Wrote this song in 2011 and recorded it with Steve Shipley engineering. Just my old Nylon acoustic and my steel string acoustic and lots of harmonies. My sister Julie put the clip together for it to make me happy and it certainly did. Sometimes a hug is just the best thing in the world.
This song was the first track on the Francis and Davies album ‘Threnody’ that was recorded at Emerald Studios in Sydney in 1987 (I think) and engineered by the wonderful ears of Eric Vandersande. This song is simply about reading or making up bedtime stories for my children. I was gigging nearly every night of the week at the time so it depended on when the gig started as to whether I had time to put the kids to bed. I remember the warmth and the love very well and it was a very special thing especially on a night off.
I did a recent gig in Sydney in a duo on the back veranda of a Sports Club and my old friend Rosie asked if I would play Peaceful Dreams. I was playing with the wonderful Steve Shipley and I looked at him and said ‘Good luck with this one’.
There are a lot of chords in this one, though it sounds very simple, and definitely not one you can just lug. I think it is the only song I have written that has three suspended fourth chords in it that resolve the different segments so beautifully. I found myself getting very emotional in the last chorus and was reminded again of why I wrote Peaceful Dreams in the first place.
I remember borrowing the twelve string guitar from Greg Young for this and also remember Geoff Davies, who stayed at my place during four days of recording we had to put this album down, trying hard to sleep but could could not until he worked out the theme in the middle that leads into the second verse. I also remember when I put down the lead vocal dedicating the song to my son Robert (this one’s for you Robert) and imagining I was in that warm bedroom telling the story when I sang the song.
We hired one of the best drum machines available at the time which I had to program for this song, but having worked with some wonderful drummers over the years I have always wondered what Peaceful Dreams would sound like with a real drummer.