Many people know what it is like to wake up from a fantastic dream and end up being disappointed as they realize that it was all just a dream. How often have we heard people scoff and say “Only in my dreams,” and felt the same helpless optimism? Well, maybe it doesn’t matter.
Given that no matter how often we may roll our eyes at what can only be possible in dreams, we still have them. More often, these are the sparks that we need to create things beyond what we thought was possible.
Whether you want to use these songs as a catalyst to dreamland or to listen to someone who understands the same dreams you have had, don’t shy away from ones you are unfamiliar with – those may be the ones that you will hear repeatedly tonight!
- 1. “Dream On” by Aerosmith
- 2. “Dreaming of You” by Selena
- 3. “The Dreaming Tree” by Dave Matthews Band
- 4. “Dreamlover” by Mariah Carey
- 5. “All I Have to Do Is Dream” by The Everly Brothers
- 6. “Dream Operator” by The Talking Heads
- 7. “Boulevard Of Broken Dreams” by Green Day
- 8. “All Some Kind of Dream” by Josh Ritter
- 9. “Just a Dream” by Carrie Underwood
- 10. “California Dreamin” by The Mamas & The Papas
- 11. “Just a Dream” by Nelly
- 12. “Sweet Dreams” by Eurythmics
- 13. “Wildest Dreams” by Taylor Swift
- 14. “What Dreams Are Made Of” by Hilary Duff
- 15. “Dream Weaver” by Gary Wright
- 16. “Dream Baby Dream” by Bruce Springsteen
- 17. “Don’t Dream It’s Over” by Crowded House
- 18. “Sweet Dreams” by Beyonce
- 19. “Dream” by Imagine Dragons
- 20. “These Dreams” by Heart
1. “Dream On” by Aerosmith
One of the most popular songs by Aerosmith which is not simply about closing your eyes to fulfill dreams in your head. This song is about dreaming on and doing what you need to do in order to have it come true.
It may seem like a rather tame song in comparison to the rest of Aerosmith’s fantastic pumping repertoire but the musicality of the lyrics creates an energy that starving artists can really feed off of to keep on pushing until their dreams become a reality. As Mr. Steven Tyler sings, “Dream on, dream until the dream comes true.”
2. “Dreaming of You” by Selena
One of the most popular songs by the Mexican American singer Selena Quintanilla Perez. A song that is not only special because of how dreamy Selena’s voice sounds but also because this was the song that she recorded for her final album which was released after her tragic death.
A beautiful song that truly captures the innocence of falling in love with someone and dreaming about that person. Selena brings people back to a time where video calls and text messages did not exist and we only had our imaginations to fuel our dreams of the one we hope are dreaming of us too.
3. “The Dreaming Tree” by Dave Matthews Band
It takes a very talented lyricist to write a song that many people can interpret in many different situations. Some people have attributed the lyrics of this song to the death of someone like a child or a lover.
Others have seen it as more literal with a tree that has witnessed people dreaming around it. However, as dreams die, the life span of the tree also shortens.
It is a song that has more of a melancholic undertone to it that really talks about how personal growth can also lead to the death of dreams. No matter how you choose to hear the song, it can be agreed that it is certainly one that deserves to be listened to several times.
4. “Dreamlover” by Mariah Carey
A song for all those out there wanting just one good partner. Just one dream lover that is able to give love the way they take it. Mariah Carey, the reigning Queen of Christmas, truly understands that having one good lover is far better than having a plethora of mediocre partners who barely understand what love is, let alone give it.
This is such a fantastic and upbeat song for those who want to sing at the top of their lungs for the universe to hear and have a lover that can take them away to a place where love conquers!
5. “All I Have to Do Is Dream” by The Everly Brothers
Talk about stealing hearts because the Everly Brothers were certainly doing that with this ballad! This song talks about dreaming about the one you want in your arms.
It is such a throw back to the days where people would give their football jackets to their partners or when people would share floats at a soda shop. For those wanting a dreamy song that is about wanting to have their partners in their arms again, this is the bop to turn on for the night!
6. “Dream Operator” by The Talking Heads
This song is sung in a way that makes it seem as if he is speaking directly to you. However, some have attributed the song as him talking to his past self. Perhaps, it is about how he felt as he looked back on the kind of kid that he was and how, as the person who determines his destiny aka the dream operator, he is now living the life he dreamt about. His dreams are no longer just figments of his imagination.
7. “Boulevard Of Broken Dreams” by Green Day
From their hit album American Idiot, Green Day’s lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong sung about how he’s walking alone on the boulevard of broken dreams – a road that many listeners believe to be a road made of broken promises that were a result of an American dream that immigrants grasped onto when they migrated to America.
Hopefully a song that will help those in the depths of their loneliness to find solace. A reminder that even though they are walking alone, there are also others out there who are hoping that someone will walk alongside them.
8. “All Some Kind of Dream” by Josh Ritter
There are no words being minced with this song at all. Josh Ritter expresses horror at seeing what migrant families are forced to experience in order to find a better way of life for their children.
He talks about whether the idea of the goodness of humans and kindness was simply a dream he had at one point because it seems unfathomable with the destruction being forced upon these families now. This is a beautiful song that speaks about how he simply wishes that the sadness and injustice that the refugees are experiencing will just be a dream.
9. “Just a Dream” by Carrie Underwood
One of the saddest and most touching music videos that Carrie Underwood has recorded. It starts off as she walks into a beautiful married life, only to have everything white fade into black because it was only just a dream.
