Rolling Stones – Moonlight Mile

Next to Memory Motel, this is one of my favorite Stones songs. It has yet to be played into the ground by radio.

Keith Richards was not at the recording session because of one reason or another. Richard likes the song, though. With Richards gone, Mick Taylor did all the guitar work on the recording.

The song was on Sticky Fingers and the album peaked at #1 in the Billboard Album Chart, #1 in the UK, and #1 in Canada in 1971.

Mick Jagger: That’s a dream song. Those kinds of songs with kinds of dreamy sounds are fun to do, but not all the time – it’s nice to come back to reality.”

From Songfacts

This was the result of an all-night recording session at Stargroves, The Stones’ mobile recording studio. A moonlight mile is a night time cocaine session. 

he working title was “The Japanese Thing.”

Jim Price, who usually arranged horns and played the trumpet and piano.

Paul Buckmaster, known for his work with Elton John, arranged the strings.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal’s Marc Myers, Jagger explained the creation of the song: “I also came up with an Oriental-Indian riff on my acoustic guitar. At some point during the tour I played it for Mick Taylor, because I thought he would like it. At that point, I really hadn’t intended on recording the song. Sometimes you don’t want to record what you’re writing. You think, ‘This isn’t worth recording, this is just my doodling.’

“When we finished our European tour in October 1970, we were at Stargroves… We were sitting around one night and I started working on what I had initially written. I felt great. I was in my house again and it was very relaxing. So the song became about that – looking forward to returning from a foreign place while looking out the window of a train and the images of the railway line going by in the moonlight.”

Moonlight Mile

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 you 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