In honor of this week’s prompt, #Dreams, our writing staff decided to put together a playlist of all our favorite songs that remind us of dreams. Whether titular or titillating, dreams are a main feature in all of these fire jams. Did we miss any? We’d love to hear your picks.
First of all, RIP Dolores. Second of all, nostalgia. Third of all, great to sing when you’re feeling both melancholic AND romantic
If I have to choose a real song, it’s Dreams by Fleetwood Mac, because if you were to break me down into pie chart form, I’m roughly 43 percent my white Mom, 28 percent your white mom, 15 percent water, 12 percent levothyroxine, and 2 percent Slytherin.
If I can choose a fake song, it’s Burrito Dreams by Lucy Lawless from the criminally underrated SNL sketch “Stevie Nicks Fajita Round-Up,” because I have never heard lyrics that more perfectly applied to my life.
Who doesn’t love popularizing the sci-fi trope that is Thought Crime through ’80s buttrock?
Does not have a dream in its title but does pack this walloping gem in its lyrics: “Is a dream a lie if it don’t come true / Or is it something worse?”
Now I know its cliche for white dudes to pray at the altar of Springsteen, but the reason the altar of Springsteen even exists is because of gems this. Bruce’s question is beautiful, haunting, and relate-able. If you haven’t had a similar thought, or are afraid to dive into your answer, you’re doing it wrong.
Let me ask you this. “Have you ever seen such a beautiful night?” Hilary Duff dared to ask this question in 2003’s preteen classic, The Lizzie McGuire Movie, which gave us this gem of a pump up anthem—”What Dreams Are Made Of.”
A lot happens in the course of this song. Paolo is revealed to be a phony, and his plot to take advantage of Lizzie is foiled. Lizzie realizes her true star potential, and teams up with her doppelgänger Isabella to crank out a feminist power duet about making dreams come true. There’s an astounding costume change in the middle of the song, and the crowd at this weird Euro-music awards show goes wild. This is the best song about dreams, because the whole sequence is indeed what dreams are made of.
It opens with haunting space age wind chimes that turn into an intergalactic lullaby. Then Gary Wright, his voice as thin as his hair, sings confusing metaphors about trains, astral planes, and automobiles.
It’s too ridiculous. It’s too serious. It’s too much. And then just as you’re ready to hit the skip button to the next track, the chorus hits:
oh DREEEEEEEAM WEAVER!
And suddenly, it all makes sense. We’re floating. We’re flying. We’re all in love.
Hey, can I get some extra cool points because the prompt-y word is used twice in the title? Funky with that neo-soul retro vibe that takes you back—and the members are actually playing real instruments! Fancy that! Plus, who can resist their dreamy lyrics?
I was browsing the aisles of DSW, focused on finding some inexpensive fancy footwear, when the song reeled me in. “I been up all night, no sleep / ‘Cause I feel like I’m always dreaming.”
How strange. Not since an Uber driver named Jose picked me up during the “No Way, Jose” prompt has the universe spoken so clearly to me. It was a sign. I typed out a quick note on my phone about “All Night” by Matoma and The Vamps and how it had made me dance through the aisles. But when I came back to it, I realized the story wasn’t enough.
Even if I danced in the aisles like I was lost in a dream, the best song about dreaming is still “Pinch Me” by the Barenaked Ladies. Listen, I’m not the only one who always tries to keep up with the lyrics but the words spill out as missed notes and half words, like the gibberish that dreams become after you’ve woken for a few minutes? I’m not the only one that gets to the end of the chorus and triumphantly sings “try to figure out what all this is for” like I’d been there all along? I’m not the only one, right? Tell me I’m not the only one!
This track combines lead singer Matt Bellamy’s honeyed voice, orchestral undertones (including a piano interlude) and get-straight-to-the-point lyrics in a song about the power of self-actualization. With a title taken from the most recognizable pop culture reference to chaos theory—that a butterfly flapping its wings can cause a hurricane across the globe—the song starts off in a slow murmur and quickly becomes more frantic and urgent in tempo and volume. In increasing crescendo, you hear Bellamy exhort you to “change / everything you are / and everything you were” because “you’ve got to be the best / you’ve got to change the world / and use this chance to be heard.” It’s a reminder that our dreams are often only ours to fight for, and that we must fight indeed to accomplish most of them.