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“How’m I Gonna Sleep”

Posted by purplemary54 on July 28, 2014

Tim Finn has had a pretty successful recording career, but the majority of listeners in America probably don’t know anything about it.  He’s never been much of a commercial success in this country.  Outside of cult classic 80s band Split Enz and a brief stint as a member of brother Neil’s band Crowded House, Tim Finn just hasn’t gotten much exposure this side of the equator.

“How’m I Gonna Sleep” is the one single/video I ever heard about being released.  While it suffers a bit from 80s style production values, this song always struck a chord with me.  The guy is wondering how he’s going to get any sleep now that his girl is gone.  He’s lonely, preferring “to have you near to me, making the shape that used to be.”  He just wants some peace, and he’s not sure how he can feel that way ever again.

I get it.  For that brief time between Dad dying and Mom moving in, I had trouble sleeping in an empty house.  I imagine it would be so much worse if I was used to sleeping next to a lover who suddenly wasn’t there anymore.  It’s weird enough when I wake up and there isn’t a cat next to me.  I think I’d end up sitting up most of the night watching old sitcoms and cartoons if I were in the place of the guy in the song.  He copes with it by driving and/or walking the streets at night., but I’m not that brave.  Or crazy.  (And now I might have an idea for a song for tomorrow.)

According to Wikipedia, neither this song or the eponymous album it was from charted in the U.S.  Tim Finn hooked up with Crowded House for Woodface a couple of years after this was released, although he quit during the tour to support the album.  (I still remember Neil asking the crowd, “Okay, show of hands.  Who knew Tim wasn’t going to be here tonight?”)  I’m not familiar with all his recent work, but I’m quite fond of his collaborations with his brother.  Tim Finn isn’t quite Criminally Underrated, but he should maybe get a bit more attention from listeners on this side of the Pacific Ocean.


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