You can dream, be a dreamer, or even be dreamy while having good dreams or bad dreams. Dreams are analogous with the things we want or wish for, but aren’t necessarily a wish in and of themselves, not to say they aren’t what we wish for – which sometimes they are – but put more simply and maybe even more universally understood, dreams are a non-reality. You can be nothing but a dreamer, believing in your daydreams while weaving them together and building them with kisses, that’s all you really have to do because dreaming is free and the sweet ones are made of this. Dreams are anything we want them to be… They’re our dreams, and the fun part is they often aren’t nearly as real as wishes.
“Daydream” by The Lovin’ Spoonful
Released in 1966, Daydream reflected the easy-breezy sentiment of the era. Written by the bands singer John Sebastian (the same guy who sang the theme to Welcome Back Kotter), Daydream made it to the #2 position in the Summer of 1966.
“Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac
In 1977, Fleetwood Mac released their album Rumors, and Dreams – written by Stevie Nicks – went all the way to #1 (Fleetwood Mac’s only song to reach #1). Ironically, the song is almost as abstract as dreams themselves, although somehow seemingly tainted with a feeling of yearning and remorse.
“All I Have To Do Is Dream” by The Everly Brothers
On June 2, 1958, All I Have To Do Is Dream made history becoming the only single to reach #1 on all of the Billboard charts simultaneously. Featuring the great Chet Atkins on guitar, All I Have To Do Is Dream evokes a specific sentiment, although the listener is left wondering if the subject (a girl) is real or imagined.
“Dreaming” by Blondie
This tune was co-written by Debbie Harry (ahhh… Debbie), and charted at #2 in the UK. Probably a little too punk for the US charts, it didn’t do so well, but remains a Blondie classic. Of all the poignant lyrics in this interesting song (and there are several), to me, the standout is that “dreaming is free”.
“Daydream Believer” by The Monkees
Gotta love The Monkees. This recording has a funny little opening with dialogue between singer Davy Jones and the producers/band. Another #1 Billboard hit, I’ve listened to this one a few dozen times before adding it to the list, and, admittedly, I still have no clue what it’s about. All I know is that if The Monkees say so, it’s okay to believe in daydreams.
“A Kiss To Build A Dream On” by Louis Armstrong
Recorded by Armstrong in 1951, this tune reached popularity again decades later on the soundtrack of Sleepless In Seattle. Satch’s performance on this tune is – as always – impeccable, and evokes not just the dream concept, but the suggestion of help from imagination, makes the dream come true.
“Dream Weaver” by Gary Wright
With it’s ‘dreamy’ intro, Dream Weaver -written by Wright – was inspired by a book given to him by George Harrison, and also rumored to have been influenced by the John Lennon song God. Possibly one of the most overused songs for dream sequences in movies and television, Dream Weaver is likely the most dream-associated tune on this list.
“Dreamer” by Supertramp
Definitely dream oriented (the title alone qualifies it), and a song I’ve always liked, but, here now compiling this list and attempting to dissect lyrics of each, this one seems the most perplexing. Like the tune a lot, always have, but not a clue what it means (I could take a stab at it, but I’m not that insightful at deciphering hidden meanings).
“Dream On” by Aerosmith
Written by Steven Tyler, in his own words he describes the song being “about the hunger to be somebody”. Dream On clearly epitomizes the dream as a concept – a yearning desire that is achievable – it’s lyrics being some of the most universally relatable of any song on this list – “Dream until your dreams come true”.
“Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)” by The Eurithmics
Co-written by Annie Lennox and released in 1983, the strange and bizarre music video lends to the “dreaminess” of this tune, although, like many of the other songs on this list, the lyrics are abstract and unrelated – much like dreams themselves.
“I’ve Got a Pocketful of Dreams” by Bing Crosby
Perhaps the most poignant song on the list, this tune was a depression-era release, and likely spoke volumes to the masses out of work and/or in bread lines at the time. Truly uplifting and inspiring, it’s one of Bing’s hidden gems, and a morsel of a time gone by.
“A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes” by Cinderella
Okay, so here’s my sappy one, and the one I like most. Using the word “dream” in the metaphorical sense of desires that can, as the lyric promises, “come true”, and hence tying the dream and the wish together. No surprise really, as wishes and dreams are a recurring Disney theme, although innocent and child-like, still relevant to all ages.
It was the first song on this list that stuck in my head (The Lovin’ Spoonful’s ‘Daydream‘), and it spiraled from there. As always, I’m certain there are some good ones I missed, but these are a dozen really good ones (It was difficult to keep the list to just twelve). For the record, I left off “California Dreamin” because it was too specific, and I see nothing “safe and warm” about L.A. I also left off John Lennon’s “Dream #9” because, well, it’s just a bad song in my humble opinion – and that’s coming from a die-hard Beatles fan. If you ‘dream’ up any more, be sure to leave them in the comment section below. In the meantime… Sweet dreams everyone!
Cutting Edge @ September 19, 2011