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'You can't always get what you want'

Student musicians from the Ethos Music Center remind lawmakers of an important lesson expressed in the 1969 Rolling Stones' song.

COURTESY PHOTO - Students from North Portland's Ethos Music Center pose with House Majority Leader Jennifer Williamson, D-Portland, in the Oregon House of Representatives. The nonprofit music education center's choir and rock band performed the Rolling Stones' 'You Can't Always Get What You Want' during the House's opening ceremony Feb. 28, 2018, in Salem.SALEM — In the waning days of the legislative session, students from North Portland's Ethos Music Center reminded Oregon lawmakers that "You Can't Always Get What You Want."

The nonprofit music education center's choir and rock band performed the classic Rolling Stones' song during the opening ceremony of the House of Representatives Wednesday.

The song hit a chord for lawmakers who were coping with seeing some of their bills languish through the "short" session without legislative action. Legislative leaders were projecting the body might adjourn, or "Sine Die," as soon as Saturday, March 3.

State representatives gave the band a standing ovation at the end of the performance.

"That was awesome and very appropriate," said House Speaker Tina Kotek said with a chuckle and a grin.

Rep. Tanya Sanchez, D-Portland, invited the band to perform in the House chamber.

She said the song was "a timely reminder that the spirit of lawmaking truly is one of collaboration and compromise."

Rolling Stone magazine in 2013 described the song, released in 1969, as "the shotgun lesson of that decade."

The songwriters, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, were both going through their own personal troubles. Richards was using heroin; Jagger's girlfriend, Marianne Faithfull, had experienced a miscarriage, according to an article in the magazine.

"The singer turned that turmoil into a witty evocation of universal disillusionment countered by the practical hope in the chorus…" the article stated.

Scott Moore, executive director of the Ethos Music Center and former spokesman for House Democrats, said the staff members came up with the idea together.

"Everyone jumped on board with the idea pretty quickly," he said.