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Small Wonder ‘I Dream Of Springsteen’

Olivia here. Dreams are weird. I know this because I have weird dreams all the time. Sometimes they are terrifying, sometimes they make me laugh out loud in my sleep, much to the annoyance of my other half. The last notable dream I had was a mixture of the two. I had watched The Shining for the first time that evening, and it had affected me far more than I imagined. It’s often the case that older horror films lose their ability to scare as they look more dated and less realistic and anyone whose seen an old-school Fifties B movie can attest to this, I’m sure. Not so with The Shining – I was genuinely frightened and ended up watching the majority of the film from behind a cushion. Anyway, that night I dreamt I was on a date with a really creepy Phantom Of The Opera-esque guy, in a mansion not dissimilar from the hotel in the film. We were talking and drinking, when suddenly he turns to me and says: ‘I’m going to break your legs’. It was at that moment that I looked around the room and noticed the dentist’s chair with restraints and a surgeons trolley with a grotesque assortment of metal tools. So I ran downstairs and into the kitchen, where I found the mother of one of my old school friends, who presented me a huge armful of courgettes to ‘fight against the courgette crisis’. Dreams like this, which are in equal measure macabre and comical, are an interesting insight into the darker corners of our minds, which is something Small Wonder explores in his latest release ‘I Dream Of Springsteen‘. The project of multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Henry Crawford, the track is based on a recurring dream that plagued his late teens, as he explains:

“I wrote the song about 7 years ago when I was 18 or 19 when I started having these recurring dreams where I was crucifying and disemboweling Bruce Springsteen before setting him on fire, which is the centrepiece of the song. In the dream, Bruce was just smiling down on me as I brutalised him. Very unsettling stuff! Other than that, it’s just a sort of scattershot musing on the nature of ageing, and anxieties about the inevitability of irrelevance.”

You’d be forgiven for assuming this is the kind of subject matter that could only come from the mind of a psychopath, but it’s the dark humour that pervades this track that stops it from venturing into overly grisly territory, with lyrics like ‘I dream of Springsteen/ Swallowed by flame/ I dream of Springsteen on that funeral pyre/ Going ohh, I’m on fire’  sung in Crawford’s deadpan baritone. Underpinned by reverb heavy piano chords, the simple melody and instrumentation allow the lyrics to take centre stage. For anyone who needs a little dark humour to get them through these dark political times, this is the perfect track to start with. Enjoy.*

*Just don’t tell Bruce.


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