Oooh, Dream Weaver,Sometimes there's someone who can shape his dreams into whatever he wants - or shape your dreams, for that matter. They can send you into Your Worst Nightmare. They can trap you in a Dream Within a Dream, or help you resolve something in a Vision Quest. They can even kill you in your dreams. They can be villains or heroes, but dreams are their domain. They are a Dream Weaver. Sometimes they can give prophetic dreams. Sometimes a means of communication. Those who bring their dreams into the physical world are either Masters Of Illusion or Reality Warpers, depending on whether they actually change things or just make it look like so. Compare Dream Walker, contrast Dream Stealer. Not to be confused with the web development application by Adobe Systems.
I believe you can get me through the night!
Oooh, Dream Weaver,
I believe we can reach the morning light!
I believe you can get me through the night!
Oooh, Dream Weaver,
I believe we can reach the morning light!
— Gary Wright, "Dream Weaver"
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Anime and Manga
- Paprika revolves around the rogue use of Dream Weaver powers.
- In Slayers: Perfect, when Lina travels to an island she's greeted in her dream and later contacted this way again by one of its magic-using inhabitants who has a request for her.
- CLAMP seems to have quite the Author Appeal for these charas. Here is a list:
- The Dream card from the anime of Cardcaptor Sakura, which is powerful enough to temporarily trap Sakura in a dream about the future (and Syaoran has to use a LOT of his magic to counter the spell with the Time Card) and later to give her the first hints of Eriol's actual role.
- The dream seers of X/1999: Kakyou, Hinoto, Kanoe (only in the TV series, in the rest she's more of a Dream Walker), and Kotori
- Also, it's revealed that the deceased Hokuto Sumeragi possessed a similar hability, though at a much lower degree; it's hinted that she can only pull this when she's asleep (the others can do it when awake too), and she can enter others's dreams but her influence on them is quite limited. This allows her and Kakyou to meet and fall in love, despite never seeing each other in the real world. It ends in tears.
- Actually, Hokuto's twin brother Subaru already showed this skill in Tokyo Babylon. While his speciality was traveling to the subconscious of a catatonic person like he did to "wake up" Kamui after Fuuma's Face–Heel Turn and Kotori's horrifying murder, in the original TB series he pulled a dream weaver stunt to aid Midori, a girl who had been traumatised due to being raped and later harassed, thus she fell into a deep sleep to protect herself. And she was his Forgotten Childhood Friend.
- The main character from Yumegari, Tatsumi Hojyou. It's actually her family tradition, inherited from her dead parents: her work is to watch over the dreams of other people, and intervene if they're dangerous to the dreamers themselves. Once her mom and dad kick it, Tatsumi sets out to seek for her "destined person" and partner, a man named Kyousuke Kaga who also fits in this trope and lives in Tokyo...
- Several characters in Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle, most prominently Tomoyo.
- The dolls of Rozen Maiden are capable of entering people's dreams. Suiseiseki is particularly skilled at it, and plays a large part in helping Jun sort out his unconscious thoughts and emotions. Her artificial spirit is even called Sui Dream to reflect that.
- One of the few powers that the youkai Kagura properly retains in Ayakashi Koi Emaki is this. He uses it to go into the dreams of Miko, his Kid with the Leash.
- Dream/Morpheus from The Sandman, of course. The Norse gods even call him by this particular title and he used to be the page image.
- John Dee, aka Doctor Destiny, an enemy of the Justice League of America. The device that allowed him to manipulate dreams, the Materioptikon, was later shown to have been based on Dream's ruby. He was also the first major Arc Villain in The Sandman, serving as the Evil Counterpart to the title character.
- Nightmask from The New Universe and newuniversal. In the former, he's a psychotherapist who uses his power to assist people; in the latter, she's a Japanese-American girl who can now manipulate the "Superflow," the space everyone goes to while dreaming.
- Nightmare from Marvel Comics. Morpheus was even partially based on him, visually. The one being he fears above all others, even Doctor Strange, is Gulgol, a monster that never sleeps.
- Hack/Slash has an arc about a Creepy Child who kills people in his dreams.
- Necronauts: When Harry Houdini and H.P. Lovecraft journey into the dream dimension, Lovecraft finds that Houdini is already a very experienced dreamer who doesn't need his advice on how to shape the dream.
