How can I pretend that I don't see
What you hide so carelessly?
I saw her bleed
You heard me breathe
So I froze inside myself
And turned away
I must be dreaming

We all live
We all die
That does not begin to justify you

It's not what it seems
Not what you think
No I must be dreaming
It's only in my mind
Not in real life
No I must be dreaming

Help you know I've got to tell someone
Tell them what I know you've done
I fear you but spoken fears can come true

We all live
We all die
That does not begin to justify you

It's not what it seems
Not what you think
No I must be dreaming
It's only in my mind
Not in real life
No I must be dreaming

Not what it seems
Not what you think
I must be dreaming

Just in my mind
Not in real life
I must be dreaming



Lyrics submitted by Happy_Bunny

I Must Be Dreaming song meanings
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57 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentFirstly, before I even begin my take on the song after listening to it repeatedly, I must admit I totally adore this song. I’ve heard quite a few of their songs not included in Fallen, and this is definitely one of the top five. Perhaps even number one or two, up there with Even In Death. I love those songs to death.

    Anyway, onto the point… I obviously have listened to this quite a few times, and this is what I first believed the lyrics to mean and every time I listen to this song, this is what is conjured in my head:

    “How can I pretend that I don't see
    What you hide so carelessly?”

    I think she (whom I will refer to as Amy seeing as she sings the song and basically wrote everything with Ben) has been pretending to not see someone (whom I’ll refer to as Michelle because, well, because it will be less confusing, haha) slitting their wrist for awhile, and is finally saying something to Michelle (who I’m guessing is a friend of Amy’s). The fact that Michelle was trying to hide it sort of pushed me to that idea, although the carelessly part sort of threw me off. I ended up going with Michelle is totally contradicting herself there; she wants to hide her habits, yet she’s screaming for help as well. Maybe Michelle wanted someone (who ended up being Amy) to see what she was doing to herself.

    “I saw her bleed
    You heard me breathe
    So I froze inside myself
    And turned away
    I must be dreaming”

    I think this might be Amy reflecting upon the first time she saw Michelle cut herself. Maybe Amy made some kind of noise and Michelle heard it, but didn’t necessarily see Amy? Or perhaps Michelle did catch Amy and convinced her not to say anything, although the second version makes sense with everything else I’m saying. Either way, I think Amy didn’t know what to do or say at first, and turned away, convincing herself that it was all a lie and when she woke up she would find it was nothing but a dream.

    “We all live
    We all die
    That does not begin to justify you”

    I think this is Amy truly coming out and saying what she thinks. We all live, yes, and you get to suffer along with us. You get to cry and feel hopeless, but you have tomorrow. You can still find the good and happiness. Amy then goes on to say we all die. I think that was just her saying eventually we all die. “That does not begin to justify you” ties those two together. We’re going to live, and we’re going to die, but you don’t get to decide when. You don’t get to play God. I think Amy is just saying that using some kind of excuse along the lines of “Life was too hard. We all die anyway, so what’s the point of sticking through the bad?” or the likes wasn’t going to cut it. It wasn’t going to justify what Michelle did.

    “It's not what it seems
    Not what you think
    No I must be dreaming
    It's only in my mind
    Not in real life
    No I must be dreaming”

    I think this is Amy going back and remembering that first time again. She’s remembering Michelle telling her it isn’t what it seems; it’s not what she thinks. Amy is sort of repeating Michelle’s words and telling herself she must be dreaming again. Once again she’s telling herself it’s only in her head. The not in real life part makes me think Amy sort of went into denial. This couldn’t be happening in real life, not to her friend. Maybe Michelle came off as an upbeat, good friend so it seems impossible to Amy that Michelle would be doing that kind of stuff to herself, so Amy goes back to telling herself she’s dreaming.

    “Help you know I've got to tell someone
    Tell them what I know you've done
    I fear you but spoken fears can come true”

    I think this is where Amy is telling Michelle that she (Amy) has to go to someone and get help for Michelle. Amy is trying to convince Michelle that by letting people know what she knows, she will be helping Michelle in the end. Amy is afraid of Michelle in a way. She’s terrified that by going to someone, Michelle would hate her and with that, their friendship would be gone. The thing is, Amy is even more terrified of telling someone. She’s afraid that if she actually tells someone that she thinks Michelle is killing herself that will really happen. Michelle will kill herself, and Amy will lose her forever that way, and Michelle will hate her for saying anything to begin with as well. Either way, Amy feels like she’s going to lose her friend if she says anything.

