Home » Playlists » Top 16 Best Songs About Dreams for Your Dreamy Soul

Top 16 Best Songs About Dreams for Your Dreamy Soul

Dreams are one of life’s big mysteries. They have fascinated us for centuries with meanings applied to give them substance. It is, therefore, not surprising there are plenty of songs about dreams. Freud called them “our subconscious at work,” and whether you go along with that or not, they can’t be ignored.

Not Just While Sleeping

We have all woken up after a vivid dream that left a mark on us for a while. But there are other kinds of dreams besides the ones we have while we are asleep.

What about those dreams we have for the future? Hopes and aspirations often are the driving force behind our actions. Those are real and have nothing to do with sleep. There is more than one meaning to the word, which we shall include here in our list of songs about dreams.

There is yet another kind of dream we should mention. The nightmare. Not all dreams are happy, sometimes they can be scary as well. Freud also said a lot about those kinds of dreams. I will include one later for good measure. So let’s get started.

Dreams – Fleetwood Mac

Dreams

In my view, probably the second-best song about dreams ever recorded. Certainly one of the most popular songs dealing with dreams. But what is the best? You’ll have to wait and see. Let’s deal with Fleetwood Mac first.

This song is taken as just about everyone in the universe knows, from their “Rumours” album. To say it was recorded in an atmosphere of high tension would probably be an understatement. 

At the time of the recording, Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham were breaking up a long-term relationship. Christine and John McVie were getting divorced. And Mick Fleetwood was divorcing his then-wife, Jenny.

Contributing Factors

There were times when they couldn’t all even be together in the studio at the same time. Perhaps these were all contributing factors to what turned out to be a masterful album. Stevie wrote this song, probably about Lindsey. “There you go again, you say, you want your freedom.”

A song about a woman warning a man that loneliness can drive you mad after a love affair that has ended. Hmm. The end of a dream, perhaps? No more needs to be said.

In Dreams – Roy Orbison

In Dreams

Turning back the hands of time, Roy Orbison can sound a bit ordinary today. No special effects from the studio, nothing clever, just him and a good song. And that’s what makes this 1963 release so special.

It is a song about having a dream where you are reunited with a lost love. In his dream, he is talking with her, and for one night, she is his again. He wakes at dawn and finds it is a dream, and she is gone after all.

Have You Ever Woken Up Wishing Your Dream Was True?

It is essentially a song about missing someone. And the only place you can be with them is in your dreams. Possibly you have had the experience, and it’s not a happy feeling. Roy captured the sentiments and emotions perfectly. He wrote some very good songs, and this is one of them.

Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream – Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan's 115th Dream

Bob Dylan’s sardonic look at American society. He liked writing song lyrics about dreams. There was “Bob Dylan’s Dream” from his 1963 album, Freewheelin Bob Dylan. And then there was this six-minute montage from the 1965 album Bringing It All Back Home.

A Master Storyteller

He rambles on, changing centuries at times, to tell his story. Including commenting on 500 years of historical and literary works. And he is traversing these centuries and the wrongs, and sometimes the rights they portray. 

Looking at his lyrics, it is quite evident he could be talking about America today. Or I suppose many other countries as well. Nothing much has changed.

Princeton Professor Sean Wilentz says this song portrays a “land that is frantic, exasperating, jumbled, and irrational beyond the point of absurdity.” Bob Dylan. Storyteller and prophet.

Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) – Eurythmics

Sweet Dreams

I was never a great fan of the Eurythmics or the so-called “British New Wave.” It all seemed a bit insipid to me. However, I have included this track here more because of its success and because it represented something that was a first in recording.

Taken from the album of the same name, it was the fourth single released in 1983. It was their breakthrough song and established Stewart and Lennox as recognized artists worldwide.

Why A First in Recording?

They recorded it in a small project studio, not one of the bigger-name venues. This started a trend towards recording at home and abandoning the expensive larger studios. They proved that reasonable results could be achieved if the track and the music were simple enough. That was a first.

Daydream Believer – Monkees

Daydream Believer

This was a nice little song that came from a rather sad situation. You never know, of course, because instigators rarely tell the truth. But the Monkees were probably formed to try and answer “The Beatle Effect” in America. As if they could.

That was the sad part. Four young men of rather limited ability except for some quirky habits and a singer with a nice smile. On their first records, session musicians played the songs while some of them took lessons, including drummer Micky Dolenz.

All Doing The Wrong Things

This was interesting because UK-born Davy Jones, who had been an actor in London, was quite a good drummer where Dolenz hadn’t a clue. But Jones had the best voice and looked good, and they wanted him out front. He wasn’t the only one. None of them played the instruments they were best at. But this was “manufactured TV,” so it didn’t matter.

They had their own TV show and some quite nice singles, but Beatles? Not in a million years. “Daydream Believer” may have been the best of their singles. In fact, it was the final hit record they had.

It was written by John Stewart of the Kingston Trio, of “Tom Dooley” fame. There were a couple of cover versions, but The Monkees offering in 1967 was always the best.

The Impossible Dream – Jack Jones

The Impossible Dream

Taken from the musical “The Man Of La Mancha,” this song has become quite a standard. From a musician’s point of view, it is an interesting tune to study. Its 9/8 timing renders it worthy of closer attention.

It is a song about daring to dream, of making the impossible a reality. But, also of doing what is right, and that is an important point in this song. Could do with a few more “impossible dreamers” today, I think. A superlative performance by one of the great singers of the time.

Daydream – Lovin’ Spoonful

Daydream

First released in 1966, this was a song written by John Sebastian and was a major hit for the band. It was very much a “happy, hippy” song, but it inspired both Lennon and McCartney to try and write songs with a similar feel about them. “Good Day, Sunshine” was one of them.

It fitted the time perfectly and has since been recorded by dozens of people. It is a song about us just daydreaming. Something I should think we all do from time to time.

All I Have to Do Is Dream – The Everly Brothers

All I Have to Do Is Dream

Let’s put in a couple of quick ones. “All I Have to Do Is Dream” is one of those songs that everyone just goes “Aaahhh” when they hear it. A great song was written by Boudleaux Bryant. One of the great 50s tracks and so typical of them, with unique harmonies and Chet Atkins on guitar.

Dream Lover – Bobby Darin

Dream Lover

Let’s just stay quickly in the same 50s era. Another classic song about dreams that everyone knows. Released in 1959 and written by Bobby Darin himself, another song that is so indicative of an era of innocence and fun.

I’m Only Sleeping – The Beatles

I'm Only Sleeping

This was John at his whimsical best. It is not about being lazy or drug taking, as one commentator wrote. John liked to sleep… a lot. He likes to drift off to sleep, “keeping an eye on the world going by my window.”

Revolver was an album where the Beatles broke the mold. Their commentary on life became more defined and objective. It is a song about the often stupidity of the hectic lives some people lead. 

It’s ironic, in that the Beatles at that time couldn’t even leave a hotel room or their homes. Perhaps that is what it is really all about.

A Studio First

Another “Beatles first” in the studio was the use of the “reverse guitar.” Played and recorded with the tape machine running backward, it created a dreamy yawn that fitted perfectly. George commented later that considering his part lasted seconds; it took five hours to record.

Talking In Your Sleep – Crystal Gayle

Talking In Your Sleep

A quick delve into a bit of country music. This is “Kentucky Belle” Crystal Gayle with one of her big songs. This was released as a single from her 1978 album When I Dream

She is one of those country singers that was able to also be successful in the pop world with songs like “Don’t It Make Your Brown Eyes Blue.” It’s a song about someone else dreaming and revealing things that she may have preferred to be unsaid.

After the Gold Rush – Neil Young

After The Gold Rush 50th Anniversary

On the face of it, “After the Goldrush” doesn’t give the indication it is about a dream. It was a track from his 1970 album of the same name. It featured him on piano rather than on guitar and became one of his most popular tracks.