- Anderson: Psi-Division: Anderson has learned how to employ lucid dreaming to shape her dreams to her own liking, even using it to kick Judge Death out of her mind for good.
- Child of the Storm, Dream/Morpheus of the Endless is mentioned every now and then.
- In the Darkwing Duck fanfiction, Negaverse Chronicles, the Friendly Four have an encounter with the Sandman, who sends them into their worst fears.
- In The Equestrian Wind Mage, Luna maintains this ability from canon. Unfortunately, Dethl can also do this, and aside from what he does with it, he can also apparently counter Luna's own usage, as well as her ability to foresee events in dreams.
- The movie Dreamscape, which involves a villain that can kill people with their own nightmares and the hero, who eventually does the same thing to the villain.
- The Golden Child. Sardo Numspa and his minions enter Chandler Jarrell's dream and Numspa controls it to give Jarrell a scary time, including burning his arm so he'll remember the experience.
- This is the daily trade of the Extractors in Inception. They create a custom dream for their target which hopefully gets them to spill some closely guarded secret. When the dreamer wakes up, the whole dream will fade, but the extractors remember everything they saw and learned.
- Particularly Ariadne, whose job was to build intricate mazes and settings into the dream in order to confuse Fischer's subconscious.
- Freddy Krueger from A Nightmare on Elm Street, who was inspired by the Gary Wright song "Dream Weaver." The dreams Freddy creates are nightmares that can kill you, with any damage done in the dream crossing over into the real world. The only way to escape the nightmare is to wake up.
- Twice Upon a Time revolves around a plot by the head of the Murkworks (the land of bad dreams) to trick two citizens from Frivoli (the land of pleasant dreams) to helping him bring about endless nightmares for the folks in the Land of Din (our world).
- In Hellraiser: Bloodline, demoness Angelique visits John Merchant's dreams as a mysterious dame to tempt him, going so far as to make out with him at one point.
- In John Carpenter's Prince of Darkness, an unknown agency from the future sends a creepy warning message to the research team using tachyon beams. The message comes to them in their dreams, since the agency can only reach them via their subconscious.
- In Darby O'Gill and the Little People, King Brian comes to Katie and Michael in their dreams. The viewer doesn't see what they see, only King Brian talking to the couple while they're asleep and their eyes are closed.
- Mune, the titular character of Mune: Guardian of the Moon, has the ability to calm sleepers and help push nightmares away. He considers it a bit of a booby prize powerwise, but as it turns out, when he enters the Land of Dreams, it effectively makes him all-powerful.
- Rise of the Guardians has a benevolent example in the Sandman, who creates dreams that allow children to keep believing in magic, which has the effect of making magic real for them. It also has a malevolent example in Pitch Black, the Boogeyman, who corrupts all of Sandy's dreams into nightmares in order to get kids to stop believing in the Guardians and start believing in himself.
- Hiresha from the Lady of Gems is a very gifted one.
- The high spirits, both light and dark, are all dream weavers in Astral Dawn. They used their immense psychic power to create the worlds they inhabit. The fact the astral plane is a higher dimension of energy and thought is what made these acts fairly easy.
- A spirit's personal pocket dimension is called a dream realm in Averya.
- The same thing is called a nightmare realm in Nazyra.
- The Dromes of Discworld are like spiders in that they spin dreams instead of webs. If you eat the food in the dream you are trapped until your death, when you will be eaten. They have to wait some time since they have no teeth.
- A number of people in The Wheel of Time do this; in fact, there's an entire Dream Land known as Tel'aran'rhiod where dreamers interact with each other. Notably, although it's possible to dreamwalk into someone else's dreams, the dreamer has a great deal of control over the intruder, so any dream weaving has to be done with extreme caution.
- The title of a class of people in The Age of the Five trilogy is "Dreamweaver." Interestingly, while they have the power to influence dreams, their primary function is healing.
- In Lawrence Watt-Evans' The Legends of Ethshar series, some wizards can, for a fee, organize dream messages.
- Charles Render in Roger Zelazny's "He Who Shapes"/The Dream Master is a psychotherapist whose therapy consists of influencing his patients' dreams.
- In Anne Bishop's Ephemera Duology, it's implied that Incubus and Succubus can manipulate the dreams of others, mainly the Erotic Dreams, but anything with a strong emotional impact will do.
