What’s your favorite dream? There are many recurring themes in dreams like flying, being lost, seeing animals, and being in odd situations that would make no sense in real life.
Dreams are admittedly weird little movies that our brains conjure up, but we have to admit that they can be pretty fun to think about – though sadly, we tend to forget them within the first 10 minutes of waking up.
So if you love dreams or you have big dreams or if you like the mysterious and fantastical nature of dreams, this playlist is for you.
Heart – These Dreams
Let’s begin this list with a power ballad from Heart. These Dreams is a song with ethereal, dreamlike lyrics. They’re vague and fragmented, much like our dreams are. But as a whole, the song is about a woman approaching a figure in the forest. It’s later revealed to be a prince that she’s hoping would whisk her away from the pain in the world.
Dreamlike lyrics: These dreams go on when I close my eyes
Every second of the night I live another life
These dreams that sleep when it’s cold outside
Every moment I’m awake the further I’m away
Fleetwood Mac – Dreams
Here’s a song that you might imagine was inspired by a deteriorating relationship while in a dreamlike (perhaps drug-fueled) state. Dreams was written by the band on an individual basis. The line “players only love you when they’re playing,” was written by Stevie Nicks as a jab at Lindsey Buckingham. Oddly enough, despite the constant lyrical jabs, Fleetwood Mac was still able to come up with some iconic songs.
Dreamlike lyrics: Now here I go again, I see the crystal visions
I keep my visions to myself, it’s only me
Who wants to wrap around your dreams and,
Have you any dreams you’d like to sell?
Dreams of loneliness,
Like a heartbeat, drives you mad
In the stillness of remembering, what you had,
And what you lost and what you had and what you lost
Eurythmics – Sweet Dreams
The signature song of Eurythmics is actually a song about searching for fulfillment wherein these sweet dreams are what motivate us to continue our search. Naturally, in everyone’s search for fulfillment, there will be people who will drag us down. But these goals are what drive us to keep moving.
Dreamlike lyrics: Sweet dreams are made of this
Who am I to disagree?
I travel the world and the seven seas
Everybody’s looking for something
The Everly Brothers – All I Have to Do is Dream
If you want a song that ensures sweet dreams, listen to this before going to bed. All I Have to Do is Dream is about a man who daydreams about the woman he loves. This is the perfect song to listen to when you’re love struck and have yet to tell the object of your desires about your feelings.
Dreamlike lyrics: I can make you mine, taste your lips of wine
Anytime night or day
Only trouble is, gee whiz
I’m dreamin’ my life away
Weezer – Only in Dreams
Undoubtedly a more modern version of All I Have to Do is Dream is this track by Weezer. The protagonist is madly in love with a girl, almost to the point of obsession. He sings about the dreams he has about this girl, and how he’s so nervous that doesn’t want to make a single mistake when he decides to approach her. He’s so smitten that even in dreams he wants everything to be perfect.
Dreamlike lyrics: Only in dreams
We see what it means
Reach out our hands
Hold on to hers
But when we wake
It’s all been erased
And so it seems
Only in dreams
Franz Ferdinand – Lucid Dreams
Lucid Dreams is about that half-asleep and half-awake state you find yourself in where you have some semblance of control over what you’re dreaming about. In this song, Franz Ferdinand sings about dreaming of traveling, and he’s asking someone to come along with him. After the second chorus, he’s jolted awake with a dream hangover and he wonders if there’s some great dream epiphany he just lost because he woke up.
Dreamlike lyrics: There is no nation of you
There is no nation of me
Our only nation lives in Lucid Dreams
I’m living in Lucid Dreams
I’m living on short based dreams tonight
The Mamas and Papas – California Dreamin’
As is true to the theme of this list, California Dreamin’ was conjured up by John Philipps when he dreamed of the song and woke up his wife to help him write it. It’s mostly a sweet and simple song about dreaming of a California summer during the dark, cold winter. At the time, the couple was living in New York, which fits the dreariness of their description of what winter is like.
Dreamlike lyrics: All the leaves are brown and the sky is gray
I’ve been for a walk on a winter’s day
I’d be safe and warm if I was in L.A.
California dreamin’ on such a winter’s day
Crowded House – Don’t Dream It’s Over
This iconic song by Crowded House was actually the lyrical brainchild of lead singer Neil Finn. He says that while he can’t recall what the context was, he knew that he was feeling both lost and optimistic. He wanted to urge himself on with the line “don’t dream it’s over.” The line just felt natural to him, so he decided to write a song about it.
