Waking Light
By: Beck Hansen

Written by: Beck Hansen

Versions:
  1. Waking Light (5:00)
    Available on Morning Phase.
    Credits
    Justin Meldal-Johnsen: Bass (Electric)
    Roger Joseph Manning Jr.: Clavinet
    David Campbell: Conductor
    Joey Waronker: Drums
    Beck Hansen: Glockenspiel, Guitar (Electric), Organ, Piano, Producer, Synthesizer, Vocals, Vocals (Background)
    Jason Falkner: Guitar (Electric)
    Ben Baptie: Mix
    Tom Elmhirst: Mix
    Matt Mahaffey: Organ
 
Lyrics:
Waking Light [Version (a)]:

Waking light, your profile in shadow
Raise yourself to the morning alone
Night is gone, long way of turning
You've waited long enough to know

When the memory leaves you
Somewhere you can't make it home
When the morning comes to meet you
Lay me down in waking light

No one sees you here, roots are all covered
There's such a length to go and how much can you show?
Day is gone on a landslide a-reeling
I've seen your lamplight burning low

When the memory leaves you
Somewhere you can't make it home
When the morning comes to meet you
Rest your eyes in waking light

When the memory leaves you
Somewhere you can't make it home
When the morning comes to meet you
Fill your eyes with waking light
 
The Song:

"Waking Light" can be found on Beck's 2014 album, Morning Phase.

Beck has said this was one of a few songs that he brought to Morning Phase from an album he had worked on a few times in Nashville. That album never quite got to an end point, but he rescued some things like "Waking Light."

To some extent, I consider this the "title track" of Morning Phase. There are many themes on the album, but the idea of morning refreshing and reinvigorating after a time of darkness is a main one; it also seems to be expressed most directly here in "Waking Light."

Beck hints at the difficulties of the darkness, where you can easily lose yourself ("profile in shadow" and "somewhere you can't make it home"), and referring to it as a "landslide a-reeling." These are common Beck ideas throughout his career: where do you find hope when you've lost yourself? How to keep going? A lot of times, Beck has written about music being a savior, but here it's much more simple and basic, and focuses on those first dawning moments of hope.



 
Live:

Played live 50 times:
Earliest known live version: February 28, 2014
Latest known live version: August 10, 2015

Morning Phase tour - 2014

"Waking Light" premiered live when Beck performed it on The Tonight Show around the time Morning Phase was released. Then on the tour proper, they played it at most all of the shows (44 of the 57 gigs). For reasons unknown though, they chopped the middle instrumental and the third chorus out of the song on stage. (At first, I assumed it was for TV time constraints, but they continued doing it that way all year.) Other than that, it sounded quite nice, the warm flow of the record coming through swimmingly. Beck played the ending guitar solo too.