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Nights in White Satin

by

The Moody Blues



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

The Moody Blues recorded the album with The London Festival Orchestra, which never actually existed - it was the name given to the musicians put together to make the Days of Future Passed album. The orchestral parts were performed separately and edited between and around the Moody Blues parts, so the orchestra did not actually accompany the group. The original idea was for the group and orchestra to record a Rock version of Dvorak's "New World Symphony," which their record company would use to demonstrate enhanced stereo sound technology.
This was written by Justin Hayward, who joined the band the previous year after Denny Laine left the group. He got the idea for the song after someone gave him a set of white satin sheets, and wrote it in his bed-sit at Bayswater. Haywood told the Daily Express Saturday magazine May 3, 2008: "I wrote our most famous song, 'Nights in White Satin' when I was 19. It was a series of random thoughts and was quite autobiographical. It was a very emotional time as I was at the end of one big love affair and the start of another. A lot of that came out in the song."
Before joining The Moody Blues, a teenaged Justin Hayward signed a deal with Lonnie Donegan's publishing company, which ended up giving Donegan the lion's share of the royalties for this and other songs Hayward wrote at the time. Donegan was star in the '50s, famous for his Skiffle sound that influenced The Beatles and The Who. In the '60s, he became more involved in the business side of the industry and formed his publishing company Tyler Music.
Days of Future Passed is a concept album based around different times of day. For example, "Dawn Is A Feeling" and "Tuesday Afternoon." This song was last on the album because it represented nighttime.

Justin Hayward was inspired by Moody Blues keyboard player Mike Pinder's composition "Dawn Is A Feeling." Since Pinder had done "The Morning" for the concept album, Hayward tried to do "The Night." (thanks to Terry Parsons, who interviewed Hayward in 2006 for CHMR FM)
This song introduced a new sound for the band. When they formed, they were more of a Blues band, and had a hit in 1965 with a cover of Bessie Banks' "Go Now." With the songs on Days of Future Passed, they distinguished themselves with original songs in a more psychedelic/orchestral sound.
"Nights in White Satin" was originally released in 1967, charting at #19 in the UK, but topping out at #103 in America, where 6-minute songs were a tough sell at the time. In 1972, after songs like "Hey Jude " and "Layla" paved the way for long, dramatic tunes (and The Moody Blues became more popular), the song was re-released in the US and became a hit, going to #2 and sending sales of the reissued album skyward.

In the UK, the song made two more chart appearances, going to #9 in 1972 and #14 in 1979.
The poem at the end was recorded separately. It is called Late Lament and was written by their drummer, Graeme Edge. The poem was read by keyboard player Mike Pinder. Edge wrote another poem that appeared early on the album called Morning Glory.
The Dickies 1979 Punk version reached #39; the Moody Blues used to use The Dickies version sometimes when doing a sound check.
The week of December 2, 1972, this song plunged from #17 to completely out of the Hot 100, setting a record for the biggest drop out of that chart in a single week. Drastic chart disappearances became more common in the '10s, and the Glee Cast version of "Toxic" made the fall from the #16 spot in 2010.
Talking about the experiences that inspired the lyrics to this song, Justin Hayward said: "About an audience in Glastonbury, a flat in Bayswater and the ecstasy of an hour of love."
Among the many artists to record this song are Procol Harum, Eric Burdon, Percy Faith, Nancy Sinatra and Il Divo. When we spoke with Justin Hayward in 2013, he told us that the best cover he heard of this song was by the Soul singer Bettye LaVette. "She covered 'Nights,' and somebody sent it to me as an MP3, a link," he explained. "I was sitting in bed with my laptop waking up to my emails, and I clicked on this link and I burst into tears. My wife came in and she said, 'What the hell's the matter with you?' And I said, 'You've got to listen to this.' She didn't cry. But I heard the lyric for the first time. There have been hundreds, maybe thousands of covers of 'Nights in White Satin,' but that was the first time I heard it for real."
The Moody Blues enjoyed a long and illustrious career that took them well into the 2010's, and included thousands of performances, most of which featured this song. How does Justin Hayward handle the repetition? "I never lose the emotion of songs like that," he told us. "I'm lucky enough not to have lost the emotion or the motivation, because it's a wonderful thing to be able to share. And the audience provides the emotion around that. Because you do it in sound check and it's fine, but when there's an audience there, it completely transforms the experience."
The Moody Blues
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Comments (105):

