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  1. I See Pictures

A dear friend of mine built a playhouse for his two granddaughters. To my eye, it is a gorgeous expression of skill and love. I immediately wanted to write a song about it, but I couldn’t find a good “way in.”

Then, more recently, another dear friend told me about a 3-year-old girl who had just developed conscious awareness of her dreaming, though she didn’t call it that. Instead, she asked her grandmother, “When you sleep at night, do you see pictures?” And just like that, I had my way in.

And so, “I See Pictures” is sung from the perspective of a young girl whose granddad promises to build her a playhouse. She dreams about that, and about all the things she will do in the playhouse. In so doing, she begins to celebrate the power of dreams as they lead to an even stronger and eternal bond with her grandparents.

Once I had these two inspirations—the playhouse and the young dreamer—this song just poured out of me. Moments like this make me realize how incredibly fortunate I am to have such inspiration in my life.

Lyrics

(When I Sleep at Night) I See Pictures

When I sleep at night, I see pictures
Of Grandad with pinewood in his hands
He’s building me a playhouse that will be my castle
And I will be the princess of the land

And all the good people will come to my castle
With my little sister for tea
There’ll be cakes made by Gran, the best in all the land
That’s why Gran and Grandad are special to me

When you sleep at night, do you see pictures
Of castles and princesses like me?
Or is your sleep just dark, no meadowland no lark?
I wonder just how sad those nights must be

How lucky I am to see pictures of Gran
And magic birds that join me while I play
In the house that I dream of built with Grandad’s love
A love that will stay with me every day

When the sun finally falls over my playhouse
I wish that I could stay there for the night
But then Granny calls, now it’s bedtime
She tucks me in and says, “Princess, sleep tight”

No matter where they go, I will always know
Gran and Grandad’s love will be close to me in bed
That love I can keep because when I sleep
I can see their pictures in my head

I love all those pictures as I lay sleeping
Showing me a world that’s made for me
And with all those pictures I am hoping
This just might be the way the world could be

My Mom says I’m dreaming
And those pictures are fleeting
They’ll be gone in the morning when I wake
But I don’t believe her
Though hers may leave her
I will keep the castle Grandad makes

When I sleep at night, I see pictures
Of Grandad with pinewood in his hands
He’s building me a playhouse that will be my castle
And I will be the princess of the land

© Gary Poole 2019