27 Emotive Songs About Dreams

Last Updated on July 12, 2024

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Can you recall songs that communicate dreams with music, lyrics, or both? Each generation has its favourite songs, but some songs transcend generations.

Songs about dreams are a popular theme in music. They can be interpreted in many different ways, from the literal interpretation of dreaming while asleep to the symbolic interpretation of pursuing one’s hopes and aspirations.

Many of these songs use dream imagery and symbolism to convey emotions, from longing and hope to fear and uncertainty. They can also explore themes such as the nature of reality, the power of the imagination, and the human desire for escape.

Here are some of the top evergreen dream songs: 

1. “Enter Sandman” – Metallica

“Enter Sandman” is a classic heavy metal song often cited as one of the most influential songs of the genre. It is known for its ominous opening guitar riff, followed by a powerful drum beat and Hetfield’s aggressive vocals.

The lyrics describe a child’s nightmares and the fear of falling asleep, focusing on the power and influence of dreams. The song’s chorus includes the famous line “Exit light, enter night,” which has become a widely recognized phrase.

“Enter Sandman” was a massive commercial success for Metallica, reaching the top ten on the charts in several countries and earning a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Song.

2. “Dreams” By Fleetwood Mac 

“Dreams” by British-American rock band Fleetwood Mac was released in 1977 as the second single from their eleventh studio album, “Rumours.” The song became the band’s only Billboard Hot 100 number-one hit.

The lyrics of “Dreams” are about Nick’s tumultuous relationship with then-band mate Lindsey Buckingham. The song was written in about 10 minutes, and Nick said it was her way of dealing with the pain of their breakup.

The song is characterised by its distinctive instrumental opening, featuring a simple but instantly recognizable guitar riff and a steady, driving rhythm section. Nick’s vocals are passionate and powerful, and the song’s catchy chorus has made it a beloved classic of the rock genre.

3. ‘These Dreams’ – Heart 

“These Dreams” was released as a single in 1986 by the American rock band from their album “Heart.” It is a power ballad that features Ann Wilson’s passionate vocals and a memorable guitar solo by Nancy Wilson.

The song became one of Heart’s biggest hits, reaching number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. The lyrics tell the story of a person who dreams of finding true love but is haunted by fears and doubts.

The woman’s vivid and emotional dream transports her to a place of love and freedom. The song’s lush production and haunting melody have made it a classic of 1980s pop-rock.

4. The Dreaming Tree – Dave Matthews Band

The “Dreaming Tree” symbolizes the disconnectedness of all things. The lyrics describe how memories and experiences are like leaves on the branches of a tree. “The Dreaming Tree” has become a fan favorite and is often performed live by the Dave Matthews Band.

The song’s introspective lyrics and intricate musical arrangement have made it a standout track in the band’s catalog.

The all-time favorite song never fails to move. The way Dave’s voice soars over the guitar riffs and the lyrics paint such a vivid picture of nostalgia and longing… it’s just magical.

The song is a poetic way of describing how memories and emotions can cling to us like sandpaper, no matter how hard we try to shake them loose.

5. The Devil Never Sleeps – Iron & Wine 

The song “The Devil Never Sleeps” was released in 2007 by American indie folk band Iron & Wine on their album “The Shepherd’s Dog.”

The song explores the theme of temptation and the constant battle between good and evil. The devil is portrayed as a continuous force, always lurking in the background, waiting for his chance to strike. Despite the dark subject, the song maintains a peaceful, contemplative tone, reflecting the band’s focus on introspection and reflection.

“The Devil Never Sleeps” is a powerful and thought-provoking song that showcases Iron & Wine’s unique blend of folk, indie, and Americana influences.

6. Sweet Dreams (Are Made of These) – Marilyn Manson

“Sweet Dreams (Are Made of These)” was initially recorded by the British pop music duo Eurythmics that quickly became a hit, reaching the top of the charts in the UK, the US, and several other countries. The song’s dreamy, hypnotic melody and lyrics about the nature of dreams and desires struck a chord with audiences worldwide.

The song remains popular among band fans and has been covered by many other artists. Overall, Manson’s cover of “Sweet Dreams” is a powerful and iconic example of his ability to reinterpret classic songs and make them his own.

