Some of the most unique and fascinating lyrics have come from songs about dreams and dreaming.
Because dreaming is such a personal experience, songwriters have used it to their advantage and penned the greatest tunes that have captivated listeners worldwide.
Whether you’re looking for your prince charming or hoping to become a rock star, we’re positive these tracks will inspire and motivate you to keep dreaming.
The 27 Best Songs About Dreams & Dreaming
After carefully listening to lots of songs about dreams and dreaming, we’ve narrowed down the most iconic dreams songs the music industry offers.
Here’s our playlist of the 27 best songs about dreams and dreaming:
27. California Dreamin’ – The Mamas And The Papas
Although this folk-rock hit was first recorded by Barry McGuire, the Mamas and the Papas covered it in 1965.
The song talks about the narrator’s desire for the warmth of L.A. while being stuck in a harsh winter in New York City.
“California Dreamin'” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2001 and peaked at #4 on both the Billboard Hot 100 and U.S. Cash Box Top 100 in 1966.
26. Daysleeper – R.E.M.
“Daysleeper” was released on alternative rock band R.E.M.’s eleventh studio album, Up.
This great song is sung from the perspective of a night shift worker and concentrates on the issues of a lifestyle with an interrupted circadian rhythm.
“Daysleeper” earned worldwide success, earning #1 on the Billboard Adult Alternative Songs chart, taking the top spot in Iceland, and making #5 in Canada during 1998.
25. American Dream – MKTO
The musical duo, MKTO, released this song to the world in 2014 from their debut, self-titled album.
The pop song describes the character of the United States, focusing on the fact that the stereotypical life people strive for in America may not be all that it’s cracked up to be.
“American Dream” peaked at #40 in Australia, #12 in New Zealand, and #33 on the Billboard Mainstream Top 40 chart in 2014.
24. After The Gold Rush – Neil Young
Neil Young’s “After The Gold Rush” came from his 1970 album of the same name, appearing on compilation albums, Decade, Greatest Hits, and Live Rust.
Although widely known as an environmentalism anthem, this intriguing song takes listeners time traveling through three times in history.
Many popular artists have covered the song, including Dolly Parton, Prelude, The Dave Matthews Band, and The Flaming Lips. The acapella version by Prelude peaked at #51 in Australia in 1974.
23. Dreams – Fleetwood Mac
If you’re a soft rock fan, you’ll thoroughly enjoy this hit from Fleetwood Mac, released on their eleventh studio album, Rumors.
“Dreams” is about a woman in a relationship with a man who wants to see other people and dreams of him realizing that he lost something good with her.
The tune soared to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and the Canadian RPM Top 100 Singles chart in 1977. In 2020, the song increased in popularity due to a viral TikTok video, peaking at #2 on the Billboard Hot Rock & Alternative Songs chart.
22. Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me – The Smiths
“Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me” is the sixth track off of The Smiths’ last album, Strangeways, Here We Come, in 1987.
The somber alt-rock song features a male narrator describing how he had a nice dream where he experienced real love.
This classic tune reached #30 on the UK Singles chart and #17 in Ireland and was also covered by other artists, including Eurythmics, Grant-Lee Phillips, and Low.
21. Dream Weaver – Gary Wright
American singer, Gary Wright, released his song, “Dream Weaver,” as the first single off his third album.
In this track, the narrator asks a god-like figure (the “Dream Weaver”) to take away the worries and pains from his life.
The song peaked at #1 in Canada and the U.S. Cash Box Top 100, #2 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, and #14 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart between 1975 and 1976.
20. Sweet Dreams – Beyoncé
Here’s an electropop tune from the one and only Queen B that’ll get you dancing and dreaming!
This song is from Beyoncé’s third studio album, I Am…Sasha Fierce, released in 2008. The lyrics talk about a woman who has a romantic rendezvous with a handsome lover, which she believes to be a dream.
The track made #1 in Australia and New Zealand and took the top spot on the Billboard Rhythmic charts between 2009 and 2011. It also earned Beyoncé the Best Female Vocal award at the 2009 Music MP3 Awards.
19. Silent Lucidity – Queensryche
This power ballad by the American rock band Queensryche was released on their 1990 album, Empire.
“Silent Lucidity” was inspired by the book Creative Dreaming, which discusses how people can tap into their subconscious minds and control their dreams. This song describes the experience of a person who is having a lucid dream.
It hit #1 on the Mainstream Rock charts and #9 on the Billboard Hot 100, while also taking #34 on the UK Singles chart in 1991 and 1992.
18. Just A Dream – Carrie Underwood
Be prepared to shed a few tears when listening to this sad country ballad by Carrie Underwood.
In this song, an 18-year-old grieving teenage bride enters a church in her wedding dress, but in reality, she’s attending the funeral for her soldier groom and wishes it was all a dream.
In 2009, the song won Single of the Year and Music Video of the Year at the Country Universe Reader’s Choice Awards. It also hit #1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart in 2008.
17. These Dreams – Heart
“These Dreams” was released as a single in 1986 off of Heart’s eighth self-titled studio album.
This power ballad was dedicated to a friend of the singer, Nancy Wilson, who died from leukemia. In it, the narrator describes the beautiful dreams she has when she falls asleep.
The track achieved massive success in the U.S., charting at #1 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock and Adult Contemporary charts and on the Cash Box Top 100 in 1986.
16. #9 Dream – John Lennon
This is the second single from John Lennon’s 1974 album, Walls and Bridges.
“#9 Dream” was based on Lennon’s fascination with the number nine, as it constantly seemed to appear to him throughout his life. The nine-syllable phrase, “Ah bowakawa, posse, posse,” also came to him in a dream and appeared in this song.
As one of the most popular tunes from the early 70s, “#9 Dream” hit #23 on the UK Singles chart and #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 between 1974 and 1975.
15. Dream Baby Dream – Bruce Springsteen
“Dream Baby Dream” was originally recorded by the electro-pop band Suicide in 1977, but Springsteen created a more uplifting version, encouraging listeners to keep dreaming.
If you’re a Bruce Springsteen fan, check out his song, “My Hometown,” in our best songs about home playlist.
“Dream Baby Dream” came from his eleventh studio album, High Hopes, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 chart and sold over 99,000 copies in the U.S. within the first week.
14. Just A Dream – Nelly
American rapper, Nelly, released this song as the lead single off of his 2010 album, 5.0.
The track describes a male narrator dreaming about his former lover and remembering the good times they had. Many fans believe it’s based on Nelly’s real-life relationship with R&B singer Ashanti.
This tune hit #1 on the Billboard Mainstream Top 40, Billboard Rhythmic, and Polish Airplay Top 100 charts between 2010 and 2011.
13. Dream – Imagine Dragons
This pop-rock hit from Imagine Dragons is sure to make you think.
“Dream” seems to be a commentary on the idea that everyone is living in their fantasy, and they don’t want to acknowledge the reality that we all live in a chaotic world that’s messed up.
The song was released from the band’s second studio album, Smoke + Mirrors, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 in the U.S., the UK Albums Chart, and the Canadian Albums chart in 2015.
12. Don’t Dream It’s Over – Crowded House
“Don’t Dream It’s Over” from Crowded House’s 1986 debut album is a must-have song for any rock fan’s playlist.
The inspirational lyrics in this tune describe a male narrator who is reassuring his woman about their relationship and encouraging her never to stop pursuing her dreams.
This Crowded House track reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 in New Zealand in 1987 and won Best Video at the 1986 Countdown Australian Music Awards.
11. Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car – Billy Ocean
This dance-pop hit from Billy Ocean was the lead single from his 1988 album, Tear Down These Walls.
“Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car” is all about Ocean wanting to make his dream of being with a particular woman a reality.
It peaked at #7 in Canada, #3 in the UK, and hit #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and Hot Black Singles charts in 1988.
10. Dreamlover – Mariah Carey
“Dreamlover” is a classic pop/R&B groove from Carey’s third studio album, Music Box. It features a female narrator who wishes for the lover of her dreams to come and sweep her off her feet.
If you’re a Mariah Carey fan, you’ll love her hit, “Anytime You Need A Friend,” on our best songs about helping others playlist.
This track charted #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, Dance Club Songs, Mainstream Top 40, Rhythmic, and Urban Contemporary charts in 1993.
