Nothing is more coherent with the spirit of Wednesday Addams than a song about death and sadness. The scene in Tim Burton‘s Netflix series Wednesday in which the morbid heroine plays Paint in Black on the cello is one of the highlights of the season.
Written in 1966, Paint in Black is something of a favorite. Some of Westworld‘s best sequences also included covers of the song that came up impromptu. Legend has it that Bill Wyman started playing the organ during rehearsal, trying to parody the music played at Jewish weddings, and ended up creating something original. It was supposed to be slow, but when Eric Easton and Charlie Watts joined the jam, they played around to a double-time drum pattern, echoing the rhythm heard in some Middle Eastern dances. Thus, to balance the morbid lyrics, the “lively” rhythm prevailed. It was quickly one of the band’s biggest hits.
Fans of the band like to remember that the song is part of a pivotal period for the Rolling Stones. As Mick Jagger and Keith Richards wrote the band’s material, Brian Jones wanted to regain prominence and bring more musical texture by including oriental instruments, specifically the Indian sitar. Written as a depressed person reacting to toxic happiness, in which he prefers the outside to match the darkness of his feelings, Paint it Black is about death and suicide. Let’s match, perfect for someone in the Addams Family.
Just out of curiosity, Paint it Black appears on the soundtracks of The Devil’s Advocate, Full Metal Jacket, Echoes from Beyond, and The Last Witch Hunter, among others.
Many remember Brian Jones‘ contribution to the song’s arrangement before he died less than two years later. His drug use became uncontrollable in the following years and he lost his girlfriend, Anita Pallenberg, who left him for Keith Richards. In June 1969 he was fired and less than a month later he drowned in his swimming pool, aged 27. The sitar that played on Paint in Black is – for many – what makes the song timeless. Be that as it may, she is one of the favorites of movies and series. And few understand it as well as Wednesday Addams.