John Denver . Don't Close Your Eyes, Tonight (Lyric Video) - YouTube

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About the song

John Denver’s Don’t Close Your Eyes, Tonight. Now that’s a song that takes you back, doesn’t it? Released in 1985 on the album Dreamland Express, it arrived at a time when Denver’s career had reached a kind of crossroads. The folk-pop pioneer who had dominated the charts in the 70s with his sunny disposition and anthems of nature and exploration was finding a new sound.

Dreamland Express itself was a bit of a departure, with a more synthesized, pop-oriented production compared to Denver’s earlier acoustic-driven work. Don’t Close Your Eyes, Tonight reflects this shift. But beneath the electronic sheen, Denver’s core strengths – his heartfelt vocals and relatable storytelling – still shine through.

The song paints a poignant picture of a love that feels unrequited. The narrator confesses his deep affection for someone who, despite offering tenderness, seems emotionally distant. The lyrics, “Well you can lie so close to someone and still feel alone,” capture that heartbreaking paradox of physical intimacy lacking true connection.

Denver’s signature earnestness is evident in the chorus, where he pleads, “Don’t close your eyes tonight.” This isn’t just a romantic plea; it’s a desperate desire for genuine emotional connection. “Look at me and see how many times I cried for you.” The vulnerability in those lines is palpable. He’s not afraid to lay bare his pain, hoping it might spark a reciprocal vulnerability in his lover.

Don’t Close Your Eyes, Tonight might not be one of Denver’s biggest hits, but it’s a song that resonates with anyone who’s ever loved someone who couldn’t fully return that love. It’s a testament to Denver’s enduring ability to connect with listeners on an emotional level, even as his sound evolved.

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Whether it’s with the folk-tinged ballads of his early career or the more pop-infused works like this, Denver’s music consistently explores universal themes of love, loss, and longing, making it timeless and cherished by generations of fans.

Video

Lyrics

“Don’t Close Your Eyes Tonight”

There’s a tenderness that I feel, very real you see. I can feel your body stir, so deep within.
Let it be an act of love tonight, completely. Let me ask of you one thing:
Don’t close your eyes tonight. Just look at me, and see how many times I cried for you.
Don’t close your eyes tonight. Let it be me, not just a fantasy, let it be me tonight.

You can lie so close to someone and still feel all alone.
Although I’ve heard you say you love me so many times.
When you give me love so beautiful and tender, someone else is in your mind.
Don’t close your eyes tonight. Just look at me, and see how many times I cried for you.
Don’t close your eyes tonight. Let it be me, not just a fantasy, let it be me tonight.

Sorry if I cry, feelings run so deep.
Many is the time when I wake up and find I’ve been crying in my sleep.
Look me in the eye, tell me what you see,
I’m the one who loves you, I’m the one who needs you, make this one for me.

Don’t close your eyes tonight. Just look at me, and see how many times I cried for you.
Don’t close your eyes tonight. Let it be me, not just a fantasy, let it be me tonight.
Don’t close your eyes tonight. Just look at me, and see how many times I cried for you.
Don’t close your eyes tonight. Let it be me, not just a fantasy, let it be me tonight.

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