I’ve been suffering from bouts of insomnia lately, so Two Low for Zero is especially meaningful to me right now. No, I’m not depressed, I’m not in a bad patch, but I just can’t sleep through the night. This has been a predicament of mine on and off for years now. Usually it has to do with my mind being too preoccupied or energized to sleep…I used to work during the wee hours of the night as a result; now, not so much. I just stare off in space with the blur of the TV (and lately Words with Friends) as my companion.
Simply (albeit not very poetically) put, insomnia sucks.
The interesting thing to me about this song is that it’s not a dirge by any means. Yes, it’s about someone going through a rough spot in life, but the percussion and tempo of the song are somewhat antipathetic to the theme. (And, lest you’ve forgotten from earlier posts, I do like such dichotomies).
I’m too low for zero
I’m on a losing streak
I got myself in a bad patch lately
I can’t seem to get much sleep
I’m too low for zero
I wind up counting sheep
Nothing seems to make much sense
It’s all just Greek to me
I understand the last line especially – you just can’t figure it out, and it is so frustrating.
Cutting out cups of coffee
Switching off the late night news
Putting the cat out two hours early
It isn’t any use
Been there, done that. You try anything and everything you can think of to get to sleep – and to stay asleep once you finally do fall asleep – but nothing seems to work. And the ripple effect of not sleeping well can be devastating in and of itself.
Enough Debbie Downer – let’s switch gears and talk about why I like this song. I really love the percussion! I would’ve thought this was Ray Cooper’s showcase, but he’s not listed on the liner notes/credits for this song. So, Nigel, if it’s you, great job!
And of course I love the piano interlude. That always makes an EJ song extra special to me.
Funny, my husband hates this song – I’m not sure why – except perhaps that he doesn’t like down in the dumps, feel sorry for yourself themes. Hey, you know, I’m not saying its one of his best songs, but it hits very close to home for me, especially in the loneliness of 3:00 am hour(s).
A Live Version (Complete with 2L40 hand motions)
The Album Version (So you can really appreciate the percussion)
Too Low for Zero (Too Low for Zero – 1983)