"I wanted to write something about the way I wish things
would be. Again, it has dream images, but they're more like
daydreams or fantasies. It's me going, "What do I wish
I could do?" Unlike the situation in "Institution
Green," your name will be called. And everybody is in my
book of dreams. No one will be forgotten."
"The Open Hand Book - Notes on her
New Album", Musician, 1991, also published in Language
and in the Limited Edition of 99.9F° (http://www.vega.net/handbook.htm)
transcribed by Eric Szczerbinski
Int: When making the third album, did you then try to make one of those songs a radio hit as "Luka" was?
Suzanne: The most obvious one, obviously, is "Book of Dreams."
Int: That was your intention while writing it?
Suzanne: When I wrote it, it was just an interesting idea. And I thought, let's do this with the chorus. I had been listening to a lot of XTC at that point. Production. Somewhere in the back of my mind I was thinking, this will make everyone happy. Which, of course, it didn't, and it doesn't.
Int: What was it that you did to the song to make people happy?
Suzanne: You repeat the chorus a lot of times. You make it bright. You put the hooks on it. You decorate it with riffs and hooks. But even so I think my idea of what a pop song is is different than a record company's. Because they weren't sure at first what the single was going to be. I was thinking "It's obvious!" I don't think they heard it. I think it's a good song but most people seem to feel it's very obscure. And, again, it's one of those things where people say, "What did you mean by 'Book of Dreams'?" I said, "Well, 'in my book of dreams' is a phrase, like 'in my wildest dreams, in my imagination.'" That's the way I meant it. I didn't mean it as in my journal where I put my dreams that I dream at night. People think of it very literally.
Int: That's how I took it, that you were referring to an actual collection of dreams. I took it as a reference to Kerouac's Book of Dreams, which is a very faithful record of his actual dreams.
Suzanne: Someone gave me that. I read some of it. I've never really been into Kerouac, though my brother is. You know, "Tired of Sleeping" is about night dreams. "Book of Dreams" is about day dreams and the future.
"Song Talk Vol 2 #16" interview by Paul Zollo (http://www.vega.net/st1.htm)
transcription by Steven Zwanger
"One of the last songs I wrote was "Book Of Dreams'. I thought to myself "Why for Chrissake can't you write a nice song about happy things". I'm not that melancholy a person, most people who know me say I've got a good sense of humour. I think this LP is quite optimistic."
"Open House" - from Record Mirror, April 28, 1990
Suzanne on why the album is called Days of Open Hand:
"It's a line form 'Book of Dreams,' and I felt through the whole process of making the album that I was trying to receive songs and impressions. And when you tame a wild animal you approach it with your hand out like that." She opens her hand. "To me, it also meant kind of releasing the past and the future. That was the stance of it, as opposed to some of the earlier songs that were more defensive. I broke all sorts of rules for myself with this record. For the first time, I put in the major chords. And it made me happy because the songs still sounded like me, but they ahd a different texture and color than the old ones. Also, I suppose that the feeling of having met Richard [her biological father - ed.] and putting that piece from the past in its place is somewhere in there, too."
Interview: Suzanne Vega - On The Couch, the Musician by Paul Nelson
"Book Of Dreams was written at a time when I had spent a long time -about a year I guess- off the road, recovering from a previous tour. So, I was sleeping a lot. And I found that I was dreaming a lot. And so a lot of the songs on the record, Days Of Open Hand, had to do with dreams and being introspective. And this is the lead off of that album."
Suzanne Discusses Tried and TrueSuzanne Discusses Each Song on Tried and True september, 1998 http://www.suzannevega.com/about/1998/triedandtrue.htm