The nighttime evokes a serious of danger, mystery, and sometimes fright. Some people need to sleep with the lights on, while others (like Bane), were born in the dark and have no fear of the night.
In this article, I’m going to provide you with my favorite songs with night in the title. And hopefully, you’ll walk away from this list adding a couple of these songs to your playlist!
Songs With Night in the Title You Will Enjoy
Let’s begin with a great song by Monica.
First Night by Monica
In the late 1990s, the R&B singer Monica was probably most known by many fans (and certainly mainstream music listeners) as being 50% of the duo that made “The Boy Is Mine” such a massive hit song (featuring Brandy, of course).
But Monica’s 1998 album (The Boy Is Mine) was a great entry into R&B in its own right. And it featured a great, and pretty virtuous, song entitled “First Night.”
While many R&B songs are all about leaning into your sensuality and perhaps pushing the boundaries of romance and lust, Monica’s “First Night” leans all the way out of that. This is a track where Monica repeatedly makes it clear to a man that’s interested in her that she doesn’t “get down on the first night.”
Not only is Monica leaning into her personal value system, she doesn’t even want to give a man a reason to think otherwise. So she’s not even going to make the first move, or lead the man on—she’s just going to be straight up and honest from jump street. It’s not that Monica doesn’t want to have sex—she just doesn’t want to be involved in a one night stand.
I should make a move, but I won’t
I know you’re probably thinkin’ something is wrong
Knowing if I do that it won’t be right
I don’t get down on the first night
If ever there was a spiritual successor to Janet Jackson’s “Let’s Wait Awhile,” it would be Monica’s “First Night.”
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Up All Night Charlie Puth
On this song, Charlie Puth resents being played by a woman he’s really falling in love with. He gets a thrill down his spine when he thinks about her. He feels downright electrified. Just one touch of this woman’s hand can send Puth to the moon.
But there’s just one problem—we’re dealing with a serious case of unrequited love here. And Puth has no idea why.
And it’s that lack of knowing, that serious lack of closure, that’s absolutely crushing Puth inside. So it keeps him up all night long, playing various scenarios over and over again in his mind.
Sadly, he’s never able to come up with a reason why this is happening. And, worse than that, he can’t find anybody new that’s better than his love interest—so he’s stuck in in no man’s land when it comes to love.
So I try to shake you out my head
Try to dance with somebody new
But you got those lips so red
And that smoking voice, you do
So I know it’s pointless anyway
‘Cause there ain’t nobody else
That could light me up so bright
And break this crazy spell
Up all night
Up all night
All the things that you said to me yesterday
Playing over in my mind
It’s a crime
It’s a crime
How you’re reeling me in with the games you play
Then you hang me out to dry
In many ways, “Up All Night” is the perfect song for a generation that ghosts other people in the dating world.
The Night We Met by Lord Huron feat. Phoebe Bridgers
This indie band dropped a bomb inside a love song in 2015. However, it did not garner music chart attention until producers of 13 Reasons Why on Netflix used it in an episode.
It’s a painfully blue song about losing someone in a relationship. Watching who they used to be disappear entirely over time. “Take me back to the night we met. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. Haunted by the ghost of you,” sings front man Ben Schneider.
“Take me back to the night we met.”
How often have we wanted to say that to someone? Night is powerful when metaphor can be used in tandem with the magic of love and the magic in the still presence of night. It’s a ghost song for the heart. A haunting inside the human heart spilled out perfectly in song. Schneider’s perfectly coiffed voice makes us think of Vegas, vintage and open road. A slow, almost rockabilly two step meant for two, but only one is here.
Things We Do At Night (Live) by Blue October
From their 2015 Things We Do at Night (Live From Texas) album comes this dreamy pop song heavy on the “night” metaphors. These alternative rockers from Houston, Texas are wizards when it comes to songwriting. Their music just flows and makes us feel empowered especially when things get hard.
And the “night” can certainly refer to hard times. When things cannot be seen clearly, it might be scary and even downright painful. And we have to manage ourselves sometimes.
This is life
I know exactly what the **** I’m doing
Everyday I wake up
Knowing who and what I’m pursuing
I know my life is beautiful
Not far away
I’m trying to make it through the night
To get to this ******* day
Through the darkness of night, we wait for the light. It’s about perseverance and getting through the day the best way we know.
And then there’s Justin Furstenfeld’s voice. The man can howl any emotion out into the proverbial night and charm wolves.
Nightswimming by REM
Solace and healing under a night sky. In the cleansing water beneath. We find Michael Stipe singing about a lost relationship. It’s a devastatingly beautiful piano ballad about loving someone and swimming in the grief that comes when it ends.
This song is full of reflection, admission and acknowledgement when he confesses neither one of them knew each other very well.
You, I thought I knew you
You I cannot judge
You, I thought you knew me
This one laughing quietly underneath my breath
Night Moves by Bob Seger
This 1977 “Rolling Stone Single of the Year” is a favorite of bikers, road warriors, poets, and sentimental fools. “Night Moves” is like waxing poetic about love to the stranger next to you at the bar. It’s a steely wide open blue sky. It’s sitting by the fire with a late night Scotch.
