Bebo Norman

POSTED: 04/09/10


I woke up for the day at 4:30 this morning, certainly not according to plan. I can’t for the life of me think of a rational reason to intentionally wake up at 4:30 in the morning. Ever. The long and short of it is that I tend to not sleep as well in general when I’m in a season of writing…if I stir even slightly in the middle of the night, my brain tends to flip it’s switch and start running away with things. Add in the typical night-time interruptions of a 3-year old and an 8 month old and the trio makes for a lot of early mornings or late nights, depending on your perspective. This morning I woke up with a song idea in my head, and as with most song ideas if I don’t record them or write them down immediately, they will most often be lost forever. Some writers say that if you can’t remember an idea a few hours or even days later that it’s not worth remembering. I, on the other hand, like to think that most of my best songs ever are lost songs – forgotten somewhere between waking up and falling asleep again or driving down some interstate when I couldn’t reach my recorder packed away in my backpack in the trunk. Or at least that’s what I used to like to tell myself. A friend of mine once suggested that I keep my recorder next to my bed so that when I woke up with song ideas I could empty my mind of them right away and then roll over an go right back to sleep. Not a good idea. I’m already a pretty irrational sleeper – MAJOR sleep-talker, and when I was younger a sleep-walker (way to many stories to tell in one blog – but a good blog idea nonetheless…note to self). So, the reality of things, at least according to my brief experiment with the bedside recorder, was that when I woke up the next morning I usually didn’t even remember recording anything in the middle of the night. So it was rarely until weeks later that I happened to pick up my recorder in an actual middle-of-the-day conscious and rational hour and find myself thoroughly horrified at the imposter that must have stolen it at some point when I wasn’t looking and recorded some cruel joke of a song on it. Seriously, they were that bad. So the only thing that little experiment succeeded in was robbing me of my theory of lost songs. Now I’m content to let my “dream songs” just stay dream songs. But then there are the moments like this morning. This wasn’t a dream song, it was a real one. One that I’ve actually been working on for years (seriously) – but have never found the right chorus too. As my eyes opened and the melody started stirring, I realized quickly that all hope of sleep was lost. But on mornings like this one, it didn’t matter. It was still dark out, and rainy, and there was a beautiful melody playing in my mind that was still beautiful even after I was mildly coherent. I love writing songs. And this one felt like daybreak. Not so much a sunrise, but a grey and rainy and beautiful daybreak. I’ll let y’all hear it soon, if it stands the test of time.

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