I was 21 yrs old when a boyfriend that I broke up with was away college. After I sent him a "Dear John Letter", he sent me back the words to "Nights In White Satin" in a letter with tear stains on them! I have my own own "meaning" for the words in this song 40 yrs. later. I have learned in the last 40 yrs that that "boyfriend" is gay. He was a very sensitive young man at the time I dated him. We had never made love before he left for college. The words seem to be telling me that at that point in his life he was very confused about his sexuality(he was 19). Nights in White Satin never reaching an end (us never making love), letter he'd written, never meaning to send(wanting to tell me). He wanted to tell me he was gay but couldn't bring himself too! But he did love me with all his heart but not the way a man loves a woman. Everyone hears what they "need" in a song... a none of them are wrong. It is personal and individual!
- Marty, Gill, MA
I like the poem at the end. It is too bad some radio stations cut it out when they play the song.
- Martin, Fresno, CA
Most here already know this, but for those who've never played the entire Days of Future Past album, the poem ('Late Lament') was meant to be the bookend to the beginning piece, 'The Day Begins.' It opens this way:

Cold-hearted orb that rules the night,
Removes the colors from our sight.
Red is grey and yellow white,
But we decide which is right
And which is an illusion.

Pinprick holes in a colorless sky,
Let insipid figures of light pass by.
The mighty light of ten thousand suns,
Challenges infinity and is soon gone.
Nighttime, to some, a brief interlude,
To others, the fear of solitude.
Brave Helios wake up your steeds,
Bring the warmth the countryside needs!
- esskayess, Dallas, TX
Orchestrtalm long, and 1967-68. Same time as Richard Harris's 7-1/2 "MacArthur Park"., Only that one was what barely made it intact, this "Blues" classic didnt' even get released at all, till 1972, and in the 4:25 version, clever mis-label to 3:06 to get it on air [with the DJ's and programmer's 4-minute and longer-phobia..]:) Love the song.Beautiful. Full orchestration. Ironically, of course, another Moody Blues single, from the same albumn, beat it, "Tuesday Afternoon", in 1968 to the singles charts!
- Steve, Whittier, CA
I first heard this song in the late 60's when I was afraid of being drafted into the Vietnam war. Some of my high school class had been killed there, so "Nights in White Satin" came to me as "Knights in White Satin," soldiers being sent back home in white sheets, and this idea was supported by the grieving tone of the music and the poem at the end telling you to "breathe deep the gathering gloom, watch lights fade from every room" which I interpreted as someone dying or grieving and watching their lights, as consciousness, fade in every part of their self.
- Harry, Sunnyvale, CA
This is great great poetry- imagery. The Moodies are in my top 6 rock bands { Beatles, Stones, Who, Led Zepelin, Moody Blues and Doors}. I first was totally knocked out by "Tues. Afternoon", then "Nights" grew on me. Next to the Beatles, I had the most Moodies l.p.'s Justin Hayward is one of the most underated lead rock singers.
- meocyber, alma, CO
Somehow, I find this song profoundly depressing, though it's very good for what it is.
- Jim, Pleasant Hill, CA
Trish, Vallejo CA - The movie was Shattered with Tom Berenger and Greta Scacchi, every time I hear the song I think of that scene.
- Karen, Los Angeles, CA
I remember hearing the full version of this song on the radio while driving and turned it up full volume as i felt I was in a dream listening to this hauntingly beautiful but heartbreaking love song. and it particularly got to me at the end with the poem which brought tears streaming down my eyes I had to pull over and wipe my tears so i could go on driving. amazing feelings felt here
- gigi, st. louis, MO
A perfect marriage of words & music.A song I've always loved.I've never heard a cover version (I have no desire to )I hate the single version.It's chopped to shreads.How could they cut out the middle part with the strings?Or the poem @ the end?Anyway,my fave song by the Moody Blues.
- dane, lima,ohio, FL
To Cindy: Nights in whie Saitn did not stay 6 [7 actually] for long and to the site owner, of course it was rereleased in 1972. By then it was edited down, which also even wouldn't have worked in 1967, and also the full loegnth steadily started replacing the single! [familiar story..meanwhile Layla got reaissued in its FULL version AFTER the 1971 single edit!!!!!!!!!!!]
- Steve, Whittier, CA
OH, I forgot to tell what the movie was about. Her ,and her husband / boyfiend were making love on the beach when he would give more passion to her the waves in the back ground at night the moon light would hit off the whole shot ,and the song would play I'll always love you ,and so on. That was awesome
- trish, vallejo, CA
The very first time I herd this song was some years ago. I herd it in a movie, The movie was called Shatter. It's a very good good movie. I still not able to find it these days. I know that it's a nother mivie called Shatter, but the one I'm talking about is from the late 1900s. Wow that sounds so old long time ago, yeh I guest it is wow,wow. If anyone knows what I'm talking about please make a comment. Thanks
- trish, vallejo, CA
This song used to scare the hell out of me for some reason, (I was under 10 years old) when it came on the radio while I was going to sleep ...especially the end poem.

