"Dream" as written by and Daniel Wayne Sermon Dan Reynolds....
In the dark
And I’m right on the middle mark
I’m just in the tier of everything that rides below the surface
And I watch from a distance seventeen
And I’m short of the others dreams of being golden and on top
It’s not what you painted in my head
There’s so much there instead of all the colors that I saw

We all are living in a dream,
But life ain’t what it seems
Oh everything’s a mess
And all these sorrows I have seen
They lead me to believe
That everything’s a mess

But I wanna dream
I wanna dream
Leave me to dream

In the eyes
Of a teenage crystallized
Oh the prettiest of lights that hang the hallways of the home
And the cries from the strangers out at night
They don’t keep us up at night
We have the curtains drawn and closed

We all are living in a dream,
But life ain’t what it seems
Oh everything’s a mess
And all these sorrows I have seen
They lead me to believe
That everything’s a mess

But I wanna dream
I wanna dream
Leave me to dream

Ooh

Oh, I know all your reasons
To keep me from seeing
Everything is actually a mess
But now I am leaving
All of us were only dreaming
Everything is actually a mess

We all are living in a dream
But life ain’t what it seems
Oh everything’s a mess
And all these sorrows I have seen
They lead me to believe
That everything’s a mess

But I wanna dream
I wanna dream
Leave me to dream

I wanna dream
I wanna dream
Leave me to dream


Lyrics submitted by nioofark

"Dream" as written by Daniel Coulter Reynolds Alexander Junior Grant

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Dream song meanings
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11 Comments

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  • +6
    General CommentI believe this song is about the narrator coming to the conclusion that the real world is really, a big mess. He thinks that our lives are merely dreams due to how unnaware we are about the real giant mess our world is, but as he says "Leave me to dream", he is admitting that he likes to live in a dream, because with that mentality, he is free to do anything he wants, to reach all his life goals, just like you can control a dream. Long story short, we want life to be a dream, because in a dream, everything is possible, in life it is just much harder.
    pedro5qdon March 05, 2015   Link
  • +3
    General CommentSo this song kinda touches up on modern issues. So today, we depend on the news to tell us what's happening in the world. And in this song, the "I" or the narrator, has seen he need and everything and believes it. Therefore, he believes the world is find. "The colors you painted in my head", refers to this. But the narrator soon realizes that the world is in chaos. The lies he has heard are to keep the world calm. As if they were in a dream. When in reality everything's mess.
    codfpon February 20, 2015   Link
  • +2
    General CommentIn my opinion this song is a commentary on society and how people live their lives. He comments on how people care about " being golden and on top." He also comments on how we sugar coat our problems (poverty for example) and ignore them "The cries for strangers in the night don't keep us up at night we have the curtains drawn closed".
    And then he says he wants to be left to dream and leave the mess and sorrows society has left for him.
    Psychotic_wingson August 24, 2015   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI feel that this song is about how people often hide their problems from themselves. But really deep inside we need to admit our issues.
    matt.malindine@icloud.comon February 22, 2015   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI think it is about a recently graduated high schooler's view of life. He thinks he's not ready for what's about to come, to live alone without his parents that had he living in a 'dream'. He is aware of what's coming and he feels scared, so he wants to keep living in the 'dream', where his parents take care of him and he doesn't need to worry about anything.
    Nitsemcon February 25, 2015   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI believe that this song is about how people just pass off that the world is just a complete mess. That there are people starving, drying, and living on the streets. That this "dream" is what we believe the world is happy and dreamlike. He wants to stay in the dream, he doesn't want to face the world, he'd rather dream that everything is okay.
    Crystalisionon April 01, 2017   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationWow. This is impressive. A song so simple and that doesn't state it's direct meaning, but has 3 main meanings and a 4th possible implied one.
    Protected Childhood
    Not being Aware of World Problems
    Not being Prepared for the Real World
    And of all things: Imagination

    I'm not going to do this line by line because the song is so fractured, but here we go.

    (Protected Childhood)

    And I watch from a distance seventeen
    In the eyes - Of a teenage crystallized
    Oh the prettiest of lights that hang the hallways of the home
    We have the curtains drawn and closed
    'It’s not what you painted in my head - We all are living in a dream - But life ain’t what it seems'
    Oh, I know all your reasons - To keep me from seeing - Everything is actually a mess
    But now I am leaving

    'Distance 17' is an age. The age of 18 is when most people are considered adults and can live on their own. It's the minimum age a child is supposed to be protected till, or "distance" in this case. So it means "I couldn't really see for 17 years."
    'In the eyes - Of a teenage crystallized' and 'Oh the prettiest of lights that hang the hallways of the home' Means that he had a nice home or was rich because this implies chandlers or colored light fixtures.
    'We have the curtains drawn and closed' They don't look outside or more specifically, aren't bothered by it. Whether because they don't look out or this child isn't allowed to look out is personal preference.
    'It’s not what you painted in my head - We all are living in a dream - But life ain’t what it seems' Easy meanings. "Life isn't what is what I though it was"
    'Oh, I know all your reasons - To keep me from seeing - Everything is actually a mess' It's that child saying, "You didn't want me to see the problems of life, and I know why. This is horrible." The child saw what it had been protected from.
    'But now I am leaving' The child is saying "I'm 18 now, and i have to live with these problems.

