We’ll Never Be Rested: What if Parents Rewrote the Lyrics to Lorde’s ‘Royals’?

Lorde’s song “Royals” was everywhere in 2013. But my wife and I wondered, what if instead of a 17 year-old superstar, it was overtired parents of young kids who had written this song. The lyrics below are the result. My friend, singer/songwriter Lisa Hillary  recorded our lyrics and it is amazing. Listen to the track and go check out Lisa’s music.

UPDATE: Thanks to fans of the song we now have a video! Check it out.

Rested

Lyrics by Josh Stearns and Erica Carlson

I never set my alarm clock anymore
I wake up before the dawn, I get up early
And I’m not proud of my outfit
It’s three am
And the baby’s screaming

And every minute’s like diapers, Thomas, splashin’ in the bathtub
Juice stains, snack traps, screamin’ in the minivan
They don’t care, we can’t remember the last time we dreamed
But everybody’s like swaddles, white noise, sleeping with your baby
Warm milk, rocking, let them cry it out now
We don’t care, we haven’t slept in a couple years.

We’ll never be rested (rested)
Now that we have kids
That kind of luxe just ain’t for us
We gotta find a different kind of buzz
I drink my coffee (coffee), you can call me sleepy,
And baby I’ll sleep (I’ll sleep, I’ll sleep, I’ll sleep)
Let me live that fantasy.

My friends say that they have cracked the code
They sleep in to 8 am, and go to parties
And everyone who knows us knows, that were losing it
We look like zombies.

And every minute’s like diapers, Thomas, splashin’ in the bathtub,
Juice stains, snack traps, screamin’ in the minivan,
They don’t care, we can’t remember the last time we dreamed
But everybody’s like swaddles, white noise, sleeping with your baby
Warm milk, rocking, let them cry it out now
We don’t care, we haven’t slept in a couple years.

We’ll never be rested (rested)
Now that we have kids
That kind of luxe just ain’t for us
We gotta find a different kind of buzz
I drink my coffee (coffee), you can call me sleepy,
And baby I’ll sleep (I’ll sleep, I’ll sleep, I’ll sleep)
Let me live that fantasy.

(Ooh ooh oh)
Our kids have so much energy
They’re runnin’ circles around me
(Ooh ooh oh)
So you’re sleeping without a care
We aren’t caught up in your love affair

We’ll never be rested (rested)
Now that we have kids
That kind of luxe just ain’t for us
We gotta find a different kind of buzz
I drink my coffee (coffee), you can call me sleepy,
And baby I’ll sleep (I’ll sleep, I’ll sleep, I’ll sleep)
Let me live that fantasy.

….

 

Also check out this terrific rewrite of ‘Royals‘ in the voice of a newspaper curmudgeon by Adrienne LaFrance, with audio from Aaron Edwards. Actual song and lyrics here.

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224 thoughts on “We’ll Never Be Rested: What if Parents Rewrote the Lyrics to Lorde’s ‘Royals’?

  1. Pingback: Mommies Don’t Sleep Well | Caring for my Growing Nest

  2. Great re-write, the audio levels are badly off needs fixing and the fluidity of the vocals can be cleaned up a bit more, but the levels are off need to correct the gains of each track. Over all entertaining.

    • I thought this version was way better than the original which was over-produced and over auto-tuned, just like all commercially produced pop music. This was quite a bit more raw and edgy.

  3. Well I’m a Gramma not a Momma but I was a Momma of three ..ages 0 3yrs. My advice would be. (And by the way we worked too!) Put down the coffee/pc/ipod….turn off the tv. Get those babies outside in the fresh air and tire them out!!! Then everybody sleeps!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • I’m sorry, but I think you may have glossed over the reality of life in those days. My mother admits that after hearing about the issues I have with my daughters, she’s remembered so many things that she had forgotten, especially how often my brother and I wound up awake in the middle of the night. She made us go outside and play for hours every day. Didn’t help. Nightmares happen. Illnesses happen. Growing pains happen…mostly at night. And my children have a lovely way of taking turns with those things to make sure that I never get more than a week’s worth of uninterrupted sleep. I don’t drink coffee. My children don’t have time to play with computers or tablets most days. My oldest daughter is involved in 5 sports clubs at school, takes piano lessons and also makes time for 3 academic clubs. That’s the schedule she created for herself. I don’t sign her up for anything unless she asks me to. In fact, I beg her to drop some of the things from her schedule because I worry she’s going to be too exhausted. She always refuses and so we carry on. Most nights she’s admittedly tired and asking to go to bed by bedtime. And yet, she’s up an average of twice a week with nightmares, nerves about something she has to do the next day, excitement about something she’s going to do the next day, growing pains, etc. I don’t see how pushing her bedtime back when she’s tired and telling her to go outside and get herself more tired is going to magically cure those issues…especially on the days when she’s just come home from soccer practice or baseball camp or whatever and has already been active for an hour or more before we wind her down for bed. Throw in our toddler’s ongoing sleep issues (the child is convinced that she doesn’t actually need sleep…ever…and I have a hard time arguing with her because she’s usually sweet as can be), and I think it’s fair to say that the number of decent night’s sleep I’ve gotten since I became a parent have been few and far between. So you’ll have to, forgive me if I have a hard time believing my problems can all be magically cured by doing more than I already do to make sure that my children are tired at the end of the day. If it really did work for you, great. But I don’t like the way that you’re assuming those of us who aren’t able to sleep as soundly as you remember sleeping are just sedentary people who allow our children to sit around idly.

      • Fresh air and exercise are a stress free way to burn energy. Any child signed up for 8 clubs is going to be under a lot of stress and mentally, physically, and emotionally tired out. It may not be your idea to sign her up for everything but you are her parent and as the adult you can decide what you think is best for her and your family. You are right she probably is overly exhausted and stressed. No wonder she has problems sleeping at night.

    • While I appreciate your comment and respect your opinions regarding the great outdoors and its value, I don’t think you understand how much this rewrite speaks to someone like me. First, the great outdoors is COLD right now. Yesterday the high was 18 degrees and that was a heat wave compared to the 5 degrees and below zero marks we’d been heating most of the week. I’m all for outside, but sometimes it’s not workable. I’m the mother of 4 – a teen and triplets who are now 5. Two of my triplets have autism and are about 2-1/2 years behind in development and speak very, very little. Both of my girls with autism tend to sleep restlessly and get away with far less sleep than a neurotypical kiddo would. I am rarely successful at tiring my girls out before they tire me out. But hey, if you want to come over and teach me how to do it all better, you’re welcome to. I’d love the respite :-)

    • You are so write, from Grandpa who was single dad. Find physical activities and mental activities that will tire them so they will sleep when you sleep.

      • Dear People with Good Intentions Who Believe They Have the One Solution to Why Kids Don’t Sleep:

        Below is a list of reasons that I have lost sleep on account of my kids. I don’t think they have anything to do with the technology that does or doesn’t exist in my house (which wasn’t actually mentioned in the song or blog post, so it seems a bit presumptuous to assume that contemporary parents aren’t sleeping because of ipods, television, coffee, etc.), but I will let you be the judge. Incidentally, my house doesn’t have a television.

        1. Ear infections (my 14 month old has had 12–two of which occurred after the ENT specialist inserted tubes in her ears.

        2. Nightmares and night terrors (my 3 year old will sometimes scream for 30 minutes at about 2am. This wakes up everyone except her. It comes and goes in phases. A phase might last 2 weeks)

        3. RSV– a not-so-serious illness for most people, but potentially deadly for infants. Treatment is about 15 minutes with a nebulizer, every 2 hours for couple of weeks. Imagine never sleeping for more than 2 hours for multiple weeks. I got off lucky. I have friends whose babies required surgery in order for them to be able to eat and the babies were slowly starving to death for the first two weeks of their lives and the parents didn’t know why. Aside from the crying, try to imagine the anxiety that that would induce, and what that would do to your ability to sleep.

        4. Metabolism (you may have forgotten that newborns need to eat every couple of hours, and they also poop a lot and that is generally more hygienic to change them when this occurs rather than 8 hours later when it is more convenient)

        5. Object permanence and other cognitive developments (when children learn new tricks their brains sometimes get very active in the middle of the night)

        6. Teething (this is very painful. Each tooth takes a few weeks to push itself through the gums. Babies have 20 teeth). That’s a lot of nights of waking up crying.

        That is an incomplete list.
        Aside from that, it’s really hard to tell kids to go out and play nowadays. I happen to live in a neighborhood with lots of green common areas, but it sleets a lot and the sun sets at 5:30 or 6pm this time of year. It’s hard to take kids out after work and daycare for a long enough stretch to wear them out. I used to live on a busy intersection and we had fire ants in the yard. That was a dangerous environment for kids. I know Josh and his wife and their kids. They have a busy road in front of them, and a forest heavily populated with black bears on the edge of their back yard.

        The point is, please don’t assume that you have the answer to why kids don’t sleep, and even if your answer is valid in many cases, don’t assume that it is a simple idea to implement in practice. Cities look a lot different than they did when you were raising your children 20, 30, or 40 years ago, and society is different. It’s not all about consumer electronics, it’s also about zoning laws and funding for public parks that you don’t have to drive to.

  4. Pingback: Salt Lake City Doula | Weekly Roundup of Web Links | Andrea Lythgoe Doula Salt Lake City Utah

  5. Suck it up…you chose to have those brats….imagine if everyone would make a remake of a cool song to depict the challenges of their choices….it would be a mess….get over yourselves “parents”…..no one cares

    • Aren’t all songs written about the challenges of people’s choices? Love, heartbreak, drinking, playing, the lives we lead, the wars we fight… isn’t that what songs are?

    • “….imagine if everyone would make a remake of a cool song to depict the challenges of their choices”
      That would be great! Laughing is an excellent coping mechanism and humor, at its best, brings people together. You can’t relate – that’s fine. Find something you can relate to and laugh already. No one is looking for pity, just a good laugh.

    • Wow. Someone is trying to have humor in regards to their choices. I’m fairly certain it was intended for fun, not to seek sympathy for staying up at night tending to their wonderful children, or in your opinion “brats”. I think their version of “sucking it up” is making a fun and silly song and going on about their day.

    • wow. you’ve totally changed my life and completely made me rethink my constant mistake of looking at my life through the paradigm of having children.

      (sarcasm. because, really, you kind of just came off as a huge jerk.)

      i certainly hope your worldview isn’t tainted by anything so silly as your life circumstances. we should all make an effort to rise above the life we live and make sure we don’t offend others by being present in our own situations. that would be tragic. it must be so freeing not to have the burden of identifying with any songs because they speak to your life situation. that’s a bliss i, alas, will never know.
      but thank you for sharing your enlightenment with us.

      all of that to say: really?

    • Well said Joe Public. I get sick of hearing parents complain about how tired they are, how they never have any money, how they cant do this or that. You make the choice to have parents, deal with the consequences of what comes with having kids! Some of us aren’t as fortunate in life to be able to have a family!

      • Why are you here watching this? Surely you must have something better to do??? Get over yourself….the song was meant to be FUNNY!

    • Suck it up? People offer more sympathy when you choose the wrong sandwich at lunch and have to suffer through every $10 bite! Can we please offer each other more compassion in this society? Yes, all of our choices have challenges and the choice to parent is just another choice in life that can be depicted in such a song. I once parodied “We’re not gonna take it,” and it wasn’t about parenting in the least…..that ok??

  6. Pingback: Parody of "Royals" – a song for the tired parent! | My Family Blog

  7. I think I got lucky not living in the US. I’ve never heard the original song before. I tried to listen to it using the link from this and just… no. Couldn’t make it through. This version is awesome though. :D

    • Please! Do it! As an act of solidarity with all those who already gave birth! Maybe when you’ve had your baby someone will do the same for you! ;-) Good luck!
      P.S. It’s amazing how little sleep you actually need to function – you’ll find out just how little soon enough, but don’t worry – there’s always coffee, and it’s a great challenge for your brain to suddenly switch into survival mode.

  8. Brilliant lyrics! I have 8 and 6 year old boys and the 6 yo still wakes up every night. He no longer comes in to us but he is like a herd of elephants going to the bathroom! We honestly haven’t slept a full night since our first was born! Love love love the song. :)

  9. The lyrics are sort of funny, but don’t match the original in meter or rhyme scheme often enough to make this truly clever. And the singing is off-key. I couldn’t make it all the way through; it was too painful. Sorry.

  10. Clever, but not difficult.

    -Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe”: Hey, I just made poo, and it was crazy, so here’s my plumber, unclog it maybe.
    -Passenger’s “Let Her Go”: Only know she’s pregnant when she starts to show.

  11. inexplicably i woke up this morning with both this song (well the original) and six little ducks stuck in my head, this version just bookends my day perfectly. thanks for the fun!

  12. Pingback: A Journal of Musical ThingsWhat If Coachella Were Programmed for Dads? » A Journal of Musical Things

  13. Pingback: We’ll Never Be Rested | The Mommies

  14. Pingback: We’ll Never Be Rested (“Royals” Cover) | Life with Katie & Brady

  15. Pingback: Favorite Links and Stories Roundup - January 10, 2014 | Dodging AcornsDodging Acorns

  16. Pingback: If you answer ‘yes’ to these two questions, have a listen. | BONNETS IN WONDERLAND

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  18. The first handful of years, the mantra was: if only I could have a good night’s sleep. By the time I did I was on to the next phase and the ones after that wishing I was back to those early days. Welcome to the parenting world. :)
    PS. It’s not all stress, there’s lots of lovely memories in between.

    • Actually, she did not write the song, but I did. I am a blacklisted/ghost songwriter who wrote songs for everyone from Aerosmith, AC/DC, INXS, Motley Crue, Nirvana, Foo Fighters, Kiss, Hole, OneRepublic, Def Leppard, U2, Queen, Faith Hill, Shania Twain, Backstreet Boys, New Kids on the Block, Blackstreet, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, to Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Pink, and to the recent set of hit makers. My songs have also been used in Broadway plays which includes Phantom of the Opera, Cats, and The Lion King. Most of the songs being released years after I wrote them. I wrote the song Royals due to the Royal family becoming a part of life in 1983 when I was 15.

  19. I may be wrong , but I think the folks who wrote the sarcastic remarks were all guys! If so, ladies, I think it makes sense that those dudes are probably guilty for shifting the responsibility of getting up at night to their wives or else they don’t have a clue about what a parent does. I am well past parenting, grandparenting & now great-grandparenting. If I had had an outlet like this as a young mom to share concerns, gripes, etc., I would have LOVED it. So glad you mommies can laugh/console each other. By the way, “this, too, shall pass.” (Remember the last month or two before the baby(ies) were born & you felt like you’d never look or feel ‘normal’ again.)

  20. It is true, parenting is exhausting and self sacrificing. One of the keys to endure when you are in the “trenches” is community. Friends that are going through the same you are. Family, grandparenst, that if they are able, give a respite to over tired families. We can live such isolated lifes and it can feel like we are the only ones living throughout this early years of parenting. We have 3 children ages 9, 6 and 4 and is a constant labour of “redirecting” their little souls to what is good. Great post!

    • Nice. I’ve had my turn at converting lyrics…it’s great fun and you did a great job. Only thing on the melody. Before posting it on You Tube as was suggested…get a harmony going on the vocal & correct the pitchy areas.

  21. Reblogged this on experiencing life now and commented:
    This is my first “re-blog” because it is a must hear for any and every parent. I just found my new favorite song, haha! The re-mixer did an awesome job! Now I’ll forever be thinking of this version when I hear the old/real one. Thanks for posting it!

  22. This is AWESOME! As a mother of two kids who are currently under the age of two AND sick, I think this is just what I needed. =) You guys are amazing. Keep it up.

  23. Love the new lyrics. I have a puppy who is on reverse hour time clock (sleep by day, play by night).One night, delirious from lack of sleep, I was in my back yard around 4 am watching him chase night bugs as I was singing….
    (to the tune of “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk )
    He’s up all night ’til the sun
    I’m up all night with this one
    He’s up all night for good fun
    I’m up all night with my puppy!!

  24. Amazing, my seven year old loves this song, I am defiantly going to start singing with these lyrics when he puts it on…

  25. This is perfect. I have three kids…ages 6, 4, and 3, and I’m perpetually exhausted. And…my six year old is obsessed with the song Royals, so this just makes it even better. I think I’ll sing her your version. Thanks for sharing!

  26. If people spent less time on the internet, they would have a lot more time for their children, and rest.
    This is not funny to me, I usually don’t leave a comment that can appear negative, however, I also very, very infrequently go to “Freshly Pressed” and so it seems to me that it’s appropriate to say how I perceive this.

  27. The Lyrics are more affective to the soundcloud musical remix. Great idea and good on you for being brave enough through the sleep deprivation to post this. New Dad, and up at 2:40am!

  28. lol, this is hilarious, spot on true! i got older kids now my oldest near a teenager, can totally relate to this back 10 years ago lol, felt like a robot on ‘programmed mode’ ! it gets better as they get older you’ll be pleased to know, the code thats cracked is has they get older you get to go bed when you want and wake up at 0730 instead of 3am and the weekends even later they as they get older let you sleep in whilst they (the kids) quite happily mess the house up lol, thankfully mine now grown out of this little errm ‘phase’ yay for me those party nights are slooowly coming back to how they was 12 years + ago i’m partying, yeah with my slowly ‘getting there’ older children oh the joys of being a parent lol, a single one in my case at that! love the video it’s awesomengly spot on true p.s- let it be a warning to all you partpeople out there hahaha those party nights come to a sudden standstill when you become a parent :) nice one lol!

  29. Pingback: “We’ll Never Be Rested” Lorde Parenting Parody | What Every Dad Should Know

  30. Lol Great Post, hysterical lyrics!
    Here’s my take! (the Kid’s a little older and the marriage ain’t what it used to be!)

    “Will I Ever Be Happpy?”

    I can only recall passion in my dreams
    I’ve hear reports of married bliss, in the movies
    But I’m damn proud of my address
    Oh, the living room, my room, decoration perfected

    But every daydream’s like
    Perfect children
    Healthy meals
    Stressless moments
    Balanced Budgets
    Happy hubbies
    Sex-filled evenings

    But I can’t care, I’m on a treadmill that just won’t stop

    But we all want is
    Cocktails
    Romance
    Loving nonstop for hours
    No bills
    Time out
    Clear blue skies and sunshine

    I can’t care, I’ve got no time to fill that dream
    And we’ll never be happy (happy)
    It don’t run in our blood
    That kind of bliss just ain’t for us, we focus on a different kind of buzz
    That kind of lux just ain’t for us, we crave a different kind of buzz
    Let me be your ruler (ruler)
    You can call me queen bee
    And baby I’ll rule, I’ll rule, I’ll rule, I’ll rule
    Help me find my fantasy.

  31. Jim Rohn was famous for saying “work full time on your job and part time on your fortune.” I think you can still apply this to your situation which is work full time on your job and part time on your craft / talent / passion which in this case writing. Whether you say you are a writer or not, you are correct.

  32. Pingback: Sleep, Oh Glorious Sleep… | Humor in America

  33. Pingback: NEVER BE RESTED – COVER OF ROYALS « BUZ'N @ 102.9 – New BUZ'N Country

  34. I love your take on this song. I’m not a parent, but I’m going to send this to two friends who are thinking about trying soon. I think they should enjoy their newlywed status a hair longer, and this might help with that. LOL

  35. Pingback: Parenting Parodies & Original Songs | Super Kawaii Mom

  36. Awesome, and I can totally relate feel like I haven’t slept in 15 + years.
    Am Sharing with all my friends who agree & love the song. And ill be go eat I’m so out of the loop I didn’t even know the was another version to this parody.
    All the way from Calgary Alberta, you rock!

  37. Reblogged this on Azure Lover and commented:
    The fuss over Lorde’s “Royals” has finally died down but think of it, what if this song was originally written by Tired Adults…lol…I’m quite sure it would have come out this way.

  38. Pingback: I Don’t Want to Be Rested | Groundswell

  39. Pingback: Ode to parenting… | living the american dream in europe

  40. Pingback: An OakeStead Production

  41. Pingback: “We’ll Never Be Rested” a New Video Parody of Lorde’s “Royals” for Overtired Parents | Groundswell

  42. Pingback: The top five ways being a mom has made me a total weirdo | Days Like These

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