I Go To Sleep

Album: Pretenders II (1981)
Charted: 7
  • Written by Ray Davies of The Kinks, this ballad was originally recorded by Peggy Lee on her 1965 album Then Was Then – Now Is Now!. Davies didn't write many songs that weren't specifically for The Kinks, but this one was widely covered, with popular versions by Cher and The Pretenders. The only charting version was by The Pretenders, who took it to #7 in the UK.
  • Ray Davies wrote this in 1965 when he was waiting for his wife Rasa to give birth to his daughter. Dads weren't allowed in the hospital, so he passed the time by writing this lullaby for his baby girl. He made a quick demo of the song and his publisher sent it to Peggy Lee (one of Ray's favorite singers) before The Kinks set off for an American tour. Lee liked the song and recorded it with an orchestra conducted by Sid Feller.
  • The Pretenders recorded this when their lead singer Chrissie Hynde was romantically involved with Ray Davies - they had a daughter together and according to various media outlets, they tried to get married in 1982 but were turned away by the registrar because they were arguing too much. According to The Independent, Hynde hadn't heard Peggy Lee or Cher's version of the song when she recorded it.

    Said Hynde: "The song publishers for about the first three Kinks albums sent me a cassette of a demo made by Ray Davies in 1965, with him playing piano. The Kinks never recorded it. It's a perfect song and I was delighted to have access to it. I was just hoping they wouldn't be offended."
  • Films to use this song include 2002's Sweet Sixteen and the 2000 documentary The Pretenders: Greatest Hits. TV series to use this song include 2009's Dollhouse and a 2005 episode of Dancing with the Stars.
  • This song was covered by The Applejacks as well as Cher, both in 1965. The Applejacks were a UK pop group who were almost unknown in the US, but had some moderate chart hits in the UK - including a cover of "Chim Chim Cher-ee" from the Disney film Mary Poppins.
  • Mary Wells wanted to record this. Ray Davies recalled to Q magazine: "After her big hit, 'My Guy,' she came to my hotel in New York [ grins], wearing this lovely leather cap, nice coat. She really wanted I Go To Sleep but I said, 'It's not bouncy enough for you, I'll write you a real Motown song.' Sadly, I never did."

Comments: 5

  • Saira from Buffalo, NySia's version introduced me to this song. While I think her arrangement of it is absolutely magnificent (the cello is brilliant, although the french horns, i think, from the Pretenders is also a nice touch), Sia's voice kinda blew it for me. The words are too beautiful to be gargled and muffled. I really wish someone else would remake it... maybe Dido, someone who can evoke Sia's emotion, but with clarity....
  • Sara from Houston, TxThere is also a great live cover of this that I've heard by Rasputina. There's nothing like a song covered with cellos.
  • Jaridon from Portland, OrSia(from Zero 7)'s rendition of this tune is brilliant. She says in the liner notes that the Chrissie Hynde version was her inspiration. The band consists of a guitar, bass, drums, keyboard/synth, cello, and of course, Sia's vocals. The blend of sounds is mesmerizing, especially the repetition of the chorus.

    From her live CD "Lady Croissant".
    -(http://www.astralwerks.com/sia/)
  • Nicola Desouza from Mumbai, IndiaThis song was also sung by Cher who killed it. Last year a French group called Les Oisives covered the song using heavy AccordÃ?on sound. I've heard various versions, but Chryssie Hynde's version is haunting and takes me to other dimensions.
    you can hear Les Oisives Version here :
    http://www.pudding-prod.com/lesoisives/pages%20htm/chansons/oisives-igotosleep.htm
  • Graham from Birmingham, EnglandThis song was also covered by the Solihull band 'The Applejacks' in the mid sixties
see more comments

Timothy B. SchmitSongwriter Interviews

The longtime Eagle talks about soaring back to his solo career, and what he learned about songwriting in the group.

80s Video Director Jay DubinSong Writing

Billy Joel and Hall & Oates hated making videos, so they chose a director with similar contempt for the medium. That was Jay Dubin, and he has a lot to say on the subject.

Ian Anderson of Jethro TullSongwriter Interviews

The flautist frontman talks about touring with Led Zeppelin, his contribution to "Hotel California", and how he may have done the first MTV Unplugged.

Corey HartSongwriter Interviews

The Canadian superstar talks about his sudden rise to fame, and tells the stories behind his hits "Sunglasses At Night," "Boy In The Box" and "Never Surrender."

Jules Shear - "All Through The Night"They're Playing My Song

Shears does very little promotion, which has kept him secluded from the spotlight. What changed when Cyndi Lauper had a hit with his song? Not much, really.

Frankie ValliSong Writing

An interview with Frankie Valli, who talks about why his songs - both solo and with The Four Seasons - have endured, and reflects on his time as Rusty Millio on The Sopranos.