It is a heartbreaking song for those who have had everything they could have ever wanted just at the tips of their fingers only to have it ripped away by something beyond their control. So many wives and husbands have felt the pain that Underwood emotes in the music video.
10. “California Dreamin” by The Mamas & The Papas
If you ever want to have dreams of being back in a place that you miss, this song will likely speak to your homesick soul. The song makes you feel as if you are lost in a cocktail of emotions that consist of happiness, nostalgia and sadness which is what makes the song so popular and still quite relevant until today. In fact, this song was so popular that the Beach Boys released a cover of it in 1986.
11. “Just a Dream” by Nelly
Have you ever had a break up and gone down a road and pulled a memory out of your head only to find out it was only a dream? This is exactly what Nelly is talking about in this song. He is being haunted by the woman he lost.
It is unfortunate to talk about how easily relatable this song is and Nelly even acknowledges in the bridge when he asks, “If you ever loved somebody put your hands up / Now they’re gone and you’re wishing you could give them everything.” A song to listen to when we just want to mope and think about the mistakes we have made and to think about the dreams that could have been.
12. “Sweet Dreams” by Eurythmics
An exceptionally catchy song that many people throw on when there is a karaoke party. Some people have suggested that Eurythmics is pointing out the irony in what it means to have a fairytale ending. Dreams and fairytale endings are different to everyone else as what may be a sweet dream to someone may be equated to abuse for another.
13. “Wildest Dreams” by Taylor Swift
One of the most recognizable names in music, Taylor Swift is no stranger to creating stories out of her music and this is no exception. The song talks about what it would be like to run away with someone while knowing that it might likely not last.
It talks about what it would be like to have a love affair made out of sunsets and rosy cheeks. It runs off the adrenaline people get when a new romance starts and eventually fades into something that seems as if it is out of our wildest dreams. The dreamy melody line and the drops make it so that this song sounds as if it is coming out of a dream itself.
14. “What Dreams Are Made Of” by Hilary Duff
If anyone has ever seen Lizzie McGuire on the Disney Channel, they definitely know this song because it was featured in the Lizzie McGuire Movie. Even if people are already tired of hearing the signature “Hey now, Hey now” part of the song, it is undeniable that this line still catches your attention and emotion.
This is a song for all of us who have achieved our dreams and just want to be happy. Dreams do not always have to be drastic goals such as discovering a new planet. It can be as simple as finding happiness in a place where you belong and this song celebrates just that.
15. “Dream Weaver” by Gary Wright
A song for those who truly believe that dreams are signs from the universe and that it is up to us how we wish to interpret it. Perhaps it is a premonition about what is to come or a memory from a past life.
Gary Wright changes the mood throughout the song and there is an ethereal quality to his voice that truly gives it an out of this world vibe. In fact, Wright has commented that the song is about God and how He is the one that will be by our side in darkness and light.
16. “Dream Baby Dream” by Bruce Springsteen
At a glance the lyrics may seem simple – even overly simple with its receptiveness. However, it is the ability to take something simple and make it a masterpiece that truly makes someone a singer and a true artist.
Bruce Springsteen is a legend and his ability to make such a beautiful lullaby from what was a rather dark song from Suicide in 1977 to something so warm is something people can only dream of doing. Alan Vega, the singer of Suicide, was so impressed with the Springsteen interpretation of his song that he commented saying he could only imagine doing the song that way from this point on.
17. “Don’t Dream It’s Over” by Crowded House
There is so much going on in this song which makes it more interesting to listen to. No matter where you are in your life, be in where you choose to continue your dreams or if you want to change them, this is the song that you need to have in the background to keep you going.
As the band says,”It is never about dreaming about a future that looks bleak. It is about looking forward to the positive changes, the freedoms that did not exist in the past. No matter the walls that are built, as long as we keep pressing forward, walls can be torn down.”
18. “Sweet Dreams” by Beyonce
Have you ever had a day that was so good wherein you pause and wonder if it is simply just a dream? That is what Beyonce é is asking herself in this song. What kind of dream is it that everything is going so perfectly?
There is a part of us that is all about self preservation and that voice always wonders what will happen when the other shoe will fall. But as Queen B says, “It does not matter if it is a sweet dream or a beautiful nightmare – just bask in it and hope you never have to wake up from it.”
19. “Dream” by Imagine Dragons
There is so much darkness but with dreams, as Dan Reynolds sings, we can pretend that it is not as bad as it seems. Things may be a mess and the world is far from beautiful and perfect but he still wants to dream.
The beautiful bass that comes in the chorus truly pulls out the sorrow and the mess that surrounds us and yet there is hope. Reynolds does not give us a song that is seeped in misery, there is still a little bit of hope, there is still the need to want to dream for something else.
20. “These Dreams” by Heart
What does it mean to dream? A question that Nancy is trying to figure out. She wants to continue the second life where she finds herself whenever she closes her eyes. It is a rather bittersweet song where she wants to continue living her dream life and with every second she spends awake, she is away from the prince who hides his face in her dreams.
No matter if you consider dreams as something that is made out of your imagination or something that is achievable with hard work, there is a song out there that has likely captured the feeling you can relate to. As the songs listed above have proven, dreams do not need to only be about love. It can be a hope for something that is better – be it something better for yourself or something better for the world.