    “We all live
    We all die
    That does not begin to justify you

    It's not what it seems
    Not what you think
    No I must be dreaming
    It's only in my mind
    Not in real life
    No I must be dreaming”

    I think this still means the same as the first time it was said.

    “Not what it seems
    Not what you think
    I must be dreaming”

    I think these parts being repeated is significant and not just another repetitive part. Michelle is again trying to convince Amy not to say anything. She’s pleading with her not to say anything, even though she sort of wants someone to help her through (which is explained in the first verse by her hiding it carefully).

    “Just in my mind
    Not in real life
    I must be dreaming”

    I think, in the end, Michelle wins out. With Michelle’s help, Amy convinces herself that it’s all in her head. This couldn’t be happening in her life. Michelle wouldn’t do such a thing to herself, so it has to be some kind of nightmare. Amy lets her fears about what could happen overtake her, and would rather live out her lie and pretend everything is okay even though she knows it is not.

    Hahaha, I know that was extremely long, but like I said, I adore the song. Very beautiful song, and I personally think Amy Lee’s vocals are incredible.
    This_Time_Imperfecton December 27, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAt first I thought it was about, depression, or cutting. "How can I pretend that I don't see" "i saw her bleed" you don't what to do when you find out that stuff you can live it down. It doesn't go away that someone you love is doing that. But after a while it started to sound like, Witnessing a murder. Or something bad happening. You survive cause you mange to hide and escape. "No, I must be dreaming" sounds like, shock or not believing that the person is gone. Maybe you know that person. I was confused at first but I think it is about witnessing something traumatizing.

    Gotta love the song though <3
    Kittylovers28on November 14, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI heard that this song was written because of the death of her sister, or someone close to her. Cool song, though.
    SnowWhite_Cinnion May 22, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt really sounded like you were getting confused with 'Hello' at first because amy wrote it for Bonnie when she died {bonnie was 3 years old}, but i heard something about Catherine from someone on evboard recently, so now im just confused. I know the thing about hello is true, amys dad verified that, but im not sure about this one.
    jasongs89on June 27, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentshouldn't we just leave Amy Lee and her past alone? I think we should. Great song though.
    johnny-eon July 01, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is actually titled "Bleed".

    To LaDiablo: Ben Moody has confirmed that this has nothing to do with "Catherine".
    beau99on July 05, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwhat the?? its about a friend who cuts herself and seems to not care who sees. re-read the lyrics. "how can i pretend that i dont see, what you hide so carelessly? i saw her bleed" and what their reaction to it is "help her know i've got to tell someone..tell them what i know you've done".
    jj_jellybeanon December 08, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentlyric corrections

    How can I pretend that I don't see
    What you hide so carelessly?
    I saw her bleed
    You heard me breathe
    and I froze inside myself
    And turned away
    I must be dreaming

    We all live
    We all die
    That does not begin to justify you

    It's not what it seems
    Not what you think
    No I must be dreaming
    It's only in my mind
    Not real life
    No I must be dreaming

    Help you know I've got to tell someone
    Tell them what I know you've done
    I fear you but spoken fears can come true

    We all live
    We all die
    That does not begin to justify you

    It's not what it seems
    Not what you think
    No I must be dreaming
    It's only in my mind
    Not real life
    No I must be dreaming

    Not what it seems
    Not what you think
    I must be dreaming

    Just in my mind
    Not real life
    I must be dreaming
    gothicrockeron December 14, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentok, yea, this song goes by both bleed and i must be dreaming, and i do not think it is about her sister. there IS a song by them called cathering tho, but i have never heard it.
    RedSolemnBladeon December 20, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentEverytime I hear this I think of witnessing a murder. It just fits it so well. It completely freaks me out, but I can't stop singing it.
    britty_chanon December 21, 2004   Link

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