Friday, June 10, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge, Day 10: A Song That Makes You Fall Asleep

My guess is that a lot of people are going to choose a song that they think is boring for today's 30 Day Song Challenge selection, which actually calls for "a song that makes you fall asleep." There are a lot of boring things that make me want to fall asleep-- boring movies, boring conversations, boring meetings, even boring books-- but not boring songs. Boring songs tend to irritate me and, consequently, I find it impossible to go to sleep listening to them. Unlike with movies, meetings or books, I don't consider it a negative to say that a song makes me fall asleep. In fact, for a song to make me fall asleep, it not only has to be familiar enough to me that I don't have to actively listen to it, but it also has to be actively soothing and calming to me. I suppose those are the same criteria used to classify songs that we count as "lullabies," songs which have as their whole telos the inducement of sleep.

Despite my pretenses to the contrary, I don't think I am a very "relaxed" person by nature. I tend to gravitate toward overstimulation and I can be pretty tightly, if also deceivingly, wound-up about something or another most of the time. For that reason, it's hard to find things that genuinely soothe and calm me. As I mentioned on Day 3 of this Challenge, I don't abide silence or stillness very well, so the usual candidates for sleep-inducement don't really work in my case. Also, I'm not 5 years old, so lullabies don't work either.

The song that comes about as close to a lullaby as any non-lullaby that I know is Simon & Garfunkel's "American Tune" from their 1982 album The Concert in Central Park. Here it is:

I don't know what it is about this song that I find so soothing. Maybe it's the pitch-perfect harmonies. Maybe it's those moments when Garfunkel's voice soars into its soft, high falsetto. Maybe it's the calming repetition of that oh-so-simple reassurance "it's all right, it's all right" in the chorus. Maybe it's the steady, rolling sound of Simon's guitar arpeggio, which kind of reminds me of gentle waves lapping up on a shore. Maybe it's when they sing:

Still I know that tomorrow's gonna be another working day
And I'm just trying to get some rest
That's all, I'm trying to get some rest

Whatever it is, I find it very easy to get some rest to this song.


zilliz said...

Erykah Badu reminds me of sleeping in cars on roadtrips in high school, and this song, with it's foreignly cool sound and message makes me want to sleep because it assures that everything WILL be OK.

Emma B. said...

I would hit play, but there's a ton of s**t I gotta do!