Every Night I Wake Up Screaming
 
(Rick Springfield)


If it's all a magnificent mistake
There goes the universe and it's order
I was dreaming wide awake
When something pulled me under the water


I can't surface I.....
it's in my fear
and I can't stop it
I can't, I can't breathe
I'm choking
and I don't want to sleep


Every night I wake up screaming
We're the last tribe as the world stops turning
Every night I wake up screaming
my car crashed isn't far from here
And everything looks better with my eyes closed
everything looks better with my eyes closed

There's a terrorist somewhere
with my name on a bullet he's loadin'
there's a meteor out there with the world 
in her sites and it's closing in

I can't set aside
it's in my fear
and I can't stop it
I can't, I can't breathe
I'm choking
and I don't want to sleep

Every night I wake up screaming
we're the last you and me as the world stops turning
Every night I wake up screaming
The end of everything very near
And everything looks better with my eyes closed
everything looks better with my eyes
closed
Every night I wake up screaming
I'm the last man as the world stops turning
Every night I wake up screaming
Dreaming that I'm blind again
And everything looks better with my eyes 
 closed
And everything looks better with my eyes 
 closed, closed closed

(total playing time 3:24)

Song Facts: This can be found on shock/denial/anger/acceptance

 
 

According to US

This is one of my favorites on the album. The terror, fear, the way this sick feeling permeates seemingly everything in this song, I would have to probably go with shock. I suppose it's kind of crazy that I find this to be one of my favorites, but I think it's because it's the exact same way I feel about the way the world is going...if I allow myself to think about all of this, my head starts spinning with all of the things that can happen, are happening, might be happening, will probably happen...you get the idea. When he says "I can't breathe, I can't stop it..." that points to the shock you'd feel when you were drowning, seeing a bullet with your name on it. "If it's all a magnificent mistake...there goes the universe and its order..." is just a complete statement of shock. If everything wasn't all the sudden the way you always thought it was (kind of how we all moved from the 9/10 mentality to the 9/11 mentality), you'd be utterly shocked (as we
were on 9/11). The anger follows for sure, but for me, this song is all about shock at the madness of the state of the world. - Amy SP


This song is kind of in the middle for me. I never skip it when I'm listening to the whole cd, but it's not one of the ones I search for when I'm in the mood to skip around for specific songs. When you really sit down and concentrate on the lyrics, though, it's really a powerful song with a long of strong, powerful emotions. I get a message of panic, total and complete panic. The vision that comes to my mind is always of someone drowning.
Drowning in their fear, maybe.
I never really noticed the tribe->you and me->last man. Even more powerful. Even more scary. I really like his voice on this.
The thing that has me going in circles is that on one hand "I don't want to sleep" (and I don't blame him, if I woke up in this kind of panic every night, I wouldn't want to either) and yet everything looks better with his eyes closed. "Dreaming that I'm blind again" is saying to me that sometimes when he sleeps, he's back to a time when he wasn't as worried or aware about all these things that are bothering him now.
I think this is going to be one of those songs that will continue to get better for me the more I listen to it.
- rlh


First off, love this song, love the emotion, love the urgency. 

Part of this song makes me think of the "stay tuned to the news" type of society we live in. Where during sweeps news shows reveal how things like the 'kitchen sink sponge' might be killing you. Similar to the "there's a meteor out there with the world in her sites and it's closing in" line. 

So that's the sensational side but even more so the danger, sadness and fear have been brought to our doorsteps several times in the past 4 years. Our visions of safe and even tranquil lives were shred with the tragedy of 911 and the on-going war and level of threat we have been living under. So it shook our ability to deny the realities, as in "I was dreaming wide awake......" and forced us to see/feel a lot of horrible things.

So internalizing all of that is some scary scary stuff. "Everything looks better with my eyes closed" because opening them bring the realities back in. In this song the man goes from being part of a group (tribe) to a couple to the last man - as if everything is falling away or being taken away. As if every former sense of safety or security is been challenged or stripped away. The dream/desire becomes to be "blind" to the realities around us. 