- Taen of Janny Wurts' The Cycle of Fire trilogy is actually called a "dreamweaver", but she has a myriad of psychic powers that extend beyond dreams.
- In Ryan Graff's The Fires of Affliction, the cult leader known as the Crowning Star has the ability to influence others' thoughts and dreams. At the end of the first book in the trilogy, the Star uses this ability to trap the hero in a dream of perfect happiness, from which he has no will to escape.
- In The Shamer Chronicles by Danish author Lene Kaaberbøl, this ability is called "the Serpent's gift".
- Widespread in Labyrinths of Echo. One sequel tells about "Masters of the Perfect Dreams" for a modest price making limited-use pillows with the specific dream wanted by the client. It was legal in Echo even during the strictest limitations on magic and there's a whole guild. The protagonist was visited by a few mages this way. Starting with acquaintance while still living in his (and presumably ours) world and then hiring by his chief. Who as a Professional Killer personally slain about a half of King's enemies during the civil war and later reminisced royal habit of giving such secret decrees, er, friendly requests in dream visits:
Though the old King always paid for the work in waking life. One have to give him credit.
- Telepaths in The Whole Man, by John Brunner, can set up shared dreams in a small group. They're called catapathic groupings (a Portmanteau of "cataleptic" and "telepathy"), because nobody involved, including the telepath, is aware of what's going on in the real world, and
it can't be broken from the insidenobody wants to leave. Treatment involves another telepath forcing his way into the grouping and mucking it up so badly that the telepath has no choice but to wake everyone up.
- Wicked Lovely: Rae can do this; she's referred to as a dreamwalker but it's esencially the same thing. She has been guiding Ani through dreams since childhood, almost destroys faerie by giving Sorcha a dream in which she can see her son, Seth -which causes her to make Rae ensure she never wakes, and it is through her visiting Devlin's dream that him and Ani are able to save Sorcha and thus faerie, and form the 'shadow court' to balance Sorcha's high court.
- Devlin and/or Ani also has this ability to a far lesser extent, as they make out in a dreamscape so that she doesn't drain his energy the way she would in reality.
- Rae also 'wove' Niall and Irial's dream selves together, which given Irial's eventual death from Bananach's stabbing him means that he might get this ability as well, and so in a way cheating death, but that could just be the fandom's deNIALL kicking in.
- The title character in Roald Dahl's The BFG essentially cooks dreams, stores them in jars, then uses a sort of trumpet to blow them into children's ears at night. As opposed to other giants, who simply eat the children.
- The mages in Mirror Dreams can create worlds that respond to their mind - dreams or nightmares. However it takes a lot of resources, time and paperwork.
- The Silmarillion describes the Vala Irmo (also often called Lórien, after the gardens where he lives) is said to be the master of dreams and visions. The fact that he is the brother of Mandos (the Vala who is almost perfectly able to see the future) is probably the source of prophetic dreams in Arda.
- Robert D. San Souci's story Circus Dreams, is a cruel Deconstruction of this power. A bullied and lonely boy finds a box containing the mummified body of a demon. Said demon forms a psychic link with the kid, and soon he has the ability to kill people with his dreams. These powers, however, only make his life worse, he's wracked with guilt, and the story ends with him turning the power on himself.
- In Jasper Fforde's Well of Lost Plots, Aornis.
- Wild Cards. The Ace named Revenant could send dreams to a sleeping person or even enter their dreams.
- Wyrm of The Book of the Dun Cow can use dreams to communicate with the animals aboveground, tempting or harassing them.
- In the Majipoor Series, both the Lady of the Isle of Dreams and the King of Dreams have the power to send dreams to any of Majipoor's inhabitants.
- In M.C.A. Hogarth's Paradox Universe the telepathic psychotherapists Jahir and Vasiht'h specialize in (and practically invented) dream therapy.
- In Rebecca Lickiss's Eccentric Circles, Figwort uses dust on Piper to trap her in an obviously symbolic dream. He appears too, but she can scare him off with the dust that still is in the dream room of her house.
- In Vampire Academy, Adrian Ivashkov, Robert Doru, and Sonya Karp all demonstrate the ability to enter the dreams of other people and shape them.
