"We are such stuff that dreams are made on" And Six Songs about that 'Stuff'

dreamsMy fellow blogger on ChicagoNow, Jack Spatafora, wrote about dreams the other day and got me thinking about them.  There are nocturnal ones and ones we entertain  fully awake--- aspirations or even visions like in Dr. King's "I Have a Dream"speech.  They can be  frightening, kooky, convoluted, adventuresome, mysterious, ominous, or wet.

The nocturnal varieties  seem to last for ages but really are brief interludes between sleep and consciousness.

Sigmund Freud based his psychotherapy on them in his :"Interpretation of Dreams".  But their analyses goes back to ancient times and to all cultures.  In the Old Testament, Joseph used them to advance his career.

And of course,they are embedded in popular song.  Here are a few of my personal favorites with the dream meme.

(1) "On a Dreamer's Holiday": Perry Como recorded this enchanting standard. As has Willie Nelson. Memorable lyric: "Close your eyes an' concentrate/ An' dream for all you're worth."

(2) "Dream a Little Dream with Me": Mama Cass's  ravishing version might be the best. But other notables have sung it too. Namely, Ella Fitzgerald, Doris Day, Michael Buble, and even Louis Armstrong. Memorable lyric: "Sweet dreams till sunbeams find you./Sweet dreams that leave all worries  behind you./ But in your dreams whatever they be,/ Dream a little dream of me."

(3) "All I Have to Do Is Dream":  One of the trademark ditties of the Everly Brothers. Memorable lyric: "When I feel blue in the night,/And I need you to hold me tight/Whenever I need you, all I have to do is/Dream."

(4) "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas": The Irving Berlin perennial holiday favorite sung by, who else, Bing Crosby. Memorable lyric: "I'm dreaming of  white Christmas/Just like the ones I used to know./Where the tree-tops glisten and children listen/ To hear sleigh-bells in the snow."

(5) "I Can Dream Can't I": The Carpenters recorded this, but the bittersweet renditon of the inimitable Andrew Sisters can't be topped. Memorable lyric: "I can see/ No matter how near you'll be/You'll never belong to me/But I can dream, can't I."

Let me end with a show stopper,  the inspiring

(6) "The Impossible Dream": From 'The Man of La Mancha" sung by the main character Don Quixote, whose mind has been deranged by books about  knights and their derring-do. The eloquent and  expressively beautiful lyrics of  Joe Darion deserve to be quoted in their entirety:


"To dream the impossible dream/To fight the unbeatable foe/To bear with unbearable sorrow/To run where the brave dare not go."

"To right the unrightable wrong/To love pure and chaste  from afar/To try when your arms are too weary/To reach the unreachable star."

"This is my quest/To follow that star/No matter how hopeless/No matter how far."

"To fight for the right/Without question or pause/To be willing to march into Hell/For a heavenly cause."

"And I know if I'll only be true/To this glorious quest/That my heart will lie peaceful and calm/When I'm laid to my rest."

"And the world will be better for  this/That one man scorned and covered with scars/Still strove with his last ounce of courage/To reach the unreachable stars."



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  • The Land Of Dreams by William Blake

    Awake, awake my little Boy!
    Thou wast thy Mother's only joy:
    Why dost thou weep in thy gentle sleep?
    Awake! thy Father does thee keep.

    "O, what land is the Land of Dreams?
    What are its mountains, and what are its streams?
    O Father, I saw my Mother there,
    Among the lillies by waters fair.

    Among the lambs clothed in white
    She walked with her Thomas in sweet delight.
    I wept for joy, like a dove I mourn—
    O when shall I return again?"

    Dear child, I also by pleasant streams
    Have wandered all night in the Land of Dreams;
    But though calm and warm the waters wide,
    I could not get to the other side.

    "Father, O Father, what do we here,
    In this land of unbelief and fear?
    The Land of Dreams is better far
    Above the light of the Morning Star."

  • A touching poem by one of my favorites. Blake, I'm sure you know, was also a gifted artist; he illustrated among others The Divine Comedy.
    Thanks, 4zen.

  • My father used to hate "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas," but I think more based on John Coleman, Harry Volkman, and P.J. Hoff starting every weather forecast after Thanksgiving with the question of "are we going to have..." Then when he said that the Gentiles were all engrossed with it, I replied that it was a Jew who wrote it.

    He took care of his problem by moving to Florida. Somehow a condo in Florida where he didn't have to do his own work was his dream, but he is not so enraptured by it now, especially when itinerant race track workers moved next door and infested the place with bedbugs.

  • In reply to jack:

    His dream turned into a nightmare?

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    Darn close.

    At least it wasn't like one of his friends about a mile up the road, whose condo fell into a sinkhole. And that was several years before the Tampa sinkhole sucked the man out of his bedroom.

    Now, most of my nightmares have to do with a place at which I worked about 20 years ago, but recently I had one about not being able to reply to Facebook comments, so things must be changing. But, as I said a couple of days ago, I'm not a shrink.

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