What does Brown Sugar mean?

The Rolling Stones: Brown Sugar Meaning

Tagged:   No tags, suggest one.
Album cover for Brown Sugar album cover

Song Released: 1971

Brown Sugar Lyrics

Gold coast slave ship bound for cotton fields,
Sold in a market down in new orleans.
Scarred old slaver know hes doin alright.
Hear him whip the women just around midnight.
Ah brown sugar how come you taste so good
(a-ha) brown sugar, just...


    #1 top rated interpretation:
    click a star to vote
    Jul 22nd 2014 !⃝

    I'm pretty impressed with how brainless these responses are, especially when the RIGHT answer was the FIRST answer (it's very clear that it's about african girls, brought to New Orleans as slaves, being raped by their slave owners during the night)... not all rock songs are about drugs.


    #2 top rated interpretation:
    click a star to vote
    Nov 3rd 2008 !⃝

    The song is about slaves taken from Africa and sold in New Orleans as they say in the song "sold in the market down in New Orleans" and the owners rape them they say in the song "you should have heard it just around midnight". The words Brown Sugar is an other name for a black woman. You also know it's sexual when he says "how come you taste so good just like a black girl should."

  3. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Dec 17th 2021 !⃝

    Didn’t really listen to the words. Music was Great to dance to in a nightclub.
    Did think it was about a drug n they called it Brown Sugar.
    I am much older now n think it is very sad.

  4. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Sep 29th 2020 !⃝

    It's a song about abuse. The white master brutaly abuses the black african slaves and, with the samecruelty, brown sugar abuses the junkie

  5. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Aug 29th 2019 !⃝

    I recall both sex with girls of various skin tones(there is only one skin color: brown. All people have some brown coloration, except those who have none:albinos)
    When the Turks stopped growing and selling opium in the Med., The result was White heroin disappeared in the US and brown, or black tar, made a huge and permanent impression. But it was anything but sweet. All morphine or heroin is about as bitter and awful tasting as the Devil's own sweat.

    All women are sweet and, as the French say:
    " At night, all cats are gray"

    Jagger was not a dope addict- anyone who was wouldn't celebrate it. It just makes an interesting story for the press.

  6. tima
    click a star to vote
    Feb 3rd 2019 !⃝

    Mexican brown Heroin

  7. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Feb 2nd 2019 !⃝

    Brown sugar refers to brown sugar or aka “brown sugar”. The sweet sugar of brown. The brown of sweet sugar.

  8. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jun 19th 2018 !⃝

    This lyric is an adult lyric. It is truly Mike's finest hour. The man that wrote this song loves all women, and tips his hat to black women on this one. I would not put police hand cuffs on a woman in real life. but I have done it in my dreams. Mike is extremely intelligent on this one. One music bypass the illogical nature of racist thinking and taste the soul of the creators of this song. Otis Redding understood a man's need for satisfaction! One must except a love song like this one with a universal understanding of soul music. RFG

  9. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jan 14th 2018 !⃝

    I always thought "brown Sugar" meant a mixed race, white & black. Jagger said he was high when he wrote it sitting in the backlands of Australia with an injured hand. Heroin is white, right?
    Written the year I graduated from high school we liked the dance rhythm and didn't really think about the words meaning bring black girls on a slave ship to sell in New Orleans. As I matured I realized the music was great, the words not so great but Jagger admits he would not have written those words in a song today.....except for the upbeat dance music the words and message are rough & kinda hard to hear....but I love the Stones and most of their songs

