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rolling stone

Posted by Smokey Stover on April 24, 2010 at 03:49

In Reply to: rolling stone posted by Gary Martin on April 21, 2010 at 18:44:

: : re: "A rolling stone gathers no moss"
: : The name of the band (Rolling Stones) is NOT from the late Brian Jones thinking of this phrase. Rather, it is a tribute to bluesmen Muddy Waters and Willie Dixon from a line in their song "I'm a Man": "I'm a rolling stone . . . "

: Yes, that's right. My page on that phrase doesn't actually say that Brian Jones thought up the phrase.
There is an interesting article on the phrase in the Wikipedia.

Apparently this very old maxim has not always been repeated with the same intent. Some people have considered a "rolling stone" as obviously rather undependable, and not in a good way.

The article points out that an experiment was performed to see if the maxim was true. It is. A rolling stone does NOT gather moss.

I was surprised that there was no mention in that article of the O. Henry collection called "Rolling Stones." In fact, hardly any of the articles on O. Henry retrieved on the Internet mention it, either. (Since I've read every one of O. Henry's stories, as well as his poems, I was more than a little surprised to see the collections of his stories so rarely mentioned by name.)