Have You Ever Slept with the Lights on?

Have You Ever Slept with the Lights on?

Amanda Rose Riley's picture



Have You Ever Slept with the Lights on?

Liner Notes: 

Interestingly, I've had this chorus idea kicking around for a while but I really doubted I was ever going to write the song because I thought it sounded silly. Actually it was going to be "Do you ever sleep with the lights on?" For some reason, changing it to "*have* you ever slept with the lights on" and writing the verses the way I did, very genuine and deeply meaningful to me, suddenly I love the song I got out of it. So you just never know if a so-so idea will lead to a good song, or vice versa really. And damn I am so happy/proud of myself for how many VERY old song ideas I've finally cleared out this year!! Making room for the new! Maybe next 50/90 I will have so few old ideas left I will actually have to collaborate and/or try some of the prompts and exercises offered by others!


I've always wished I could ask you
If you were ever afraid
And how old were you when the fear finally went away
It's been my steadiest friend
And though I try to defeat it every day
It's so hard for me to fall asleep
So afraid of what could go wrong tomorrow

Have you ever slept with the lights on?
Do you get scared when you're all alone?
Do you ever worry that something's wrong
And your safety net's gonna break soon
Have you ever slept with the lights on, lights on, lights on?

But I get up every morning
And I force myself to follow a dream
My stomach never settles and my heart struggles to break free
But through every word from my mouth
And through every single face I meet
And I know these nerves are just excitement
A sign that shows just how much this all really means to me

Someday I'll do my best to help
The next generation like you help me
And maybe I'll never get my answer till one day
My most promising protege asks me the same thing

Please keep your comments respectful, honest, and constructive. Please focus on the song and not the demo.


AndyGetch's picture

Oh insomnia, let me count the ways. This tune and lyric really hits home for me. From a kid imagining monsters in the shapes of clothing in the dark shadowy closet (BTW I still sleep with closet doors closed Scratch one-s head ) to my monkey mind delaying, interrupting, and prematurely ending sleep prattling on with and practicing for endless what-ifs in the dark. I read a book, followed all the stuff. Mindfulness, living in the moment, letting go of what I can't control, deep breathing, gave up caffeine, and late night snacks. All of that helps my insomnia. Except my lizard brain still hasn't accepted all of that Blush . So short answer is yeah, this song is an explanation for why I have night lights.

Amanda Rose Riley's picture

Yeah, I don't know what it is about darkness, but it really brings out my anxiety and worries about *everything* not just the dark. I'll sit there thinking of all the things that could go wrong and ways I could die and all kinds of crap. But what I usually do is put the TV on with no sound and a 30-min sleep timer. Perfect solution! Mostly because I feel like my sleep is better quality in the dark, but this way I fall asleep with light but sleep in the dark.

Sunfire's picture

Really good. Funny, because I woke up at 4 this morning and couldn't get back to bed and so guess what? Lol I decided to sleep with the lights on and it helped me catch a few more zzz's of sleep.

cts's picture

That chorus, that chorus, that chorus...very catchy and inviting to sing along to (which I did). I appreciate how you arrived at this iteration of your song. The creative process is quite rewarding when you see it all the way through. I do hope you get to do more the next go round with 50/90, but in the meantime - keep doing what you're doing...and have a good time while you're at it! Smile

billwhite51's picture

sleepng with the lights on is such a simple but universal metaphor for fear and is therefore a great idea for a song that addresses the question. yet another peppy poppy song that swings along on the surface but has a lot of substance cooking away underneath.