Oh How I Love You!

Nights in White Satin is the last song of a concept album, which follows the course of a day, each song being about a particular part of a complete day, jumping between people and places to capture the typical day.  The song is mesmerizing having this other-worldly quality about it with an amazing melody and incredible vocal, along with the haunting sound of a strange keyboard called a Mellotron.  It documents the heightened emotions and intimacy of dusk or early night-time from the Moody Blues album ‘Days of Future Passed’, which is a dawn-to-darkness narrative.  This song came out in November 1967, at the start of the psychedelic era of rock music, but unlike acid rock, it is more cerebral, and it features classical instruments and it became a masterpiece that bridged pop and symphony music.

Band member Justin Hayward wrote and composed the song at age 19 in Swindon a town in the UK, and titled the song after a girlfriend who gave him a gift of satin bed sheets.  Hayward was living in a two-room flat in Bayswater with Graeme Edge, the Moody Blues drummer and their girlfriends.  Hayward said that when he wrote ‘Nights In White Satin’ that he didn’t own many things in the world, but he did have this totally useless set of white satin sheets that an old girlfriend of his had given him.  He thought that they were impractical, but they looked quite nice, and they were quite romantic.  He had ended things with her and he had a new woman in his life.  The song is thought to be a tale of a yearning love from afar, telling a story of unrequited love endured by Hayward, as he was caught between ecstasy and despair, ruing the end of one love affair while embarking on another.  Hayward knew the group was expecting him to write something because he came to the group as a songwriter, so he started searching for some kind of metaphor for the emotional turmoil that he was going through, when he came across these sheets that just happened to be in his suitcase.

The London Festival Orchestra LFO was established in the 1950’s as the ‘house orchestra’ for Decca Records and the ‘Days of Future Passed’ album credits the London Festival Orchestra, but it was just a group of session musicians that Peter Knight an English musical arranger, conductor and composer quickly put together to add his rich lush orchestration.  Mostly all the orchestral sounds that are heard on the recordings come from a Mellotron.  The Mellotron was a forerunner of the synthesizer and it is like a tape cassette that makes a string sound or a trumpet sound when you hit one of the keys, thus giving the Mellotron an ability to simulate an orchestra.  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.  New World Symphony aka Symphony No. 9 in E Minor, Op. 95, from the Bohemian composer Antonín Dvořák, was a major milestone in the validation of American or “New World” music and lore as source material for classical composition.  Written while Dvořák was living and working in New York City, the symphony purportedly incorporated the composer’s reflections on his American setting.  Decca Records wanted the band to do a rock ‘n’ roll version of this symphony to test stereo (as opposed to mono) recording, but the group pursued its own songs behind closed doors.

Nights in White Satin speaks of never reaching an end, because the guy singing this song is still thinking about one of his former loves, while he is laying awake in bed.  Unsent letters are a result of not being able to put his thoughts in order and express what he is actually feeling, although he keeps trying, he realizes that this past relationship is over.  While thinking about this woman he comes to grasp with this previously unseen beauty that somehow he missed when they were together.  His world is upside down and he does not know what the truth is anymore, because he still feels love for this girl.  He sees other couples, but they cannot understand what he is going through.  They try to tell him things, but he does not think that they are rational.  He thinks that if he wants to be something, that is what he will be in the end.  I think he is saying that his love which he knows is over still haunts him.

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…

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

“Late Lament” is a poem written by the Moody Blues’ drummer, Graeme Edge, and is often featured at the end of the song “Nights in White Satin”. It is pretty deep and I think that it is about how we perceive things being either good or bad.

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.
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?

Written for Laura M Bailey All The Shoes I Wear Manic Mondays 3 way prompt – A picture of the back of a woman, the word Forlorn and the Moody Blues song Nights in White Satin.

28 thoughts on “Oh How I Love You!

    1. Thanks Sight, but I don’t have a playlist as I guess I am not modern enough for that. I enjoy Classic Rock music ranging generally from the mid-1960s to the late 1980s, which I mostly listen to on the radio when I am in my car.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Loved this song since I first heard the Days of Future Passed album in late 1967/early 1968. I could never understand why most people had never heard of it until its re-release in 1972. It’s still incomprehensible that it took 5 years for it to become a hit!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think that they needed humans to walk on the moon first (that cold-hearted orb that rules the night), no just kidding it must have taken 5 years because this progressive concept of music from this groundbreaking album was really ahead of its time. A lot of people did not know if this was a rock album or classical music.

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  2. I am a longtime fan of the Moody Blues. “Days of Future Past” and “A Question of Balance” are my two favorites of their albums. I saw them in concert about five years ago and their voices were just as great as they were in their heyday, but they looked like a bunch of old men. I closed my eyes through most of the concert because what I saw and what I heard didn’t match. Another great post, Jim.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well they are a bunch of old men as Days of Future Passed is 51 years old now, but I did read that they are still hitting a high mark at their live concerts, especially Justin Hayward’s voice. How did that closing your eyes thing work out?

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Reena my post was titled Child Abandonment and you can get all the other links from the bottom of my post. The story was started by Wordsmith, picked up by Paula Light and then by Fandango wrote part 3 and he passed it over to me. Wordsmith wrote ‘Finish the Story #6, 11 August’, Paula Light wrote ‘The Road’ and Fandango wrote ‘Tagged Again’, so I imagine that your part 5 of this story will have a different title.
      https://jimadamsauthordotcom.wordpress.com/2018/08/11/child-abandonment/

      Liked by 1 person

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