Katherine Kennicott Davis, sleep dreamer

I have been reading (or more accurately, hearing) an audio book by Jonah Lehrer, Imagine: How Creativity Works, 2012 by Brilliance Audio.  He brought to my attention the creativity unleashed by minds while they sleep.  His example was of Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones.  Keith woke up one morning to see a fresh cassette in his player had been completely recorded, first by “Satisfaction”, followed by 40 minutes of snoring.  Richards gave a first person account in his book, Life, Back Bay Books, 2010.   If he can compose a famous rock song while asleep, why can’t a woman write a hymn in her sleep?  So it was with Katherine Kennicott Davis.  She wrote “Little Drummer Boy”, often known as “Carol of the Drum” while taking a nap.  Like “Satisfaction”, it became a hit and has appeared in over 200 versions by many artists in seven languages.

I have never composed a song, asleep or awake, but in that twilight between the two, I have had many a creative thought.  In order to keep peace in the family, I stay put.  But sometimes I do remember a bit of the thought and translate it into words, acts, prayers, or any number of things.  Don’t let people tell you that your dreaming is rubbish.  It wasn’t for Keith Richards, it wasn’t for Katherine Kennicott Davis, and it isn’t for you.

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