Monday, August 25, 2008

6 Easy Pieces: In Dreams

Frank Sinatra, Deep In a Dream.
Robert Desnos, Description of a Dream.
Ray Noble Orchestra, Dreaming a Dream.
Ruth Brown, Oh What a Dream.
Neko Case, Dreaming Man.
Max Romeo, Wet Dream.
John Lennon, #9 Dream.
Peggy Lee, Street of Dreams.
The Electric Prunes, I Had Too Much to Dream Last Night.
Artie Shaw, Nightmare.
The Kinks, Dreams.
The Beatles, Jessie's Dream.
Randy Newman, Last Night I Had a Dream.
Colleen, I Was Deep in a Dream and I Didn't Know It.
Kate Bush, The Dreaming.
Larry Clinton, I Dreamt I Dwelt In Marble Halls.
Bob Dylan, Bob Dylan's Dream (demo).
Roy Orbison, In Dreams.

Our life is twofold; Sleep hath its own world,
A boundary between the things misnamed
Death and existence: Sleep hath its own world,
And a wide realm of wild reality,
And dreams in their development have breath,
And tears, and tortures, and the touch of joy;
They leave a weight upon our waking thoughts,
They take a weight from off waking toils,
They do divide our being; they become
A portion of ourselves as of our time,
And look like heralds of eternity;
They pass like spirits of the past -they speak
Like sibyls of the future; they have power -
The tyranny of pleasure and of pain;
They make us what we were not -what they will,
And shake us with the vision that's gone by,
The dread of vanished shadows -Are they so?
Is not the past all shadow? -What are they?
Creations of the mind? -The mind can make
Substances, and people planets of its own
With beings brighter than have been, and give
A breath to forms which can outlive all flesh.
I would recall a vision which I dreamed
Perchance in sleep -for in itself a thought,
A slumbering thought, is capable of years,
And curdles a long life into one hour.

George Gordon, Lord Byron, "The Dream."

de Pereda, The Knight's Dream

I sometimes dream of devils. It's night, I'm in my room, and suddenly there are devils everywhere. In all the corners and under the table, and they open doors, and behind the doors there are crowds of them, and they all want to come in and seize me. And they are already coming near and taking hold of me, But suddenly I cross myself and they draw back, they are afraid, only they don't go away, but stand near the door and in the corners, waiting. And then I'm suddenly overcome by a desire to begin cursing God in a loud voice, and I begin cursing him and they all rush at me again in a crowd, they're so pleased, and they're again about to lay hands on me and I cross myself again and they draw back at once. It's great fun. Oh, it takes my breath away.

Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov.

Fuseli, The Nightmare

I had a dream,
I had an awesome dream.

Lionel Richie, "Say You, Say Me."

When Lincoln and his Cabinet met on the morning of April 14, everyone was anxious to hear news of Sherman. Lincoln was sure it would be favorable. That night, he told the Cabinet (and Gideon Welles reported), he had "the usual dream which he had preceding nearly every great and important event of the war. Generally the news had been favorable which preceded this dream, and the dream itself was always the same ... [he said that] he seemed to be in some singular, indescribable vessel, and that he was moving with great rapidity towards an indefinite shore; that he had this dream preceding Sumter, Bull Run, Antietam, Gettysburg, Stones River, Vicksburg, Wilmington, etc."

At this point Grant broke in, rather oddly, to say, "Stones River was certainly no victory, and he knew of no great results which followed from it."
[I love Grant--C.O.] Lincoln took Grant's cavil in good spirit. However that might be, he replied, his dream preceded that fight. "I had," the President continued, in a curiously abstracted way, "this strange dream again last night, and we shall, judging from the past, have great news very soon. I think it must be from Sherman." It was the Friday preceding Easter Week.

That night Welles had just dozed off when his wife woke him with word that someone was at the door with a message for him...The messenger, James Smith, called up to him that Lincoln had been shot and that Seward and his son Frederick, the assistant secretary of state, had also been assassinated.

Page Smith, A People's History of the Civil War and Reconstruction, Volume 5: Trial by Fire.

