In the morning when I wake up and listen to the sound
Of the birds outside on the roof
I try to ignore what the paper says
And I try not to read all the news
And I'll hold you if you had a bad dream
And I hope it never comes true
'Cause you and I been through so many things together
And the sun starts climbing the roof

It's a dream
Only a dream
And it's fading now
Fading away
It's only a dream
Just a memory without anywhere to stay

The Red River stills flows through my home town
Rollin' and tumblin' on its way
Swirling around the old bridge pylons
Where a boy fishes the morning away
His bicycle leans on an oak tree
While the cars rumble over his head
An aeroplane leaves a trail in an empty blue sky
And the young birds call out to be fed

It's a dream
Only a dream
And it's fading now
Fading away
It's only a dream
Just a memory without anywhere to stay

An old man walks along on the sidewalk
Sunglasses and an old Stetson hat
The four winds blow the back of his overcoat away
As he stops with the policeman to chat
And a train rolls out of the station
That was really somethin' in its day
Picking up speed on the straight prairie rails
As it carries the passengers away

It's gone
Only a dream
And it's fading now
Fading away
Only a dream
Just a memory without anywhere to stay

It's a dream
Only a dream
And it's fading now
Fading away
It's only a dream
Just a memory without anywhere to stay

It's a dream
Only a dream
And it's fading now
Fading away



Lyrics submitted by babyd14

It's A Dream song meanings
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8 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentI've never been a huge Neil Young fan but this song is simply beautiful, almost trancendental.

    The lyrics mesh perfectly with his yearning tone.

    The chorus,

    "It's a dream
    Only a dream
    And it's fading now
    Fading away "

    rings even more powerfully considering Young's advanced age.

    Couldn't stop listening to it.....
    rick3001on December 23, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe verses are just snapshots in time, which to the speaker are like dreams... Just as dreams escape us when we awake, so do our memories as we age. And when we die, they no longer have anywhere to stay.
    bobdylaniscoolon April 27, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentbeautiful song. lyrics are just amazing.
    kdkmusicon March 29, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentNot to nitpick, but the line:

    "Swirling around the old bridge pylons"

    is actually:

    "Swirling around the old bridge pilings".

    This one makes me instantly sad (but still can't stop listening).
    tbone72on May 21, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love Neil. But, I don't WANT the dream to fade. I am fighting that, for sure. And I don't like the part about "without anywhere to stay" because it is permanently lodged in my heart and my head. This song tugs at my fragile emotions.....
    postmortemon July 04, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is about consoling someone who had a bad dream, and bringing them back to reality. The bad dream isn't real - look at everything around you. Those descriptions of the world around him aren't memories, but they are evidence that life continues normally, despite the bad dream - which was "only a dream."
    john123on February 13, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI suspect that Neil's father's battle with dementia had a lot to do with this song. When you care for someone with Alzheimer's or something similar, you're forced to face the reality that not even memories are permanent.

    This song is so heart-achingly beautiful because it reminds us what a wonderful world we live in, but also that everything we know and love will eventually fade away.
    padressonon April 23, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI saw him perform this song on SNL, and he had Hippie Dream written on a card tucked into the side of his hat. Does he think that the hippy generation's values are only a dream now? I hope not.
    bettronellaon December 25, 2015   Link

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