I tell you how I feel, but you don't care
I say tell me the truth, but you don't dare
You say love is a hell you cannot bear
And I say gimme mine back and then go there - for all I care
I got my feet on the ground and I don't go to sleep to dream
You got your head in the clouds
And you're not at all what you seem
This mind, this body, and this voice
Cannot be stifled by your deviant ways
So don't forget what I told you
Don't come around
I got my own hell to raise
I have never been so insulted in all my life
I could swallow the seas to wash down all this pride
First you run like a fool just to be at my side
And now you run like a fool
But you just run to hide
And I can't abide
I got my feet on the ground and I don't go to sleep to dream
You got your head in the clouds
And you're not at all what you seem
This mind, this body, and this voice
Cannot be stifled by your deviant ways
So don't forget what I told you
Don't come around
I got my own hell to raise
Don't make it a big deal, don't be so sensitive
We're not playing a game anymore
You don't have to be so defensive
Don't you plead me your case, don't bother to explain
Don't even show me your face, 'cuz it's a crying shame
Just go back to the rock from under which you came
Take the sorrow you gave and all the stakes you claim -
And don't forget the blame
I got my feet on the ground and I don't go to sleep to dream
You got your head in the clouds
And you're not at all what you seem
This mind, this body, and this voice
Cannot be stifled by your deviant ways
So don't forget what I told you
Don't come around
I got my own hell to raise



Lyrics submitted by SNYder, edited by Mellow_Harsher


Sleep to Dream song meanings
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  • +5
    General Comment:The verses to this song seem very self-explanitory, but there's a little more to them than you may think.

    I don't know where all this insomnia/practical sleep/escaping the real world stuff is coming from. It quite confused me that people seemed to be coming up with that stuff before they came up with the symbolism.

    The words of the first verse just fit together so nicely, and they seem so simple that people just breeze right on past them, never stop to look at the big picture. Everyone sits and overanalyzes the chorus before they really try to analyze anything else. Maybe the words aren't hard to understand, but the motivations of the character are not that obvious.

    The first verse tells us that she's known this guy for a while, and she's getting fed up with his shit. "I say, 'Tell me the truth,' but you don't dare"--with this line, we know he's deceitful, and though he lies a lot, he's either not very good at it or he always gets found out. "You say love is a hell you cannot bare" makes me think that the guy we're dealing with is a whiny, overdramatic asshole, and because we already know he's a insensitive, deceitful asshole, I'd like to think he's self-centered. "And I say 'gimme mine back, and then go there for all I care'" She put lots of trust into this guy, and he's screwed her over several times; so far she's taken it and been patient with the guy, but now she's pissed, and all the feelings and words she's been holding in spill out.

    "I got my feet on the ground, and I don't go to sleep to dream"--says that she's plenty aware of his lying and knows she deserves better, and she's very insulted that he thinks she's so ignorant as to not realize those things. "You got your head in the clouds; you're not at all what you seem"--means that he's foolish and childish, and she's chastizing him for being the ignorant one, almost mockingly. She again tells us with the second part of that phrase that she knows he's not faithful. "This mind, this body, and this voice cannot be stifled by your deviant ways" means "I'm not so stupid as to be fooled by you for so long, no matter what you think, and I'm done submitting to you." "So don't forget what I told you, don't come around; I got my own hell to raise" is a nice way to say "get the hell out of my life; I'm not going to put up with this shit anymore, 'cause I've got a life to live, a life that doesn't include you." And I think that it may hint a bit of "I'll get you back, bastard" in that she says "I've got my OWN hell to raise." Basically, she could say, "You put me through hell, and one of these days, it should be my turn, don't you think?"

    In the second verse, she talks directly about her pride and how he's insulting her. "First you run like a fool just to be at my side" means that he dove headfirst into this relationship, and battered her with so many lies that he'd seem, at least, like a good person. "And now you run like a fool, but you just run to hide"--he's learning that she's not as ignorant as he thought she was, and now he's spitting out lies like crazy, like liars tend to do when they're under stress or in a panic, trying to cover his ass and claim innocence before she can really call his bluff and leave him. He doesn't really care about her, of course; he just doesn't want to be called a liar, even if he is one, and be labeled one for the rest of his life--it plays into his arrogance. "And I can't abide" is the final blow--"too bad for you, buddy; I'm leaving."

    "Don't make it a big deal; don't be so sensitive" is almost mocking in tone, as though she's using lines he's used on her before. She views their previous manner of relationship, all of the lying on his part and pretending she didn't notice on her part, as the "game." She says that there's no point in him getting defensive, because she's done playing this game, and nothing he says will do anything more than make him look like a bigger idiot.

    "Don't you plead me your case"--don't claim innocence
    "Don't bother to explain"--every claim you make is a lie; don't try to brush off that behavior with some excuse, either, 'cause you don't have one
    "Don't even show me your face, 'cause it's a crying shame"--I never even want to see you again; you make me sick, and I can't believe I ever wanted anything to do with you
    "Just go back to the rock from under which you came"--get out of my life--go find someone better suited for you, someone stupid and gullible
    "Take the sorrow you gave and all the stakes you claim"--I'm not going to let any memory of you affect me--and you can pretend that I'm the one who lies and cheats if you want. I don't care
    "And don't forget the blame"--you've blamed me for every little thing that's ever gone wrong; just so you know, I don't feel guilty for any of these things, and I blame YOU for all of this

    Overall, I think it's a song about a girl who's either spent a long time trying to build up the courage to leave, and then he did something really shitty to her, and she snapped, or it's about a girl who's trying NOT to snap from all the anger, because she's worried about him spreading rumors or something of the sort, and then one day she's had enough and let's him have it. Definitely angry in nature, and shows independence and courage, too.

    No matter what it's supposed to mean, I will always love this song. Musically, it's very simple, but it's got _such_ strong emotional expression, and I love that most about it. I love how there's a feeling of triumph in all the lyrics, like she's finally won a long battle. Another of my absolute favorites, second only to songs like "Criminal" or "Never Is A Promise," whether it be because of my ability to relate to it, the lyrics, the music, or just because it's so damn CATCHY.

    This is definitely one of the best, though. No matter what. And I like how strong the emotions she portrayed in the video were, too. Very fitting.
    criminal_incognitoon December 28, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General Comment:I always "I don't go to sleep to dream" to mean that she views sleep in the practical sense, not in the idealistic sense. I didn't think it really meant she uses sleep to escape problems. Maybe I'm wrong, but I thought she was just being utilitarian.
    LittleBriddieon March 05, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:Love this song! Well, I love every Fiona song, but that's beside the point, hehe. These lyrics are so powerful. She's telling this guy that she's independant, down to earth. She's realized that he wasn't treating her the right way and now it's payback time. LOVE IT!
    FeyTHon April 14, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:ah, why is she so good at writing songs!?!
    thepangeon May 08, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:The beat of this song is just awesome!! Its powerful and yet withdrawn at the same time. Fiona completely involves the entire being in this one song. Its a pissed off song on the surface, but deep down it has a even more in-depth meaning.
    megberries03on May 23, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:by far my favorite fiona apple son. I heard it right after I broke up with a boyfriend and it was like she had broken into my head and wrote down exactly what I was thinking... only much much better than I ever could. Needless to say it was on a constant loop for the next week. the line that really did it for me was "First you run like a fool just to be at my side/And now you run like a fool/But you just run to hide/And I can't abide"
    poetgrl224on June 03, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:i agree the beat to this song is amazingly powerful.
    I love the line i'v got my feet on the ground, and i dont go to sleep to dream'. i dont think that its about insomnia, i think its a powerful line to suggest she doesnt bullshit. he's off with the faeries dreaming
    Niamon October 05, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:Oh, in't she wonderful.
    Golgothaon December 05, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:freefiona.com
    precipitateon January 04, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:These lyrics are genius
    WildIrishRoseon August 31, 2005   Link

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