Wide Awake At Midnight

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The longest song on the album and possibly my favourite as well but it was a right royal pain in the arse to write. There are songs that fly out of the sky and land fully formed in your head and others which take months and months to grind out of the musical sandstone. ‘Wide Awake’ very much landed in the latter category but it was well worth it in the end. The unsung hero of this tune has to be our bass player Paul because however much I love Jim’s brilliant melody lines and Rob’s very intuitive lyrics, Paul’s bass playing just knocks me over every time I hear him perform. He’s a subtle but very effective player and so much of what I love about this track in particular involves his work. He was also the man behind naming of DJ Hugo Stax, the small hours radio lounge lizard that features in the middle of the song.

I remember listening to Dennis Wilson’s wonderful solo album Pacific Ocean Blue around the time of adding the lead and backing vocals so they have a distinctly Beach Boys lilt to them. We also threw a little Pat Metheny into the mix as well just because we could. Personally, I think this song contains a little bit of everything that is best about Tinyfish as a band.

As to if this song is part of The Big Red Spark suite or not; I haven’t decided!


“Write about something ordinary for a change” said Simon. So I wrote about insomnia. Except our narrator gets kidnapped and taken away to the fairies who ‘laugh and are glad and are terrible’. Bit like Tinyfish. But I jest. Is it all hallucination brought on by lack of sleep as he roams the deserted night-time city? Is it purely his own masochistic wish-fulfillment? Who can say? And there's a slight tip of the hat to ELO who used to write stuff about mysterious things happening to mysterious people in mysterious places. Like Birmingham.


Change the right to sleep
For the right to lie
When you’re in too deep
Dark-adapted eye

You’re a runaway
And a loser gone wild
Staring up a way (up a way)
To the day and the sun
You’re a runaway (runaway)
And a loser gone wild

Better ride alone
Past the empty lights
Claim the dark my own
See the empty sights

You’re a runaway
And a loser gone wild
Staring up a way (up a way)
To the day and the sun
You’re a runaway (runaway)
And a loser gone wild

Cursing the day
Cursing the moonlit night
Watching the sky
Praying for something bright

Tiredness is gone,
Dancing is all around
What have I done? Why am I here?

Food for the feast
Wine for the thirsty eyes
Teeth in the flesh,
Don’t heed the lies

I think I’m lost inside your eyes
You pet me like a fool
You’re glad and laughing all the time
The terror that is you

You are tired of me, I’m tired of wasting time.

For me – it’s a prison of gold
For you – a water garden
Me – it’s a truth to be told
You – I beg your pardon

To know your friends
Are always right behind
Their laughter drives you
Right out of my mind –

When you call me, I have to reply
When you want me,
You force me to try
Will you free me,
Or wave me goodbye
Wide awake for all our sakes tonight

Change the right to sleep
For the right to serve
Slaves who cannot weep
When they lose their nerve

You’re a runaway,
And a loser gone wild
Staring up a way,
To day and the sun

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