Dreamlike lyrics: Hey now, hey now
Don’t dream it’s over
Hey now, hey now
When the world comes in
They come, they come
To build a wall between us
You know they won’t win
Nelly – Just a Dream
Nelly has gone on record to say that this song is definitely not about Ashanti, but if thinking about their relationship will garner support for the song then so be it. This high profile couple actually fits the bill because the song is about regrets after a breakup. In this song, Nelly sings about how he wishes he had proposed to his ex-girlfriend, and he goes on to think about how they could still have been together. But he realizes that all those thoughts about them being together again is just a dream.
Dreamlike lyrics: I was thinkin’ ’bout her, thinkin’ ’bout me
Thinkin’ ’bout us, what we gon’ be
Opened my eyes, yeah, it was only just a dream
So I traveled back down that road
Will she come back? No one knows
I realized, yeah, it was only just a dream
Selena – Dreaming of You
While undoubtedly one of Selena’s most famous songs, it was actually released two weeks after the singer was fatally shot. Dreaming of You has since become Selena’s signature song and has since been covered by numerous artists. The song itself is about a girl who dreams about the man she loves, and she’s wondering if he feels the same way about her. It’s revealed at the end that the feeling was actually mutual.
Dreamlike lyrics: ‘Cause I’m dreaming of you tonight
‘Til tomorrow, I’ll be holding you tight
And there’s nowhere in the world I’d rather be
Than here in my room dreaming about you and me
Coldplay – A Head Full of Dreams
The title track for their uplifting album has since become a forerunner for many of their equally upbeat and uplifting songs. After the success of their Ghost Stories album (which was inspired partly by Chris Martin’s divorce from Gwyneth Paltrow), A Head Full of Dreams is a refreshing change. The song itself is about encouraging the listeners to keep dreaming and to keep working towards that dream even if things get hard. The music video for the song is also worth noting, since it starts off with a powerful political speech from Charlie Chaplin’s movie The Great Dictator.
Dreamlike lyrics: And you get a head
A head full of dreams
You can see the change you want to
Be what you want to be
When you get a head
A head full of dreams
It’s a love, I’ve just been spoken
With a head full, a head full of dreams
Metallica – Enter Sandman
What’s one way to make a song about nightmares even darker? By making it a song about Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Enter Sandman was originally supposed to be about SIDS until their producer asked them to change it to something more relatable (and marketable). So Hetfield ended up writing something totally different – the Sandman who scares kids into sleeping because he brings on bad dreams composed of war, lies, dragon’s fire, and everything kids don’t want to dream about. Oh, and it’s made even creepier by the altered prayer recited at the bridge.
Dreamlike lyrics: Something’s wrong, shut the light,
heavy thoughts tonight
and they aren’t of Snow White.
Dreams of war, dreams of lies,
dreams of dragon’s fire
and of things that will bite, yeah
Aerosmith – Dream On
This song’s pretty straightforward, though it starts off as a sad rock ballad. Steven Tyler has gone on to say that the song is all about the hunger to be somebody – to dream until your dreams come true. In terms of the things going on in the band’s life, it’s the song that saved them from being dropped by their label. So in a way, Aerosmith really took their own advice with this one.
Dreamlike lyrics: Sing with me, sing for the year
Sing for the laughter, sing for the tear
Sing with me if it’s just for today
Maybe tomorrow the good Lord will take you away
Owl City – Fireflies
Adam Young has always had problems falling asleep, so his solution to this was to write a song about dreaming. According to him, Fireflies is, “a little song about bugs and not being able to fall asleep at night.” And if you look at the lyrics, it’s a cute, happy little tune about feeling awake while everyone else is asleep. Oh, and he’s got a bunch of hug-loving fireflies to keep him company while he’s up.
Dreamlike lyrics: You would not believe your eyes
If ten million fireflies
Lit up the world as I fell asleep
‘Cause they’d fill the open air
And leave tear drops everywhere
You’d think me rude
But I would just stand and stare
Mary Costa and Bill Shirley – Once Upon a Dream
And we cap off this list with a song made for the ultimate dreamer in the Disney universe – Sleeping Beauty. Once Upon a Dream was based on Tchaikovsky’s ballet of the same name, and it’s the song Princess Aurora and Prince Philip Dance to. This classic Disney song is about a girl who finally meets her prince charming, and she’s awed by how much he resembles the man she has always dreamed of.
Dreamlike lyrics: I know you, I walked with you once upon a dream
I know you, that look in your eyes is so familiar a gleam
And I know it’s true that visions are seldom all they seem
But if I know you, I know what you’ll do
You’ll love me at once, the way you did once upon a dream
So what’s your favorite dreamy song? Share them with us in the comments below!