibrant piano by Nicky Hopkins and Brian Jones' use of the Mellotron. The second verse includes:

Have you seen her all in gold,
Like a queen in days of old?
She shoots colours all around
like a sunset going down.
Have you seen a lady fairer?[5]

John Paul Jones, later of Led Zeppelin, arranged the strings of this song during his session days.[7] Backing vocals were provided by the entire band except for Charlie Watts. Notably, all of the vocals sound like soft background singing with the music overshadowing them to the point of the lyrics being difficult to hear. The lyrics in the chorus share the phrase "she comes in colours" with the song of that title by Love,[8] released in December 1966.

The song begins with the piano playing an ascending scale, which returns throughout the song as a recurring motif. This motif is developed by the celesta and strings in the middle 8. Humorous and ambiguous devices are used, such as when the strings play out-of-tune and off-key towards the end of the song, and when the other Stones sing their "La La's" like little children.[5] The song is in the Key of B flat. [9] The ascending run starts on C and is in C Dorian mode: C D Eb F G Bb A.

Release and appearances[edit]

"She's a Rainbow" was released as a single in December 1967 and went to No. 25 in the United States. It has regularly featured on Stones' hits compilations, including Through the Past, Darkly (Big Hits Vol. 2) (1969), More Hot Rocks (Big Hits & Fazed Cookies) (1972), 30 Greatest Hits (1977), Singles Collection: The London Years (1989), Forty Licks (2002), and GRRR! (2012).[6] It was performed occasionally on the 1997–98 Bridges to Babylon Tour. The Stones also played the song by public request in Santiago, Chile and São Paulo, Brazil during their América Latina Olé Tour 2016 in February 2016.

The song appeared in a series of TV commercials for the Apple Computer's iMac G3 throughout 1999, with the chorus of the song used to promote the fact that the computer came in a series of vibrant colors. It also appeared in a 2020 TV commercial for Adobe Creative Cloud. The song also plays at the end of the third episode of the season Apocalypse of American Horror Story.


The Rolling Stones
Additional personnel


Chart (1967–68) Peak
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[10] 8
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[11] 13
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[12] 9
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[13] 2
Spanish Singles Chart[14] 19
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[15] 3
US Billboard Hot 100[16] 25
Chart (2007) Peak
Denmark (Tracklisten)[17] 25
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[15] 91


  1. ^ Eder, Bruce (1989). Singles Collection: The London Years (Boxed set booklet). The Rolling Stones. New York City: ABKCO Records. p. 72. 1218-2.
  2. ^ Philippe Margotin; Jean-Michel Guesdon (25 October 2016). Rolling Stones All the Songs: The Story Behind Every Track. Hachette Books. p. 433. ISBN 978-0-316-31773-3.
  3. ^ Nigel Williamson (2008). The Rough Guide to the Best Music You've Never Heard. Rough Guides. p. 181. ISBN 978-1-84836-003-7.
  4. ^ DeRogatis, Jim (2003). "The Stones' Ten Best Psychedelic Rock Songs". Turn On Your Mind: Four Decades of Great Psychedelic Rock. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 54. ISBN 0-634-05548-8.
  5. ^ a b c John Gilliland (narrator). "Show 46: Sergeant Pepper at the Summit - The very best of a very good year (part 2, segment 5)". Pop Chronicles. Pasadena, CA. KRLA. via the Digital Library of the University of North Texas. Retrieved 23 August 2012.
  6. ^ a b c Eder, Bruce. The Rolling Stones "She's A Rainbow". AllMusic. 2007 (accessed 31 October 2008).
  7. ^ The Database "She's a Rainbow". Time Is On Our Side. 2007 (accessed 31 October 2008).
  8. ^ Pierce, Tony (4 August 2006). "R.I.P. Arthur Lee - thanks for all the Love". LAist. Archived from the original on 7 October 2008. Retrieved 23 August 2012. 'Da Capo' also includes Love's biggest hit '7&7 Is' which some regard as the first punk tune, as well as 'She Comes in Colors' which was clearly an inspiration for the Rolling Stones hit 'She's A Rainbow'.
  9. ^
  10. ^ " – The Rolling Stones – She's a Rainbow" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  11. ^ " – The Rolling Stones – She's a Rainbow" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  12. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 100169." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  13. ^ " – The Rolling Stones – We Love You" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  14. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  15. ^ a b " – The Rolling Stones – She's a Rainbow". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  16. ^ "The Rolling Stones Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  17. ^ " – The Rolling Stones – She's a Rainbow". Tracklisten. Retrieved 17 June 2016.

External links[edit]