Again I like this song because of the strength and the emotion that catches the blend of anger and fear just perfectly. This world can scare the shit out of me sometimes too and this just captures it.~Jen H.


This too is one of my favorites on SDAA. Especially with all that's going on in the world today ... war, terrorists, tsunamis, etc. It's easy to focus on the bad and worst in people, and by doing so I may be missing the good and best in people. One of my favorite lines of this song is "If it's all a magnificent mistake,
there goes the universe and its order". This is something that I have been thinking about for as long as I can remember. I consider myself a religious person, but I still have doubts sometimes as to what this life is all about and I keep wondering if this is all there is. I need to focus more on the here and now and be the best
person I can be, and I'm sure that the end will take care of itself.

In the past several months I have had to deal with a daughter leaving home to go away to college and my sixteen-year-old son getting his driver's license (which, btw, he's already gotten a ticket and has had a wreck! Oy!) So the chorus of "I can't set aside, it's in my fear, and I can't stop it, I can't, I can't breathe, I'm choking, and I don't want to sleep" is pretty much how I feel every time one of my kids leaves the house. It's amazing how there are so many of Rick's songs that at one point or another have helped me emotionally through difficult times. Rick may write for his own therapy, I listen to his music for my therapy.  Char P.


(picking up my shield, and putting on the armor)
I don't like this one. 

I'm a love song, ballad, boy-meets-girl and falls in love, you're beautiful, type of girl. I don't want to know about no nightmares or the fact that Rick wakes up screaming sometimes. Must be a bitch to sleep with, is all I can say. He's drowning. He can't breathe. He's choking. His car crashed, not far from here. He's dreaming that he's blind!?!?! Oh, someone put an end to the misery. This is TMI.

A lot of people list this as their favorite. I just don't get it. I don't like the other voice yelling "BREATHE" (which btw, took me a long time to figure out what it was saying, I'm sad to report). Someone make it stop! Aren't we at the Acceptance point of the album by now?

I listen to music to *get away* from the "real" world. I listen to Rick's music to make me feel happy, and alive, and to put me in a good mood. This song does none of that for me.  - Michelle P.


This is my favorite song on the whole CD. I actually feel a personal connection to this song. My favorite line is "everything looks better with my eyes closed". Rick mentions on the DVD for this LE about how horrible the world is today and he so right. Frankly, I personally (and purposely) don't watch any news on tv because of this. I always have felt that what I don't know won't hurt me, so I guess that is my "denial" in life. 

That background vocal ~ "BREATHE" is killer, too. I love that! Plus, I love the way he says "choking" in the line "I'm choking", just something about the way it comes out of his mouth excites me…LOL This one gets a lot of `repeats' on my cd player. - Amy L.



When I am in the mind set to be mature enough to think beyond my own selfish needs, this song is not only one I can relate to, but one of my favorites from SDAA.

I can remember how painful it was for me to watch a program such as ‘World Vision’, which encouraged you to ‘adopt from a distance’ a child growing up in poverty by sending in monthly financial contributions. Year after year, my heart broke watching those programs, and I would feel better turning off the television. The one day, I turned off the television, but I still felt bad, worse than ever because this time I was not able to put it out of my mind. For years I would close my eyes to the problems facing the world, and things did look better that way, and then it hits you…it hits you like a bug splattering on the windshield of a speeding Mac truck.

“If it's all a magnificent mistake 
There goes the universe and it's order 
I was dreaming wide awake 
When something pulled me under the water” 


This first verse is almost ‘shock’ing, but not quite, and nor should it be. It is the realization, or the acceptance that yes, our world is changing in a frightening way…we are doing crazy things that are hurting our planet, Mother Nature is clearly pissed off, and if that isn’t enough…let’s go kill one another, be it silently in a street alley, inside a once blissful marital home, or in numbers as we take weapons and invade schools and countries…all in an attempt to force our perspective on what ‘should be’. So…when you sit back and add all of these events up, the sum sounds shocking, but really we have been listening to it and watching it, almost on a daily basis. This verse reminds me of a ‘light bulb moment’…”oh shit…what are we doing; what have we done?”

