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10 Hit-The-Sack Songs

March 30, 2017

10 Songs by popular artists to help you sleep.

As a species, one of humankind’s claims to fame (and sentience) is our ability to create art. Specifically, music. After all, even cats sleep, dogs dream and birds sing. But a bird doesn’t sing about a dog who dreams about chasing a cat. A human would, though. (The very idea sounds ripe for Kenny Rogers.) Some of the best artists of our time have dedicated a ditty or two to sleeping and dreaming. A little web research found a multitude of sites claiming to list the best-; the most listened to-; or the most well known. The most useful of their number left it up to a poll - but of a pre-established, closed list. We took our pick of their top ten. And then added some of our own. Our aim was to create a playlist that could accompany you as you try to board the train to Beddy-bye.

1. The Lion Sleeps Tonight - The Tokens

Originally recorded for South Africa’s Gallo Record Company in 1939 and cemented forever in our psyches by Disney’s The Lion King in 1994, this tune has come full circle, returning to its African home. It is the perfect place to start and provides an inroad to the child-like sleep we all long for.

2. I’m Only Sleeping - The Beatles

Of course The Beatles need to be on the list. This song, credited to John Lennon, is believed to be an expression of the famous artist’s slugabed nature. As written about him by friend Maureen Cleave: "He can sleep almost indefinitely, is probably the laziest person in England.” Truly inspirational.

3. Dream on - Aerosmith

Today they are a household name. Back in 1973, this was their first big hit. The immortal power ballad might not help you get to sleep but there is no denying that it is the stuff of dreams.

4. Dido - Here with me

In this 1999 debut single, the instant hit singer-songwriter gives voice to the pain and yearning that leaves a dimple in the bed where your partner should be. The intervening years have done nothing to mute the fragile beauty of this track.

5. Dreaming My Dreams - The Cranberries

The Irish rock band that rose to fame in 1990 is planning another album for 2017 (if rumour tells it true). This acoustic folk song is a prime example of the kind of the lilting, hypnotic brogue that has strummed the sensitive souls of many.

6. Who needs sleep? - Barenaked Ladies

Most well known (contemporarily at least) as the geniuses behind the theme song of the critically acclaimed sitcom “The Bang Bang Theory” this alternative rock band boasts a cult following of its own. Their fast-talking, energetic style is the perfect delivery method for this song about not being able to get to sleep. (Save this one for when you give up on falling asleep.)

7. And So I Tried To Sleep - Greg Laswell

Laswell’s voice just naturally lends itself to the screen. The chances are good that if you’ve watched any TV worth watching in the last decade, you’ve gone to work the next day humming one of Laswell’s ear-worms. This particular one’s time has not yet come. But when it does, there will be tears.

8. Keep on Walking - Passenger

The English singer-songwriter’s lively yet soulful style and irreverent lyrics manage to sooth in a way that is unprecedented: like dozing off on a train. This story about an insomniac’s night-time stroll is no exception.

9. Is There A Ghost? - Band of Horses

The American rock band rubs some strong indie influence on this track. Described as “A simple finger-picked melody [which] morphs into a strum-and-drum tour de force,” this one’s simple but powerful repetition is a lullaby to the gods of rock.

10. Keep Yourself Warm - Frightened Rabbit

From the 2007 album, The Midnight Organ Fight, it is immediately obvious that the sexual euphemism present in the rest of the album is absent here. In this track the Scottish indie rock band calls a spade a spade. Despite the expletives, this song makes the list by dint of its beautiful sound and enlightened message.

Of course, you could prefer to go with the Beastie Boys’ No Sleep Till Brooklyn. Or the Cure’s If Only Tonight We Could Sleep. But it might be less painful to be tied in a sack with a angry cat, dog and bird and rolled along the railroad tracks.

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