Despite that I love this song.
- Rich, Knoxville, FL
I have always loved this song ever since I first heard it playing on my parents' radio. I grew up listening to classic rock and pretty much nothing else until after the age of 10 or 11. I've read that Justin wrote the song in the transition period from one love to another - a situation I happen to find myself in now (although I haven't exactly figured out what to do with my feelings as I am still in the first relationship - 4 years with a woman I do love - and am unsure of the possibilities with the other, who is a longtime friend). Kind of coincidental, I guess, that I decided to finally look up the meaning of the song at a time when I'd find myself relating more than I ever though possible. In spite of the sadness it exudes, this is probably the most beautiful song I've ever heard.
- James, Temecula, CA
The only part I don't like is the use of "senior citizens" in the ending poem. It's a euphemism that makes my skin crawl. Other than that, I love the song.
- Tony, Topeka, KS
Although I'm Gay myself, it has honestly never occurred to me that Justin wrote this great song in homage to another man, not, of course, that anyone should have a problem with it even if he HAD. To me it is simply a beautiful song about the glory and pain of love, something that every man and woman, whatever his or her orientation may be, experiences throughout their entire lives, Rob from WI. Have a good life, sir.
- Paul, Washington DC, DC
Sorry there Josh, that's your opinion and that's what message boards like this are for, but I have my opinion too. I refuse to be politically correct on this one. This song means a LOT to me and I have a problem when somebody associates it with something as abhorrent as homosexuality. I am not "prejudice" against the people, I just can't stomach that particular sin.
- Bob, Marinette, WI
To the Bob from WI, you are a jerk, and I only use that word because I am being polite. How dare you say those things? So what that the guy is gay, and felt something because of this song? He is a human being, and music SHOULD know no bounds. Music is the one expression that is open to all. He felt something from this music. I bet that Mr. Hayward couldn't give a shi* who loves his music. As long as it touches you, and causes you to feel or think. Please take a moment to examine your own life and prejudices.
- josh, Goodrich, MI
Has anyone gone on the ride "Nights in White Satin" at the Hard Rock Park in Myrtle Beach, SC? I went last year and it was the first time I had heard the song. I was immediatley hooked. The ride consisted that of a dream-like experience, with an array of lights and almost how you would imagine the song if you were high... It was an amazing experience, and even harder to explain. Of course, Hard Rock closed due to poor buisness. However, another company bought the park and will be reopening within the next year. I high recomment to look it up.
- Jeff, Baltimore, NV
Wow, I learned a lot about this song from all of these postings, especially from Amber in Louisville, Turkey. Love the imagery that Kate talked about from Marietta, GA. And if you've ever wondered about the power of music, read the entry from Bob in Marinette, WA. Even the KKK reference is interesting, although I don't believe it to be any kind of inspiration for the song. All great postings. I like the song even more now. Our company is actually running a radio tour with Mike Pinder next week.
- Michael, Hartsdale, NY
The poem at the end of this song, also known as the "Late Lament" actually focus on THE UNANSWERED QUESTION.... why are we here? and what are we going to do with our time here?....
"Breathe deep the gathering gloom
Watch lights fade from every room
Bedsitter people look back and lament
Another day's useless energy spent.

Impassioned lovers wrestle as one,
Lonely man cries for love and has none.
New mother picks up and suckles her son,
Senior citizens wish they were young.