- Janet The Bunny Queen from Rosemary Wells's "Voyage To The Bunny Planet" series. Has the ability to enter through any sleeping chil....bunnies dreams (Mostly if they have a bad day) and always bring them to her home planet "Bunny Planet" where the bunny she brought with them. Heads into the door where she tells them "This is the day that should have been" where depending on the bunny would visit their dream which is very peaceful and happy compared to what happened to them previously. She also has the ability to fly instead of walking.
- While he doesn't seem to create them, Vilhelm from Myth-ing Persons has the job title "Dispatcher of Nightmares", and spends much of his time monitoring the bad dreams of people from other dimensions.
- In the Dreamblood Duology, Sharers and Gatherers both weave dreams in order to perform their duties. Sharers use dreamichor to shape the dreams of their patients and use those dreams as a way to heal, while Gatherers shape pleasing final dreams for those departing into Ina-Karekh for good.
Live Action TV
- In the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Nightmares," a little kid in a coma can bring nightmares to life. In "Restless," the First Slayer manages to trap most of the Scoobies in their nightmares.
- Game of Thrones: The Three-eyed Raven turns out to be a real person who is communicating with Bran and Jojen this way.
- Heroes featured Sanjog, a mysterious boy who could travel through Mohinder's dreams and gave him cryptic messages.
- Technically, the boy's power was that people in distress would astrally project themselves via their dreams to him and ask him for advice. What kind of a lame power is that?!
- Imagine if he was a therapist though. The ability to be on the scene and in a person's head when they're in distress? That power's not lame, it's just limited. That boy could easily grow up to be a one hell of a Manipulative Bastard by taking advantage of people with his power.
- Matt's father Maury (and, it is implied, Matt, if he learns to harness it) can induce waking dreams, hallucinations, whatever you want to call them, and Molly accordingly dubs him The Nightmare Man.
- Matt HAS harnasssed this power by Volume 4. He creates a hallucination of he and Daphne being killed to fool a random Mook, as well as trap Sylar in a dream and force him to believe he is Nathan Petrelli.
- Technically, the boy's power was that people in distress would astrally project themselves via their dreams to him and ask him for advice. What kind of a lame power is that?!
- An episode of the TV series version of Honey, I Shrunk the Kids had the daughter use her father's dream portal to enter a dream dimension and help her get over school anxieties that were manifesting as her nightmares. Morpheus gets pissy about mortals messing with dreams and attempts to trap the entire family in an endless nightmare. The daughter responds by dreaming up a giant magic alarm clock, taking it back into the real world, and waking up everyone on earth all at once, grievously wounding Morpheus and freeing her family.
- The Supernatural episode "Dream a Little Dream of Me" has a substance that allows one to do this.
- One mortal man in Charmed, is a scientist that somehow developed a non-magical method to enter dreams and kill people in them, Your Mind Makes It Real making this actually lethal. He was an Evil Cripple that used it to take petty vengeance on any women he believed spurned his advances.
- In the Doctor Who episode "Amy's Choice", the Doctor, Amy, and Rory are trapped in a dream. The man keeping them there introduces himself thus: "If you're the Time Lord, then you can call me the...Dream Lord." Of course, both the dream and the 'real world' are All Just a Dream, and it was simply a manifestation of the Doctor's darker side, but it looks like this for the first half. And several years later, the 2014 Christmas special included a species of aliens that weave a Lotus-Eater Machine for their victims as they eat their brains.
- Kamen Rider Double gives us the Nightmare Dopant, one of the show's Monsters of the Week.
- The dark fae Mares from Lost Girl have the power to inflict nightmares on people in order to feed off their fear.
- A major arc of the 1966-1971 Gothic soap opera Dark Shadows was The Dream Curse. The witch Angelique, in an effort to return the curse of vampirism to her recently cured lover-turned-nemesis Barnabas Collins, cast a spell which caused various people in Collinsport to have a nightmare. The first person to have the dream would be compelled to tell the next person in the chain about said nightmare. The person told would then have the same dream with an added twist, so on and so on, until the curse reached Barnabas and caused him to once more become a vampire.
- The title character of Garth Marenghis Darkplace describes himself as this in the opening sequence.