7. ‘Sweat’ – TOOL

“Sweat” is a track from the album “Opiate” released in 1992. The song is known for its aggressive vocals and dark lyrics about addiction and self-destructive behaviour.

It is a high-energy and intense piece, reflecting the band’s signature style of blending metal, progressive rock, and alternative music. Despite not being one of TOOL’s most famous songs, “Sweat” remains a favourite among fans who appreciate the band’s raw and unapologetic sound.

“Sweat” is a powerful and introspective song that captures TOOL’s early sound and showcases their ability to explore complex themes through their music.

8. Silent Lucidity – Queensryche

“Silent Lucidity” is a power ballad by Queensrÿche. Released in 1990 as the second single from their album “Empire,” it became one of the band’s biggest hits and is often regarded as their signature song.

The song features a beautiful melody, lush instrumentation, and haunting lyrics that touch on lucid dreaming, escapism, and the power of the human mind.

\The song’s title is a play on words, combining “lucid dreaming” with “serene clarity.” It is said to have been inspired by lead singer Geoff Tate’s interest in lucid dreaming and his experiences.

9. Keep Your Eyes Peeled – Queens Of the Stone Age

The song featured on the sixth studio album, “…Like Clockwork,” opens the album with a slow-burning, ominous intro before breaking into a more aggressive riff. It is known for its haunting lyrics.

The song is a dark and ominous piece featuring distorted guitar riffs, pounding drums, and eerie synths, creating an intense atmosphere. The lyrics are cryptic and abstract, suggesting paranoia, isolation, and inner turmoil.

The song builds up to a climax with the chorus repetition, “Keep your eyes peeled, the exit wounds, they add up over time.

“Keep Your Eyes Peeled” is a powerful and intense track showcasing Queens of the Stone Age’s unique style and sound.

10. I’M Only Sleeping – The Beatles

“I’m Only Sleeping” by the Beatles, on their 1966 album “Revolver,” is known for its psychedelic sound and lyrics, describing the narrator’s desire to sleep and escape reality.

“I’m Only Sleeping” has been praised for its innovative use of studio techniques and its influence on the emerging psychedelic rock movement of the late 1960s.

Numerous artists, including Jeff Beck, The Vines, and Rosanne Cash, have covered the song. The song is a classic example of the Beatles’ experimentation, creativity, and new sounds and techniques in the mid-1960s, their most innovative period.

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11. I Dreamed A Dream – Les Miserables

“I Dreamed a Dream,” sung by the character Fantine is about her dreams and hopes for a happy life, which have been shattered by poverty, misery, and betrayal.

Fantine sings about the love she once had, the life she dreamed of, and the harsh reality that has replaced it. She laments that her beauty and youth have gone to waste, and she asks if anyone hears her cry for help. 

The song has become a famous anthem of resilience and perseverance in the face of adversity, and it has been covered by numerous artists, including Susan Boyle, who gained worldwide fame after her performance of the song on Britain’s Got Talent.

12. Here I Dreamt I Was An Architect – The Decemberists

“Here I Dreamt I Was an Architect” was released in 2002 on the album “Castaways and Cutouts” by The Decemberists. The song features the band’s signature storytelling style, exploring themes of love, longing, and the creative process.

The song’s lyrics follow a narrator who dreams of being an architect and creating a magnificent building for his lover.

The dream is described in vivid detail, referencing Greek mythology and architecture. The narrator’s desire to build something beautiful and lasting for his lover is a metaphor for his artistic pursuits.

13. Dream On – Aerosmith

“Dream On” was written by lead singer Steven Tyler and released in 1973 as the band’s first single, reaching number 59 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

The song’s lyrics explore the theme of chasing one’s dreams, even in adversity. It speaks to the idea that nothing is impossible and encourages listeners to pursue their dreams despite obstacles.

“Dream On” has since become one of Aerosmith’s most iconic and beloved songs, often performed at live shows and covered by other artists.

14. ‘Dream’ – Imagine Dragons

The song “Dream” by Imagine Dragons is a track from the album “Smoke + Mirrors,” released in 2015. “Dream” features a dreamy and ethereal sound, with lyrics encouraging listeners to pursue their dreams and not give up on them.

