A memorable pinnacle for most songwriters is the first time someone says their song felt like it was written just for them. We want people to relate to our songs, to connect with them. Personally.
I’m an intimate songwriter. I sing stories, in the first person, from the eye of the emotion. I experience those emotions as I sing them, it is how empathise, how I explore the realms of humanity that are better traveled through music than data. So I am fortunate that many people connect with many of my songs.
But there is one of my songs everyone relates to.
It is not a song about miscommunication or lost love.
It is a song about not being able to sleep!
The song’s protagonist can’t sleep because she/he is going over and over the worries of the day. The things not done or not said. The things that should not have been done or said! We’ve all been there. Is there anything more maddening than being bone-tired after a stressful day but being unable to sleep because your mind won’t stop going over the stressful day?
Did You Sleep Well? From ‘I’m Too Old to Die Young’ is the soundtrack of your insomnia.
We had a lot of fun producing this track, with its slick 80’s vibe and ticking clock motif. And I snuck in a tribute to Garbage, one of my favourite bands growing up (@ 3:18) which still delights me.
I am fortunate to sleep well, most of the time. But for the last month, my shoulder has been keeping me awake – due to a yoga injury of all things! It sounds trivial, and it is viewed through most lenses, but low-grade chronic pain that keeps you awake is frustrating, demoralizing, and exhausting – which has knock-on negative impacts beyond the nights and into the days.
My frustration is compounded by knowing it wouldn’t be this bad if I had dealt with it earlier. I thought it would get better on its own – sometimes my perennial optimism does not help me.
But I am now doing my exercises and the pain is slowly improving. Sufficiently that I’m hoping I might get a good night’s sleep soon.
Wish me luck.
Yours Hopefully is a weekly experiment in living hopefully. With science and song. Why not subscribe and get a post every Sunday in your inbox?