Song of the Day #1,803: ‘Moonlight Mile’ – The Rolling Stones

sticky_fingersI’m still in the process of discovering just how great the Rolling Stones were. Perhaps I should say “are” as the band is still touring together 42 years after today’s song was released, but I doubt they’ve had anything as good as Sticky Fingers or ‘Moonlight Mile’ in them for a long time now.

They still sound great, though. Keith Richards is as ingenious a guitar player as ever and Mick Jagger still sings the hell out of every song. But it was their songwriting that really set them apart.

‘Moonlight Mile’ is a rarity in that Richards has little to do with its creation. Mick Taylor reworked a throwaway Richards guitar lick into the main track, while Jagger supplied the acoustic guitar that drives it.

Jagger’s lyrics speak to his weariness on the road, making this one of the great “lonely rock star” songs of all time.

When the wind blows and the rain feels cold
With a head full of snow
With a head full of snow
In the window there’s a face you know
Don’t the nights pass slow
Don’t the nights pass slow

The sound of strangers sending nothing to my mind
Just another mad, mad day on the road
I am just living to be lying by your side
But I’m just about a moonlight mile on down the road

Made a rag pile of my shiny clothes
Gonna warm my bones
Gonna warm my bones
I got silence on my radio
Let the air waves flow
Let the air waves flow

Oh I’m sleeping under strange strange skies
Just another mad mad day on the road
My dreams is fading down the railway line
I’m just about a moonlight mile down the road

I’m hiding sister and I’m dreaming
I’m riding down your moonlight mile
I’m hiding baby and I’m dreaming
I’m riding down your moonlight mile
I’m riding down your moonlight mile

Let it go now, come on up babe
Yeah, let it go now
Yeah, flow now baby
Yeah, move on now, yeah

Yeah, I’m coming home
Cause, I’m just about a moonlight mile on down the road
Down the road, down the road

2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #1,803: ‘Moonlight Mile’ – The Rolling Stones

  1. Jorge Farah says:

    Interestingly, I was just going through one of my “Moonlight Mile” binges just a few hours ago– listening to it over and over again. It’s such an incredible song, and the studio version is so beautifully produced. It’s the only Rolling Stones song I’ve ever even remotely cared about. I also recently listened to a live performance of the song from 1999… awful. It was like seeing a loved one after a horrific accident that left them hideously deformed. Heartbreaking.

  2. Dana says:

    I had not heard this song before. On first listen, though, it doesn’t have a major impact. I’m not quite sure what the guitar lick is that Taylor reworked and I don’t hear anything particularly special about Jagger’s acoustic guitar. It’s a fine song, but doesn’t strike me as one of the great lonely rock star songs of all time or one of the great Rolling Stones songs. In the lonely rock star category, give me Jackson Browne’s “The Loadout/Stay” or Journey’s “Faithfully” over this one. (I’m sure somewhere Jann Wenner’s head just exploded😄)

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