|Song by The Rolling Stones from the album Exile on Main St.|
|Released||12 May 1972|
|Recorded||1971–72, Nellcôte, France and Sunset Sound Recorders, Los Angeles|
|Genre||Country blues, blues rock|
|Writer(s)||Mick Jagger/Keith Richards|
|Exile on Main St. track listing|
Recorded between 1971 and '72, "Sweet Virginia" is a slow country inspired song, written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. The song features a harmonica solo by Jagger, and a saxophone solo by Bobby Keys. Charlie Watts plays a country shuffle rhythm. An alternate version without the backing singers was released on bootlegs.
After the release of Exile on Main St., Allen Klein sued the Rolling Stones for breach of settlement because "Sweet Virginia" and four other songs on the album were composed while Jagger and Richards were under contract with his company, ABKCO. ABKCO acquired publishing rights to the songs, giving it a share of the royalties from Exile on Main St., and was able to publish another album of previously released Rolling Stones songs, More Hot Rocks (Big Hits & Fazed Cookies).
The song was performed by the Stones during their 1972 American tour, once on the Tour of Europe in 1973, their 1994 Voodoo Lounge Tour and their 2005 A Bigger Bang Tour. "Sweet Virginia" has also been covered by the band Phish and Old Crow Medicine Show in concerts.
A cover version was recorded by Ronnie Lane.
- Mick Jagger – lead vocals, harmonica
- Keith Richards – guitar, backing vocals
- Mick Taylor – guitar, backing vocals
- Charlie Watts – drums
- Bill Wyman – bass guitar
- Ian Stewart – piano
- Bobby Keys – saxophone
- Gram Parsons, Clydie King, Venetta Fields, Dr. John, Shirley Goodman, Tammi Lynn – backing vocals
- Ciani, B. (2006). Great Rock Drummers of the Sixties (2nd ed.). Hal Leonard. p. 177. ISBN 9780634099250.
- Goodman, Fred (2015). Allen Klein: The Man Who Bailed Out the Beatles, Made the Stones, and Transformed Rock & Roll. Boston, New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. pp. 235–236. ISBN 978-0-547-89686-1.
- Mockingbird Foundation (2004). The Phish Companion: A Guide to the Band and Their Music. Hal Leonard. pp. 266, 313. ISBN 9780879307998.