  10. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Sep 1st 2014 !⃝

    WENNER: All right. That’s the news in this interview. Why does “Brown Sugar” work like mad?
    JAGGER: That’s a bit of a mystery, isn’t it? I wrote that song in Australia in the middle of a field. They were really odd circumstances. I was doing this movie, “Ned Kelly,” and my hand had got really damaged in this action sequence. So stupid. I was trying to rehabilitate my hand and had this new kind of electric guitar, and I was playing in the middle of the outback and wrote this tune.
    But why it works? I mean, it’s a good groove and all that. I mean, the groove is slightly similar to Freddy Cannon, this rather obscure ‘50s rock performer – Tallahassee Lassie or something. Do you remember this? “She’s down in F-L-A.” Anyway, the groove of that – boom-boom-boom-boom-boom – is “going to a go-go” or whatever, but that’s the groove.
    WENNER: And you wrote it all?
    JAGGER: Yeah.
    WENNER: This is one of your biggest hits, a great, classic, radio single, except the subject matter is slavery, interracial sex, eating pussy...
    JAGGER: [Laughs] And drugs. That’s a double-entendre, just thrown in.
    WENNER: Brown sugar being heroin?
    JAGGER: Brown sugar being heroin and –
    WENNER: And pussy?
    JAGGER: That makes it... the whole mess thrown in. God knows what I’m on about on that song. It’s such a mishmash. All the nasty subjects in one go.
    WENNER: Were you surprised that it was such a success with all that stuff in it?
    JAGGER: I didn’t think about it at the time. I never would write that song now.
    WENNER: Why?
    JAGGER: I would probably censor myself. I’d think, “Oh God, I can’t. I’ve got to stop. I can’t just write raw like that.”

  11. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jul 17th 2012 !⃝

    I'm pretty sure they are singing about heroin, they just wrote the verses the way
    they are so they could sing the chorus and not get in trouble for singing about drugs.

  12. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Feb 7th 2012 !⃝

    The song is what it says. It might be an allegory for heroin or whatever, but come on...they wrote what they wrote.
    For that reason, I don't like the song so much. It's racist and chauvinist, you can't deny that, even if you try not to.
    The music is fantastic and I'll always listen to this. It's one of their two or three all time best.
    Now, let's take it to a deeper level and ask: "Does this represent the lyricists' feelings about black women?"
    The answer is that it must to some degree: at least as a sexual fantasy.
    This, despite the fact that a songwriter doesn't have to "be" the real life narrator of the song, anymore than Randy Newman and his songs "Burn Down the Cornfield" or "Mama Told Me Not To Come".
    Any artist's work doesn't have to be biographical and fans should never assume that. Writers create sexual fantasies, sometimes even ones they hold at arm's length.
    Do you believe "Lola" was was a real person that Ray Davies met?
    Maybe... maybe not... but it was only a song.
    But in this particular case: wasn't there a lot of talk about Mick and Tina at one point?
    ...and wasn't there talk from time to time about Mick and other black women?
    I'm not saying these rumors are true, mind you. This is show biz and no "news" is bad news... especially in the Stones' case as it seems they've tried to make as much bad news over the years as they can to enhance their "bad boy" image, much in the way that Jagger has tried to associate other Stones' songs with the devil, etc, etc, etc ad nauseum...
    I love the Stones, but this is one song where the lyrics to their great music sucked.

  13. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    May 2nd 2011 !⃝

    It's a quarter after 1 am, I have nothin to do, so I go on to this site to look up some song lyrics. After I look up about ten different songs, just about all of them say that it's about heroin. I want to point out that you can't pick out any random classic rock song and say it's about heroin. This just gets really annoying.

  14. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Nov 30th 2009 !⃝

    Are you joking??
    Brown Sugar is the best kind of heroin on this fucking world.
    Mick (most of all Keith) knew that well!

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  15. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Aug 29th 2009 !⃝

    You are all Idiots. Its About David Bowies wife who Mick Jagger was having an affair with around this time. She was black hince 'brown sugar'

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  16. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Mar 26th 2009 !⃝

    It's about black women and pootang aka brown sugar.... not about heroin

  17. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Mar 15th 2009 !⃝

    Mick Jagger and Marsha Hunt were also having an affair during this time as his relationship with Marianne Faithfull was deterioting. The black slave part is true as well. I couldn't vouche for the heroin theme, although it is a recurring theme.

‹ prev 12

More The Rolling Stones songs »


Latest Articles


Submit Your Interpretation

[ want a different song? ]

Just Posted

Taking Over Me anonymous
All The Good Girls Go To Hell anonymous
Wingriddenangel anonymous
I Spoke to The Devil in Miami anonymous
This Woman's Work anonymous
Action! Not Words anonymous
Everybody Loves Me, Baby anonymous
Fall in to Sleep anonymous
Lemon Boy anonymous
Drama Club anonymous
Gravity anonymous
Our First Time anonymous
Nymphetamine anonymous
Liquid Smooth anonymous
Teddy Bear anonymous

(We won't give out your email)