music of the night

Posted: November 20, 2011 in Arts
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Lately I’ve taken to listening to my iPod as I lay in bed meandering towards sleep. Some folks prefer quiet, but it doesn’t matter much to me. I’ve never been bothered by noise and given the choice I’ll take music over a random police siren every time.

When I was younger I would leave the radio on when I went to bed. The radio, even those stations you firmly believed in, offered no guarantees. They might play a stinker. As a result a lot of bad songs became forever embedded in my subconscious and remain there today teasing me like musical bullies. At the time I was clueless about the long-term effects of having a bad song etched into my memory like Michelangelo chiseled a slab of marble. I took an unknown risk and sometimes it comes back to slap me. I’ll pay for that until my memory is completely shot. Who knows, that may be tomorrow.

One terrific thing about bedtime iPod listening is control. I choose the tunes which will accompany me on my journey through the poppy fields into sweet, sweet slumber. My iPod is maxed out (over 4,000 songs) with a wide variety of music, so I’m reluctant to pop it on Shuffle and let the cymbals fall where they may. I don’t want to be fluttering in that mysterious and delicious place between reality and dreamland only to have the Clash suddenly slam the door down with Career Opportunities or Zeppelin steal me away to the Misty Mountain. Like with anything those songs have an appropriate time and place. On the fast slide towards sleep ain’t one of them. So I pick an album which allows me to safely drift away without the fear of a sudden scorching guitar or a bombastic drum roll.

Truth is I only last 2 or 3 songs before conking out, but those are minutes of sonic bliss. At some point during the night I’ll turn on my side and realize my earbuds remain firmly in place. When I wake in the morning I always recollect the moment I removed them, then try to recall the last song I remember hearing. This morning it was Romeo and Juliet, that gorgeous tune from Dire Straits’ marvelous Making Movies collection. It’s the album’s second song (natch), but in fairness the first song (Tunnel of Love) is over 8 minutes long. Why I feel the need to justify how long I managed to stay coherent is a topic none of us would find interesting, especially me.

Sleep creeps closer and I’m considering tonight’s possibilities. My first inclination is Van Morrison’s Moondance album which contains one of my absolute favorite songs of all time, Into the Mystic. (Me and about a million other people.) Unfortunately, that is the fifth song so odds are when I hear it I will already be soundly asleep. Perhaps this is for the best. With any luck it will nudge out one of those bad songs the radio polluted my sleep with all those years ago.

  1. I’ve dozed off to Moondance a time or two. One of my top ten albums for sure!


  2. I’m in love with the oldies…and I mean oldies oldies. Here is one of my favorite radio stations. I listen to it at work and my coworkers think I’m cukoo because I’ll laugh at the cheekiness of one of the songs (*Ah Hem-Making Whoopie)


  3. I was a radio drowser, too, back in the day. It subliminally lulled me into broadcasting. I suppose I didn’t like having no control over the clunker songs, either – thought I could do a better job. Then once I’d seized the mic, they handed me a playlist and MADE me play one clunker per hour. I hid under the control panel and ripped off the earphones, but it was no use – like the Martians in Mars Attacks, I was certain my brain would explode every time I had to play certain songs (remember Hanson?! Aaack aaaaack!). Now I much prefer drowsing to the rhythm of the waves…
    Wonderful piece…you evoked much.


  4. John says:

    I dunno. Mozart makes my head go to strange places.


  5. sparklebumps says:

    I used to listen to radio as I went to bed long ago. Understandably, it was always classical, so I was out in seconds. 🙂


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