♫ Nights In White Satin ♫ (Redux)

A comment or two lately mentioned the Moody Blues, and while I recently played their song, “Go Now“, I haven’t played this one for almost two years!


Band member Justin Hayward wrote and composed the song at age 19 in Swindon, and titled the song after a girlfriend gave him a gift of satin bedsheets. The song itself was a tale of a yearning love from afar, which leads many aficionados to term it as a tale of unrequited love endured by Hayward. Hayward said of the song, “It was just another song I was writing and I thought it was very powerful. It was a very personal song and every note, every word in it means something to me and I found that a lot of other people have felt that very same way about it.”

In the late 1990s, the UK magazine Record Collector printed a claim that Nights in White Satin had not been written by Justin Hayward at all, but that in fact the Moody Blues’ management had simply bought the song outright in 1966 from an Italian group called “Les Jelly Roll” and taken credit for it. This claim seems to have arisen from the discovery of a 7″ single by the Jelly Roll which carries the words “This is the original version of Nights in White Satin” on the label.

“Les Jelly Roll” was a French band who did a cover version of the Moody Blues song, and had the opportunity to release it in Italy on Ricordi (an Italian record label), a few months before the original was released there. As a joke, they put the now-famous sentence on the cover.

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.

Nights in White Satin (The Night)
The Moody Blues

Nights in white satin
Never reaching the end
Letters I’ve written
Never meaning to send

Beauty I’d always missed
With these eyes before
Just what the truth is
I can’t say any more

‘Cause I love you
Yes I love you
Oh how I love you

Gazing at people, some hand in hand
Just what I’m going through they can’t understand
Some try to tell me, thoughts they cannot defend
Just what you want to be, you will be in the end

And I love you
Yes I love you
Oh how I love you
Oh how I love you

Nights in white satin
Never reaching the end
Letters I’ve written
Never meaning to send

Beauty I’ve always missed
With these eyes before
Just what the truth is
I can’t say any more

‘Cause I love you
Yes I love you
Oh how I love you
Oh how I love you
‘Cause I love you
Yes I love you
Oh how I love you
Oh how I love you

Songwriters: Justin Hayward
Nights in White Satin (The Night) lyrics © T.R.O. Inc.

♫ Go Now ♫

I asked Roger yesterday what he would like to hear in my next music post, and his response was something by The Moody Blues … he left the song choice up to me.  I checked my archives and found that I had played Nights in White Satin twice, once in 2019 and again in 2020, and that was the only Moody Blues song I’ve ever played here.  I might have only briefly considered reduxing that one, for it is still my favourite by The Moody Blues, but I thought that might be a bit of a cop out, so I went in search of another that I like and … well, this one came up next!


I did not know that before The Moody Blues recorded it, this was an obscure soul single for Bessie Banks, who released it in 1964. Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller produced her recording, and it was written by her husband Larry Banks. It is a heart-rending song where the singer has just broken up with his lover, and can’t bear to see her anymore.

According to SongFacts …

This was The Moody Blues’ second single, the first being the unsuccessful “Lose Your Money.” Their next few releases did not fare as well and the lead singer on this track, Denny Laine, whose pained vocals added so much to the single, left the band to set up his own Electric String Band in 1966. He later joined forces with Paul McCartney in Wings.

The Moody Blues re-formed a short time later with new members Justin Hayward and John Lodge, who became the primary songwriters in the group.

Denny Laine recalled to Gibson.com how the band came to cover this song: “It came in one of these suitcases full of records from America. This guy, James Hamilton, he was a friend of B. Mitchel Reed, who was a DJ, and he would send this stuff across. So I picked that one out especially because Mike Pinder was a piano player. (chuckles) We’d always get the gig where the piano would be out of tune and we’d get the slow handclap because they were waiting to tune the piano… (laughs) Anyway, we did ‘Go Now’ because it was a song with a piano in it.”
This song reached #1 in the UK and #10 in the U.S.
Go Now
The Moody Blues
We’ve already said “goodbye”
Since you gotta go, oh you’d better
Go now, go now, go now (go now, ooh)
Before you see me cry?