”I can't surface I..... 
it's in my fear 
and I can't stop it 
I can't, I can't breathe 
I'm choking 
and I don't want to sleep” 


Have you ever had a feeling of panic come over you when you were faced with something you were not prepared to deal with? Some call this panic attacks, some call it hyperventilating…no matter what you call it, it screams paralysis.
These six little lines pretty much sums up how I have felt since January with the return of my cancer, followed by a bad accident…all this on top of everything else happening in the world that I know I cannot manage or control all by myself. I honestly could not do a thing. Sleeping, the biggest escape from reality for me was near impossible. ‘…and I don’t want to sleep..’ Well, I couldn’t sleep and even if I could, I didn’t want to for fear I would miss something, for fear I would wake up to something worse that would be harder to assimilate, and finally, for fear that I might not wake up at all. This is a perfect introduction into the next part of the song…

”Every night I wake up screaming 
We're the last tribe as the world stops turning 
Every night I wake up screaming 
my car crashed isn't far from here 
And everything looks better with my eyes closed 
everything looks better with my eyes closed” 


Okay, so your body takes over and you do indeed fall asleep. Slumber does not guarantee that you escape reality. Any subconscious thoughts you may have about the uncertainty of the world can surface in the form of a dream but…when you wake up the nightmare is supposed to be over. It’s not. Which is worse, living in a state of suspense while asleep or awake? In the end, it is all the same. We have become careless with our universe, our friends and family, and ourselves…kill or be killed… We are under the impression that our tribe is at the top of the food chain, and that is a pretty egotistical assumption. Once again, another good introduction that leads into the next verse.

”There's a terrorist somewhere 
with my name on a bullet he's loadin' 
there's a meteor out there with the world 
in her sites and it's closing in” 


Terrorism comes in all kinds of forms…the type that you see on your news station, but it goes beyond this. How many times have you been wounded by something or someone, verbally or physically? Terrorism is a chosen act, and the targets may be random or deliberate. You time may be up tomorrow, or years from now, but somewhere out there remains the possibility that you will be hit…IF he chooses to fire that bullet he loaded. Perhaps Rick used the masculine to describe terrorism because he goes on to use the feminine to describe the meteor. Why would a meteor be female? Maybe it is merely his subtle way of suggesting that our possible destruction could be the result of Mother Nature. So, what I get out of this verse is that we are not guaranteed anything but a frightening suspense in life. Everything could be altered by the deliberate act of man…or the unexpected act of Mother Nature. We also need to be careful not to blame environmental disasters on Mother Nature alone when we are doing rotten things to our environment…no wonder she gets so pissed off!

”I can't set aside 
it's in my fear 
and I can't stop it 
I can't, I can't breathe 
I'm choking 
and I don't want to sleep” 


By this point in the song, the ‘person’ cant deny what is happening, and he cant help but be afraid of the future. Still, it is not quite the full ‘acceptance’ because there is still the inability to stop fearing, the inability to breathe etc. There is no escaping the unpredictable future.

”Every night I wake up screaming 
we're the last you and me as the world stops turning 
Every night I wake up screaming 
The end of everything very near 
And everything looks better with my eyes closed 
everything looks better with my eyes 
closed 
Every night I wake up screaming 
I'm the last man as the world stops turning 
Every night I wake up screaming 
Dreaming that I'm blind again 
And everything looks better with my eyes 
closed 
And everything looks better with my eyes 
closed, closed closed”


This last part of the song actually sees the impending doom as it arrives. The terror and torture is still there, permanently. Gradually we are destroying what is around us and our ‘tribe’ becomes a few, then the ‘few’ become the last person as the destruction mounts and takes its toll. The scariest thing for me would be to know I am the very last thing to go in a universe that has been destroyed before my very eyes.

The moral of the song, and yes, I believe it has a moral is to WAKE UP, scream if you must, scream if it will help you get to the acceptance that while there are some acts you cannot control, if all of us as individuals do our best to try and restore some order and peace and the environment, we might stand a chance. Will it prevent impending doom? Who knows. The rest is left in the hands of Mother Nature and the Gods - real or imagined. - Kat Mendelin