The song was well received by fans and critics alike and remained a famous track from the band’s discography.

“Dream” is a moody and introspective song that features Dan Reynolds singing about his struggles with self-doubt and anxiety.

The song’s chorus is more hopeful, with Reynolds singing about his dreams and desire to overcome his struggles: “I don’t wanna miss a moment, and I don’t wanna miss a thing. I dream of this as a child, and now I know it’s for real.”

15. ‘Don’t Dream Its Over’ – Crowded House

The song has a timeless quality, with a catchy melody and poignant lyrics that have resonated with listeners for over three decades. The lyrics are a message of hope and unity, encouraging people to unite and face their problems instead of giving up.

“Don’t Dream It’s Over” has been covered by numerous artists, including Sixpence None the Richer, Paul Young, and Miley Cyrus.

It has also been featured in several movies and TV shows, cementing its status as a classic pop hit. Overall, “Don’t Dream It’s Over” is a beautifully crafted song that has stood the test of time and remains a beloved favourite of fans worldwide.

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16. Daydreaming – Radiohead

This song has a hauntingly beautiful melody, with Yorke’s delicate vocals accompanied by minimalistic piano and atmospheric sounds. The lyrics are introspective, with Yorke reflecting on lost love and his mortality. The song’s music video, directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, features Yorke wandering through various surreal landscapes, including a hospital and a snowy forest.

Daydreaming was well-received by fans and critics, with many praising its ethereal quality and Yorke’s emotive vocals. It has been described as one of the standout tracks from A Moon Shaped Pool and a testament to Radiohead’s continued evolution and experimentation.

17. Counting Bodies Like Sheep To The Rhythm Of The War Drums – A Perfect Circle

The was released in 2004 as a single from the album “eMOTIVe” of the American rock band ‘A Perfect Circle’ The lyrics of the song are a critique of the government’s handling of the war in Iraq, and the media’s portrayal of it. The song uses the metaphor of counting bodies to represent the dehumanisation and disregard for human life in war. The drum-heavy music and distorted vocals add to the intensity of the song’s message. The song was well-received by critics and remained a fan favourite in A Perfect Circle’s discography.

18. California Dreamin’ – Mamas And The Papas

The song by The Mamas and the Papas has been considered one of the greatest hits of the 1960s and is known for its memorable melody, complex harmonies, and melancholy lyrics. The lyrics describe a person’s longing to escape the cold winter weather in New York City and travel to the warmth of California.

The song’s popularity overgrew and became an anthem of the counterculture movement of the time. It has been covered by numerous artists and used in various films, television shows, and commercials. The song remains a timeless classic in the world of music.

19. Boulevard Of Broken Dreams – Green Day

The song from the album “American Idiot,” released in 2004, is known for its melancholy and introspective lyrics, which describe feeling alone and lost in a big city. The song’s protagonist is walking down a deserted street, and the lyrics suggest that he feels disconnected from the world around him. The song’s chorus, “I walk alone, I walk alone,” has become an anthem for people who feel like outsiders.

The song was a commercial success, reaching number two on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and winning the Grammy Award for Record of the Year in 2005. The song’s music video won the MTV Video Music Award for Best Rock Video in 2005.  

20. All Some Kind Of Dream – Josh Ritter

The lead single from the album, “Fever Breaks,” the song was written in response to the political turmoil in the United States. It reflects on the nation’s current state and touches on themes of division, inequality, and hope for a better future.

It describes the country as “half-lit” and “half-unseen,” highlighting the growing divide between different groups. Ritter’s voice gradually strengthens as the song progresses, and the chorus bursts with an uplifting message of hope.

The song is a powerful and poignant commentary on the current state of the world. It showcases Ritter’s talent as a songwriter and his ability to capture complex emotions in a simple and relatable way.

21. All Nightmare Long – Metallica

The horror fiction of H.P. Lovecraft inspired the lyrics of this song. The music is characterised by a thrash metal style, featuring fast and complex guitar riffs, aggressive drumming, and intense vocals by Hetfield.

