"Dreams" as written by and Stevie Nicks....
Now here you go again, you say
You want your freedom
Well who am I to keep you down
It's only right that you should
Play the way you feel it
But listen carefully to the sound
Of your loneliness
Like a heartbeat drives you mad
In the stillness of remembering what you had
And what you lost, and what you had, and what you lost

Thunder only happens when it's raining
Players only love you when they're playing
Say women they will come and they will go
When the rain washes you clean, you'll know, you'll know

Now here I go again, I see the crystal visions
I keep my visions to myself, it's only me
Who wants to wrap around your dreams and,
Have you any dreams you'd like to sell?
Dreams of loneliness,
Like a heartbeat, drives you mad
In the stillness of remembering, what you had,
And what you lost and what you had and what you lost

Thunder only happens when it's raining
Players only love you when they're playing
Women, they will come and they will go
When the rain washes you clean, you'll know

Thunder only happens when it's raining
Players only love you when they're playing
Say, women, they will come and they will go
When the rain washes you clean, you'll know
You'll know, you will know, you'll know


Lyrics submitted by oofus

"Dreams" as written by Stevie Nicks

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Dreams song meanings
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  • +16
    General CommentStevie Nicks said in an interview she wrote this song about Lindsay Buckingham towards the end of their relationship when it was at its most turbulent. She said the 'meaning' of the song was an invitation for him to leave their relationship if he chose to because she wanted out likewise. He wrote a song in reply which was the now famous Fleetwood Mac song "Go your own way," which is basically about the same thing as Dreams, but in Stevie's words, more blunt and insensitive. So much so, 'Go your own way' just offended and upset Nicks even more because she believed her song "Dream's" was a polite way of breaking up, quite unlike Lindsay's more forceful and offensive break-up retort.
    Ishmalon January 21, 2011   Link
  • +5
    Song MeaningThe singer and her lover have broken up. The reason is because her lover wants to be free to do whatever he wants and doesn't want to so committed to the relationship.

    She's saying that after he goes and lives his life of freedom, at the end of the day he'll just be lonely and reminiscing on the relationship they once had. The singer is hoping that he'll truly realize what he's lost.

    She also says that she wanted to "wrap herself around his dreams" which basically means that she was going to be there for him in the long run when his days of partying or doing whatever it is he wants to do is over. When he's all done having his fun and living out his life he'll realize that he's all alone.
    sakanaon December 12, 2011   Link
  • +4
    General CommentCursed "forever"? Well, that was a bit strong. Stevie does hold out for Lindsey a thin thread of hope: "When the rain washes you clean, you'll know." She wrote "when" not "if".

    However I've heard this song described as being generous to Buckingham, in contrast to "Go Your Own Way" being scathing towards Nicks. If I emphasized the critical aspects of the lyrics of "Dreams" it's because (I think) they've been minimized or ignored.

    Conversely: when Stevie objected to Lindsey having written "Packing up/Shacking up's all you want to do," she assumed he was accusing her of infidelity. Maybe she misinterpreted. He might have been unhappy she was less interested in commitment.

    It's not possible for me to be anything but speculative. They know; I don't. From her perspective, maybe she thought she could have said a lot worse, and still would have been nothing but honest.

    She believes--after she's gone--her ex-lover will be so lonely he'll sink into madness, i.e. clinical depression. The line about being washed clean: in one way it's conciliatory, but--like the rest of the song--it carries a sting, if you hear it in a different way.

    By hoping he'll come out of it washed clean--sooner or later--she presumes he NEEDS to be cleaned. Until he learns to look at himself honestly--which ought to include re-evaluating his attitude toward women--he's going to remain lonely. That until he gets his shit together, no one will want to be with him.

    My interpretation is based on how the lyrics criticize Buckingham, the most obvious example being "players only love you when they're playing." But there's more...

    Of the three times she sings "Women, they will come and they will go," twice she precedes it with "Say..." In her lyrics, some things are left unsaid: similar to the way people actually talk. If she hadn't dropped these elements, the entire line would be:

    YOU say, "Women, they will come and they will go."

    The "you" and the quotation marks are only implied...but (I think) they're intended.

    Overall, Stevie's saying, "Because I'm a woman, you didn't respect me as an individual. That's how you treat ALL women. Maybe you think you're open-minded, but you've got a lot to learn."

    BTW, in the first chorus--between "Thunder only happens when it's raining," and the next line--ah, that drum riff! It's irresistible.

    Word is, Stevie composed the song on piano in ten minutes. Christine McVie thought it was weak: "only three chords, and a couple of notes on the left hand." Then Lindsey added the guitar, with an eye (ear?) toward maintaining the unified feel, while including subtle differences in each part of the song. After the band finished arranging it, Christine might have felt differently...and if not then, well...maybe after "Dreams" hit #1?

    Play it on headphones, and "listen carefully" to how Stevie's backing vocals are like a delayed echo of the preceding lines...and--hold on now--are those chimes I'm hearing? There are reasons you couldn't turn on a radio in the late '70s without hearing this song, and why Rumours sold 40 million.
    foreverdroneon August 30, 2009   Link
  • +3
    General Commentthis song is about guys abusing relationships mainly. they only want a relationship because of what they can get out of it. then once they realize what they have has turned into something special its already too late to save. theyve already ruined what they had and want to go back...theyve had their freedom and abused it. kind of like what ive been going through AND DONT LET THEM COME BACK!

