40 Best Songs About Dreams & Dreaming of All Time

Photo of author
Written By Will Fenton

Founder of MidderMusic. From numerous bands to stints working in music shops, read more about me on the 'Here's My Story' page!

Humanity wouldn’t come very far without its dreams. It’s what gives people hope, purpose, and motivation to move forward in life.

And dreams come in different shapes and sizes – and they all matter just the same.

Regardless of what your dreams are, music about dreams can help you remind yourself of what they mean to you.

So for today’s article, we made a list of the best songs about dreams. We covered different genres and perspectives on dreams, so we’re sure you’ll find something you like!

Table of Contents

1. “In Dreams” by Roy Orbison

Have you ever awoken from a dream hoping that it had been a reality? I have done that many times, and it is the most horrible sensation in the world.

Well, Roy Orbison did that as well, and the resulting song is widely considered to be among the very greatest dream songs ever written.

The song “In Dreams” is about getting back together with a friend or family member.

In his dream, he is moving around and having conversations, and his girlfriend is with him “all the time.” He doesn’t wake up until just before dawn, and by the time he does, she’s already gone.

This is a song about the feeling of missing someone so much that the only time you can see them again is in your dreams. It’s a beautiful song, but it really breaks your heart as well.

2. “Dream On” by Aerosmith

One of the most well-known songs by Aerosmith, “Dream On” is not just about fulfilling the fantasies you have in your brain by shutting your eyes.

This song is about not giving up on your dreams and doing the work that is necessary in order to make them come true.

It may seem like a rather subdued 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 pushing until their dreams become a reality.

“Dream on, dream until the dream comes true,” Mr. Steven Tyler exhorts.

3. “Boulevard Of Broken Dreams” by Green Day

Green Day included the track “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” on their album American Idiot, which was released in 2004 and is classified as an alternative rock opera.

Billie Joe Armstrong, the lead vocalist, and guitarist for Green Day express his regrets towards the past as well as his own feelings of isolation throughout this song.

In addition to this, the music video has an eerie, almost dreamlike air to it. This song is more about the dreams one has when awake than the ones one has while asleep.

Goals are also dreams, and sadly, not achieving one’s aspirations may feel just as disappointing as having one’s dream dashed.

This song contributes to the process of describing how the protagonist of the rock opera feels about being alone.

A personal message from frontman Billie Joe Armstrong, maybe relating to his own sentiments of melancholy or despondency, could also be conveyed by this song.

4. “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac

This Fleetwood Mac song, which was featured on the band’s eleventh studio album titled “Rumors,” is sure to be a favorite of fans of the soft rock genre.

The song “Dreams” tells the story of a lady in a relationship with a man who wants to see other people and dreams of him recognizing that he lost something nice with her when he started seeing other people.

In 1977, the song climbed all the way to the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 as well as the Canadian RPM Top 100 Singles list.

In the year 2020, the song’s popularity skyrocketed as a result of a TikTok video that went viral, and it reached its highest point on the Billboard Hot Rock & Alternative Songs list.

5. “And Dream Of Sheep” by Kate Bush

Have you ever had the desire to sleep yet been unable to? A little bit of sleeplessness, maybe? Or, how about being forced to sleep while drifting aimlessly on the ocean? Although it makes no sense, this song is actually about the topic.

On the second disc of Kate Bush’s magnum opus from 1995, “Hounds of Love”, there is a concept piece that consists of seven tracks and is titled “The Ninth Wave.”

The song titled “And Dream of Sheep, addresses the dreadful experience of being adrift in the ocean with no one to assist you and no hope of rescue.

To escape the predicament, the main character wants to go to sleep “and dream of sheep.” She tells herself that she will “wake up to any sound of engines,” but falling asleep in water isn’t a good idea, even with a life jacket on.

Voices that commanded her to remain awake jolted her back to reality, saying things like “You have to wake up” and “pay attention.”

There are entire books dedicated to praising how wonderful “The Ninth Wave” is (I recall Bret Anderson of the band Suede, among others, waxing lyrical about it on a documentary about the album).

An outstanding piece of work created by an artist who was operating at the pinnacle of her creative abilities is presented here.

To get the full impact of it, you should listen to it in the wee hours of the morning while wearing good headphones and being as relaxed as possible.

6. “The Dreaming Tree” by Dave Matthews Band

It takes a great lyricist to develop lyrics for a song that can be interpreted in many different ways by many different individuals in many different contexts.

The lyrics of this song have been connected by some listeners in their minds to the passing of a loved one, be it a kid or a partner.

Some individuals have taken it more literally and interpreted it as meaning that the tree has observed people dreaming around it. However, when dreams pass away, the tree’s lifespan will eventually come to an end as well.

It is a song with more of a gloomy undertone to it that truly talks about how personal development may also lead to the death of dreams.

It doesn’t matter how you listen to the song; everyone can agree that it is an excellent piece of music that should be played over and over again.

7. “Wildest Dreams” by Taylor Swift

There’s a good chance that listeners who prefer pop and country guitar music are already acquainted with this blockbuster release by Taylor Swift.

The concept of love dreams and dreaming in a romantic manner is the focal point of this song. Taylor Swift is well-known for writing songs that center on romantic relationships and getting her own back.

Because of this, the fact that she would write a song with a dreamlike theme about a love partner shouldn’t come as a surprise at all.

In this song, she paints a wistful but realistic picture of an idyllic love scenario that, in the end, may turn out to be nothing more than a dream. The listeners will be able to empathize with this scenario.

Additionally, the song was put forth for consideration for an MTV Movie Award in the category of Best Musical Moment.

8. “A Head Full of Dreams” by Coldplay

This chart-topping song was released by the British rock band Coldplay in 2015, and it was taken from the album of the same name.

It’s all about embracing and accepting what happens in your life, as well as acknowledging the beauty and limitless possibilities that come with dreaming.

There is a tonne of other amazing songs that Coldplay has released, like “Viva La Vida,” which is included in our playlist of the best songs of all time.

Between the years 2015 and 2017, “A Head Full of Dreams” peaked at position #2 on the charts in both Belgium and Iceland, and it reached position #26 on the Billboard Hot Rock & Alternative Songs list in the United States.

9. “After the Gold Rush” by Neil Young

Young played the piano for ‘After the Gold Rush,’ which is one of his most bizarre tunes but also one of his most beloved melodies. The only other instrument that can be heard is a flugelhorn playing a mournful melody in the background.

In it, we witness the environmentalist, Neil Young, singing about a dream (almost like a biblical vision) he’s had concerning the future of the human race.

We have “put mother nature on the run,” and if we keep doing what we are doing, we will be forced to relocate the seed that mother nature gave us “to a new home in the sun.”

It was a significant change from his earlier work and was composed specifically for the soundtrack of an unreleased film starring Dean Stockwell.

However, the film was never released. Despite this, the song eventually become an iconic “moment” in Young’s long and illustrious career.

10. “Don’t Dream It’s Over” by Crowded House

In 1986, the Australian rock band known as Crowded House published a song with the title “Don’t Dream It’s Over.” The track was included on the band’s first album, which was simply named Crowded House.

The lyrics of this song are meant to be motivational. It encourages the listener to never give up on their goals and aspirations.

This might apply to the listener’s love dreams, dreams about their careers, fantasies about their social lives, or any other kind of dream that they have.

By 1987, the popular song had already been considered for three different MTV Video Music Award nominations.

11. “I’ve Got Dreams To Remember” by Ottis Redding

Do you know what your dreams are? And are you doing anything to make them come true?

Well, Ottis Redding can certainly remind you to think about your dreams.

He recorded “I’ve Got Dreams To Remember” in 1968, but we still haven’t forgotten about it. It’s a soulful, tender song, and its charm is undeniably timeless. 

12. “You Make My Dreams Come True” by Hall & Oates

Besides reminding you of your dreams, “You Make My Dreams Come True” will make you dance. It’s a sweet, uplifting song released on the duo’s 1980 album “Voices”.

The song is featured in multiple movies and TV shows such as “500 Days Of Summer” and “The Wedding Singer”.

It’s basically a love song – sometimes your dreams will come true when you share them with another person.

13. “Dreams” by The Cranberries

This is arguably one of the most popular songs about dreams.

The song is taken from The Cranberries’ debut studio album “Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We? ” in 2003, although it was released as a single in 2002.

“Dreams” is all about hopeful melodies, Dolores O’Riordan’s mesmerizing vocals, and genuine lyrics.

14. “Dreams” by Beck

Another song titled “Dreams” was released in 2015 by famous American singer/songwriter Beck. It’s one of the songs that defined Beck’s more modern sound.

Essentially, it’s a catchy indie tune with quirky lyrics ideal for driving around or confidently walking down the street.

15. “Sweet Dreams” by BØRNS

Did you call your special someone to wish them sweet dreams last night? If not, you can send them this song by an American singer known as BØRNS.

The song was released on the singer’s studio album “Blue Madonna” in 2018, and it’s a perfect example of how most of his music sounds. It’s a cool pop tune that will probably stay in your head for a while.

However, this particular track does sound a bit more dreamy.

16. “Dreams” by The Temper Trap

“Dreams” by The Temper Trap isn’t one of the most famous songs about dreams, but it’s definitely worth mentioning.

There is something captivating about this song, and it’s definitely a good daydreaming soundtrack.

17. “Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)” by Eurythmics, Annie Lennox, and Dave Stewart

And our next song is far from being unknown.

Annie Lenox’s signature track is undoubtedly one of the most iconic songs about dreams. In fact, it’s generally one of the biggest classics ever written.

In the book ‘Annie Lennox: The Biography’, Lennox explained that “Sweet Dreams” is about the search for fulfillment and the desires that motivate us.

So although many people see it as an ultimate dance record, it’s actually a fundamentally existential song about some uneasy questions.

18. “Dreaming with a Broken Heart” by John Mayer

John Mayer Says: when you’re dreaming with a broken heart, waking up is the hardest part.

If you are currently one of those heartbroken people, this dreamy, soulful ballad can help you process some uncomfortable feelings.

Either way, it’s one of the melancholic tunes about dreams and all the ways they can fall apart.

19. “Dream” by Imagine Dragons

Imagine Dragons also recorded a dream-themed song. And although it’s not one of their popular hits, “Dream” is actually a very powerful song.

It talks about times when you realize that everything is a mess but you stick to your dreams and hopes despite it all.

You can hear Dan Reynolds singing:

But I wanna dream

I wanna dream

Leave me to dream.

20. “Dream” by Bishop Briggs

Sarah Grace McLaughlin, known professionally as Bishop Briggs, is a British singer known for making motivating songs full of feelings of determination.

And her track “Dream” is no different. As she says in one of the verses – she feels lost and bitter. But the song also has an element of hope that fits the song’s title.

21. “Dream On” by The Chemical Brothers

When you hear this type of song, all you need to do is sit back, relax, and lose yourself in daydreaming.

The Chemical Brothers’ “Dream On” is an incredibly hopeful and dreamy tune that will undoubtedly make you feel a little bit better after listening to it.

You just need to let it overwhelm you.

22. “Dream State” by Son Lux

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AjjlABP5t1Q

Another song that will put you in daydreaming mode is “Dream State” by Son Lux.

However, Son Lux has a tendency to put its listeners in a unique daydreaming mode.

It certainly feels less hopeful than the previous track, but it’s definitely interesting. Sometimes they sound like they’re inventing their own music genre.

23. “Dreams” by Nuages

Let’s suppose that you were able every night to dream any dream you wanted to dream…

This is how this unique song begins. Nuages can simply take you to another world, where everything is possible and where you can feel your own ‘fabric of existence’.

But you can also put this song on your chill playlist – although it’s very captivating and almost intense, it’s also somehow very relaxing.

24. “Walking On A Dream” by Empire Of The Sun

And listening to “Walking On A Dream” undeniably feels relaxing. It’s a catchy and cheerful tune and one of the songs that Empire Of The Sun is best known for.

The song was released in 2018, but it still sounds fresh. It’s a really nice throwback, and it’s definitely a type of music that can make you feel like you’re going to have an amazing day.

It can make you feel like you’re walking on a dream.

25. “Fever Dream” by Iron & Wine

Sam Beam known as Iron & Wine released this indie track on his studio album “Our Endless Numbered Days” in 2003.

Just like most of the songs on the album, “Fever Dream” sounds tender and melodic.

Our other choice for this list was Iron & Wine’s “Call It Dreaming”, a more cheerful and motivating song about dreaming.

It’s also a great tune, but there’s something about “Fever Dream” that’s inherently dreamy and beautiful…

26. “Daydreaming” by Harry Styles

Harry Styles’ new studio album “Harry’s House” sounds like it’s made for lazy summer daydreaming.

And the meaning behind his track “Daydreaming” is pretty straightforward – he just wants to spend time with someone he loves and have something to dream about.

27. “In My Dreams” by Emmylou Harris

This sweet country song about dreams will remind you that at least in your dreams everything can work out right.

In the song, Emmylou Harris would also rather know the truth than live through a life of lies. And although she’s obviously singing about a failed relationship, she still sounds hopeful…

28. “California Dreamin’” by The Mamas & The Papas

Well, it’s fair to say that “California Dreamin’” is an absolute classic among dream-themed music.

