I Used to Have Music... Dreams?... Like This

Sunni's picture

It was so cool. I never knew when it was going to happen, nor how; so when it did, it was always amazing.

The “it” I’m being so mysterious about is very hard to describe, which is part of my mysteriosity (yes, that is totally a word). Sometimes as I drifted into sleep, my brain created musical mashups the likes of which I have never heard: one example I clearly remember blended a funeral dirge, hardcore metal, and Zydeco. This wasn’t a true mashup—the bits of music were not from extant songs, but riffs my mind created. And although they were weird, there was a sort of rightness to them that always astonished me.

I have probably forgotten what little music theory I learned, so I am not a composer by any stretch of the imagination. To have these strange almagamations come to me felt a little like I suppose Mozart or Beethoven might have felt; and they piqued my curiosity as to what was going on in the below-conscious workings of my being that such stuff percolated up when the Censors and Judges were weary. I mean, who would combine opera, country, and ska? (I feel obliged to state that I have very little experience with the latter two genres, the very last limited to just the Mighty Mighty Bosstones.) And who would hear the result and say, “That is weird as all hell, but I kinda like it”?

Thus, when I came across this YouTube vid, I literally laughed out loud in delight. This is much more structured than what I recall my head producing, but it’s the closest thing I’ve ever heard to what I tried to describe. And it is much more pleasing.

May I also point out that not one of these youthful performers is using sheet music? Color me doubly impressed.

Soooo... does anyone else want to ‘fess up about a similarly weird thing his or her brain does?


I sure never heard the 5th done like that. :) I think it might grow on me. Have to listen to it with a better sound quality than I have on the computer.

My dreams and musings don't often include actual music of any kind, or even many visuals. I am a tactile sort of person, and my dreams tend to involve mostly action and feelings instead. They are often crazy and even silly... and I almost never remember much beyond the fact that they happen.

One that comes regularly is me driving around in strange and even unearthly places, looking for something I never find. I don't have a clue what I was looking for once I wake up... and only vague memories of the driving and weird places. But these dreams are more entertaining than anything else.

I used to have some serious nightmares, but not for a long time now. The worst of those found me stark naked, climbing a steep spiral stairway with lots of other people... all of whom were clothed normally. None of them seemed to notice me, but I was always nearly hysterical and trying to cover myself. I have since related that to feelings of "exposure" and vulnerability due to all the stress I lived with then. Exit stress... exit the nightmare.

It’s a mashup

It isn’t just Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony—the other song interspersed with it is Mambo No. 5.

Dreams are such interesting things: they undoubtedly tap in to stuff we’re dealing with—or trying mightily to avoid handling—but not necessarily in recognizable ways. These days it’s very rare for me to remember a dream, which is mostly a relief but sometimes sad, because I kind of miss the crazy dreams I often puzzled over for days after having them.

How fun!

I'll have to go back and listen to that more carefully. :)


I must admit I've never dreamed or composed musical mashups like this. You're definitely way out there on the creativity bell curve. :-)

As to country and ska, I can't say I know a great deal about either genre. However, on the country side I think you might enjoy the music of Don Williams -- he has a wonderful voice and sings straight from the heart (nothing fancy or glitzy about him). On a lighter note I also like Red Knuckles and the Trailblazers, the country-swing alter egos of Hot Rize, my all-time favorite bluegrass band (one fun mashup they do is a country-swing version of Nowhere Man!). I'm even less familiar with ska, although Bob Marley was a ska musician before he became the very voice of reggae, and I really like some of his early tunes as he was transitioning from one to the other (such as Soul Rebel and High Tide or Low Tide).

Ah, so much music to explore...

Reports of my creativity are greatly exaggerated

I would like to say that some aspect of this phenomenon is based in my creativity, but it certainly never felt that way to me. Moreover, the mashups were brief bursts of musical jumble at best—probably because they were so strange that I woke up soon after each started. And they happened during a time of great upheaval in my life; I don’t think they spanned even a year.

Thank you for the music suggestions. The only country album I have listened to in its entirety—and voluntarily repeated that act—is by the Austin Lounge Lizards. I suppose some might argue that they aren’t full-on country, which I can see. There is definitely more interesting music to explore than one has time for!