Thursday, November 02, 2017

Poetry Friday: Insomniac's Lullaby

I've been listening to a lot of Paul Simon lately.  I own six of his albums, and I love all of them.  I also love it that his latest album, released in his seventies, has songs that I consider as good as the ones he wrote back when he was singing with Art Garfunkel all those years ago.

Here, for example, is a song from his 2016 album Stranger to Stranger.

Insomniac's Lullaby

Oh Lord, don’t keep me up all night
Side by side with the moon
With its desolate eyes
Miles from the sunrise
The darkness inviting a tune
The Insomniac’s Lullaby

A siren is playing its song in the distance
The melody rattles the old window frame
Gradually, angels reveal their existence
And there’s nothing and no one to blame

Here, on Simon's website, are the rest of the lyrics.

Both the words and the music capture perfectly that no-man's-land of sleeplessness: maybe the angels will reveal their existence, or maybe we'll wrestle our fears, but either way, we aren't our rational daytime selves.  We're something different, between dreams and waking.  We revisit every mess we've ever made in our lives, hatch plans that will look insane in in the morning, imagine detailed conversations with people we never talk to any more.  Sometimes I can't face these in-between thoughts, and I turn on the light and read for a while to flee from them.  The song suggests, instead, floating on, going with the river, until, as the last line says, "We’ll eventually all fall asleep, eventually all fall asleep..."

The wonderful Linda has this week's roundup.


Linda B said...

I don't know them all, but I do love Paul Simon's songs and didn't know he had still another album out, Ruth. This certainly fits me, but only sometimes. Tonight is a full moon, so it may happen and I always blame the moon. Love that line: "Side by side with the moon". I've been there! Thanks and hope Simon helps with any sleep problems.

Sally Murphy said...

Beautiful Ruth - both the lyrics and the singing of them. Thanks for sharing. As someone who rarely sleeps soundly, I think I'll be listening tho this one more.

Janice Scully said...

Love the song and I love the music of Paul Simon. Thanks for this.

Tara said...

I am a big Paul Simon fan - he just gets more and more inventive. As an insomniac, this song really connected with me, thanks for sharing it, Fats!

tanita✿davis said...

Wow, I clicked on this because of the title, and had no idea this was a Paul Simon album! Thanks for sharing this -- I love the hopeful idea of angels, vs. our own often too-full minds... Who will we wrestle tonight, angels or our demons? Or, hopefully, the sirens will just sing us to sleep.

Kay said...

I had not heard this Simon song yet, but boy, can I relate. I should have this play when I'm lying awake in bed at night!

Jane @ said...

Paul Simon is an old favourite of mine, as well. He, like so many of my favourite singers, is such a powerful poet, who uses his music not just to entertain, but to connect and touch and move his listeners. Thank you for sharing this one - alas, I fear it is a song so many of us can relate to!

Mary Lee said...

Love Paul Simon! Luckily I don't have problems falling asleep (knock wood). My problem is staying awake for more than 23 seconds after my head hits the pillow!

Molly Hogan said...

I so enjoyed listening to this new-to-me Paul Simon tune. I'd prefer that I couldn't relate quite so well to the insomnia though...Next time I'm wide awake in the night, I'll creep to the windows and look for the moon's "desolate eyes." Thanks for sharing!

Violet N. said...

Loved this, both the song and your thoughts about insomnia.

Michelle Kogan said...

Thanks for this rich ballad by Paul Simon, seems perfect for this time of year where our days are shorter with less and less light. He's always been a favorite of mine too!