Mythology and Folklore
- In Changeling: The Lost, all changelings have the ability to willingly enter their own dreams or the dreams of others they have a pact with, perceive the dream with perfect clarity, and even alter its contents. The True Fae also have this quality, and... well, it's not pretty.
- Dungeons & Dragons has the arcane spell Dream and its variant Nightmare—the first allows to send a message the recipient will remember upon waking, second causes restless sleep and some damage.
- The psionic power Dream Travel, the epic spell Lord of Nightmares (no relation), and similar abilities.
- The Ravenloft setting has The Nightmare Court, a group of unique beings who like to enter people's dreams and feast on their fears
- In Planescape, the Wall of Color between the Deep Ethereal and Border Ethereal is also known (less widely) as the Veil of Sleep: those who instead of passing through the Veil find a way to enter into it visit the dreamscapes of whatever plane it envelops. Not that a lot of people care to bodily wander in strangers' dreams. That's where effects like Dream Travel or Nightmare work. It lies between the Prime or other specific plane and the protomatter-laden mist of Ethereal plane, that is "what may become". The kicker is that it works both ways — sometimes dreamscapes rupture, spilling the contents on the Ethereal side where anything the dreamer imagined works like magical illusions. Including a chance to become real, no matter how crazy its properties are.
- The quori, nightmare spirits from the Eberron setting's Dream Land, can do this. Along with their broader repertoire of Psychic Powers, it's one of their most powerful tools for manipulating mortals.
- In Nomine. When humans dream they create dreamscapes in the Marches on the Ethereal Plane. Angels and demons can enter these dreamscapes and affect them (and the human inside them).
- Both Wraith: The Oblivion and Orpheus have Phantasm, a set of abilities which, among other skills, makes it possible for ghosts to interact with, reshape, or travel through dreams.
- The Dreamer, one of the Villains from the "Shattered Timelines" expansion for the co-op card game Sentinels of the Multiverse, is actually a younger version of one of the hero characters (Visionary) whose psychic powers started going haywire, causing her nightmares to come to life.
- Uglydolls has Dream Bat, who has the ability to shape good dreams into becoming realities...except for donuts, because those can be bought for cheap with little hassle.
- Monster High has one in the form of Twyla, daughter of the Boogeyman, but the full-time dream weavers are the Fright-Mares, centaur creatures formed from dreams who take control of the dreams of their monster background.
- Diabolos, Terrestrial Avatar and Ruler of Dreams in Final Fantasy XI, who created an entire dreamland to escape The End of the World as We Know It. It's name? Dynamis. Didn't exactly turn out well.
- Did not turn out well indeed. The people trapped in this world eventually lost their sanity and will attack anyone who approaches them on sight. The only people who managed to stay sane were absorbed into their empathic weapons. On top of all of that, the drop rates are terrible even after being upped, meaning that even normal players can go insane if they do enough Dynamis. (Square apparently takes their tropes seriously.)
- Len, the mage-familiar/dream demon of Tsukihime, who is the one who creates the Erotic Dream (any of them) Shiki receives as thanks from Arcueid. In addition, in the sequel Kagetsu Tohya, Len is the one responsible for the endlessly repeating dream Shiki is trapped in.
- The Neverwinter Nights 2 expansion Mask of the Betrayer features Gann of Dreams, who can walk in and influence the dreams of others. The player can gain this power themselves later in the game.
- In Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri, one of the Secret Projects you can build is the Dream Twister.
- Spyro the Dragon had a hub world that was the homeland of the Dream Weaver branch of dragons. According to the manual (it's never directly addressed in the game), these dragons fly through dreams and help people with their nightmares. The world in question was bizarre enough to make one wonder if Spyro simply fell asleep towards the end of the game.
- Feynriel in Dragon Age II: As a dreamer, or "somniari," he can enter the Fade without Lyrium and exercise a certain degree of control over it — to the point that he can kill people in their dreams. This is an extremely rare power, and makes him an irresistible target for demons looking to posses him. If you let him get possessed, he becomes Freddy Krueger and starts driving people insane. If you encourage him to master his powers, he uses his gifts to help people, at one point making a bunch of would-be rapists kill each other. While they were still awake. From the other side of the continent.
- The premise of Dragon Quest VI where you correct problems in the real world and the dream world.
