"I'm Not Sleeping " is the fourth song on the Counting Crows album Recovering the Satellites, released in 1996. It is also the ninth song on the MTV Live From The 10 Spot album of the two-CD set Across A Wire. The lyrics were written by Adam Duritz, and the music is credited to Adam Duritz and Counting Crows.
The song opens with a haunted-sounding guitar, synthesizer and drum section which flows into a snare drum beat as vocals start and the other instruments quiet down. Later there are parts in which some of the lyrics are almost whispered and loud parts and quiet parts and a great guitar solo and some hard-to-understand lyrics. The music gets a little wild again near the end, making some of the lyrics almost inaudible. I've attempted to transcribe the last verse, which I find interesting:
My sister's mother's favorite son
Lost among the chosen ones*
But I've got notes for everyone
Cause I'm going out that door
*I'm guessing that "chosen ones" here may refer to Jews. This makes some sense, as Adam Duritz is Jewish, as evidenced by his last name and lyrics to his unreleased song "1492:" "I'm a Russian Jew American impersonating African Jamaican." (The lyric is also a reference to Duritz' dreadlocks.)
Insomnia and sleep seem to be themes in Counting Crows music. The following songs, organized by album, mention such subjects. I've left out some of those that only mention dreaming or mention sleep tangentially, but I think it's obvious that sleep is something that Adam Duritz thinks about a lot.
Somebody tell me if I am sleeping
- "Angels of the Silences:"
Little angels of the silences that climb into my bed and whisper/Every time I fall asleep/Every time I dream
- "I'm Not Sleeping:" see above
- "Children in Bloom:"
I gotta get up from this slumber and get myself home
- "Hard Candy:"
And when you sleep you find your mother in the night/But she stays just out of sight/So there isn't any sweetness in the dreaming
- "Goodnight L.A.:"
I said, "Goodnight LA."/Cause I'm awake in my room/I been up for 38 hours/And it don't look like sleep's coming soon
- "Up All Night (Frankie Miller Goes to Hollywood):"
I've been up all night/I might sleep all day