It is focusing on what people could have, should have or would have done... Basically regret, in a nutshell....
- Amber, Louisville, Turkey
At the end It Sounds Like A Movie
- Joey Freer, Kingston, NY
the song is amazing! love it:)
- Ani, Yerevan, Armenia
An ok song, but the poem at the end is corny and unnecessary.
- Will, Easton, PA
Love this song, but it is rather sad and usually leaves me feeling depressed whenever I listen to it.
- Peter Griffin, Quahog, RI
I really love this song. I like the dramatic music and stuff.
- Jenny, Indianapolis, IN
The album "Days of Future Passed"; which includes the two Moodies' hits "Nights in White Satin" and "Tuesday Afternoon", was Decca first attempt at a LP in Stereo. It was a concept project given to the Moodies, to write and record, in the winter of 1967. Mono LP's of "Days of Future Passed" are literally worth its weight in gold!
- Jared, Racine, WI
Justin Hayward wrote this song at the end of a love affair. You can feel the sorrow is his voice! Makes me want to cry with him.
- gigi, st. louis, MO
this song to me is a classic and a beautiful song in every way. I got chills the first time I heard the song and everytime I hear it. It is simply breathtaking. but then again so many of their songs are just as awesome. I love to listen the the full lenght version of the song. I hate when it gets cut off early!
- gigi, st. louis, MO
I was in highschool when my then ( boyfriend)played this on his cassette in his car on our way back to my place. Still to this very day we hold hands in the car when "Our song" comes on. We have been happily married for over 20 yrs. Thanks for the memories, hopefully will never reach the end!!
- Lisa, Toronto, ON
The movie with the russian and the black guy was White Nights. The Russian was Mikhail Barishnikov and the black guy was Gregory Hines. ;) Loved the movie.
- Keely, Taylor, AR
Geez Ron, Maybe we should ask Justin Hayward if he wrote this song for another guy. I don't think he'd be too happy that you even associate his music with your lifestyle.
- Bob, Marinette, WI
I was 17 and I was in love for the first time -- with someone of my own sex, who wasn't gay and who I didn't dare tell my feelings to. The song describes perfectly the feelings of sadness, hurt, and frustration I felt, and I later learned, many other gays and lesbians as well.
- Ron, Los Angeles, CA
I feel like crying everytime he sings "And I love you, yes I love you, ohhh how I looooove yooooou" ahhh its so beautiful *sigh* Shout out to my fellow Van De Kamp down there, hey Bert, I'd say we are related...small world!!!
- nady, adelaide, Australia
it is everyone's favourate so why should i neverlove it. believe me i am stuck to it like hell
- Fulu Thompho, limpopo, South Africa
This is a very moving and well written song. I love it.
- Amber, San Francisco, CA
I only heard this song a few years ago. I don't know how such a haunting and scary tune be called a "Love song"
I don't like it at all.
- Nacho, Guadalajara, Mexico
This was one of my all-time favorites. I remember the day the song was on my mind all day: October 14, 1972. Years later I found out that the birthday of the person who wrote it (Justin Hayward) had a birthday on October 14.
- Sidney, Johnson City, NY
I did not like this song the first time I heard it - hated it actually. I think it was because I was still under the age of 10, and didn't understand what it felt like to be in love. As I grew older, and after having my heart broke a couple of times, I started really listening to it, instead of turning the dial on my radio. When I hear this song, I think of a bedroom in a castle, and there is a big bed with a canopy that is white satin, and there are white satin sheets, and a woman in a white satin gown. She is with her love and they are lying on the bed just holding each other. Then I think that the man loses her in some way, and he wants to get her back, so he keeps writing these letters to her, but for some reason, he never sends them. I think he might be afraid to send them, maybe fearing rejection. He repeats that he doesn't know what the truth is anymore, and maybe he is unsure of whether they were really in love, or if it was just all those "nights in white satin," as if saying it was more of just a physical attraction. Songs like this, obviously, make my imagination run wild, but that's what imaginations are for I guess. Very romantic song, but also some regret and sentimentality in there too.
- Kate, Marietta, GA
This song was also played on the show "Bonanza" after little Joe got married and he moved his new bride into a house, I remember that little Joe was at his fathers house, he figured something like they were going to kill his wife, don't know who, but they played this song while he was riding back to his house on his horse, in slow motion. They would show him on his horse riding back and his wife trying to get out of the cabin like house, as it was engulfed in flames. I still remeber, it was sooo sad. Makes me want to cry each time.
- jules, bronx, FL
I have mixed feelings about this song. I like the dreamy melody, but when he gets to the "I love you oh how I love you!" part he sounds like a nut.
The poetry at the end makes me grind my teeth. Ick.
- Jennifer, Los Angeles, CA