In this song, we see the first inclinations of Neil Young, the environmentalist. He sings about having a dream and seeing the destruction of the planet by our behavior. He also infers there will be people who want to take us “to a new home in the sun.” 

There are a few of those around today, aren’t there. It was originally written for a film that was never completed. However, it became a momentous song in his career.

I Dreamed A Dream – Les Miserables

I Dreamed a Dream

If you have seen “Les Miserables” then you will be familiar with this song. Sung by the leading character, it is a song about dreaming about hope, and a better future that is around the corner. It reminds us that even if you have nothing, you can change the way things are. A great song from a great soundtrack, with a great message from Victor Hugo’s masterpiece.

California Dreaming – Beach Boys

California Dreamin

How could you not include this? The ultimate “sunshine song” but also one that is heavy with dreams of what can be. It was written by John and Michelle Phillips of the Mamas and Papas and not the Beach Boys as some think. That quartet, of course, is well-known for it. 

It was also released by Barry McGuire, a long way before the year 2020 had arrived. So we all got to hear it before the world came crashing down.

I have included the Beach Boys version as I happen to prefer it. The song is a poke in the eye for those who dream of gaining stardom and alleged fame. It reminds us how “life in the fast lane” has its dangers.

Welcome to My Nightmare – Alice Cooper

Welcome to My Nightmare

Not every dream song is a happy one. Sometimes we get a bad one. So it is with dreams. A song from Alice Cooper’s first solo album of the same name. It was a concept album that you need to listen to as the tracks come in order. They track the experiences of Steven through his nightmares.

A solid enough album and track with a different slant from a man who has my respect for his philanthropic work in and around Phoenix.

These Dreams – Heart

These Dreams

And so we come to the end of this list of songs about dreams and, for me, the best of them all. Released in 1986, it was written by Martin Page and Bernie Taupin. Yes, him. It was offered to Stevie Nicks, but she wasn’t interested. Heart took it on with their new record label, and it became a massive hit. 

A great song; it was Nancy Wilson’s first song as a lead singer rather than Ann. And that gravelly voice? She had a bad cold on the day of the session.

A Musicians Perspective

It is an interesting song in many ways and almost feels like an anthem. The chorus is in B major, but the verses are in G# minor. The change from G# minor to its relative major of B is clever songwriting that adds an extra dimension to the chorus.

The Song?

A description of when a woman sleeps when facing problems and how she can drift into a fantasy world. It was dedicated to a good friend of Nancy Wilson, Sharon Hess, who died shortly before its release.

Looking for Music with a Message?

We can help with that. Take a look at our handy articles on the Best Songs About Ice Cream, the Best Songs about Friday, the Best Songs About the Sun and Sunshine, the Best Songs about Fighting, the Best Songs About Walking, the Best Songs About Clouds, and the Best Songs About Friendship for more great song suggestions.

And you’ll need to listen to all this music. So, check out our in-depth reviews of the Best Bluetooth Headphones Under $100, the Best Headphones for Music, the Most Comfortable Headphones, the Best Headphones with Volume Control, the Best Noise Isolating Earbuds, the Best True Wireless Earbuds, and the Best Wired Earbuds you can buy in 2023.

Songs About Dreams – Final Thoughts

So there we are, some songs that talk about dreams. I have tried to be varied, and there are dozens I had to leave off this list. It is a subject that has helped to motivate and create some great songs. And I am sure there are more to come yet.

Until next time, let the music play.

5/5 - (39 votes)
Share:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

About Corey Hoffman

Corey is a multi-instrumentalist who has played in numerous bands over the years, some good, some not so good. He has also written countless songs and recorded five albums in professional studios across America. Today he is a hobby musician but still loves the guitar after over 15 years of playing.

He considers his writing as a way to share what he has learned over the decades with younger generations ad always can't wait to get his hands on the latest gear.

He lives just outside New York with his wife Barbara and their two German Shepherds, Ziggy and Iggy.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top