For the past month, sleep has become something that I have to work at, which is in itself exhausting but sadly not in a way that aids sleep. It has alluded me on nights when I have been dead-tired simply because my mind wouldn’t shut up. Even when I want it most it alludes me. Because my tactic for most stuff like this is distraction, I have some times found myself listening to music before bed. And in my “Be as random as possible” mindset my brain seems to be set on, a lot of them are not your average lullaby, in fact some of them seem down-right weird. Since I switch through new songs and come back to old ones, the list has grown enough that I felt the need to list off my top 10 songs that oddly help me to sleep.
I’m only including songs on this list. Should I ever realize that the instrumentals I listen to add up I’ll mention them in another list.
10. With You I’m Born Again- Glee
Once you get over the inappropriate hilarity this song has when paired with their attire as priest and school girl this song can be really peaceful thanks to the performances of Lea Michele and the late Cory Monteith which meld seamlessly with one another. Love songs by nature are supposed to sound comforting so it’s not a huge shock that this one is on this list. And unfortunately, this never got an official release from Glee so I’ll have to make due with the audio clip from the episode.
9. Horse With No Name- America
Possibly the least surprising one on this list, depending on who you ask, Horse With No Name is yet another song I heard on the radio that I had to look up later. Its droll easygoingness makes for a good lulling. I’ve never been one of those people who finds the desert to be a relaxing place but this song that was intended to capture the feeling of one definitely has me see that point of view, ever briefly as it may be. It’s a song that I can easily picture around a campfire, and its likability actually has me enjoying the quirks of lyrics that would otherwise seem pretty…. off.
“The heat was hot”
8. Getting Lucky- The Chipmunk Adventure (normal voices)
Probably the most oddly specific one in the group, I can’t really explain why this song, which has been described as a “karaoke version of a country Elvis song,” works for me, but I think most of it can be attributed to the vocals on this one as the normal voices are surprisingly soothing. So this is what they sound like when they’re not cranked up so high?
But maybe the subject matter also helps. Maybe the idea of being seduced by smooth-voiced women is a nice way to set up my dreams, but in that case this one must be kept strictly aural as the sight of cartoon chipmunks, let alone the fact that they’re pre-pubescent girls kind of ruins the whole thing. Come to think of it, why was this even in a kid’s movie?
7. Timeless- Justin Guarini & Kelly Clarkson
Arguably the only good song to come out of American Idol’s only attempt at a movie, From Justin to Kelly. While the movie crashed and burned, this songs soars. Unfortunately this love song often goes unnoticed since the footage shown during it doesn’t quite match it. Our Chemistry-less couple doesn’t even look at each other as they cruise the docks in a motor boat. Personally I like to picture a sailboat at sunset as it matches “sail away….where the crystal ocean melts into the sky”
While the powerful vocals may not seem to fit quiet comfort, it’s a lovely song to drift away to.
6. Super Trooper- Mamma Mia!
First fell asleep to this song on a plane ride to Alaska, an occasion where sleep was definitely needed.
This song has an overall feeling of “pleasantness” even in the first few lines of lyrics where the singer is rather miserable.
I was sick and tired of everything….
All I do is eat and sleep and sing
Wishing every show was the last show
But it quickly moves on to eagerness and elation as the singer awaits a special someone being in the crowd tonight.
So imagine I was glad to hear you’re coming
Suddenly I feel all right
And it’s gonna be so different
When I’m on the stage tonight
….’Cause somewhere in the crowd there’s you
And it’s the cheeriness that does it for this song. Having it be in my final thoughts before sleep is another loosening of the tenseness that seems to come from the need to sleep.
Mamma Mia! was the movie that introduced me to much of ABBA’s music so this cover is what sticks in my mind most. I’ve always loved the camaraderie of the women in this movie and it definitely adds to this song’s sheer delight.
5. Skyfall- Skyfall
When this started playing during the opening credits, I had a feeling I was gonna like this movie.
When I first told someone that this was a song I listened to before bed they responded with “What an Epic way to fall asleep.” In a way I suppose it is. Adelle’s deep vocals that helped make this Bond song an eventual Oscar winner are the kind that seem to surround you in in their own atmosphere and a kind of soft darkness that’s easy to fade into. And the lyrics, subtly describing the films climax, are very ethereal and seem to be describing the not-so-distant dream world that awaits all while being kept safe.
“Feel the earth move and then….
….I know I’ll never be me, without the security of your loving arms keeping me from harm Put your hand in my hand”
One song, Forever Always Wishing by Rox, I left of this list since the song, while sad, is not THAT odd to say it helps me sleep. But what is strange is that the song almost sounds like an acoustic version of Skyfall with similar crescendo’s and lows in the notes and dream-like quality. Even if it’s just a weird thing only my ear picks up, both melodies have a similar payoff for me in the end; sleep.
4. Rich Girl- Hall & Oats
A frequent tune on my dad’s car ride playlist, I guess the “soft” in this soft rock song makes all the difference. Plus it’s an easy-going tune with vocals that never get annoying or overly loud even at their high points.
The opening with little background music is probably the most effective part though I often listen to it all the way through anyways. It also makes me smile to think about my best friend’s ex-girlfriend. Not that she was rich, but she was manipulative of him and did seem to rely on him as an object and not a genuine relationship, making me even more glad that the are no longer a thing. So that’s some good vindictive happiness before bed. 🙂
3. Rasputin- Boney M.
Leave it to my History Major best friend to get me hooked on a 70’s disco song about a Russian leader.
Another odd song in general, I really don’t have much explanation for this one, other than its tune is catchy and easy to pick up. I certainly can’t lend much explanation to the lyrics which go on to describe Grigori Rasputin as powerful healer and ladies’ man. That may help some people sleep but no me.
Most people looked at him with terror and with fear
But to Moscow chicks he was such a lovely dear
He could preach the bible like a preacher
Full of ecstasy and fire
But he also was the kind of teacher
Women would desire
I guess this is just the kind of tune I repeat easily enough in my head to the point that it’s white-noise. Who’d a thought?
2. Feedback- Janet Jackson
I asked what this song was after hearing it in a Theatre Dance Class, mainly because there was a part that reminded me of a verse from Christina Aguilera’s Express from the movie Burlesque, but afterwards I came to like it on its own.The clever use of its electronic tone is to be admired but its soft underlying beat is likely the reason I can find this electro-pop dance song an aid to sleep. Janet Jackson’s alluring voice and suggestive metaphors are an asset too I’m sure.
1. Keep On Rocking Me Baby- Steve Miller Band
And here it is, most likely the one on this list that few would call “soothing.” And while the steady base strumming may have something to do with it, maybe this one has the most to deal with the lyrics. This song is a nice way to end a day especially one that didn’t go well.
I’m tryin’ to find a job
But it just keeps gettin’ tougher every day
But I got to do my part cause I know in my heart
I got to please my sweet baby, yeah….
And I know that it’s true that all the things that I do
Will come back to me in my sweet time
So keep on rockin’ me baby
Keep on a rockin’ me baby
With an unabashed positivity in the face of adversity this song, to me anyways, is a great way to be “rocked” to sleep.