Midnight Rambler
The Rolling Stones Lyrics


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I'm a-talkin' 'bout the midnight rambler
Everybody got to go
Well I'm a-talkin' 'bout the midnight gambler
The one you never seen before
I'm sighin' down the wind so sadly
A-listen and you'll hear me moan
Well I'm a talkin' 'bout the midnight gambler
And everybody got to go
(Yeah c'mon)

Talkin' 'bout the midnight gambler
The one you never seen before
I'm talkin' 'bout the midnight rambler
Did you see me jump the garden wall
I don't give you a hoot of warning
A-dressed up in my black cat cloak
I don't see the light of the morning
I'll split the time the cock'rel crows

I'm tellin' 'bout the midnight rambler
Well, honey, it's no rock 'n' roll show
Well, I'm a-talkin' 'bout the midnight gambler
And everybody got to go

Oh, don't do that

Well, you heard about the Boston
Honey, it's not one of those
Talkin' 'bout the midnight, shit!
Did you see me jump bedroom door
I'm called the hit and run raper, in anger
Or just a knife sharpened, tippy toe
Or just a shoot 'em dead, brainbell jongleur
Everybody got to go
If you ever meet the midnight rambler
And he's prowlin' down your marble hall
And he's pouncin' like a proud black panther
You should say, I told you so
If you listen for the midnight rambler
Play it easy, easy, as you go
I'll go smash down all your plate glass windows
Put my fist through your stairway doors
Well I'm a-talkin' bout the midnight rambler
The one you never seen before
Well I'm a-talkin' bout the midnight rambler
And did you see me jump your garden wall
And if you ever catch the Midnight Rambler
Steal your mistress from under your nose




Go easy with your cold fanged anger
I'll stick my knife right down your throat baby, and it hurts

Overall Meaning

The Rolling Stones’s “Midnight Rambler” is a song that tells the story of a mysterious and dangerous nighttime intruder. The lyrics contain a wealth of vivid imagery that paints a picture of a lurking, prowling figure who may be a rapist or murderer. The song begins with the singer talking about this “midnight rambler” and how everyone has to be on guard for him. The lyrics then describe the singer’s own experience with the rambler, in which he jumps a garden wall and enters the singer’s bedroom. The rest of the song is a warning to listeners to be on the lookout for the midnight rambler, and if they encounter him to “play it easy” and not provoke him.


The lyrics of “Midnight Rambler” are open to interpretation, but one common reading is that the song is a reflection of the societal anxiety around crime in the late 1960s, particularly in urban areas. The “midnight rambler” can be seen as a stand-in for any number of fears, from random violence to sexual assault to the cultural upheaval of the time. The song’s lyrics also echo the vengeful themes of other songs by The Rolling Stones, such as “Gimme Shelter” and “Sympathy for the Devil,” with their emphasis on dark forces lurking just beyond the boundaries of safety and civilization.


Line by Line Meaning

I'm a-talkin' 'bout the midnight rambler
I am referring to the mysterious and elusive figure known as the midnight rambler


Everybody got to go
Everyone must leave or face the consequences of encountering the midnight rambler


Well I'm a-talkin' 'bout the midnight gambler
I am speaking of the cunning and unpredictable midnight gambler


The one you never seen before
A character so elusive that no one has ever witnessed their presence


I'm sighin' down the wind so sadly
I am letting out a sorrowful sigh carried by the wind


A-listen and you'll hear me moan
If you listen closely, you can hear my mournful cries


Did you see me jump the garden wall
Have you witnessed my agile and stealthy maneuver of leaping over a garden wall?


I don't give you a hoot of warning
I will not provide any warning or indication of my imminent arrival


A-dressed up in my black cat cloak
I am camouflaged in a black coat, blending into the darkness like a black cat


I don't see the light of the morning
I am a creature of the night and do not witness the dawn of day


I'll split the time the cock'rel crows
My actions will take place before the rooster crows, marking the end of the night


Well, honey, it's no rock 'n' roll show
This is not a lighthearted or entertaining event, it is serious business


Oh, don't do that
Please refrain from engaging in any behavior that may provoke me


Well, you heard about the Boston
You may have heard rumors or legends about my exploits in Boston


Talkin' 'bout the midnight, shit!
Continuing to speak of my menacing presence and disregard for polite language


