"A Bad Dream" as written by Timothy James Rice-oxley, Tom Chaplin and Richard David Hughes....
Why do I have to fly
Over every town up and down the line?
I'll die in the clouds above
And you that I defend, I do not love

I wake up, it's a bad dream
No one on my side
I was fighting
But I just feel too tired to be fighting
Guess I'm not the fighting kind

Where will I meet my fate?
Baby I'm a man, I was born to hate
And when will I meet my end?
In a better time you could be my friend

I wake up, it's a bad dream
No one on my side
I was fighting
But I just feel too tired to be fighting
Guess I'm not the fighting kind
Wouldn't mind it
If you were by my side
But you're long gone
Yeah you're long gone now
Yeah

Where do we go?
I don't even know
My strange old face
And I'm thinking about those days
And I'm thinking about those days

I wake up, it's a bad dream
No one on my side
I was fighting
But I just feel too tired to be fighting
Guess I'm not the fighting kind
Wouldn't mind it
If you were by my side
But you're long gone
Yeah you're long gone now
Yeah


Lyrics submitted by ScudRocket, edited by DomoCio, PJS1987

"A Bad Dream" as written by Timothy James Rice-oxley Richard David Hughes

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

A Bad Dream song meanings
Add your thoughts

64 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +5
    General CommentBefore a concert, Tom explained what this song means...you guys are all off ;)

    It's about a soldier going to war. In fact, a lot of the album is about disillusionment with the ways of the world and all the current events (war, etc.) But I love how the lyrics are vague so most people end up spinning it to be about failed relationships and other sad themes....let's break it down and it'll all make sense.

    Why do I have to fly? (GOING TO WAR)
    Over every town up and down the line?
    I'll die in the clouds above
    And you that I defend, I had do not love (NOT NECESSARILY CARING ABOUT THOSE YOU'RE FIGHTING FOR, MOST ARE STRANGERS ANYWAY)

    I wake up, it's a bad dream
    No one on my side (IT'S WAR)
    I was fighting
    But I just feel too tired
    To be fighting
    Guess I'm not the fighting kind

    Where will I meet my fate? (FEAR DEATH)
    Baby I'm a man, I was born to hate
    And when will I meet my end?
    In a better time you could be my friend (ABOUT THE ENEMY, HE DOESN'T REALLY "HATE" HIM BUT IT'S WAR SO YOU HAVE TO KILL; IN ANY OTHER CIRCUMSTANCE THE ENEMY COULD HAVE BEEN SOME PERSON YOU BEFRIENDED)

    Where do we go? (POINTLESSNESS OF WAR)
    I don't even know
    My strange old face (FIGHTING AND TIME HAS AGED THIS SOLDIER)
    And I'm thinking about those days (BEFORE HE HAD TO FIGHT, BEFORE HE WENT TO WAR, FRIENDS, FAMILIES, ETC)
    And I'm thinking about those days
    ==========
    I could go on and on but this should elucidate a lot of things. You guys are correct in bits and parts but your context is incorrect; it is a soldier going to war. Straight from the source.
    UKingdomon June 20, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentIt comes from a poem by W.B. Yeats titled something like "Irish Airman Predicts his death" or something like that.
    Phil Wolfon June 29, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentHoly cow. I NEVER imagined this being about a solider. That's just, my mind is blown right now and I'm for whatever reason tearing up right now.

    I listened to this song a LOT when I was drifting apart from my boyfriend. We weren't fighting, he was a great man, but for whatever reason, I just felt like I needed to get away. So I just left. So to me, the song sorta encompassed the fact that I was realizing that I really didn't love him like I thought I did, and that he was 'long gone'. And that 'I wake up' meaning I'm realizing that I really didn't love him. 'It's a bad dream', meaning that suddenly I was going to have to break his heart (god he loved me so much), and I always thought I had the 'fighting' spirit, but realized 'well apparently I just can't do it'.

    So, basically, I saw this song being more like someone who is flighty and free-spirited coming to terms that they are being held down in their relationship. 'Why do I have to fly? ...I'll die in the clouds', 'I was born to hate' - Meaning, love is too restricting for their personality. But a lot of the song is also about how that free-spirited person is pained by the fact that they have to leave all that behind.

    A'course, people read themselves into song lyrics. I love reading people's different interpretations :D

    saztakon December 13, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song is about someone who obviously is lonely, old, with no friends. If things were different he could make friends. Now his chances are gone. And he's at the end of his days. Overthinking his life...
    ScudRocketon June 04, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commenthe's obviously thinking about 'the good old days' and how he misses his lifelong soulmate - partner or wife - and he's going to be with her soon
    i've only just listened it for the first time but i can already see what a touching song it is.
    N/U/T/T/Y/?on June 12, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is pretty cool I just heard it for the first time last night and now I cant stop listening to it.
    I'm not sure what its talking about but I guess I agree with the posts above me.
    cant wait till I buy the new album.
    smacherzon June 12, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentPossibly the strongest song on the album apart from Leaving So Soon and Try Again!
    the meaning seems to have been covered by the above posts, the fact he's looking back at a time when he was with someone, and now that it is over, it hurts him so much, he hopes it is just a bad dream, but you get the feeling it won't be!
    Athlete***on June 14, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentand how much does the intro sound like it could break into The Streets- Dry Your Eyes!
    Athlete***on June 14, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAnd think about the title, "A Bad Dream." As a soldier fighting and tired of it all it just seems like a bad dream you want to end, sick of fighting, tired of fighting, you don't see the point of it, and you long for the days before you had left and for all your loved ones, because you're alone fighting a war you may not necessarily believe in for strangers and fighting people who in any other circumstances would not have been your enemies.
    UKingdomon June 20, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe song is vague enough that you can twist it into different contexts though, I suppose, like bad relationships, etc., which is what most people do.
    UKingdomon June 20, 2006   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