"By the Time" as written by Michael Holbrook Penniman and Imogen Jennifer Heap....
Don't wake up, won't wake up, can't wake up,
No, don't wake me up
Don't wake up, won't wake up, can't wake up,
No, don't wake me up

It's the early morn
Lights flick on
Sleepy eyes peek through the blinds at something wrong
Motionless remains the mess
Shame, such a beautiful, beautiful young life

By the time I'm dreaming
And you've crept out on me sleeping
I'm busy in the blissful unaware
By the time I'm dreaming
And you've crept out on me sleeping
Tell me how am I supposed to care

Don't wake up, won't wake up, can't wake up,
No, don't wake me up
Don't wake up, won't wake up, can't wake up,
No, don't wake me up

A trail of clothes two years old
Why did you have to go and leave all this stuff behind
Wasn't I allowed three strikes and out
No, but you said I could, said I could just one night

By the time I'm dreaming
And you've crept out on me sleeping
I'm busy in the blissful unaware

By the time I'm dreaming
And you've crept out on me sleeping
Tell me how am I supposed to care

If I had let you go, let you go (sounds like Would)
Would this be different, different
Now I'll never know never know
I didn't get the chance damn you

If I let had you go, let you go
Would this be different, different
Now I'll never know never know
I didn't get the chance damn you

And by the time I'm dreaming
And you've crept out on me sleeping
I'm busy in the blissful unaware

And by the time I'm dreaming
And you've crept out on me sleeping
Tell me how am I supposed to care

Don't wake up, won't wake up, can't wake up,
No, don't wake me up
Don't wake up, won't wake up, can't wake up,
No, don't wake me up
Don't wake up, won't wake up, can't wake up,
No, don't wake me up
Don't wake up, won't wake up, can't wake up,
No, don't wake me up
Don't wake up, won't wake up, can't wake up


Lyrics submitted by DiscreetThinker

"By the Time" as written by Michael Holbrook Penniman Imogen Jennifer Jane Heap

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Universal Music Publishing Group

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By the Time song meanings
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14 Comments

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  • +5
    General Commentthis is my favorite on the album.

    my own interpretation of this is that the person he was dating killed themselves. "shame such a beautiful young life" and how he didn't get a chance to get to the 3 strikes or figure out to break up with them because of it. so he'll never know how the relationship could have gone because of it. so now nothing feels right even 2 years later and today he just wants to lay in bed because he's depressed and remembering the person is gone.
    jonahfaunaon October 09, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think its about someone leaving him in the middle of the night
    "By the time I'm dreaming
    and you've crept out on me sleeping"

    And the dont wake up part is about him being in denial about it as well as him not wanting to throw out all his ex's stuff
    "A trail of clothes
    two years old"
    AmiiLouon October 23, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMika and Imogen Heap together are too amazing for words.
    it's a perfect combination of fabulous voices.
    TheColdestCalmon September 27, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentor even the "don't wake up, wont wake up, can't wake up, no don't wake me up" part could be that he doesn't want to face reality of it.
    jonahfaunaon October 09, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI always thought about it as a person leaving the other in the night, like not wanting to talk about it and just leaving. The song is amazing!!
    Dynahon October 11, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI thought it had something to do with two friends sleeping together and one or both of them regretting it the next morning. And the 'don't wake up' is them trying to avoid facing the reality of what they've done.
    yumi50on October 12, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentReally beautiful in a sad way, speshly the chorus. Amaze lyrics...Think its about someone whos lover just left them, and they're wondering why...
    jellybeanseverywhereon November 03, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAt first I thought that it was more along the lines of a lover leaving in the middle of the night.

    But I do agree that the death of a loved one makes more sense now.

    "Motionless remains the mess
    Shame, such a beautiful, beautiful young life"
    beccamck26on January 18, 2010   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningI definitely think it is about a relationship that just quite couldn't work but he wishes that he had broken it off before she did & thus he "damns" her because he can't move on emotionally from the hurt. "Crept out on me sleeping" refers to the fact that the only time he can get some relief from the pain of the thought of her is when he's asleep that's why it's a "blissful" oasis of the unconscious or "unaware." I heard this song for the first time tonight & it has captivated me.
    CanadianThoughton March 11, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI am going to use MIka and Imogen as characters, and i am going to explain what i feel this song is about.

    I believe this song is about a romantic relationship between mika and imogen which had come to an end by imogen walking out while mika was sleeping. Little did she know that mika was although sleeping for some reason quite aware that she was walking out, but to upset to want to wake up and do something about it although he wishes he had.
    erictorontoon June 02, 2010   Link

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