I had a dream
I had a dream
I had a dream, Joe


I had a dream, Joe
You were standing in the middle of an open road
I had a dream, Joe
Your hands were raised up to the sky
And your mouth was covered in foam
I had a dream, Joe
A shadowy Jesus flitted from tree to tree
I had a dream, Joe
And a society of whores stuck needles in an image of me
I had a dream, Joe
It was Autumn time and thickly fell the leaves
And in that dream, Joe
A pimp in seersucker suit sucked a toothpick
And pointed his finger at me


I had a dream,
I had a dream,
I had a dream, Joe


I opened my eyes, Joe
The night had been a giant, dribbling and pacing the boards
I opened my eyes, Joe
All your letters and cards stacked up against the door
I opened my eyes, Joe
The morning light came slowly tumbling through the crack
In the window, Joe
And I thought of you and I felt like I was lugging
A body on my back


I had a dream,
I had a dream,
I had a dream, Joe


Where did you go, Joe?
On that endless, senseless, demented drift
Where did you go, Joe?
Into the woods, into the trees, where you move and shift
Where did you go, Joe?
All dressed up in your ridiculous seersucker suit
Where did you go, Joe?
With that strew of wreckage
Forever at the heel of your boot


I had a dream
I had a dream
I had a dream, Joe
I had a dream
I had a dream
I had a dream, Joe



Lyrics submitted by Girgo

I Had a Dream, Joe song meanings
Add your thoughts

7 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +2
    General CommentNick Cave is a juxtaposition in that i think Nick here is refering to Jesus..literally through out.....erh yeah obviously......"I had a dream....JOE???" then later 'God is in the house'??!! Perhaps describes inri....arms to the sky...foam...mouth.....? He also says he keeps getting alot of mail after nights of consideration, yet he feels as if jesus is a body on his back. The mail is the literature that piles up behind his door. He is saying he lost his faith. "All dressed up in your ridiculous seersucker suit" "With that strew of wreckage......Forever at the heel of your boot"............."A pimp (jesus) in seersucker suit sucked a toothpick, And pointed his finger at me" ...judged him? Yeah that's all i've got but f**k it no one else tried, however amusing.
    DTendernesson April 15, 2014   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningI'm not interpreting the song. However, I'm going to shed some lights.

    At first section he talks about his dreams:
    ----
    I had a dream, Joe
    You were standing in the middle of an open road
    Your hands were raised up to the sky
    And your mouth was covered in foam
    A shadowy Jesus flitted from tree to tree
    And a society of whores stuck needles in an image of me
    It was Autumn time and thickly fell the leaves
    A pimp in seersucker suit sucked a toothpick
    And pointed his finger at me"
    ----------
    More than a dream this is a nightmare. In that dream he sees Joe, a shodowy Jesus, Society of whores, And a pimp.

    Then he wakes up. And talks about that horrible night which was full of terror.
    I think when he says:"And I thought of you and I felt like I was lugging
    A body on my back" There are 2 possibilities: 1- it's his own body. 2-it's Joe's body. If it's his own body means that life is very hard to him that he needs energy to carry himself around. If it's Joe's body maybe it means Joe's dead.
    -----------

    In the next section we'll see he asks from Joe that where has he been. And by linking the dream to reality, he reveals that Joe is the same person as the Jesus, and the pimp.

    So in lyrics, Joe = That man in the open road = Jesus = the pimp

    I'm stil confused about the meaning. But I hope it helps.
    amin77on November 27, 2014   Link
  • 0
    My OpinionWhy is there always this one reliably omnipresent commenter on Cave songs (and elsewhere) that assume this exaggeratedly astonished tone in their "general comment" simply because they're the first to comment? Is it really that unrealistic that no SongMeanings user had yet taken the time to type out their fleeting thoughts on one of the more underrated or underappreciated Bad Seeds' tracks, of which there are dozens? Or was it that these "first" commenters wanted to emphasize their supposed ingenuity or exceptional spiritual depth for deflowering a specific song page's comment section? As a cynical prick, I'm guessing the latter. I shouldn't get pissed off at internet ghosts, but fuck that. I've seen the same sort of comment across scores of lyrics pages today and I'm sort of sure Cave couldn't give a fuck who comments on these pages, when they do, and in which order. I'm all for music lovers showing outwardly direct support for the music they love, but I hate when it becomes some strange pseudo-popularity contest or race to say something all Cave listeners already know; when these first comments consist of statements of the artist in question's genius, and they usually do, I can't help but cringe at the ironically cliched emptiness. I'm clearly a monstrously insecure, sexually repressed, and pitifully friendless human being for typing all this, but it's nice to know your words exist somewhere in the universe. I guess I have more in common with these first commenters than I thought.

    um... but this is an awesome song. I'm using it rather shamelessly in a playlist based on the film Nymphomaniac.
    paedophageplaygroundon March 17, 2014   Link
  • 0
    Song Comparison"I had a dream Joe, that you were standing in the middle of an open road
    I had a dream Joe that your hands were raised up to the sky and your mouth was covered in foam"

    My Ruin (2009) 'Speak & Destroy'
    songmeanings.com/songs/view/65264/

    Hope it got credited because: (Nick Cave & The Badseeds 'I had a dream, Joe' 'Henry's Dream' 1992)
    DTendernesson April 15, 2014   Link
  • -1
    My OpinionI have translated this into greek. It is such a basass song, really full of andrenaline and pictures.
    armagezonon November 22, 2011   Link
  • -2
    General CommentWhy has no one commented this song?!
    To me it means Nick Cave seems to be composed of particles that could be classified on their own as pure genius.
    TheAbsolutionHowlon April 21, 2008   Link
  • -2
    General CommentI'm with this guy - why the hell hasn't anyone commented on this song? This is one of the best songs on one of their best albums. This song should be called "I Had A Horribly Vivid Nightmare, Joe" cause that's what this sounds like.

    Great imagery going on here - "A society of whores stuck needles in an image of me" "a shadowy jesus flittered from tree to tree" and lets face it - this is just a rocking song.

    It's a dream, so i don't know how much of it should make sense - maybe these guys used to be pimps - and one decided it wasn't for him anymore - i really don't know. Apparently Joe has kept in touch, but the narrator has sort of maybe locked himself away and tried ignoring the evil Joe - who's mere memory is like a burden to the narrator who has horrible dreams because of what they used to do.

    Either way, kick ass tune.
    StickityWicketon November 18, 2008   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain