One of the funniest things about dreams is that they can take on a couple of different meanings, depending on who you ask. Since dreams come in many forms, many songs about dreams have been written over the years.
To some people, dreams are directly related to ambition, drive, and desire. They are something that they have wanted for their whole lives and will do anything to achieve them. To other people, a dream takes on a completely different connotation. They are simply the manifestation of subconscious thoughts that take place while they are sleeping. However, they are often subjected to interpretation because people want to know if there is any significant meaning behind their dreams. Here is a great list of songs related to dreams and dreaming for you to listen to.
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1. Just a Dream by Nelly
|Genre||Rap, Hip Hop|
You might be hard-pressed to find a rapper in the early 2000s that was more popular than Nelly. He has 13 albums that were certified either gold or platinum by the RIAA. One of the biggest hits of Nellie’s career was the track “Just a Dream,” which comes from his sixth studio album strangely titled “5.0.” This song is about a couple who have split up, which is told through the lyrics, “Number one spot and now she found her a replacement.” However, he dreams of getting back together.
2. Our Dreams by Wu-Tang Clan
|Genre||Rap, Hip Hop|
Wu-Tang Clan is a rap group based out of the Bronx, New York, whose official members consist of RZA, GZA, Method Man, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, I-Gods, Inspectah Decker, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Cappadonna, the Masta Killa. They are known for their eclectic styles, as well as for incorporating positive messages into their music. One example of this can be heard on the track “Our Dreams,” which comes from their 2010 release “Wu-Massacre.” The message behind this song is powerful yet simple. It’s about not giving up on your dreams and not taking shortcuts to get there.
3. Dream On by Aerosmith
After releasing their debut self-titled album in 1973, the Boston-based rock band Aerosmith has gone on to have one of the most illustrious music careers, spanning nearly five decades. The third track from that album has since become one of the most beloved songs in rock music. “Dream On” was also adored by both fans and music critics alike and is currently ranked number 172 on Rolling Stone’s Top 500 Songs of All Time thanks to its simplistic message of living for the moment and not being afraid to chase your dreams.
4. Shooting Star by Bad Company
Almost everybody reading this has had a childhood dream of what they wanted to become when they grew up. Found on Bad Company’s second album, “Straight Shooter,” the track “Shooting Star” is about a boy named Johnny, who wants to grow up to become a famous musician. He eventually makes his childhood dreams come true when he becomes a successful rock star. Sadly, this song does not have a happy ending, as Johnny overdoses on pills. The band has said that this song serves as a cautionary tale of the price of fame.
5. I Have a Dream by Tupac
|Genre||Rap, Hip Hop|
Everybody should be familiar with the powerful “I Have a Dream” speech given by civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., which talks about his dream for equal rights for people of all colors, races, and genders. This speech was mixed with a rap by Tupac Shakur, who is known for being the best rapper of his generation as well as an outspoken civil rights advocate, to create the inspirational track “I Have a Dream.” This song does not appear on an official Tupac release because it was created posthumously in 2017.
6. Dreams by Fleetwood Mac
With a musical career as celebrated and decorated as Fleetwood Mac’s career, you might think that they would have had more than one Billboard number one hit in the United States. However, the distinction of being their only number one hit goes to their single “Dreams” from their 1977 iconic record “Rumors.” When the song was written, all of the members of the band were going through divorces or nasty breakups. This song was written by Stevie Nicks about her split with fellow bandmate Lindsey Buckingham.
7. Lucid Dreams by Juice WRLD
|Genre||Em Rap, Hip Hop|
|Album||Goodbye & Good Riddance|
“Goodbye & Good Riddance,” which is featured in Rolling Stone’s 200 Greatest Hip Hop Albums of All Time, was the debut album of emo rapper Juice WRLD, whose life was tragically cut short due to an accidental overdose on his 21st birthday. “Lucid Dreams” was the biggest hit of his brief career, peaking at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 list. They proclaimed the song to be the best hip hop track of 2018, which is about loving someone but realizing that they are no good for you, so you let them go.
8. Teenage Dream by Katy Perry
Katy Perry was one of the most recognized names in pop music in the 2010s and was nominated for 13 Grammys. One of her nominations was for “Teenage Dream,” which also happens to be the title of her third album. While most songs are focused on the artist trying to find the person of their dreams, this song is different. It seems like Katy Perry has found her soulmate. They are so perfect together that it feels like a dream because things are going so well for them. He makes her feel special.
9. Wildest Dreams by Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift has written more songs about bad relationships than anyone. The latest installment in this saga comes from her album “1989” and is the track “Wildest Dreams.” The story that I think this song is trying to tell is that of a forbidden romance. She hints at that with the lyrics, “No one has to know what we do.” The relationship has to come to an end because the guy is moving, and she won’t go with him. He asks him to always remember her, even if it’s in his wildest dreams.
10. Just a Dream by Carrie Underwood
One of the dangers of serving your country in the military is that when you are called to duty, there may be a chance that you won’t make it back home. In Carrie Underwood’s song “Just A Dream” from her second album “Carnival Ride,” The man that she is planning to marry goes off to serve this country during wartime. Unfortunately, he does not make it back home. This is so hard for her to accept that she says it all feels like it’s just a dream, and she has recurring nightmares about her wedding.
11. Dreams by The Cranberries
|Album||Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?|
The Cranberries broke onto the alternative rock scene with their debut album “Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?” and their hit single “Dreams.” Released in 1993, the song has a positive message of letting nothing stand in the way of achieving your dreams and never being satisfied with where you are. Sadly, singer and founding member Dolores O’Riordan passed away from drowning as a result of alcohol intoxication. The singer-songwriter’s legacy included seven albums with The Cranberries, four of which hit number one on the Billboard charts.
12. Dreams by Van Halen
Van Halen made waves in the Hard Rock world in 1985 when they hired Sammy Hagar to take over lead vocal duties, officially replacing the newly-departed David Lee Roth. When Hagar joined the band, their music underwent drastic changes, going from a straightforward sound to a more complex version of hard rock. Released in 1986, the album 5150 was the band’s first with Sammy Hagar. It was the band’s first number one album, and the song “Dreams,” which is about achieving your goals, was the second single released during the Sammy Hagar era.
13. Nightmare/The Dreamtime by Motörhead
Motörhead bassist and frontman Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister is a self-proclaimed history buff and an acid collector of military memorabilia, which is why it should come as no surprise that his band wrote an entire album about war. One of the standout tracks from “1916” was “Nightmare/The Dreamtime,” which is about one of the oldest battles known to mankind, which is between good and evil. The song Alsop pertains to how most of the atrocities that people commit are under the cloak of darkness or at night when they won’t be caught.
14. Street of Dreams by Guns N’ Roses
Costing over 13 million dollars and recorded across 15 studios, “Chinese Democracy” is the most expensive album ever recorded. After narrowing down dozens of songs, Axl Roses finally settled on 14, including the ballad “Street of Dreams,” which is about the regret that most people feel after a relationship has ended. Sometimes people drift apart and realize that they aren’t meant for each other anymore. That’s what lead vocalist Axl Rose must have been feeling when he wrote, “What I thought was beautiful, don’t live inside of you anymore.”
15. Eye Of The Tiger by Survivor
|Album||Eye Of The Tiger, Rocky III Soundtrack|
In my opinion, no song can stress the importance of achieving your dreams and working towards your goals, like one of the themes from the “Rocky” movies. Survivor’s fist-pumping classic “Eye Of The Tiger” was not only the title track from their 1982 album, but it was also the theme song from “Rocky III.” In typical Rocky fashion, this is about starting from nothing and working your way to the top. It’s about being hungry enough to chase your dreams and not letting anything stop you from being the best.
16. Only In Dreams (Kitchen Tapes) by Weezer
|Album||Opposite Sides of the Same Good Ol’ Fence|
“Only In Dreams” is the final track on the alternative rock band Weezer’s second demo tape, “Opposite Sides of the Same Good Ol’ Fence,” which is also referred to as “The Kitchen Tape” because the band rented a house and recorded it in the kitchen. However, many fans refer to it as the band’s first album. The song is about searching for the perfect partner, but you can only find them in your dreams. I think that this song was Weezer’s way of saying that in the real world, the perfect person doesn’t exist.
17. Reach Down by Temple of the Dog
|Album||Temple of the Dog|
Temple of the Dog is a one-off supergroup that was formed when members of Soundgarden and Pearl Jam decided to write an album that paid tribute to their dear friend Andrew Wood, who tragically passed away from a heroin overdose in March of 1990. “Reach Down” is the second track on their self-titled album and is an 11-minute opus in which Chris Cornell sings about a dream that he had about Andrew Wood. In the dream, Cornell was able to tell his best friend how frustrated he was without him there anymore.
18. Simple Man by Lynyrd Skynyrd
|Genre||Southern Rock, Classic Rock|
|Album||“(Pronounced ‘Lĕh-‘nérd ‘Skin-‘nérd)|
“Simple Man” is the fourth track on the Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd’s debut album “(Pronounced ‘Lĕh-‘nérd ‘Skin-‘nérd).” The song has become one of their most beloved anthems, as well as their top-selling digital download since becoming available on that platform, thanks to its relatable message. It’s about a man who is recalling a time when his mother was telling him what kind of man she thought he should be. You could say that she is letting him know that she has dreams, hopes, and aspirations she has for her only son.
19. Foreclosure of a Dream by Megadeth
|Album||Countdown to Extinction|
Megadeth frontman and guitar player Dave Mustaine makes no qualms about pouring his emotions into his music. He is completely unafraid when it comes to letting his fans know what side of the political fence he’s on, as well as how he feels about prevalent social issues. “Foreclosure of a Dream” appears as the fourth track on Megadeth’s 1992 album “Countdown to Extinction.” This song details the plight of the American people and how much they were suffering because of the state of the economy in the United States at that time.
20. Boulevard of Broken Dreams by Green Day
In 2004, Bay Area punk rock icons Green Day released their seventh album titled “American Idiot,” which drew praise from both fans and critics alike while also winning the 2005 Grammy Award for Record of the Year. “American Idiot” was a rock opera about a character named Jesus of Suburbia, and “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” was the second single from the record. It was named Rolling Stone Readers’ Choice Song of the Decade in 2009 and represents the disillusionment that the youth in America was feeling at the time of its release.
21. Oh, What a Dream by Johnny Cash
|Album||The Greatest Years 1958-1986|
The late, great Johnny Cash is one of those artists that can transcend both time and genre and is respected by critics, fans, and fellow musicians. His impressive career in country music spanned five decades. However, what many people don’t know is that before he adopted his Man in Black persona, he sang positive and uplifting songs, sometimes incorporating gospel messages into his music. He did this in his song “Oh, What a Dream,” which is about his dream of going to Heaven and falling into with an angel. This is one of my personal favorite songs about dreaming.
22. American Dream by Ice Cube
|Genre||Rap, Hip Hop|
Once known as the mastermind behind the now-defunct notorious rap group NWA, Ice Cube has had a successful career in both movies and music. After a short hiatus from his rap career, Ice Cube returned in 2020 with his single “American Dream,” which is about how people who come from poverty never really get a fair shot at achieving what they perceive is the ideal American dream. He makes this clear from the beginning of the song with the opening lyrics, “If I can sell you the American dream, I can sell you anything.”
23. Poison Dream by Lamb Of God
|Album||Lamb Of God|
Virginia’s own Lamb of God were the pioneers of a unique subgenre of heavy metal they like to call Pure American Metal. They are also deeply concerned with the state of the environment. When you combine these two, you get “Poison Dream.” The seventh track from Lamb of God’s self-titled album, which features a guest vocal appearance from Hatebreed’s Jamey Jasta, is told from the perspective of the Earth, who has no choice other than to observe mankind destroying and polluting the skies and the water while chasing their dreams of becoming wealthy.
24. Better Man by Pearl Jam
Sometimes people are in situations so dire that all they can do is dream about having a better life someday. That must have been the concept that inspired the guys in Pearl Jam to write the song “Better Man.” The hit single from their third album, “Vitalogy,” is about a woman who once had dreams come oops, and goals for herself. She ends up settling down and finds herself in an abusive relationship. She wants to leave her husband but keeps telling herself that she’ll never be able to find a better man.
25. Gasoline Dreams by Outkast
|Genre||Rap, Hip Hop|
It’s funny how the “American Dream” can take on several different meanings, depending on who you ask. To some people, it can mean getting a good education, settling down, having a family, and being successful. To others, like the Georgia-based rap duo Outkast, it can mean something as simple as wanting equality and justice or seeing those you love make it out of a bad situation. The track “Gasoline Dreams,” which is the second song found on their album “Stankonia,” brings this message to their legions of fans across America.
26. Wait and Bleed by Slipknot
This is the most disturbing song about dreaming on this list, but that doesn’t surprise me, considering who it’s from. This nine-piece outfit hails from Iowa and excels at making music that both intrigues and infuriates most people. “Wait and Bleed” was Slipknot’s first single from their self-titled debut album, which is one of the band’s most beloved tracks. It’s about somebody who continually dreams of taking their own life. Unfortunately, this person ends up going through with it but realizes far too late that this isn’t what they wanted to do.
27. Worse Dreams by Soundgarden
In 2012, Soundgarden shocked the musicians’ world when they decided to reform the band and record their comeback album “King Animal.” The eleventh track on that album, “Worse Dreams,” it’s a song that builds on the expression “Things can’t possibly get any worse.” The song starts with a brooding intro and then slowly builds momentum as it continues, while Chris Cornell uses dreams as a metaphor for how bad things tend to get him down. However, once the bad things that surround him start to affect his mindset, even worse things happen.
