Bee Gees’ “Night Fever” Lyrics Meaning
The lyrics of the Bee Gees’ “Night Fever” are a bit ambiguous or perhaps, more euphemistically put, indirect. But this is the Bee Gees we’re talking about – accomplished songwriters who know how to get a point across. And by the time all is said and done, it becomes pretty clear that what they’re speaking to, most simply put, is spending the night at the club with a “sweet city woman” whom the vocalist is smitten by.
So the titular “night fever” would basically be the holistically-pleasing sensation he derives from being with her during a special evening. But it is possible that the second verse may be alluding to sex – i.e. ‘the heat of the love’ between the vocalist and addressee – as opposed to dancing, since the latter isn’t referenced anywhere in the passage.
Of course the Bee Gees do not appear to have been raunchy artists in any way, shape or form. But going back to the ambiguity of the lyrics, it’s as if there’s just as much not being said as there is being stated. Or in any event, said verse is open-ended enough that it can be interpreted as speaking to a night in the sack as opposed to on the dance floor.
In any event, all lyrics considered, this is not a general dance song per se, i.e. one in which the vocalist hits the club, finds a lady he likes and proceeds to bogey the night away. Instead, even if only briefly, what’s kinda being inferred is that there is already an established romantic relationship between the two of them. Or if not, the “night fever” the vocalist has been stricken with is such that he is more or less equating their dancing with romance. Or deciphered otherwise, the reason the pair are so exceptional on the dance floor is due to there being a genuine chemistry between the two of them.
When was “Night Fever” released?
This song is from “Saturday Night Fever”, the 1977 soundtrack which helped transform the Bee Gees into sort of a permanent A list musical act. The brothers Gibb were enlisted to work on this project by Robert Stigwood (1934-2016), who not only managed the group but also produced Saturday Night Fever, the classic disco film starring John Travolta.
And interesting to note is that originally, the working title of the movie was actually “Saturday Night”, a title which the Bee Gees themselves weren’t diggin’. So eventually they came to a compromise with Stigwood, and the flick went on to be named Saturday Night Fever, a name which was in part inspired by this song.
This track came out at a time when the Bee Gees were at the peak of their success and basically running the American music scene. So for instance, when “Night Fever” proceeded to top the Billboard Hot 100 (and remained there longer than any other hit of 1978), “Stayin’ Alive“, another of their songs from “Saturday Night Fever”, rested at number 2.
And the tune that succeeded this one on the top of the list was “If I Can’t Have You” by Yvonne Elliman, which the Bee Gees also wrote and is featured on “Saturday Night Fever”. And then, the song that had preceded it at number one was “Love Is Thicker Than Water”, which is an Andy Gibb solo track.
“Night Fever” also reached the summit of the UK Singles Chart. This is in addition to proving to be a chart topper in quite a few other countries, including Ireland and Brazil. Overall it charted in approximately 20 nations around the world, and has been certified gold in Canada and the United States.
Credits for “Night Fever”
To note, this song was actually written, by the Bee Gees (Maurice, Robin and Barry Gibb), prior to the brothers being requested to contribute to Saturday Night Fever. So by the looks of things, this song was originally intended to be featured on one of their own studio albums.
It has been noted that a 1959 tune titled “Theme from A Summer Place” served as the inspiration behind the song’s intro. In fact the origins of “Night Fever” can actually be traced back to Blue Weaver, a regular Bee Gees’ collaborator, trying to emulate that track.