Dali, dream sequence for Hitchcock's Spellbound

I went to the graveyard, fell down on my knees
I went to the graveyard, fell down on my knees
And I asked the gravedigger to give me back my real good
man please.
The gravedigger look me in the eye,
The gravedigger look me in the eye,
Said "I'm sorry lady but your man has said his last goodbye"
I wrung my hands and I wanted to scream,
I wrung my hands and I wanted to scream,
But when I woke up I found it was only a dream.

Ida Cox, "Graveyard Dream Blues."

Picasso, The Dream

A beautiful girl once told me of a recurring nightmare in which she lay in the center of a large dark room and felt her face expand until it filled the whole room, becoming a formless mass while her eyes ran in bilious jelly up the chimney.

Ralph Ellison, The Invisible Man.

Dali, Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee around a Pomegranate a Second Before Awakening


Why looks your grace so heavily today?


O, I have pass'd a miserable night,
So full of ugly sights, of ghastly dreams,
That, as I am a Christian faithful man,
I would not spend another such a night,
Though 'twere to buy a world of happy days,
So full of dismal terror was the time!


What was your dream? I long to hear you tell it.


Methoughts that I had broken from the Tower,
And was embark'd to cross to Burgundy;
And, in my company, my brother Gloucester;
Who from my cabin tempted me to walk
Upon the hatches: thence we looked toward England,
And cited up a thousand fearful times,
During the wars of York and Lancaster
That had befall'n us. As we paced along
Upon the giddy footing of the hatches,
Methought that Gloucester stumbled; and, in falling,
Struck me, that thought to stay him, overboard,
Into the tumbling billows of the main.
Lord, Lord! methought, what pain it was to drown!
What dreadful noise of waters in mine ears!
What ugly sights of death within mine eyes!
Methought I saw a thousand fearful wrecks;
Ten thousand men that fishes gnaw'd upon;
Wedges of gold, great anchors, heaps of pearl,
Inestimable stones, unvalued jewels,
All scatter'd in the bottom of the sea:
Some lay in dead men's skulls; and, in those holes
Where eyes did once inhabit, there were crept,
As 'twere in scorn of eyes, reflecting gems,
Which woo'd the slimy bottom of the deep,
And mock'd the dead bones that lay scatter'd by.

Shakespeare, Richard III, I:iv.

Candy colored clown!

Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again. It seemed to me I stood by the iron gate leading to the drive, and for a while I could not enter for the way was barred to me. There was a padlock and a chain upon the gate. I called in my dream to the lodge-keeper, and had no answer, and peering closer through the rusted spokes of the gate I saw that the lodge was uninhabited. No smoke came from the chimney, and the little lattice windows gaped forlorn. Then, like all dreamers, I was possessed of a sudden with supernatural powers and passed like a spirit through the barrier before me.

Daphne du Maurier, Rebecca.

During the entire trip my dreams stubbornly followed the tactic of ignoring Africa. They drew exclusively from scenes of home, and thus seemed to say they considered...the African journey not as something real, but rather as a symptomatic or symbolic act. Even the most impressive events of the trip were rigorously excluded from my dreams. Only once during the entire expedition did I dream of a Negro. His face appeared curiously familiar to me, but I had to reflect a long time before I could determine where I had met him before. Finally it came to me: he had been my barber in Chattanooga, Tennessee! An American Negro. In the dream he was holding a tremendous, red-hot curling iron to my head, intending to make my hair kinky--that is, to give me Negro hair. I could already feel the painful heat, and awoke with a sense of terror.

Carl Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections.

Dreamsongs: Sinatra, In the Wee Small Hours; Desnos, French surrealist who in 1938 did a collage of noise/random music/dream recitation, is on the now out-of-print Surrealism Reviewed; Ray Noble with Al Bowlly (HMV Sessions Vol. 9); Ruth Brown (Miss Rhythm); Neko Case's Neil Young cover (Canadian Amp); The Kinks, Percy; Lennon, Walls and Bridges; Romeo, The Coming of Jah; The Electric Prunes, Too Much to Dream; Artie Shaw, Very Best; Newman, Sail Away; "Jessie's Dream" is a bit of eerie Mellotron from the Magical Mystery Tour film; Kate Bush, The Dreaming; Peggy Lee, 1952-56; Colleen, Everyone Alive Wants Answers; Larry Clinton, Studies in Clinton; Dylan, publishing demo from 1963, unreleased; Roy, For The Lonely.

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