No one has infinite energy. As a result, everyone can relate to the notion of becoming tired. Sometimes, it is a physical thing. Other times, it is something more mental. Whatever the case, tiredness is a critical part of the human experience, so it makes sense for there to be songs about it.
Here are ten of the best songs about being tired:
10. “That Lucky Old Sun” – Frankie Laine
This song’s narrator never specifies what’s troubling him. However, that makes it easier for listeners to identify with its lyrics by inserting their experiences into things. The narrator contrasts human suffering with the indifference of a celestial object. It’s an excellent illustration of how someone’s troubles can cause them to regret their state of being.
9. “Just Ain’t Easy” – Allman Brothers Band
The emotional can’t be separated from the physical and vice versa. As such, people often feel dragged down by their relationship woes. Supposedly, Gregg Allman wrote “Just Ain’t Easy” because of his then-marriage to Cher. The lyrics express a profound sense of emptiness, so much so that the narrator can’t even muster the will to extricate himself from the situation he’s caught in.
8. “Never As Tired As When I’m Waking Up” – LCD Soundsystem
Meanwhile, LCD Soundsystem’s song describes a more complicated situation. The relationship is in trouble. After all, people are supposed to feel refreshed when they wake up, so it doesn’t say good things that they’re so hollowed out at the start of the day. The curious thing is that the partners feel an overwhelming physical attraction. Something that’s prompting a surprising amount of confused self-reflection.
7. “Boxing My Shadow” – K’naan
Shadowboxing is a common practice. Here, it takes on more sinister connotations for two reasons. First, there’s no way to defeat a shadow. It has no substance, meaning it can’t be punched until it goes down. Second, the narrator mentions boxing his shadow. As such, it suggests an unending struggle because that will always be with him. Indeed, the lyrics exude a strong sense of frustration with his experiences and his people’s experiences.
6. “Exhausted” – Foo Fighters
“Exhausted” isn’t one of the Foo Fighters’ better-known singles. However, it has a special place in the band’s discography. This is because “Exhausted” was the Foo Fighters’ debut single. That means it introduced them to the world. Its lyrics aren’t that complicated. Instead, Dave Grohl’s vocals and the other band members’ playing are responsible for selling its titular tone.
5. “Tired Eyes” – Neil Young
As mentioned, emotions can make people feel tired. Unsurprisingly, disgust is one of the worst in this regard. Famously, Neil Young wrote “Tired Eyes” because of an incident in which a man shot several other individuals over a cocaine deal gone wrong. It seems safe to say that it hit him hard. The shooter was his friend. Moreover, this speculation is borne out by how the narrator reflects on what happened in the lyrics.
4. “Daysleeper” – R.E.M.
Humans are diurnal under normal circumstances. That means we’re active during the daytime, meaning we’re supposed to sleep at night. Breaking that routine can have devastating consequences. In the short term, it leaves people woozy. It’s even worse in the long run because it’s been proven to shorten people’s lifespans. R.E.M. was inspired to write “Daysleeper” because they saw an apartment door with a sign saying as much. The result is about an international trader steadily being hollowed out by his work. Still, anyone who has ever missed a night of sleep will find it easy to connect with “Daysleeper.”
3. “Venus in Furs” – The Velvet Underground
“Venus in Furs” is named for a novella by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch. He was a utopianist from the late 19th century. However, people might find his name suspiciously familiar for other reasons. After all, Sacher-Masoch was the namesake for masochism. Something he wasn’t happy about, even though he wasn’t subtle about his fantasies. Regardless, “Venus in Furs” was shocking in its time, which made it an excellent choice as a source of inspiration for some of the forefathers of experimental rock. The song deals with overcoming ennui through pursuing somewhat unorthodox pleasures.
2. “Working in a Coal Mine” – Lee Dorsey
There have been periods in which miners received better treatment. Unfortunately, coal mining has earned a notorious reputation for sound reasons. Much of the discourse focuses on how the people who work in coal mines see their chances of developing pulmonary disease and other severe medical problems shoot up because they’re constantly exposed to harmful contaminants. Interested individuals should also remember that coal miners work hard in exchange for compensation that doesn’t seem commensurate. Something even truer in the not-so-distant past when mine owners had even more power relative to the people working for them. Numerous songs describe one hardship experienced by coal miners or another. This one focuses on the bone-crushing weariness.
1. “I’m Tired, I’m Tired, I’m Tired” – Marva Whitney
Marva Whitney was one of the greatest funk singers of the 20th century. “I’m Tired, I’m Tired, I’m Tired” saw her railing against injustice. She’s fed up with the economic barriers imposed on her and people like her. Simultaneously, she’s upset with the effects that this has on people’s day-to-day interactions with one another. The result is a strong sense of exhaustion running throughout the narrative. Despite this, the narrator is keenly aware of the need to continue struggling for a better tomorrow, lest things slide backward.
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- Ranking All of the R.E.M. Studio Albums
- The 10 Best Foo Fighters Songs of All-Time
- The 10 Best Joe Stampley Songs of All-Time