Beautiful imagery and full blown nostalgia make this song a perfect companion for road trips. Seger’s ode to sexual connection in his younger days with a woman that he professes not to love—yet it certainly seems like he still does. The “night moves” are a metaphor for distancing ourselves from the awkwardness of youth and finding something magical about the closeness of another human being.
This bluesy, southern rock ballad is a song filled with lust, fondness, and positive vibes.
Still of the Night by Whitesnake
Whitesnake debuted their self-titled album in 1987, and holy moly did this 80s metal band get it right. Well-loved hairband staples like “Here I Go Again” and “Is This Love” were born by lead singer, David Coverdale.
And then he gave us “Still of the Night.” It’s an incredible track filled with cellos and Coverdale howls. The night is when things are dark and silently filled with emotions. And sometimes sensuality. Coverdale is clearly in need of a good time with another person. And it’s just pure heavy metal glory.
Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth (Hot Summer Night) by Meat Loaf
Meat Loaf’s 1977 Bat Out of Hell album is by far one of the greatest musical masterpieces to come out of the 70s. “Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth” is all things righteous about Meat Loaf and producer Todd Rundgren.
It starts with a woman asking a man what he is willing to do for love. Then the song heads into a Bruce Springsteen-like jam meant for a jukebox night or car ride with the honey.
“I was just about to say I love you and then you took the words right out of my mouth. Oh it must have been while you were kissin’ me,” sings Meat Loaf.
The song is riddled with lust, love, insecurity, vulnerability, and passion. It’s everything we feel when we’re falling in love with someone. If you haven’t heard the Bat Out of Hell album, do yourself a favor and reserve some listening time for it. There are some amazing love songs on this album. It’s hard to turn away.
I Drove All Night by Cyndi Lauper
It’s fair to say that Cyndi Lauper ruled the airwaves of the 1980s. “I Drove All Night” was originally done by Roy Orbison, but then recorded and released by Lauper in 1989. Celine Dion also covered it in 2003.
Lauper’s version is arguably the best one, as it delivers a jam-packed masterpiece of all that is glorious about the 80s. We can see her driving on a night highway miles from her lover, all hopped up on Red Bull, coffee, and lust.
“I had to escape. The city was sticky and cruel. Maybe I should have called you first but I was dying to get to you,” sings Lauper.
Night in this song could be a metaphor for many things depending on our relationship with the song itself. It could be time, weathering hardship, loyalty, or devotion. It’s filled with angsty lust, love, and a determined need to be close to another person.
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Sleep at Night by the Chicks
It’s no secret that the Chicks’ new album, Gaslighter, is about Natalie Maine’s divorce from a narcissistic husband. “You’re only as sick as your secrets. So I’m telling everything. Half of the **** you won’t believe but I know it’s not unique to me,” sings Maines, and later, “You don’t care what you’re ruining. So caught up in your story. But you don’t care. How do you sleep at night?”
This song, and album, are for those of us left behind by emotionally abusive partners. It’s not an easy space and unlike any normal heartbreak due to multiple layers of abuse to disentangle yourself from.
Maines, and the girls, give us a landing pad for our emotions, helping us feel less alone in the world. Known for country music like “Goodbye Earl,” “Cowboy Take Me Away,” and “Travelin’ Soldier,” The Chicks take us on a full-throttle, authentic and vulnerable ride with “Sleep At Night.” This is a song full of self-awareness, confusion, longing, and sadness.
The night is a metaphor for self in this song. Maines is asking her husband how he can sleep at night after deserting her, and their children, for another woman. How can he live with himself after all of the lying, cheating, and constant manipulation?
We thank thee Natalie Maines for using her pain to create a triumphantly hopeful album.
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In the Still of the Night by the Five Satins
This 1956 doo-wop classic by the Five Satins is a flawless song for those late summer nights with your lover. It was featured in countless movies and was covered by the 1990s R&B group Boyz II Men in 1991.
It’s everything we love about love songs. The night is a metaphor for innocence, vulnerability, and love. It’s full of ooey-gooey professions of loving someone for all time. It’s sweet, sappy, and downright beautiful.
So go grab your lover and twirl ‘em for old times sake.
Night Train by Guns N Roses
This 1987 track off the Appetite for Destruction album never really climbed the Billboard charts, but weaved its way into our anarchy-loving hearts. It’s fun, fast, and heavy on the rock.
It’s about Night Train, cheap grape-flavored wine with high alcohol content (18%) discontinued in the late 2000s. It’s full of adrenaline and angst. We can see the band tearing up motel rooms, making poor life choices, and having chaotic fun.
Axl Rose warns us, “Loaded like a freight train. Flyin’ like an airplane. One more time tonight. Look out.”
This is a great song for driving. Just make sure you watch the speedometer.
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No matter the genre, there is always something for everyone. Whether you are tearing up a hotel room after too many Manhattans or dancing with your honey under the stars, these songs with night in the title have left an impression on our hearts and minds forever.
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- This article was written by Jess, with select additions by Michael (“First Night” and “Up All Night”).