This wasn't really a HIT until 1972 re-release on 45 rpm, that SHORTENED the song without all the orchestrations, NO poetry, and NO GONG!! it was two minutes shorter and easier for stations to play. The song on the flip side is...um... "Cities"
- Kenny, Los Angeles, CA
Yeah...I am a 6'4 17 year old boy from Detroit...but for whatever reason, I love this song. Maybe because I can identify with it, because basically what it's about is falling in love with the wrong girl, a habit I excell at. It's a great song, very relaxing, and universal to whoever has had a case of unrequited love. Kudos to The Moody Blues.
- Rob, Detroit , MI
And it was also in that movie with that Russian guy and the black guy (can't think of his name but he was a damn good dancer).
- Lars Ulrich, Copenhagen
You were introduced to LSD? Do you really want to mention that on the Internet?
- Dylan, Port Orange, FL
Somewhere in the lyrics, it sounds almost like "Lucy, I love you". However, I haven't heard the song in a while, so I forget where...
- Matthew, Milford, MA
I hate these sites where songs are picked apart and scrutinized with all sorts of bizarre results. This song has nothing to do with the KKK, or sex, or LSD's as far as I believe. It is one of the best songs ever recorded. Now different people have different feelings about the poem, but I love it. As a matter of fact I have a copy of it on my desk. The words for this song speak for themselves.
- Dave, Des Moines, IA
Denny laine who sang on Go Now became a full fledged Wing with Paul McCartney in the'70s.Nights was a hit twice.
- john, jasper, Canada
Days of Future Passed was released in 1967. I was a junior in high school then. I remember how unusual the lyrics were to different songs. And then I was introduced to LSD. So much of the lyrical material began to make sense, i.e., "the trees are drawing me near", " pin-pricked holes in a colorless sky letting insipid figures of light pass by" and in Nights of White Satin just the description of the reality when under the 8 hoour spell, "letters I've written never meaning to send." Truly one of those bands that appeals to me ever since rolling out of the '60's.
- Jay, Boca Raton, FL
I thought it had to do with caskets draped with American Flags being returned from the Vietnam war.
- Larrie Woodcock, Waterloo, Canada
Possibly related?
"knights in white satin" can be seen as a pun for nocturnal emissions (aka "wet dreams")
- Cyberpope, Richmond, Canada
I think this was actually the weakest song on the "Days of Future Passed" album. Yet there are millions of people who know nothing else about the Moody Blues but this song. I guess one can only say "Chacun a son gout." (Sorry, my keyboard doesn't have accent marks.)
- MusicMama, New York, NC
This is my #3 favorite song of all-time!
- Mike, Knoxville, TN
I really like this song until it gets to the Aren't-We-Oh-So-Deep part at the end, at which point it becomes so amazingly pretentious that you can use it if someone swallows poison and you're out of ipecac. "Cold-hearted orb that rules the night" ... gag.
- Bob, Oceanside, CA
I heard that when they recorded the song, they had to take several takes because band members kept choking up with emotion.
- Steve, Saint louis, MO
I sent you an e-mail, Bob. Read it, and I'll explain what happened.
- Dylan, Port Orange, FL
Dylan, I know it's hard, but you have to tell her. If you don't, you may always wonder "What If?". If you do and she says "No" you will easily put it behind you. I suppose they don't want a lenghty discussion on this board. email me..
acs902@yahoo.com
- Bob, Marinette, WI
Also, I myself have a little brown-eyed, brown-haired girl that I like at school. I am in the eighth grade, and we have only 3 days left to go in the school year. She is moving to Oklahoma over the summer, and, knowing me, I will probably be too shy to tell her how I feel. If Stephanie is out there, I want her to know that I really love her!
- Dylan, Port Orange, FL
Sounds great coming from my '78 Dodge Magnum's factory AM/FM/8-track, likewise from that of my 1976 Ford Ranchero.
- Darrell, Eugene, United States
Days of Future Passed is an album whose songs are based around the different times of the day but are also symbolic of the different phases of life - i.e. dawn==> birth ("So breath in deep you're not asleep, open your eyes, you're here today), morning==>childhood,("Time seems to stand quite still in a child's world, it always will"), noon==> adolescence/young adult, afternoon==>middle age, twilight==> old age, night==>death.
"Nights in White Satin" is the climax where the person finds the meaning of life - not thru analytical thinking but thru emotional experiences and lust for life itself -("Just what the truth is I can't say anymore because I love you.") and realizes death is not the end ("Nights in white satin, never reaching the end ...").
- Marc, Sewell, NJ
Wow,I didn't know that it charted again in '79, that's kind of ironic. I don't see the single listed on the Billboard chart for '79, I assume it was the album. Also just wanted to say thanks to Dylan, Shawn And Gern...Bob(acs902@yahoo.com)
- Bob, Marinette, WI
Nights In White Satin is the only song in history to chart three times in its original form: 1967, 1972 and 1979.

