Sleep's Dark And Silent Gate

Album: The Pretender (1976)
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Songfacts®:

  • This song is about lying awake at night and reflecting upon your life as you wait to fall asleep. It is romantic in the archaic sense, as he thinks about love, the self, and past friends and times. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Sam - Boise, ID
  • Browne experienced the tragedy of his wife, Phyllis Major, taking her life in 1976. When the suicide happened, he was in the studio recording The Pretender. The singer-songwriter told Mojo magazine that "Sleep's Dark And Silent Gate" was the only song on the album to be directly influenced by the tragic event.

Comments: 8

  • Christine from CanadaCan anyone tell me what the guys name is singing in the video with him?
  • Judi from Anderson ScI can’t imagine the pain he felt the unanswered questions about how this could have happened. The blame he placed on himself. The sadness for their child. Unbelievably strong man.
    I was 14 in June of 1976 when my best friend killed herself at her grandparents home. We ran away from home a few months before. Hitch hiking to Miami. We came home and she was done with life. I struggled endlessly with it most of my life. I spiraled down and I could not get up. I truly admire Jackson to pull off what he has in spite of the storm.
  • Jordan Brown from NyThe most powerful raw emotional TNT ever delivered in a 2 1/2 minute package. Finding clarity in the middle of a hurricane while sifting through the disastrous day's rubble, maybe...
  • Perry from NebraskaRoger, I am going through the same thing... a breakup. And "Our song" was Sky Blue and Black too. It tears me apart. I can feel your pain.
  • Roger from Newfield, NjI saw Jackson Brown and Phoebe Snow a very long time ago at the Tower theater in Upper Darby Pa and have been a fan ever since. I went to a lot of concerts and saw some great acts James Taylor, CSNY, and more but this was in another league. This song is heart wrenching and heart breaking. You can easily tell he puts everything into this song and you can feel his grief. The true test of a great songwriter is his / her ability to make the listener FEEL the music. This song is incredibly emotional. To this day, I can still not listen to "Sky blue and black" it is too much for me to handle and I refuse to torture myself by listening to what is probably the most beautiful song ever written. I know she'll never come back .please Jackson, please don't remind me.
  • Suzy from Stamford, United StatesJackson Browne wrote this song weeks after the suicide death of his wife, when he was just twenty-six years old. I believe that "I found my love too late" refers to finding her body after she had overdosed. "Oh, God, this is some shape I'm in, when the only thing that makes me cry is the kindness in my baby's eye" is about the infant son that he was facing raising alone. Remarkable how he turned his grief into creativity. The album was released less than a year after Phyllis Brownes' death.
  • Eric from Melville, NyWhat can I say, Jackson is my hero. This song is haunting. His underdstanding of the human experience is boundless.
  • Shane from Providence, RiThis song gets me every time, especially the part where he sings, "the times that we were happy were the times we never tried."
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