- Dreamweaving is a skillset available to mages in Lusternia. In the histories, Emperor Ladantine was an accomplished Dream Weaver, and used the skill for purposes of espionage and reconnaissance following his Face–Heel Turn.
- El Goonish Shive had one sorceress who made Ellen and another participant replay lives of their Alternate Universe counterparts in dreams to make them "live through" years of personal experience quickly, and slapped a message of her own on the end.
- Homestuck has the Horrorterrors. Feferi gets them to establish the dreambubbles, large spheres in space that "catch" anyone who has died in either the A or B universe. This means that not only there are thousands of versions of the trolls, including her, but also their genetic descendants and previous players of the session.
- 9th Elsewhere: Several characters; only natural as the setting for the series is a Mental World.
- Wayward Sons: Morfeaz's power. He can also erase and plant memories in people's minds, but only while they're asleep.
- Many of The Fair Folk in Roommates and its 'verse. Most proficient seem to be Jareth the Monster Roommate, and his father the Erlkönig (this guy locked the whole cast in a Lotus-Eater Machine once). The really scary part is that dream manipulation is their lesser (or perhaps Required Secondary) power Jareth is firstly and foremostly Time and Space Master in the widest sense (even people's personal time/space perception), while the Erlkönig is a manipulator of Darkness, literally and metaphorically.
- In Alice and the Nightmare, all oneironauts can use their various powers to modify different aspects of dreams. In fact, having the power is a requirement for the job.
- Boss Leader in Paranatural definitely counts. She can watch other people's dreams, communicate with them and create entire worlds for herself and other people.
- Dream Catcher from the Global Guardians PBEM Universe could manipulate dreams and bring them out of a person's head and into reality.
- The Tong of the Black Madonna in the Whateley Universe used this trope to attack the Handmaid of the Tao, since they figured she was too dangerous to attack directly.
- The final episode of Don't Hug Me I'm Scared features a lamp who tries to educate the main characters about dreams, before quickly sending them into violent nightmares.
- Freddy Krueger was parodied in The Simpsons "Treehouse of Terror" episode with a dead Groundskeeper Willy.
- Doctor Destiny appeared in the Justice League episode "Only A Dream."
- In Futurama, technological advances make it possible for advertising companies to insert product placement into dreams.
- In The Powerpuff Girls episode "Power-noia," Him manipulates the girls dreams.
- Nerissa in W.I.T.C.H. uses this power to try and kill the girls with insomnia.
- More like straight up kill them, as they could die for real if they died in their dream.
- "Moon Dreamers" from My Little Pony 'n Friends is essentially about the people responsible for giving good dreams.
- Danny Phantom had a few characters with these kind of powers. The Fright Knight was, as his name suggested, a medieval warrior who had the power to transport one into a dream-like realm based on their worst fears. There was also Nocturne, the Ghost Of Sleep, who fed on the energy of sleepers. With enough power, he had the ability to control what happened in any dream, including allowing Danny to escape his own. Finally, there was Nightmerica, a female movie monster version of Freddy Krugar that was made real by ghost magic. Though she only played a cameo, if she's indeed like the villain she's based off of (and her name gives any indication to her powers), then Danny and his friends are probably lucky to have only fought her once.
- In The Dreamstone, the title Dreamstone protects the Land of Dreams from the nightmares sent by Big Bad Zordrak, while the Dreammaker uses it to send out pleasant dreams to the Noops.
- In The Transformers episode "Nightmare Planet", the Quintessons hook a sleeping Daniel up to a machine that brings the characters and settings from his nightmares into the real world, then set them against the Autobots. The monsters were immune to real-world weapons, but Daniel manages to lucid dream and assist his friends.
- Princess Luna of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic has the power to enter the dreams of her subjects, and also control them. She does this in part to protect them from their nightmares, and also to show them what their unconscious mind is trying to deal with. In "For Whom the Sweetie Belle Toils", Princess Luna guides Sweetie Belle's dream to show her the possible consequences of her actions of the previous day.
- The episode "Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep?" sees Luna chasing a nightmare-causing monster called the Tantabus through the dreams of the Mane Six. Then when the Tantabus infects the dreams of all of Ponyville, Luna is able to pull all of the town's residents into one massive dream, where they all help fight the monster.
...Ooh, Dream Weaver, I believe you can get me through the night...