The song’s music video features an apocalyptic scenario, with scenes of war, death, and destruction, and includes references to Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos. “All Nightmare Long” received positive reviews from critics and has become a popular song among Metallica fans. The song was also performed during the band’s World Magnetic Tour

22. “Wildest Dreams” – Taylor Swift

“Wildest Dreams” is a romantic ballad about a fleeting romance that only exists in the protagonist’s imagination. It describes the protagonist’s desire to keep the memory of their short-lived relationship alive, even if it’s just in their wildest dreams.

The music video for “Wildest Dreams” was directed by Joseph Kahn and was set in the 1950s in the African savanna. It features Taylor Swift as a Hollywood actress who falls in love with a co-star during a film shoot. The video was criticised for portraying Africa and its lack of diversity.

23. “Silent Lucidity” – Queensryche

“Silent Lucidity” by Queensryche is an iconic power ballad that has captivated audiences since its release in 1990, with its haunting melody and thought-provoking lyrics. It’s a song that encourages you to explore your innermost thoughts and find solace in your dreams. Listening to “Silent Lucidity” can transport you to a different realm and make you forget about the stresses of everyday life.

 “Silent Lucidity” was a significant hit for Queensryche, reaching #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 and receiving heavy airplay on MTV. The song has become one of the band’s most popular and enduring songs and is often cited as one of the best power ballads ever.

24. “Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me” – The Smiths

If feeling melancholic, get lost in the haunting melodies and poignant lyrics of “Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me” by The Smiths. This classic indie track perfectly captures the pain of unrequited love and the desperation for human connection. Morrissey’s voice will transport you to a world of yearning and heartache, reminding you that you’re not alone in your feelings. Press play and let the emotions flow.

Included in the album “Strangeways, Here We Come,” the song is a melancholy and introspective ballad. The lyrics express the feeling of isolation and loneliness, with Morrissey lamenting his unrequited love and inability to connect with others.

25. “Get Out Of My Dreams, Get into My Car” – Billy Ocean

“Get out of my dreams, get into my car” is one of the catchiest tunes of the 80s! It’s the perfect driving anthem that will make you want to hit the open road and let your hair down.

The song’s upbeat tempo and catchy chorus made it a hit, reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and number three on the UK Singles Chart. The music video for the song featured Billy Ocean driving a red convertible through the streets of Los Angeles, picking up various women along the way.

26. “Dreamlover” – Mariah Carey

This classic hit has been a favourite for years! The melody is so catchy, and Mariah’s voice is simply unique. If you haven’t heard it before, give it a listen! Today, “Dreamlover” is considered one of Carey’s most iconic and beloved songs and a defining moment in her career.

Its success helped solidify her status as one of the biggest pop stars of the 1990s. The song features Carey’s signature vocal range and a catchy melody with a lively beat, incorporating soul, funk, and pop elements.

27. “Dream Operator” – The Talking Heads

It’s a fantastic song about chasing your dreams and living a fulfilling life. David Byrne’s vocals are on point, and the music is so captivating. If you’re feeling lost or stuck, listen to this song, and let it inspire you to go after your dreams.

The song is a slow ballad with a dreamy melody and features lead vocals by David Byrne. It tells a story about a person searching for someone to guide them through their dreams and help them make sense of their life. The dream operator is portrayed as a mysterious figure that can provide clarity and direction in a confusing world.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are Some Popular Songs About Dreams? 

Some popular songs about dreams include “Dream On” by Aerosmith, “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” by Eurythmics, “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac, “Lucid Dreams” by Juice WRLD, and “The Dreamer” by Anderson .Paak.

Why Do Musicians Write Songs About Dreams? 

Musicians write songs about dreams for a variety of reasons. Some may be inspired by their dreams or the dreams of others, while others may use dream imagery to explore psychological or emotional themes.

Do Songs About Dreams Have Any Special Meaning Or Significance? 

Songs about dreams can be interpreted in various ways, depending on the listener’s experiences and beliefs. Some may see them as a metaphor for life or the creative process, while others may view them as a reflection of the subconscious mind.

Are There Any Specific Genres Or Styles Of Music That Feature Songs About Dreams? 

Songs about dreams can be found in virtually every genre of music, from rock and pop to hip-hop and electronic. Some genres, such as psychedelic and dream pop, may be mainly known for their dreamy or surreal soundscapes.

Michael Stone