A Song From My Favorite Album: ‘Keeping Awake’

This entry is part 24 of 30 in the series 30 days, 30 songs

The Innocence Mission single cover - Keeping AwakeI remember sleeping on the sleeper sofa in my grandmother’s old rickety house, listening to the sound of people walking on the creaky floor, watching the old propane heater crackle and hearing my grandmother tell my mother all the gossip that had happened over the last few weeks. The voices were only two rooms away, but it was always a comfort hearing them in the background as I drifted off to sleep.

The same thing happens in the Innocence Mission’s “Keeping Awake,” from their phenomenal album Glow.

Hearing your voice in the blue light,
calming people in the house,
traveling upstairs –
good to be there
now, right now

Oh, I’m near to sleeping, I’m keeping awake.
hearing your voice in the house, in the house.

The musical accompaniment is perfect, beginning with husband Don Peris’s crystal clear electric guitar playing during the verses, echoing through the song. By the chorus, a light drum has kicked in, with an Karen accompanying Don on an acoustic guitar. Her crystal clear, childlike voice lends to the nostalgia of warm beds, fighting sleep and comfort and security.

It’s a great opening to an album which doesn’t have a bad song on it. And “Keeping Awake” keeps you interested despite the delightful experiences that it brings back for almost everyone – trying to stay awake and be an adult while your childlike body takes over and takes you off to dreamland. “Keeping Awake” is dreamy and sweet, and it brings a smile to my face every time I hear it. It’s near perfection from a group at their creative peak.

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