I first heard Stars’ ‘Sleep Tonight’ on a mixtape made for an ex-lover. That ex-lover wasn’t mine, so all I could do was imagine the feelings that resulted in this track earning a place on this mix, which in itself was fun.
To listen to, ‘Sleep Tonight’ sounds equal parts hopeless and miserable. It gives a vibe that makes it perfectly clear why this could be on a breakup CD, so for the longest time, I would listen to this song, among others, while flirting with my misery, trying to make sense of it.
Eventually, curiosity got the better of me and I decided to look into the track a little deeper and work out what it’s exactly about. Of course, that’s when I discovered that this song doesn’t really belong on a breakup CD, unless you really were into getting head.
See, the song, while relishing in its slow, sad demeanour, is predominantly about sex. Look at the lyrics beforehand, and it reads as some beautifully-worded poem, but read it again with the idea of oral sex in your mind, and suddenly it makes a lot more sense.
While you could accuse me of protecting any sexual insecurities I may have onto my investigation of the song’s meaning, it’s worth noting that Stars themselves stated the song was written about sex. So, unless you really, really enjoyed being beneath your partner’s belly, I don’t see how this song fits as a breakup track, at least after dissecting the lyrics.