There are two stories as to it's inspiration. In most interviews Justin Hayward references a set of satin sheets. A remiment of a recently ended relationship. In other interviews he says it was a satin shirt.

The song appears in a number of movies
American Dreamz (2006) aka American Dreamz (Australia)
Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo (2005)
Stealth (2005)
Böse Zellen (2003) aka Free Radicals (Europe: English title) (International: English title)
Casino (1995) aka Casino (France)
Shattered (1991)
(this is not a full list)

It was also used by a contestant recently on American Idol

Another story concerning this song is it's ownership and the ownership of the 12 string that it was compossed on. The song rights actually belongs to the Late Lonnie Donagen who was Hayward's manager of sorts. The guitar as well was his and he reclaimed it, although Hayward has been lead to believe that it was a gift. He recently infact was approached by Donagen's widow about buying the guitar and has reportedly arranged to buy it.
- Blue, Prunedale, CA
To Bob Marinette in WI:

We're the same age, and I have had the exact same emotions for a girl that I fell in love with in the first grade in 1967. We went all the way through high school together, but fate kept me from getting close to her. Through the years, my feelings for her never waned. Perhaps it's just infatuation, but I've never been able to shake it. Your story broke my heart, and I'll remember your pain and my "little brown haired girl" every time that I hear this song.
- Gern, North Richland Hills, TX
Best song in the world by the best band in the world. The Moody Blues need to come back to Houston so I can see them again, once is not enough.
- Sam, Thompsons, TX
I just love this song. I know this is weird but I listen to it almost every night just before I go to sleep because it reminds me of him...
- Alexandra, Maui, HI
one of my favorite songs of all time period. i think it is one of the best songs of all time, just the emotions involved in the song. and bob, that is one of the saddest stories ive ever heard, im sorry for your loss.
- Shawn, Buffalo, NY
My date & I waited three hours to see the Moody Blues back in 1974 - they were delayed getting to the Civic Arena in Pittsburgh because of weather. It was SO worth it. One of the best concerts I have ever seen in my life. Their music is still so romantic & complete. Who doesn't love the Chinese gong at the end???
- Jo, Chicago, IL
I love the WAY he sings this song more then the lyrics. I don't even listen to the lyrics. He's written better songs if all you want is good lyrics but the emotion he puts in this song!! He was only 19 when he wrote this song... amazing!!
- Yvonne, Hastings, MN
Some of the songs have had wonderful interpretations. My favorite one, I think, is
"Nights in White Satin" because it was at the
time of Martin Luther King,Jr., everybody
thought it was "Knights in White Satin", and
that the "Knights" were the KKK.
- Dylan, Port Orange, FL
I'm here for you, Buddy.

