Moonlight Mile

Composers: Mick Jagger & Keith Richards
Recording date: October 1970
Recording location: Rolling Stones Mobile Unit, Mick Jagger's home, Newbury & Olympic Sound Studios, London, England
Producer: Jimmy Miller        Chief engineers: Glyn Johns & Andy Johns
Performed onstage: 1999, 2015

Probable line-up:

Drums: Charlie Watts
Bass: Bill Wyman
Acoustic guitar: Mick Jagger
Electric guitar (incl. slide): Mick Taylor
Vocals: Mick Jagger
Piano: Jim Price
Strings: (unknown musicians)

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 night 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

Going to warm my bones, going to warm my bones
I've got silence on my radio
Let the air waves flow, let the air waves flow
For I am 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 on down the road
Yeah, yeah

I'm hiding, sister, and I'm dreaming

I'm riding down your moonlight mile
I'm hiding, baby, but I'm dreaming
I'm riding down your moonlight mile
I'm riding down your moonlight mile
Let it go now
Come on up, baby

Yeah, let it go now

Flow now, baby
Yeah, come on now, yeah


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

Yeah, yeah baby

Moonlight Mile was all Mick's. As far as I can remember, Mick came in with the whole idea of that, and the band just figured out how to play it.
- Keith Richards, Life (2010)

The music quite often comes ahead of the words. That annoys me. It's very hard to write lyrics to the track. It's much easier to have it done before but... I always try to write the lyrics to the songs. Like that thing with strings on Moonlight Mile, the lyrics weren't written to that before we cut the track. That was very extemporized. We didn't THINK of having strings or anything. It just comes.
- Mick Jagger, 1971

I wrote it in London in my house.
- Mick Jagger, 2015

(W)e recorded it in my house in the country, Stargroves. And we recorded a lot of stuff (there): Bitch, stuff from Exile on Main Street... I remember Mick Taylor playing that song. Real dreamy kind of semi-Middle Eastern piece. Yeah, that's a real pretty song - and a nice string arrangement.
- Mick Jagger, 1995

At Stargroves, we had the Stones' 16-track mobile recording unit outside, and, inside, we played in this huge room with a gallery and great acoustics. That's where Moonlight Mile came from. But Mick first sang it to me in a first-class railway compartment on the way from Lindon to Bristol. Then he had the idea of embellishing it with strings. I contributed the riff that Paul Buckmaster's strings are based on - that ethereal, unresolved ending. Moonlight Mile, I Got the Blues and Sister Morphine are probablay my favourite songs on the whole album.

- Mick Taylor, 2011

(A)s far as the (Stones songs) I played on, I like Sway - and Moonlight Mile because I sort of had a hand in co-writing that, in a way. Or at least I wrote the riff the string part is based on.

- Mick Taylor, 2012

The only thing in Sticky Fingers I don't have anything to do with is Moonlight Mile, 'cause I wasn't there when they did it. It was great to hear that because I was very out of it by the end of the album and it was like listening, really listening. It was really nice.
- Keith Richards, 1971

I thought I wasn't on Moonlight Mile but the last riff everybody gets into playing is a riff I'd been playing on earlier tapes before I dropped out.
- Keith Richards, 1971

(T)hat'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.
- Mick Jagger, 1978

I think it's about being lonesome on the road. And being on the road for too long makes you a bit sad and wistful and those things.
- Mick Jagger, 2015

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