    Not being Aware of World Problems

    OK, most of the lines from before apply here too
    'And the cries from the strangers out at night - They don’t keep us up at night - We have the curtains drawn and closed'
    'It’s not what you painted in my head - We all are living in a dream - But life ain’t what it seems'
    'To keep me from seeing - Everything is actually a mess'
    'All of us were only dreaming'
    'I’m just in the tier of everything that rides below the surface'

    'It’s not what you painted in my head - We all are living in a dream - But life ain’t what it seems' They hold the same meaning as with childhood.
    'And the cries from the strangers out at night - They don’t keep us up at night - We have the curtains drawn and closed' "We don't care about other peoples problems so we ignore them."
    'To keep me from seeing - Everything is actually a mess' Also holds same meaning
    'All of us were only dreaming' "I/We were stupid for thinking life was easy."
    'I’m just in the tier of everything that rides below the surface' This is a beautiful line, while it has no meaning the first time, in context to the song it means "This is the first challenges and problems, I know there's more I haven't considered"

    Not being Prepared for the Real World

    I won't repeat the same lines again
    'In the dark'
    'And I’m short of the others dreams of being golden and on top'
    'In the dark' He doesn't know what to do. He's never had to do this before.
    'And I’m short of the others dreams of being golden and on top' This means "I'm not where I wanted to be by now." it could also show that he had friends or competitors that are doing better that him, but started at the same time as him.

    Not those are the Pretty much directly stated meaning. I didn't go too in-depth because the song it have no solid details. It's a trademark of Imagine Dragons that lets you make your own meanings and put your life problems to their songs, but it make direct meanings near impossible to find most of the time. I say this because this next part may not truly be a meaning or could just be something only I understand.

    Imagination

    'It’s not what you painted in my head'
    'There’s so much there instead of all the colors that I saw'
    'But I wanna dream - I wanna dream - Leave me to dream'

    'It’s not what you painted in my head' This on it's own means "It's not what I expected" but instead think about it as "It’s not what I imagined"
    Not I want to point out the interesting wording on these 2 lines.
    'Painted in my head' and 'Colors that I saw'
    You use colors in painting and if painting in the first line is means Imagination, then the second line could mean "There’s so much there instead of all that I Imagined'
    They both boil down to "It’s not what I imagined"

    But there's one more part to this meaning. 'There’s so much there instead'
    The 'There' it could be referring to could be the 'Head' from the first line.
    The true question I'm asking is is what does the guy think is in his head if it's not imagination. Knowledge? Lies? I don't know, but look at the last lines.

    'But I wanna dream - I wanna dream - Leave me to dream'
    'I wanna dream - I wanna dream - Leave me to dream'
    In the other part of the song the word 'Dream' has been used to mean "Wrong" But that doesn't work here. in these 2 lines Replace the word 'Dream' with "Imagine"
    He's saying he doesn't want to deal with the worlds problems. He wants to imagine, or create, or maybe I'm completely over-analyzing and he's asking to live his life in ignorance of the worlds problems. And to leave him let him do that in peace.
    Stealthweasleon May 26, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI was at the debut concert for the Smoke+Mirrors tour last night, and Dan talked about how for him personally, this song was about living with health problems (he spoke about his night blindness, ulcerative colitis, etc) - and presumably about pursuing his goals and shaping his world the way he dreams it could be in spite of them.

    As for the wider, more general meaning, I would go with pedro5qd's interpretation.
    jddunlapon June 04, 2015   Link
  • 0
    TranslationI have an invisible chronic illness and this song hits me on a deep level. I always dreamt of this stage of my life and instead I have depression, pain, and I never leave the house. I often find myself imagining what life would be like if I had not had this burden. I also imagine the future if I am cured of this. I lie in bed and I have to force myself to get up and face the reality that is my life now. I wish I could always dream and imagine because it is my form of hope. I hate this reality and I don't want to accept that "everything is actually a mess." This song hits really close to home. That's just what it means to me.
    Lizziej1on March 09, 2016   Link
  • 0
    My OpinionThis song means a lot to me, it make a part of me feel free to dream. I like my dreams. I often imagine what kind of life I want, like what I want changed in my life. And there's a lot that seems A LOT better in my head. Sadly that is not how life works. Sadly I am stuck in this reality.
    MillaMarieon October 17, 2016   Link

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