I don’t want you to tell me just what you intend to do now
‘Cause how many times do I have to tell you darlin’, darlin’
I’m still in love with you now
Whoa oh oh oh

We’ve already said “so long”
I don’t want to see you go, oh you’d better
Go now, go now, go now (go now, ooh)

Don’t you even try?
Tellin’ me that you really don’t want it to end this way
‘Cause darlin’, darlin’, can’t you see I want you to stay, yeah

Since you gotta go, oh you’d better
Go now, go now, go now (go now, ooh)
Before you see me cry
I don’t want you to tell me just what you intend to do now
‘Cause how many times do I have to tell you darlin’, darlin’
I’m still in love, still in love with you now
Ooh ooh ooh
I don’t want to see you go but darlin’, you better go now

Writer/s: Larry Banks, Milton Bennett
Publisher: BMG Rights Management
Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

♫ Nights In White Satin ♫ (Redux)

happy-sadTonight, I am … not sure what I am.  I’m pleased that the majority of the people in this nation chose sanity over chaos, but disgusted and disappointed by the machinations of the losers.  I’m like one of those happy/sad faces … I don’t know which to be.  And so, a mellow song, a slow one that gives us a chance to feel the music without thinking.  And thus it happens that I am reduxing one from about a year-and-a-half ago.


Band member Justin Hayward wrote and composed the song at age 19 in Swindon, and titled the song after a girlfriend gave him a gift of satin bedsheets. The song itself was a tale of a yearning love from afar, which leads many aficionados to term it as a tale of unrequited love endured by Hayward. Hayward said of the song, “It was just another song I was writing and I thought it was very powerful. It was a very personal song and every note, every word in it means something to me and I found that a lot of other people have felt that very same way about it.”

In the late 1990s, the UK magazine Record Collector printed a claim that Nights in White Satin had not been written by Justin Hayward at all, but that in fact the Moody Blues’ management had simply bought the song outright in 1966 from an Italian group called “Les Jelly Roll” and taken credit for it. This claim seems to have arisen from the discovery of a 7″ single by the Jelly Roll which carries the words “This is the original version of Nights in White Satin” on the label.

“Les Jelly Roll” was a French band who did a cover version of the Moody Blues song, and had the opportunity to release it in Italy on Ricordi (an Italian record label), a few months before the original was released there. As a joke, they put the now-famous sentence on the cover.

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.

Nights in White Satin (The Night)
The Moody Blues

Nights in white satin
Never reaching the end
Letters I’ve written
Never meaning to send

Beauty I’d always missed
With these eyes before
Just what the truth is
I can’t say any more

‘Cause I love you
Yes I love you
Oh how I love you

Gazing at people, some hand in hand
Just what I’m going through they can’t understand
Some try to tell me, thoughts they cannot defend
Just what you want to be, you will be in the end

And I love you
Yes I love you
Oh how I love you
Oh how I love you

Nights in white satin
Never reaching the end
Letters I’ve written
Never meaning to send

Beauty I’ve always missed
With these eyes before
Just what the truth is
I can’t say any more

‘Cause I love you
Yes I love you
Oh how I love you
Oh how I love you
‘Cause I love you
Yes I love you
Oh how I love you
Oh how I love you

Songwriters: Justin Hayward
Nights in White Satin (The Night) lyrics © T.R.O. Inc.

♫ Question ♫

First released in April 1970, this song was written by Moody Blues guitarist/vocalist Justin Hayward and reflected the thoughts of many young people who were questioning the war in Vietnam.  According to Hayward …

“We’d achieved great success in the United States and we were playing a lot of student venues and colleges, and the student audience was our audience. We were mixing with these people and seeing how different the problems were for them and the issues in being a member of the greatest nation on earth: the United States. How different they were from British people. I was just expressing my frustration around that, around the problems of anti-war and things that really concerned them, and for their own future that they may be conscripted. How that would morally be a dilemma for them and that kind of stuff. So it did really come out of that. And my own particular anger at what was happening. After a decade of peace and love, it still seemed we hadn’t made a difference in 1970. I suppose that was the theme of the song. And then the slow part of the song is really a reflection of that and not feeling defeated, but almost a quiet reflection of it, and mixing with a bit of a love song, as well.”