Dylan, Port Orange, Florida
- Dylan, Port Orange, FL
"Nights In White Satin" will ALWAYS make me think of the first girl I was in love with when I was 11 years old back in 1972. She liked me too but I was too shy and afraid at the time to tell her. I remember lying in bed at night listening to this song on my little tape recorder....crying because I was so in love with her. The line " Letters I've written never meaning to send" held so true for me. I wrote that girl many letters that I knew I would never give to her. She looked like an angel. In 1973 my family moved 200 miles away. I figured I would forget about her, but never did. I thought about her all through high school. I always told myself that after school when I had a decent job and car I would go back and find her. She was killed just a couple weeks before graduation in 1979. She probably never knew how I felt....The haunting melodies of this song are enough to put one in a trance without conjuring these memories. If this song comes on when someone else is in the room or in the car I have to turn it off....the emotions become unstoppable.
- Bob, Marinette, WI
I LOVED this song from the first time I heard it on the radio. I didn't know who it was so I looked it up and now I have a couple Moody Blues CD's. "Tuesday Afternoon" IS good also.
- Jon, Oakridge, OR
This song is a true classic with very beautiful music. I can remember hearing it on the radio as teenager and we just loved it! It was so different at that time and only the really cool guys listened to it. I still enjoy hearing it on the radio even today and sounds just as good as it did then.
- Ladysensei, Charleston, SC
years ago the moody blues were playing in macon, ga. a man wrote a column in the local paper. he said that when he was in the navy, a man at a bar he went to always played this song on the jukebox. now, whenever he hears this song, hes back in that bar on long island. i'va never forgotten that.
- james, alpharetta, GA
This song was also parodied by Barclay James Harvest in 1977. So many record reviewers called BJH a "Poor Man's Moody Blues" that guitarist John Lees wrote a song with that title, writing new (but similar) words to a melody very close to that of "Nights in White Satin". It appeared on their album "Gone to Earth" and subsequently became a concert favorite.
- Steve, Torrance, CA
Even my dog loves this song.(sings right along) Tuesday Afternoon is a good one too!
- greg, Victoria, Canada
I thought I heard somewhere that Orson Wells read the poem.
- Patrick, Tallapoosa, GA
This was also used in an episode of "Roseanne" when Becky and her friend got drunk while studying. They were making fun of her (Becky's) parents' music, while listening to this record.
- Patrick, Tallapoosa, GA
When I first heard this song, I thought it was about "Knights" in medival times. (not realizing the title is not spelled with a k) Recently, I came to the conclusion that they're talking about sexual encounters. It completely changed the song for me, but I still love the song.
- phil, waterloo, IA
the connection between nights in white satin and the KKK is completely ridiculous this is one of the most ludicrous ideas I've ever heard anyone could look at any song and see a possible duality in meaning but not in this case the moodies are british and could care less about racial issues in the usa anyway just a plain classic song from an outstanding and unappreciated band
- john, charlotte, NC
I used to have a recording of the Dickies doing a cover of this song - made it sound like a turbo charged Simon & Garfunkel song and I've always thought it was an S & G song for this reason.
- Oscar, Melbourne, Australia
An outstanding fusion of classical music and rock, Night in White Satin is one of the most unique rock era hits. The local oldies station shortchanges me by playing the short version instead of the complete six minute cut that featues the line "Breathe deep. The gathering gloom. Watch lights fade in every room."

Also memorable is the gong at the end.
- Howard, St. Louis Park, MN
This song is the climax to the entire album, which is inventive, and brings on the theme of time passing, and of time not passing. I DO NOT think it is cheesy at all! The poem, the dramatic orchestration, (and especially the gong) are what set this song apart from others which would otherwise be thought even slightly similar. The otherworldly feel of it, ALWAYS makes me think of the cartoon "Peter Pan" even though there is no real similarity between the two. It could be because they both are set in London. Song is also played in the Martin Scorcese movie "Casino".
- Dennis, Chicagoland burrows, IL
'Nights' broke out in Seattle when a graveyard-shift DJ wanted to find the longest authorized song on his playlist to play so he could go smoke his bong (According to Graeme Edge, drummer/poet). It also made Rolling Stone's Prom song chart, and made the Top 20 3 separate times in its history. But, as Brian said above, the song made its greatest impact on me when featured on the CBS '80s TV show "Wiseguy"; Ken Wahl's undercover Vinnie Terranova character had just been 'outed' by mobster Sonny Steelgrave and 'Nights' played during a brief respite in their confrontation. I will never forget the way they stared at each other, transfixed, 'betrayer' and 'betrayed'; It haunts me still, even after all these years. The producer and writer could not have used a better song or combined the nuances to a song any better than they did, and that episode should be one of THE paramount moments of TV History. It will burn into your mind and soul...unforgettable!
- Rob, Seattle, WA
Ten or Fifteen years ago I heard an interview where the song was being discussed. One of the things that were mentioned was that in Seattle or somewhere out that direction there was an overnight DJ who had recently received a copy of the record and one night he needed a longer break than that provided by the "Normal" song of the time and set up Nights in White Satin to get him the time that was needed.