28. Just a Man by Faith No More
|Album||King for a Day… Fool for a Lifetime|
Have things ever been going well, but you feel like something is going to happen at any time? According to many professionals, this happens because of past traumatic experiences in your childhood. Well, if that’s the case, Faith No More frontman Mike Patton must have been working out some issues when he wrote “Just a Man.” The final track on 1995’s “King for a Day… Fool for a Lifetime” is about a man who finds that things are going extremely well in his relationship but still expects the worst scenario.
29. Just Playing (Dreams) by Notorious B.I.G
|Genre||Rap, Hip Hop|
|Album||Life After Death|
Christopher Wallace, also known as his Notorious B.I.G, has a reputation of being one of the greatest rappers ever to pick up a microphone, although he died at the incredibly young age of 24 years old. Notorious B.I.G was so well-respected amongst his musical peers that he was nominated for four Grammys in 1994, including one for his posthumous release “Life After Death.” One of the tracks on that album was “Just Playing (Dreams),” where he lists all the musical artists that he has a crush on.
30. Someone Else’s Dream by Faith Hill
|Album||It Matters to Me|
Most parents have plenty of hopes and aspirations for their children. Sometimes those expectations don’t work for the child. If this sounds familiar, then you can relate to the lead track on “It Matters to Me.” The song is about a young girl who receives lots of pressure from her mom to become the homecoming queen while her dad wants to see his little girl get swept off her feet, get married, and start a family. Much to their chagrin, she doesn’t want to be a princess and experiences a failed marriage.
31. Tomorrow’s Dream by Black Sabbath
|Genre||Heavy Metal, Classic Rock|
Few musical artists can be seen as true originators of a specific style or genre the way that Black Sabbath can. However, their 1972 classic metal masterpiece “Vol. 4” saw a lyrical and stylistic shift in songs like “Tomorrow’s Dream.”Simply put, this song is about planning an escape and not letting anybody know that you’re leaving. Sometimes you just have to get away and never look back. We all dream about that at some point in our lives. You have to get away from the madness before sadness and depression consume you.
32. Dream Gone Bad by Killer Be Killed
The supergroup Killer Be Killed is known for including a few positive messages in its music, which is what it did in its track “Dream Gone Bad.” The second release from “Reluctant Hero” may initially sound like an angry metal song, but there is something positive going on under those growling vocals and heavy riffs. The song is about not having a dream of the way you think your life is supposed to go. Sometimes things don’t go exactly as planned, but as the track states, it’s never too late to turn things around.
33. Over the Hills and Far Away by Led Zeppelin
|Album||Houses of the Holy|
Have you ever met that special someone with whom you shared an instant connection and immediately thought that they were the embodiment of every dream you’ve ever had of how a relationship should be? I can only imagine that this is what must have been going through Robert Plant’s mind when he wrote the lyrics to “Over the Hills and Far Away” from the classic Led Zeppelin album “Houses of the Holy.” Throughout this song, Plant sings about how he has failed at love many times, but this time it feels right.
34. The Dream by The Cure
|Genre||Alternative, Goth Rock|
The Cure is widely considered by many to be the original goth band and dominated the alternative music landscape in the 1980s. One of the reasons that they were so well respected and adored was for the lyrical content of their songs, like what can be heard on the track “The Dream,” which is from their album “Japanese Whispers.” This song is about the love between Robert Smith and his partner. Although it was once like a dream, he can’t wait any longer to let her know that the love between them has died.
35. Sleep To Dream by Fiona Apple
Fiona Apple is one of the most quirky musicians and gifted vocalists in alternative and Indie music. She is also an incredibly gifted poet whose lyrics made her debut album “Tidal” a hit amongst both fans and critics of modern music. “Sleep To Dream” was the lead track from that album for the eleven-time Grammy nominee and three-time Grammy Award winner. This song is the unfortunate story of a girl who loves someone who is not in love with her. She knows that his love is and dream she can never have.
36. These Dreams by Heart
Ann and Nancy Wilson are the dynamic duo behind the hard rock legends known as Heart, who have had an incredible musical journey that has lasted for several decades now. While the band rose to some prominence in the 1970s, they experienced a major spike in popularity in the 1980s, which included their self-titled album and songs like the track “These Dreams.” While there are a few interpretations of this song, I believe that it
Hi, my name is Kevin and I’m from Butler, Pennsylvania. I’ve been obsessed with music and audio gear for as long as I can remember. I started this website to help people find professional advice related to a wide range of audio topics. We have a number of Audio Engineers on our team who have been designing and fixing audio gear for decades.