The Rolling Stones’ “Midnight Rambler” Lyrics Meaning

“Midnight Rambler” is about the Boston Strangler who killed 13 women in Boston between 1962 and 1964. Albert Henry DeSalvo, who confessed to be the man behind the murders, sexually assaulted his victims before taking their lives. He was arrested in 1967 and sentenced to death. Aside from talking about the incident, this song also seems to be warning its listeners about serial killings which were quite popular at that time.

This classic was written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. It was released in December 1969 as part of the band’s album named “Let It Bleed”. In an interview in 1995, Jagger explained that they had to write this song while on holidays in Italy and that he doesn’t know why they chose to write the song during that period.

Canadian psychologist, Steven Pinker, has criticized this song in his book titled “The Better Angels of Our Nature”. According to him, the song glorified a serious criminal case.

The case of Albert DeSalvo (the Boston Strangler)

Out of the many deaths recorded in Boston between 1962 and 1964, it was the mysterious death of the 13 women that became the talking point during that period. The reason was that these women all met their untimely death in the same manner, i.e., being strangled. These deaths were linked to one man known as Albert Henry DeSalvo, who later confessed that he was the one behind the acts. A DNA test further confirmed it. Later checks also proved that the victims, who were mostly between 19 and 85 years, were assaulted sexually before their deaths. He was traced and arrested after a woman he sexually attacked gave a vivid description of him which helped the police to spread his image all over the town.

He was initially charged with rape in 1964. It was in this period that he disclosed to the court that he was the strangler, which earned him the name the “Boston Strangler”. He later confirmed to another inmate, George Nassar, which cleared all doubts that indeed DeSalvo was the one committing those acts.

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