Wake Up
By: Beck Hansen
Written by: Beck Hansen

Versions:
  1. Wake Up
  2.  
 
Lyrics:
Wake Up [Version (a)]:

We're gonna wake up and see the sun
Wake up, oh let me wake up
Let me shake off the dust from my hands
?? it could be a mess
Casting a light with crooked hands
Ride into darkness like a long lost believer
And I'm gone, yes I'm gone
Sometimes I get so lost that I know I'm running wrong

Won't you save me?
Won't you save me?
Won't you save me?
I'm not at home
Change me
Won't you change me?
Rearrange my design
My design

And God's gonna save my soul
Now God's gonna save my soul
I turn up the bottom of the world with eyes open
And I'm gone, yes I'm gone
I get so lost sometimes that I know I'm running wrong
I get so lost that I know I'm running wrong
And I'm gone, yes I'm gone
I'm gone, yes I'm gone
Oh I'm gone, yes I'm gone

Yes I'm a long gone
I'm a long gone
I'm a long gone daddy in the USA
I'm a long gone daddy in the USA
I'm a long gone daddy in the USA

Sometimes I get so lost that I know I'm running wrong
 
The Song:

"Wake Up" is a song Beck performed twice in September, 2013. Both times were at Station To Station events--a traveling train festival across the USA that Beck helped set up with artist Doug Aitken. Beck headlined two of the stops. Beck said that this song was "made up for this show."

Performed on stage with a full soul/gospel choir, the song is passionate and vivid one. These do seem to be some of Beck's more gospel-y lyrics, referring to light and dark, being saved, God. At a more basic level, the song is not far from Morning Phase and its overarching themes of finding hope in the darkness (seeing light from the dark, morning from night). In other words, waking up.

The "long gone daddy" part is a reference to Bruce Springsteen's "Born In The USA," though it also goes back to Hank Williams.

Whether Beck ever recorded "Wake Up" or not is as yet unknown. I believe it to have been written post-Morning Phase (though performed prior to its release), so likely was not recorded for that. The song did end up in the US copyright database, leading me to think the live version might be released on the Station To Station soundtrack/film, but that has not arisen yet (as of 2017). At the very least, there was probably a quick demo made for the band and choir to learn it. I really loved the songs Beck did with the gospel choir, and hope one day they show up on some of his recordings. (The other two new songs along with this were "Everlasting Nothing" and "Free Me.")
 
Live:

Played live 2 times:
Earliest known live version: September 24, 2013
Latest known live version: September 26, 2013