9. Daydreaming – Radiohead
English rock band, Radiohead, released “Daydreaming” from their ninth studio album, A Moon Shaped Pool, in 2016.
This eerie piano ballad talks about how people who are daydreamers can become disconnected from people’s needs, which can wreak havoc on their relationships.
The song had the most success in the U.S., charting at #12 on the Billboard Hot Rock & Alternative Songs chart in 2016 and taking the #28 spot in France in the same year.
8. Wildest Dreams – Taylor Swift
“Wildest Dreams” is about a girl who wants her lover to remember all the special moments they shared and keep her in his dreams even if their relationship ends.
If you’re a die-hard Taylor Swift fan, take a look at our best karaoke songs playlist that features her hit, “Love Story.”
This romantic dream-pop ballad made it to #1 on the Canadian Top 40, U.S. Billboard Adult Top 40, and Mainstream Top 40 charts in 2015 and 2016.
7. Enter Sandman – Metallica
If you’re someone who doesn’t spook easily, you’ll most likely enjoy this one from heavy metal band Metallica.
This song features a creepy narrator who describes Mr. Sandman as an evil character who tries to scare children when they go to bed at night.
The nightmarish jam soared to #1 on the Finnish charts, #5 on the UK Singles Chart, and#16 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1991.
6. In Dreams – Roy Orbison
“In Dreams” is a pop tune released as a single in 1963, featuring Roy Orbison showcasing his pipes and singing through two octaves.
This sad operatic ballad features a love-forsaken narrator who knows the only place he can be with his lover is in his dreams since she is gone in real life.
The track made #1 in Ireland, #6 in the UK, #3 on the Billboard Middle-Road Singles chart, and #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1963.
5. Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) The Eurythmics
If you need some motivation to pursue your dreams, we recommend checking out this energetic song from the Eurythmics.
It features uplifting lyrics meant to encourage listeners to continue working toward achieving their goals even when it’s hard. If you’re into 80s music, we also suggest checking out our best 80s songs of all time playlist, which also features this song.
“Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)” earned the #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 and #2 on the UK Singles chart in 1983.
4. All I Have To Do Is Dream – The Everly Brothers
“All I Have To Do Is Dream” by The Everly Brothers is a fun pop song originally written by Boudleaux Bryant from the famous husband-wife songwriting team, Felice and Boudleaux Bryant.
This easygoing tune features a male narrator who says that all he has to do to see his woman is go to bed and start dreaming.
The song received the Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 2004 and reached #1 on the Billboard Singles chart in 1958. It also appears in the 2001 film, Riding in Cars with Boys.
3. A Head Full Of Dreams – Coldplay
British rock band, Coldplay, released this popular hit off their 2015 album of the same name. It’s all about embracing and accepting what happens in your life and recognizing the beauty and infinite possibilities of dreams and dreaming.
Coldplay has plenty more incredible songs, including “Viva La Vida,” which is featured on our best songs of all time playlist.
“A Head Full Of Dreams” earned the #2 spot on the Belgium and Iceland charts and hit #26 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Rock & Alternative Songs chart between 2015 and 2017.
2. Dream On – Aerosmith
One of the greatest parts of “Dream On” is the incredible trademark scream Steven Tyler does towards the end.
This hard rock ballad is about the desire we all have to be somebody great and is meant to inspire listeners to dream until their dreams come true.
Aerosmith also appears on our best 90s songs of all time playlist with their chart-topping hit, “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing.”
“Dream On” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2018 and peaked at #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1976.
1. Boulevard Of Broken Dreams – Green Day
We’ve finally arrived at the best dream song of all time, and this one’s sure to impress! “Boulevard Of Broken Dreams” is the fourth song from Green Day’s seventh studio album, American Idiot.
The lyrics depict a lonely narrator who is depressed and haunted by his broken dreams. However, the lead singer, Billie Joe Armstrong, has stated that he wrote the tune after moving to New York City and feeling alone.
The anthem peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. It also won a Grammy Award for Record of the Year and an MTV Video Music Award for Video of the Year in 2006.
There you have it! An entire playlist worth of the best songs about dreams and dreaming, spanning multiple genres and decades.
We suggest listening to a few of these hits before going to bed. Who knows? They might open up your imagination and inspire some incredible dreams!