Enough people liked the song that he started getting requests to play the song to the point that he was putting it on several nights a week and soon other DJ's were also getting requests for the song even if it was not in their "approved" format. Which in turn lead to more sales and more playtime, etc.
- Kenneth, East Lansing, MI
If you add a 'K' in front of 'Nights', the song almost becomes a power anthem for the KKK....
(Klan leaders are referred to as knights, and the 'white satin' connections are obvious).
I sincerly doubt it, but it's an interesting coincidence all the same.
- Xavier, Melbourne, Australia
I love the Moody Blues. I once thought the song nights in white satin was knights in white satin, but i was wrong. I used to think it was about death, but i think i was wrong too. I guess its about getting it on in white satin which i would like to do with Justin. I should have been a groupie in college instead of going to school. What was i thinking?
- "emily", hilton head, SC
this song was written i believe in france. the orchestra was overlaid separate from the groups audio. Justin Hayward was given a set of satin sheets and in an interview i saw, he stated he couldnt sleep in them as he had a beard at the time!!!thus the line: "nights in white satin never reaching the end" in the context of the whole album maybe cheesy by todays stardards the poems going etc etc BUT taken in the context of its era this was a revolutionary album!!!
Jeffearnie out
- jeff, thunder bay, Canada
Nights in White Satin is an absolutely great song if your in love and really gets your heart pumpin'!
- Ashlie Clubb, California, MD
An absolutely great song if your in love and really gets your heart pumpin'!
- Ashlie Clubb, California, MD
what is cheesier, the "breathdeep" poem at the
end, or the chinese gong at the end? The song
is so great that nothing can ruin its greatness
or intensity.....though it comes close.....perhaps with some decent editing it would have hit bigger in '68 a la light my fire
and other album version longer songs....i swear
though, that harry potter like ending is so
60's....yuccchhhhhh....the bad 60's at that..
reminds me of spinal tap too!(it goes to 11!)
- Scott, chicago, IL
Elkie Brooks covered this song in 1978, backed by 60-piece orchestra!
- Dave, Cardiff, Wales
IT was the ultimate song at the time for me, i had to pursue across the river to get the album.
It was only on FM and that my friends was a distant reach at the time!
- Marti, Belleville, IL
lovely song, but what is the song about? is it expressing the persons struggle to be with the one he loves? he is an idealist of love but just hasn't found what he is looking for? yay nay maybay?
- renee, south lyon, MI
The punk band, "The Dickies" did a rather interesting cover of this. You wouldn't recognize it but if you like the classic late '70's punk sound, you'd like it.
- Jim, North Billerica, MA
This song can only be described as luscious. trangely enough, though, the first version I heard was not the Moody's but an obscure Aussie band named Samael Lilith, who took advantage of a ban on British imports to record "Nights In WHite Satin". They did a passable version (the lead singer apparently was Darryl Braithwaite, later of Sherbert, I hear) but nothing compared to the Moody Blues. That orchestral ending is just one of the most beautiful pieces of music ever written, in my opinion.
- Sue, Sydney, Australia
There is a parody of this song called "Nights at White Castle".
- Steve, St. Louis, MO
I love the way this song was used in the TV show "Wiseguy", starring Ken Wahl as an undercover FBI agent infiltrating the Mafia. The song was played when his mentor, Sonny Steelgrave (played by Ray Sharkey) realized he had been betrayed by Wahl's character.
- Brian, Shaker Heights, OH
The middle instrumental is my favorite part of the song, but yes, the whole song is beautiful.
- kelly, los angeles, CA
it also features several times in the greta scachi movie shattered. beautiful song...... i have to agree with my perth friends there!
paul marlow perth australia
- paul, perth, Australia
This song leans heavily on Love's 'Signed DC' in my opinion.
- Bert Van De Kamp, Den Bosch, Netherlands
This is the greatest song ever. The end of the song is the best part and is so true. Way to go Moody Blues.
Kathy, Rainsville, AL
- kathy, Rainsville, AL
A beautiful song.
- janet, perth, Australia
Appears in "A Bronx Tale" with Robert De Niro
- Camila, Perth, Australia
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