    ME(11:06:11 PM): be truthful
    HIM(11:06:17 PM): ok
    ME (11:06:50 PM): did you really have sex with people on your invasion trip cuz caitlin overheard you telling someone
    HIM(11:07:08 PM): not with people, with one girl
    ME (11:13:05 PM): so if we were still together would it be ok if i went out and fucked someone
    HIM signed off at 11:14:43 PM.

    HE ACTUALLY HAD A LOSS OF WORDS FOR ONCE IN HIS FUCKIN LIFE. THIS IS HOW YOU SHOVE IT RIGHT IN THEIR FACE
    PuNkS*r*Uson April 21, 2003   Link
  • +2
    General Commentthis song is true about many relationships and guys in general. they only want a relationship for what they can get out of it. then once they realize how much they really do like you its too late because theyve already ruined what they had and cant go back. then they'll tell you how much they miss you and miss what you had but DONT BE FOOLED you take them back and they abuse it again. stupid fucks...theyll never learn, they all just need a bunch of rattles and play pins cuz theyll never grow up and learn
    PuNkS*r*Uson April 21, 2003   Link
  • +2
    General CommentBut imagine it was marijuana brownies. Then Stevie's mouth would be full of brownies. That would be funny. I had cocaine brownies one time and they gave me brain damage. I got released from the nervous hospital last week. Stevie Nicks is hot. I had a picture of her back in the 70s and she was definately a boner of the month if ya know what I mean. I had lots of dreams about her, they were naughty dreams. Once I had a dream where I dressed up like Pocahontas and stuck a lawn dart into my skull, that was mostly from the coke. Stevie's voice isn't as raspy as that dude from AC/DC, I bet he put lots of cocaine on his cornflakes. I heard that Lindsay Buckinham got Herpes, but that may just be a rumour. If it wasn't he should write a song about dreaming that his Herpes went away and then he could sing it to school children and tell them not to have sex with crack whores, then Stevie can talk about her dreams. I had a dreams about her once, but that was a long time ago. I gotta take a dump. Later dudes.
    bertcampbellon June 25, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI always put something at the end that says there's hope. You know, 'When the rain washes you clean you'll know.' And that's an old Indian [Native American] custom...that if it rains ~ something like that ~ when somebody dies, if it rains their spirit is set free.
    ~In the Studio with Fleetwood Mac, www3.rocktrop

    Dreams was uh about Lindsey and I ~ it was me trying to be philosophic once again, Whether or not I succeeded I don't know. I love the song Dreams. I never get tired of singing Dreams.
    ~Stevie Nicks, The Source, 1981


    Love affairs are timeless, I mean, they don't change. That's why these songs [on Rumours] are timeless, I think. And that's why they're timeless to me and that's why I can walk out on the stage today and still sing them... and still feel the same way as when I wrote them is because I can remember so how I felt at that point, and I can remember the tears, and I can remember how hard it was for me to play Dreams the first time, for the whole band, because I know it would probably really upset Lindsey, and probably really upset Chris and John, and probably really upset Mick and really upset me. And if I could even get through it I'd be lucky.
    ~In the Studio with Fleetwood Mac, www3.rocktrop

    When we were first recording the Rumours record we spent two months in Sausalito at the Record Plant, and as far as I'm concerned that's when we actually recorded the record. It took another eight months after that , but the tracks were all done there. Um, while they're doing all kinds of stuff and there's nothing for me to do, I went next door to Sly Stone's studio within the building, this big like black and red room with a kind of a stairway that went down into this like kind of tunnel thing where people would set up and play around this like light house sort of setup. And I took my little Fender Rhodes piano in there and I wrote Dreams. And I spent about an hour in there, and then I went back in to Fleetwood Mac and actually was brave enough to just play, play it for them, cause I really thought it was good, [smiles] and uh, and they liked it and we recorded it that night. That is the story of Dreams.
    ~Stevie Nicks, VH1 Storytellers, 1998


    Lindsey writes Go Your Own Way and I write Dreams! I write philosophically, he writes angry! So yes, a lot of the stuff that, you know, little sentences or stuff that he would say would upset me! However, as a songwriter, I have to respect that he's gonna write about what's happening to him, and so am I. So I could never say to him, you know, back off! ... stop writing songs about me, because that was his life then and that's when the best songs are written and it doesn't really matter who breaks up with who at that point, that's when everybody writes the best songs ... and that's what happened on Rumours! I mean, maybe we would have killed each other if we hadn't have been able to write those songs, you know ... if we hadn't have been able to put that energy into the music and rise above it that way, then maybe we would have just gone totally freaked out on each other!
    ~BBC Radio 2 radio special, Rumours, November 11th, 1998.
    marquiceriseon January 28, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentShe wrote this with a little bit of hope that things would work out in the end for Lindsey and herself.
    ilovefleetwoodmacon September 23, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentFunny how every woman assumes that only guys can be like this.

    Women can be every bit as bad as men, and many times are much worse. My ex-fiancee used the hell out of me, and got me so emotionally involved in her that I literally turned my life around for her. I bought her two cars, found a job in a city hundreds of miles away, and almost bought a house for us before I realised she was using me, and I broke it off.

    Then she drained my bank account and ran off somewhere. Because of her I have no friends, I live in a city where I literally know noone, I am dirt broke, and I am so honest to god fucked up emotionally that I can't even speak to anyone without feeling like they're trying to screw me over.

    :(
    MithrandirBoon March 28, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commenteverytime i hear the line "when the rain washes you clean you'll know," i wonder whether she's making some sort of thinly veiled reference to the "money shot" know what i mean? you know, after he gives her the "money shot," then she'll "know," meaning that after he's had his way with her, she'll see that he really doesn't give a flip about her and just wanted the poon.
    n3bulouson March 31, 2006   Link

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