Written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, "She's a Rainbow" was recorded on 18 May 1967. Perhaps the bands's "prettiest and most uncharacteristic song," although somewhat ambiguous in intention, it features rich lyricism, vibrant piano by Nicky Hopkins and Brian Jones' use of the mellotron.
|“||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?
The song notably begins with the piano playing an ascending scale, which returns throughout the song as a recurring motif. 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. The song ends on an unusual sour electric guitar chord played by Richards. However, the guitar chord isn't heard on the album version because the song fades out earlier andsegues into the following track.
Release and aftermath
"She's a Rainbow" was released as a single in December 1967 and went to #25 in the US. It is included on a large number of the Stones' hits compilations, includingThrough the Past, Darkly (Big Hits Vol. 2), More Hot Rocks (Big Hits & Fazed Cookies), 30 Greatest Hits, Singles Collection: The London Years, Forty Licks, andGRRR!. It was performed occasionally on the 1997–98 Bridges to Babylon Tour. Apple Inc. used this song in an advertisement for the iMac G3. Later Sony used the song in an advert for BRAVIA.
On the 2011/12 season finale of Saturday Night Live, host Mick Jagger was in a "graduation" skit where the band Arcade Fire and the SNL cast performed "She's a Rainbow" as a tribute to departing cast member Kristen Wiig. In the sketch, Wiig is a student who was held back and is finally graduating after seven years to leave SNLto become a nun. Although Jagger does not sing "She's a Rainbow", he returns at the end of the skit, along with a number of SNL alumni, to join in the song "Ruby Tuesday".