Elvis Perkins – While You Were Sleeping


I’ve recently encountered the song writing of Californian born Elvis Perkins (thanks to King for this).

It seems almost unfair to focus upon his back story but I’m sure with a little investigation you can find that out for yourself.

Suffice it to say that he is a unique and beguiling songwriter with true great lyrical talent – his performance on the following Takeaway Show (a concept that in itself strips music back to its essentials), is the best I have seen.

‘While You Were Sleeping’ is taken from ‘Ash Wednesday’, released independently in 2006 and then by XL Recordings in 2007.

You can find out more about Elvis from his myspace

Download / Listen here

Elvis Perkins – While You Were Sleeping

You can read the full lyrics by clicking through…

While you were sleeping
The babies grew
The stars shined and the shadows moved
Time flew, the phone rang
There was a silence when the kitchen sang
Its songs competed like kids for space
We stared for hours in our maker’s face
They gave us picks
Said go mine the sun
And gold and come back when you’re done
While you were sleeping
You tossed, you turned
You rolled your eyes as the world burned
The heavens fell, the earth quaked
I thought you must be, but you weren’t awake
No, you were dreaming
You ignored the sun
you grew your power garden
for your little ones
and you found brides for them on christmas eve
They hung young Cain from the adam trees
And danced
While you were sleeping
I tossed and i turned
Til i closed my eyes
But the future burned
Through the planet turned a hair gray
As i relived the day
While you were sleeping
The money died
Machines were harmless and the earth sighed
Through the wind you slept sound
And gravity caught my love around
The oceans rose, sang about decay
While the witches flew
And the mermaids stayed
Full of dreams, you overslept
And keeping with quiet, through the walls i crept
I walked on tiptoe, sent darkness swirling over all the kitchen in the early morning
I’ll never catch up to you
Who sleeps so sound
My arms are useless
My heart beats too loud to go to sleep
My mind’s too crowded
While you were sleeping
The time changed
All your things were rearranged
Your vampire mirrors face to face
They saw forever out into space
And found you dreaming in black and white
While it rained in all the colors of the night
I watched the tvs
Vanished to sea
Could it be, my honey between you and me
So i waited for the riddled sky
To dissolve again by sunrise
And i’ve made a death suit for life
For my father’s ill widowed wife
Did you have that strangest dream before you woke
Cos in your gown you had the butterfly stroke
Did it escape you like some half told joke?
When you reached for your plume of smoke
It’ll haunt you, my honey bee
Anyone who is anyone has that same dream
Were you falling
Were you flying
And were you calling out
Or were you dying
Thank god you’re up now
Let’s stay that way
Else there’ll be no mornings
And no more days
Cos when we’re dreaming
Our babies grow
The sun shines
And the shadows flow
Time flies
The phone rings
There is a silence
And everybody tries to sing


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