Sleepwalking

Album: Back To Forever (2013)
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • "'Sleepwalking' is a song I wrote in London after I had actually sleepwalked when I was jet lagged and had taken a sleeping pill," Lissie told American Songwriter of Back To Forever's third single. "The next day I went to write with Martin Craft and I was telling him about the experience. As he played a chord progression I just started singing the melody with sleepwalking as the lyric. It started there, as almost a joke, but then I started to think about how when a relationship of mine had ended I would kind of hole up or go for walks at night almost like a zombie, like I was sleepwalking. The guy in the picture would just keep busy and go out to bars with friends and party to avoid dealing with the emotions. So a totally unrelated event sparked the story I tell in the song. It's funny how that happens."
  • The music video features various people sleepwalking through the streets of Norway. Lissie recalled to Songfacts in 2019: "That was made in Oslo. It was pretty cool because we just put out the word to people who lived in Norway, but more so in Oslo, to come to be in this video and it was going to be a night shoot. It was really cold, and a bunch of people showed up - not just from Oslo, but from around the area - and they were such troupers because it was freezing and it was taking forever, and people just stuck around until we watched the sunrise. We were out shooting all night long, ending up on this kind of pond, and this beautiful space outside of the city where the mist and the fog were lifting off the water and everyone's standing there in skimpy clothes even though it's like shivering cold. I just remember the gratitude and awe, the appreciation I had for people who were willing to not only come out, but then to be subjected to some pretty intense weather and hours, and still stuck around and made it work. I mostly think about all the people who made that happen and how appreciative I am."
  • Lissie recorded a piano rendition for her 2019 album, When I'm Alone: The Piano Retrospective.
  • In the song, Lissie wakes up to a movie starring Betty Grable playing on her TV. Grable was a popular film actress and WWII pin-up model. We don't know if she was a sleepwalker, but she did star in a 1941 movie titled I Wake Up Screaming.

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Trucking Songs That Were #1 Hits

Trucking Songs That Were #1 HitsSong Writing

The stories behind the biggest hit songs about trucking.

Howard Jones

Howard JonesSongwriter Interviews

Howard explains his positive songwriting method and how uplifting songs can carry a deeper message.

Grateful Dead Characters

Grateful Dead CharactersMusic Quiz

Many unusual folks appear in Grateful Dead songs. Can you identify them?

Pete Anderson

Pete AndersonSongwriter Interviews

Pete produced Dwight Yoakam, Michelle Shocked, Meat Puppets, and a very memorable track for Roy Orbison.

Graham Bonnet (Alcatrazz, Rainbow)

Graham Bonnet (Alcatrazz, Rainbow)Songwriter Interviews

Yngwie Malmsteen and Steve Vai were two of Graham's co-writers for some '80s rock classics.

Spooner Oldham

Spooner OldhamSongwriter Interviews

His keyboard work helped define the Muscle Shoals sound and make him an integral part of many Neil Young recordings. Spooner is also an accomplished songwriter, whose hits include "I'm Your Puppet" and "Cry Like A Baby."