“California Dreamin’” wasn’t an immediate hit though. But things, of course, changed. Either way, it’s a beautiful, dreamy love ballad with so much nostalgia in it.

The band wrote the song in 1963 when John and Michelle Phillips were living in New York. In fact, John supposedly dreamed about the song and woke Michelle up to help him write it down.

29. “Just A Dream” by Nelly

In his 2010 chart-topping hit “Just A Dream”, Nelly sings about being heartbroken.

The guy in the song regrets not staying together with his girl, and he is trying to fix everything but he realizes it was just a dream.

We don’t know if the guy eventually succeeded in getting his girl back, but we know that he is the protagonist of one of the most popular R&B/hip-hop tracks ever written.

30. “If I Can Dream” by Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley was one of the legendary musicians that had a vision and big dreams.

And his “If I Can Dream” is exactly as he wanted it to be; dreamy, nostalgic, and memorable.

For the 2022 movie about Elvis, the song was covered by Måneskin. And although singing Elvis’ songs is a tricky business, they actually did a pretty good job.

31. “Dream A Little Dream Of Me” by Doris Day

Stars shining bright above you, night breezes seem to whisper “I love you”…

Without a doubt, “Dream A Little Dream Of Me” is the most iconic song about dreams on this list. It’s a timeless classic written in 1931, and it continued being covered by other artists ever since.

One of the most famous covers is a version by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong recorded in 1950. Also magical.

32. “Dreams” by The Kooks

The Kooks “Dreams” on their studio album “Listen” in 2014.

The lyrics of the song are open for interpretation, but they fit the repeating melody and easy-going vibes of the song.

Baby in the morning, pour me your dreams…

33. “Sad Dream” by Sky Ferreira

If you’re looking for dreamy songs, look no further: Sky Ferreira’s “Sad Dream” will immediately put you in a daydreaming state of mind.

The song is melancholic, but it’s not too sad. In our opinion, it’s one of her most beautiful songs, and it definitely deserves a spot on this list.

34. “40 Day Dream” by Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros

And if you’re looking for something more uplifting, this one’s for you.

Although “40 Day Dream” isn’t one of Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros’ most cheerful songs, it sounds very hopeful.

We have no idea what the lyrics are about, but the vibes are good.

35. “I Could Be Dreaming” by Belle and Sebastian

Belle and Sebastian are known for making sweet, playful music, so it comes as no surprise that they wrote a song about dreaming.

They released “I Could Be Dreaming” on their “Tigermilk” in 1996.

36. “The Kingdom Of Dreams” by The Sandman OST

“The Sandman” is one of the most recent hit TV shows on Netflix. And it’s great – but one of the best things about the show is the soundtrack.

This main theme song really sounds magical… It will immediately transport you to a realm of dreams.

Plus, the main character of the show is called Dream.

37. “Dream Within A Dream” by Inception OST

Another soundtrack that seems appropriate for this list is “Dream Within A Dream” from Inception, the movie.

Hans Zimmer did a tremendous job here; the whole soundtrack is very memorable and powerful.

38. “Dream Operator” by Talking Heads

“True Stories” is a 1986 American musical comedy film about a small Texas town full of strange, musical characters.

The film is directed by David Byrne – so the fact that Talking Heads contributed to its soundtrack is only logical. And the song “Dream Operator” is one of the songs from the soundtrack.

39. “Punching In A Dream” by The Naked And The Famous

“Punching In A Dream” is a lively indie pop tune released in 2010. It’s a pretty danceable song too.

And although it sounds uplifting, the song actually talks about struggles and fears. However, the lyrics can be interpreted in a different way, so it’s really up to you and what you currently need to hear.

40. “Team” by Lorde

Although “Team” is one of the songs Lorde released back in 2013, it’s still a tune that’s always nice to hear.

The song is very youthful and full of hope, and it can easily take you to your own world of dreams. Therefore, it seems like a suitable finish song for our little list of the best songs about dreams.

Livin’ in ruins of a palace within my dreams

And you know we’re on each other’s team.

Songs About Dreams – Final Thoughts

Hopefully, this dreamy playlist reminded you of your dreams or helped you determine what they are.

Either way, you shouldn’t only wish for things to happen. It’s great to have big dreams, but it’s equally important to actively work towards their realization.

And music about dreams can reassure you that anything is possible if you put your energy into it.

So, turn the volume up and keep dreaming!

Similar Playlists:

Songs About Time