Mick Jagger Details How He Wrote The Lyrics Of ‘Strange Game’
Rolling Stones icon Mick Jagger recently joined BBC Radio’s Simon Mayo for an interview during which he talked about the writing process of his song ‘Strange Game.’
On April 1, the first two episodes of ‘Slow Horses,’ a spy thriller TV series, premiered on Apple TV+. The first six episodes of the series are based on the novel of the same name written by Mick Herron, and it will consist of two sets of six episodes. Moreover, the following six episodes are based on the sequel ‘Dead Lions.’
Starring Gary Oldman, Olivia Cooke, Jonathan Pryce, Jack Lowden, and Kristin Scott Thomas, the series began to be filmed in England on November 30, 2020. The series was intended to film earlier in 2020, but it was affected by the coronavirus pandemic and delayed like all the other things.
‘Slow Horses’ music is composed by Daniel Pemberton and the duo musical Toydrum. When he composed the theme song for the series, Pemberton worked with the Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger. The result was the song ‘Strange Game,’ co-written by Jagger.
In an interview with BBC Radio’s Simon Mayo, Mick Jagger talked about how he wrote ‘Strange Game.’ He stated that Daniel Pemberton approached him, but the track had no lyrics at the beginning. Having read the book ‘Slow Horses,’ it was an easy task for Jagger as he knew the plot and the characters.
Moreover, Jagger said he wrote some lyrics straight away, and he got together with Pemberton on Zoom to continue working on the song. He then recalled asking Pemberton whether he wanted it to be titled ‘Slow Horses.’ After that, Jagger came up with the ‘Strange Game’ title. According to the rock icon, this was an enjoyable experience for him.
During the conversation, Mick Jagger said the following about ‘Strange Game’:
“[Daniel Pemberton] said ‘Would you like to write the theme song for this?’ and sent me the track, but the track didn’t have melody. It just had a track and no words or anything. I was sort of intrigued because I’d actually read some of the books, and I like the books very much. So, I kind of knew what the scenario was, who the characters were, and what kind of characters they were. I kind of was ahead of the game.
So, if it had been something I’d never heard of, I would have had to do a lot of homework. But I said, ‘Yeah, let me give it a go,’ and I just whipped off a couple of pages of lyrics straight away. Those were the verses.
Then, Dan and I got together on Zoom, and we’ve never actually met. It all came together quite quickly, and we had to work on it a bit because it’s for a TV theme thing. You need certain parts, a certain amount of length, for this part and that part. So, it’s not just like recording a four-minute song, and then that’s it.
But yeah, we worked on it a little bit to try and get a chorus going. I said to him, ‘I assume you want this to be called ‘Slow Horses.’ He said, ‘No, I really don’t want it to be called that.’ Then I came up with ‘Strange Game.’ You know, they were in this strange spy game. So, I just came up with that as an alternate title, and then we just went from there. It was quite an enjoyable experience.“
You can listen to the full interview and listen to Mick Jagger’s ‘Strange Game’ below.