If you ever meet the midnight rambler
In the unlikely event that you encounter me, the midnight rambler


And he's prowlin' down your marble hall
As I silently and stealthily make my way through your luxurious home


And he's pouncin' like a proud black panther
Similar to a fierce panther, I am poised to strike and unleash chaos


You should say, I told you so
If you were warned or expected my arrival, then you could say you saw it coming


If you listen for the midnight rambler
If you strain your ears, you may hear the sounds of my movements


Play it easy, easy, as you go
Stay calm and collected as you try to avoid running into me


I'll go smash down all your plate glass windows
If provoked, I will resort to destructive behavior and cause damage to your property


Put my fist through your stairway doors
I am capable of using force to break down doors and access hidden areas


And if you ever catch the Midnight Rambler
If you are ever able to capture or subdue me, the midnight rambler


Steal your mistress from under your nose
I might use the distraction of my capture to commit further misdeeds, such as stealing a romantic partner


Go easy with your cold fanged anger
Don't let your anger consume you and take measured steps to deal with me


I'll stick my knife right down your throat baby, and it hurts
If provoked, I am not afraid to use violence and a knife to inflict harm and pain




Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Abkco Music Inc.
Written by: Keith Richards, Mick Jagger

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Most interesting comment from YouTube:

@user-ip9yu7lp1q

Did you hear about the midnight rambler?
Everybody got to go
Did you hear about the midnight rambler?
The one that shut the kitchen door
He don't give a hoot of warning
Wrapped up in a black cat cloak
He don't go in the light of the morning
He split the time the cock will crow

Talkin' about the midnight gambler
The one you never seen before
Talkin' about the midnight gambler
Did you see him jump the garden wall
Sighin' down the wind so softly
Listen and you'll hear him moan
Yeah well talkin' about the midnight gambler
Everybody got to go

Did you hear about the midnight rambler
Well, honey, it's no rock 'n' roll show
Well, I'm talkin' about the midnight gambler
Yeah, the one you never seen before

Oh don't do that, oh don't do that, oh don't do that
Don't you do that, don't you do that

Well, you heard about the Boston
Its not one of those
Well, talkin ‘bout the midnight unh shhh
The one that closed the bedroom door
I’m called the hit and run raper in anger
The knife sharpened tippie toe
Or just the shoot em’ dead brain bell jangler
You know, the one you never seen before
So if you ever meet the midnight rambler
A coming down your marble hall
Well he’s pouncing like a proud black panther
Well, you can say I, I told you so!

Well don’t cha listen for the midnight rambler
Hey! Yah play it easy as you go
I’m gonna smash down all your plate glass windows
Put a fist, put a fist through your steel plated door

Did you hear about the midnight rambler
He'll leave his footprints up and down your hall
And did you hear about the midnight gambler
And did you see me make my midnight call
And if you ever catch the midnight rambler
I'll steal your mistress from under your nose
I'll go easy with your cold fandango
I'll stick my knife right down your throat, baby
And it hurts!



All comments from YouTube:

@johntellmewhy

I have always thought that this song is a masterpiece. The vocals, the drums, the guitar the harmonica!
It doesn't get any better!

@cliffnelson1174

One of my favorites....but I believe the Stones Masterpiece is Sympathy for the Devil.....

@garcia83viz

It's the intro... Gotta be one of the best guitar hooks ever. "Everytime you smoke a cig, you take 7 minutes off your life and give those to Keith Richards. "

@Dan-nm1hu

@@cliffnelson1174 true, that is their best song. That and Jumpin' Jack Flash in my humble opinion

@randy521

I agree. People just don't seem to realize the greatness..&.only song that makes serial kill!ng appealing

@randy521

​@@cliffnelson1174Greatest band ever, my favorite anyway. Multiple masterpieces throughout the decades. 👑

@galebailey5583

The live version of Midnight Rambler is great and a standard rock classic. But this studio version, wow!!! This is the best harmonica solo EVER!!!

@DMBGirl1234

These Lyrics are Perfect. Feels like I'm simultaneously reading a book by the same Title of the song because it's so descriptive. Every Band Member is Spot On. I listen to this version all the time. It's always gonna be Long but when you're in the mood for it, it's never too long! The Rolling Stones.

@stereomagic1

So, so good...and could never be made today. Amazing theatricality!

@anton1949

A fantastic song, smoke some good weed and take a listen.

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