The Weeknd’s “In the Night” Lyrics Meaning
Even without doing any kind of research, this song is symbolic yet at the same time specific enough for the listener to conclude that it centers on a “girl” who was once a victim of sexual abuse. This becomes most obvious in the second verse where it is shown that “she was young” and “forced to be a woman” by a guy who was “cold and… so unforgiving”. And in the here and now these memories still haunt her as “in the night she hears him calling” and is “dancing to relieve the pain”.
Moreover the past affects her present in that she is presently portrayed as someone tantamount to a prostitute, as in engaged in some kind of income-generating activity that is nocturnal, humiliating and “(keeps tears) falling down her face”. Also it is stated that “she’ll never walk away” despite apparently being young since at the beginning of the track the Weeknd refers to her as “baby girl”.
So perhaps, upon first listening to the song or watching its highly-cinematic yet not-so-much-related music video, as the singer states, the listener may not be able to “understand”. But once all of the pieces are put together, it becomes clearer that the Weeknd is using this track, in his own way, to speak out against sexual abuse, specifically of minors. Furthermore, he appeals to the audience to be more-sympathetic towards victims of such.
Facts about “In the Night”
- “In the Night” is the 10th track featured on the Weeknd’s highly-acclaimed album, Beauty Behind the Madness.
- This song came out with the rest of the Beauty Behind the Madness album on 28 August 2015. However, it was also subsequently released as the album’s fourth single on 17 November 2015.
- The labels responsible for bringing “In the Night” out to the public were XO and Republic Records.
- The Weeknd specifically designed this track as a tribute to Michael Jackson, with the sound of the song alluding to such. In fact he was inspired to compose the track after listening to the King of Pop’s 1987 classic “Dirty Diana”.
- The Weeknd conceptualized “In the Night” while in the former bedroom (which is now a music studio) of American entertainment icon Marilyn Monroe (1926-1962). Interestingly enough, Monroe herself was a victim of sexual abuse.
- The music video to this track (which is pretty graphic) features celebrity model Bella Hadid, who at the time was dating the Weeknd.
How “In the Night” performed on the charts
“In the Night” reached number-one on the Billboard Rhythmic chart, but on the Hot 100 itself it peaked at number 12.
This track also charted in a diverse number of other countries ranging from Argentina to Australia to Canada to Germany. It peaked at number 48 in the United Kingdom.
Owing to its success, “In the Night” achieved double-platinum certification in United States, platinum in Canada, gold in Australia and New Zealand and silver in the United Kingdom.
Performance at the Grammy Awards
The Weeknd actually performed this track at the 2016 Grammy Awards, a ceremony in which he took home two awards for Beauty Behind the Madness. Grammy-decorated songstress Lauryn Hill was slated to make a guest appearance during the performance but unfortunately was unable to make it.
Below is singer Adele’s reaction to the performance:
Who wrote “In the Night”?
The Weeknd wrote this track alongside several other songwriters. They include: Belly, Ali Payami, Peter Svensson, Savan Kotecha and Max Martin. The latter also co-produced the song with the Weeknd.