When it comes to pop culture references to “fracking,” one of the most durable and popular rock and roll bands has joined the fold.
But don’t expect the Rolling Stones to make the same splash as the documentary “GasLand” or the new feature film “Promised Land” — both of which feature fracking.
The band references the term for hydraulic fracturing in the bleak, paranoid but bouncy “Doom and Gloom,” released in mid-October.
“Fracking deep for oil, but there’s nothing in the sump,” sings Mick Jagger, frontman of the group. “There’s kids all picking at the garbage dump. I’m running out of water so I better prime the pump. I’m trying to stay sober but I end up drunk.”
The band doesn’t take an explicit stance on hydraulic fracturing in the song, but the title and other subject matter seem to indicate the group’s inclusion of fracking on a list of things that inspire pessimism and fear.
Taken literally, the Rolling Stones’ song is inaccurate. Fracking doesn’t deplete groundwater, although most operations do use millions of gallons of water. The primary concern is that fracking may contaminate water supplies.
Taken metaphorically, it may not matter much.
“In the Rolling Stones song, he says the word ‘fracking,’ but I can’t imagine that being too consciousness-raising,” said Robert Thompson, a television and popular culture professor at Syracuse University.