From this question I learned that I have to look in field_data_body to retrieve the body of a node from a database.

field_data_body does not have an nid field though.

What query can I use to retrieve the body from an nid?

To clarify: I simply wanted to quickly fetch a text from a database dump without installing the dump on an actual site. So not looking for PHP here.

3 Answers 3


field_data_body does not have an nid field though.

Because a field can be attached to any entity, which may have a different primary key than nid.

If you really must use direct SQL, you can query the field like this

SELECT body_value FROM field_data_body WHERE entity_type = 'node' AND entity_id = 1

However, this bypasses several of Drupal's layers, so it's normally strongly discouraged to use direct queries.

Instead, it's better to

$query = new EntityFieldQuery();
$query->entityCondition('entity_type', 'node')
  ->propertyCondition('status', NODE_PUBLISHED)
  ->propertyCondition('nid', 1)
$result = $query->execute();

$nodes = node_load_multiple(array_keys($result['node']));

foreach ($nodes as $node) {
  $bodies = field_get_items('node', $node, 'body');
  foreach ($bodies as $body) {

The EFQ version have several advantages

  1. It's safe. You can't (easily) accidentally open injection attacks.
  2. It outputs a safely escaped value, avoiding XSS attacks.
  3. It works if a node has multiple values for the body field.
  4. It works on sites with multiple languages.

I believe it's because field_data_body can be associated with entities that are not nodes, you need to look at the entity_id field as equivalent to the nid field.

If it's a node's body content you're trying to query, then I would run db_query('SELECT body_value FROM `field_data_body` where entity_id = :nid, array(":nid" => $nid));


In general, all entities are fieldable. Thus, the table field_data_body holds data for all body fields, regardless of being attached to a node or a comment. Hence, the column you are looking for is entity_id (with entity_type = 'node').

On a side node, you shouldn't tamper with the database in such a way, just use

$node = node_load($nid);
$body = node->body['und'][0]['value'];

to get the body (exact code of course depends on your site setup in terms of language, etc.).

  • please don't recommend ->body['und'][0]['value'] but use field_get_items instead.
    – Letharion
    Commented Oct 16, 2014 at 15:11

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