Question reached #2 on the charts in the UK, but only made it to #21 in the U.S.

Question
The Moody Blues

Why do we never get an answer
When we’re knocking at the door
With a thousand million questions
About hate and death and war?
‘Cause when we stop and look around us
There is nothing that we need
In a world of persecution
That is burning in its greed

Why do we never get an answer
When we’re knocking at the door?
Because the truth is hard to swallow
That’s what the war of love is for

It’s not the way that you say it
When you do those things to me
It’s more the way that you mean it
When you tell me what will be
And when you stop and think about it
You won’t believe it’s true
That all the love you’ve been giving
Has all been meant for you

I’m looking for someone to change my life
I’m looking for a miracle in my life
And if you could see what it’s done to me
To lose the love I knew
Could safely lead me through

Between the silence of the mountains
And the crashing of the sea
There lies a land I once lived in
And she’s waiting there for me
But in the grey of the morning
My mind becomes confused
Between the dead and the sleeping
And the road that I must choose

I’m looking for someone to change my life
I’m looking for a miracle in my life
And if you could see what it’s done to me
To lose the love I knew
Could safely lead me to
The land that I once knew
To learn as we grow old
The secrets of our soul
It’s not the way that you say it when you do those things to me
It’s more the way you really mean it when you tell me what will be

Why do we never get an answer
When we’re knocking at the door
With a thousand million questions
About hate and death and war?
When we stop and look around us
There is nothing that we need
In a world of persecution
That is burning in its greed

Why do we never get an answer
When we’re knocking at the door?

Songwriters: Justin Hayward
Question lyrics © T.R.O. Inc.

♫ Nights In White Satin ♫

 

Band member Justin Hayward wrote and composed the song at age 19 in Swindon, and titled the song after a girlfriend gave him a gift of satin bedsheets. The song itself was a tale of a yearning love from afar, which leads many aficionados to term it as a tale of unrequited love endured by Hayward. Hayward said of the song, “It was just another song I was writing and I thought it was very powerful. It was a very personal song and every note, every word in it means something to me and I found that a lot of other people have felt that very same way about it.”

In the late 1990s, the UK magazine Record Collector printed a claim that Nights in White Satin had not been written by Justin Hayward at all, but that in fact the Moody Blues’ management had simply bought the song outright in 1966 from an Italian group called “Les Jelly Roll” and taken credit for it. This claim seems to have arisen from the discovery of a 7″ single by the Jelly Roll which carries the words “This is the original version of Nights in White Satin” on the label.

“Les Jelly Roll” was a French band who did a cover version of the Moody Blues song, and had the opportunity to release it in Italy on Ricordi (an Italian record label), a few months before the original was released there. As a joke, they put the now-famous sentence on the cover.

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.

Nights in White Satin (The Night)
The Moody Blues

Nights in white satin
Never reaching the end
Letters I’ve written
Never meaning to send

Beauty I’d always missed
With these eyes before
Just what the truth is
I can’t say any more

‘Cause I love you
Yes I love you
Oh how I love you

Gazing at people, some hand in hand
Just what I’m going through they can’t understand
Some try to tell me, thoughts they cannot defend
Just what you want to be, you will be in the end

And I love you
Yes I love you
Oh how I love you
Oh how I love you

Nights in white satin
Never reaching the end
Letters I’ve written
Never meaning to send

Beauty I’ve always missed
With these eyes before
Just what the truth is
I can’t say any more

‘Cause I love you
Yes I love you
Oh how I love you
Oh how I love you
‘Cause I love you
Yes I love you
Oh how I love you
Oh how I love you

Songwriters: Justin Hayward
Nights in White Satin (The Night) lyrics © T.R.O. Inc.