REWIND: The Beatles, The Beach Boys, and the author are very tired

songs about sleeping

Actual image of editor Daniel J. Willis after his third concert in three nights.

In my tireless quest to come up with a new topic every week, I’ve been lucky the past month or so. Holidays, awards shows; they’re conceptual gold.

But my luck has run out.

Do you know what today is? It’s absolutely nothing. The best I can do is Texas Independence Day tomorrow and… yeah, no, not going there. Which means my options are either to use my creativity and think of something or to ask someone else and make them do it.

Naturally I asked our esteemed editor Roman, and shockingly he suggested promoting our ongoing Noise Pop coverage. But I’m reviewing three shows in three days (one of which has already run so I’m assuming he’s linked to it somewhere in or near this paragraph) which should satisfy all your me-talking-about-Noise-Pop needs.

Of course, I am covering three shows in three days. For those who don’t know the glamorous workflow of a concert critic, that means I’m watching the show, taking BART back to Concord, going home, taking the dog out to do his business, probably eating something, then actually writing the review to file for morning publication. This is a process that can take until 2 am. Then the next day I do it again. Then again.

What I’m saying is that as you read this I am likely very tired. Extremely, excessively tired.

In anticipation of that misery here are five songs to reflect my likely mood.

Cat Stevens — “I’m So Sleepy”

As of this writing it’s the early afternoon, the day after a full night’s sleep, and I still completely identify with these lyrics: “I’m so sleepy, yeah / I could lay my head on a piece of lead / And imagine it was a springy bed / ‘Cause I’m sleepy, sleepy…”

Granted, I’m pretty sure this song is about death, specifically a death too soon, and that’s pretty dark. But for the purposes of my whining I’ve decided to take it completely literally. I am under no obligation to understand or even acknowledge metaphors of any type, because this is America and we have rights.

Beastie Boys — “No Sleep Till Brooklyn”

For this one I’m invoking my other right as an American to create metaphors where none should exist, so now “Brooklyn” is a metaphor for filing a concert review. No sleep ’til I get that thing filed in a form that more or less resembles English.

I’m not sure which Constitutional amendment that right is enumerated in in. Let’s say the 21st.

This one is also helpful in that situation, because it’s medically impossible to sleep while “No Sleep Till Brooklyn” is playing loudly in the room. Try it! You can’t do it. In fact this song is how doctors revive patients from induced comas.[citation needed]

The Beatles — “I’m So Tired”

In the song, the narrator is tired because his mind is racing over his lost love or whatever and he can’t get to sleep. And that’s understandable, I guess. That’s a problem of a sort. But it’s not my problem, which is more important and serious than those of John Lennon and Paul McCartney.

Sure, lost love is sad. Boo-hoo. But your mind is also racing after you saw a concert and caught the last train and spent an hour on the last train then wrote a review and it’s multiple hours into tomorrow. Where’s the song about that, The Beatles? That’s what I thought.

The Beach Boys — “I Went to Sleep”

While the Beach Boys preceded the Beatles, the two bands eventually came very close to merging styles. This is a good example of that. Despite trading legendary albums in Pet Sounds and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in one of the most impressive musical talent competitions of all time, they were heavily influenced by each other.

Also, crucially, the song is only a minute and a half or so long. That’s only slightly longer than my attention span the day after a show review.

Metallica  — “Enter Sandman”

My excuse for putting this on the list is that eventually, from the time my review is filed Saturday night/Sunday morning probably until Monday morning when my work week starts anew, I’ll be able to sleep. And it will be glorious. I will achieve new levels of sleep previously unexplored by the human mind.

My actual reason for putting this on the list is that I love Metallica and will take literally any excuse to put them in a column. I’ve been doing this for over a year, you people should know me by now. You knew what you were getting into clicking that link.

Follow editor Daniel J. Willis and tweet column ideas to him at

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