A dream can be many things. There's dreams that come true and the American dream; pipe dreams and your wildest dreams; dream boats and dream tickets; I Dream Of Jeannie and The Interpretation Of Dreams. They can also be seen as visions, hopes and goals, as in the the classic Disney song "A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes".
There are far too many dream songs to include here. I was actually thinking of making this a Top Twenty list. (Hey -- I can dream, can't I?) But! I can't mess with the formula...in fact, I wouldn't dream of it! Okay, okay... Hopefully, you will notice the ones that were chopped. Or maybe you'll dream up some favorites of your own!
As always the songs are organized by how well each has done on the various charts. Click on each song title to learn more. I'll say it again: If you don't see your favorite dream song, be sure to leave a comment. Who knows, your submission could be the next entry!
Let's start at the bottom (but certainly not least) and work our way up to the #1 spot.
10. Sweet Dreams (Of You)
Such a beautiful song as this has to be included! It was written and originally recorded by Don Gibson. It was also recorded by Faron Young. But "Sweet Dreams (Of You)" is best remembered as a posthumous hit for Patsy Cline after her death in a plane crash. It reached #5 on the US Country chart and #44 on the US Pop chart in 1963.
Sweet dreams of you
Every night I go through
Why can't I forget you
Start loving someone new
Instead of having sweet dreams about you
9. The Impossible Dream (The Quest)
Written by Mitch Leigh and Joe Darion for the musical Man of La Mancha. It has been recorded by many singers, including Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra. But the first hit version was recorded by Jack Jones (who also had a hit with the Bacharach/David tune "Wives And Lovers".) It reached #1 on the US Adult Contemporary chart and #35 on the US Pop chart in 1966.
To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go
8. If I Can Dream
This was the final song of Elvis Presley's '68 Comeback Special. Written at the last minute by Walter Earl Brown, Elvis recorded it in June 1968, two months after Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination. That year it reached #12 in the US and #11 in the UK. One of the most heartfelt performances Elvis ever gave, in my opinion.
There must be lights burning brighter somewhere
Got to be birds flying higher in a sky more blue
If I can dream of a better land
Where all my brothers walk hand in hand
Tell me why, oh, why, oh, why can't my dream come true?
7. Dream A Little Dream Of Me
Another dream song from 1968? Yes and no. Like "If I Can Dream", it was a #12 US hit and #11 UK hit in 1968 for the Mamas And The Papas. But this song had been around much longer. It was first recorded in 1931 by Ozzie Nelson and his Orchestra. It's also been done by everyone from Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald to Michael Bublé and Zooey Deschanel.
Stars shining bright above you
Night breezes seem to whisper I love you
While I'm alone and blue as can be
Dream a little dream of me
6. In Dreams
Almost operatic in its grand musical scope, yet its lyrics are very personal and intimate. Roy Orbison definitely knew how to write and sing a great dream song. In 1963 it reached #7 in the US and #6 in the UK, while Roy was on tour with the Beatles. Rolling Stone ranked it at #312 of their 500 Greatest Songs of All Time in 2004.
A candy-colored clown they call the Sandman
Tip-toes to my room every night
Just to sprinkle stardust and to whisper,
"Go to sleep, everything is all right."
5. Don't Dream It's Over
This was the biggest US hit for Crowded House, written and sung by frontman Neil Finn. It reached the #2 US spot in 1987. It's actually held up very well over time. It could easily have been a 1960s hit or even a 2000s hit. Who else remembers, "Hey, now, hey, now, don't dream it's over"? I'm not the only one, right?
There is freedom within, there is freedom without
Try to catch the deluge in a paper cup
There's a battle ahead, many battles are lost
But you'll never see the end of the road
While you're traveling with me
John Sebastian apparently composed this as a rewrite of the Supremes' "Baby Love". I can see that, if the Supremes were into jug-band music. This was a #2 US and UK hit for Lovin' Spoonful in 1966 and inspired a wave of laid-back summer songs yet to come.
What a day for a daydream
What a day for a daydreamin' boy
And I'm lost in a daydream
Dreamin' 'bout my bundle of joy
3. Dream Lover
Bobby Darin reached #1 in the UK and #2 in the US with this one in 1959. Darin wrote it, which made him one of the first popular singer/songwriters. It also features Neil Sedaka on piano, another fellow singer/songwriter (though not so popular as such, at that point.) No doubt a classic.
Every night, I hope and pray
A dream lover will come my way
A girl to hold in my arms
And know the magic of her charms
2. Daydream Believer
Released in 1967, this was the last #1 US hit for the Prefab Four. (Who came up with that nickname?) Davy Jones sang the lead, Micky Dolenz sang the backing vocals, Mike Nesmith played lead guitar and Peter Tork played piano and did the arrangement. They had come a long way. The Monkees were originally assembled for a TV show, and only sang on their first records.
Oh, I could hide 'neath the wings
Of the bluebird as she sings
The six o'clock alarm would never ring
But it rings and I rise
Wipe the sleep out of my eyes
My shaving razor's cold and it stings.
And it's that time again. Time to reveal the number one song on our list. You knew it had to happen sooner or later. But it's time to wake up and smell the coffee. The top dream song is...!
1. All I Have To Do Is Dream
This is probably everyone's favorite Everly Brothers song, let alone favorite dream song. The tremolo guitar, the harmony vocals, the words, everything! It's a great song. It was the first to hit #1 on all US singles charts simultaneously, on June 2, 1958. It was also the #1 Best Seller in Stores (4 weeks) and #1 Most Played by Jockeys (5 weeks) in May & June 1958. It was also #1 in the UK. How 'bout that?
Dream, dream, dream, dream
Dream, dream, dream, dream
When I want you in my arms
When I want you and all your charms
Whenever I want you, all I have to do is dream
Do you agree with this list? Have any suggestions for honorable mentions? I can think of a few myself, but I want you to decide.
Check out all of the lists here at Rock The Jukebox: