All the leaves are brown and the sky is gray
I've been for a walk on a winter's day
I'd be safe and warm if I was in L.A.
California dreamin' on such a winter's day

Stopped in to a church I passed along the way
Well I got down on my knees and I pretend to pray
You know the preacher liked the cold
He knows I'm gonna stay
California dreamin' on such a winter's day

All the leaves are brown and the sky is gray
I've been for a walk on a winter's day
If I didn't tell her I could leave today
California dreamin' on such a winter's day
California dreamin' on such a winter's day
California dreamin' on such a winter's day


Lyrics submitted by magicnudiesuit


California Dreamin' song meanings
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63 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentThis song is actually about how the mammas and the pappas moved from L.A to New York where the music scene was at during that time period. Then after a while they went on a tropical vacation to the Virgin Islands to sort out some stuff (pretty sure it had something to do with a love triangle). So when they came back the entire music scene moved to L.A. And they started to miss California and wish they were back home. Hence the "California Dreaming"
    Jakemiller2367on May 13, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI prefer to think of it as dreaming of a warmer climate or just totally different scenery in the middle of a harsh winter but, i think, its about homesickness.

    I adore this song. So simple yet sooo effective :)
    Princesszeldaon February 15, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General Commentit's more than pretty it's sort of melancholoy. i think the person is in new york dreaming of sunny warm LA imagining all his/her problems would go away if he/she was there. ahhh the grass is always greener....

    i personally like rain a lot and prefer cold to hot but hey thats just me.

    I also think it's a metaphor for some other dreams . for love and fulfillment and success. "the preacher likes the cold" suggests this to me because a preacher is somebody who gives up the "sunshine" for the "cold" of self restraint and self denial.
    elysiareneeon June 07, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI feel that this song is an underrated classic !
    gothic_hobbiton December 18, 2011   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningHaving grown up with the Mamas and Papas in the 60's and spending most of my time on the strip I think I have a good idea about the meaning of the song. They lived in the canyon like Morrison and most of he the musicians off the time. It is true that they used grass and acid but contrary to most beliefs not all songs of the time had hidden meanings. The fact that he shows an interest in going to LA is because it is cold but he can not leave now because he has expressed his feelings for this girl, l could leave today for LA if I had not told her of my feelings. I agree with the other commentator that stopping into the church and pretending to pray was to get out of the cold and the fact that the preacher likes the cold is because it brings people into the church. Finally as to the issues of cults Los Angeles has a reputation for cults and there have been some strange religious groups in the past like Amy Mc Pherson or more recently Scientology the only one that was really like a cult was the Manson Group and they were nothing but a group of girls that were influenced by a charismatic nut like Hitler. I spent my teen years riding horses at the Sphane movie ranch while Manson was there and there was no cult there, it was more the DA's pitch to get convictions. We don't call our current mass muderers a cult. By the way Mchenzie Phillips alleged single encounter with here father John only occurred because they were using drugs and had that not been the case John would never considered it. By the way my recollection is he died of Prostate cancer not drugs Mama Cass died in London and it was not drugs, it was a ham sandwich. Michelle Phillips now lives in Topanga .
    DouglaswSnyderon January 03, 2013   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningGrew up listening to this song from the time I was 16. Liked the song mainly because I grew up in the cold Northeast.

    But this song completely changed for me the day I was driving along with my 24 year old daughter and when the song came on the radio she told me how much the song meant to her.

    You see, I live in southern California now and my daughter was born and raised here. She had just returned from a year in Afghanistan and she proceeded to tell me how the song spoke to her during her deployment.

    It gave the line, "I'd be safe and warm, if I was in LA" a whole new meaning for me.
    thepitmanon February 04, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think most of us know what the song is talking about, the character in the song longing for sunny California during a harsh winter day. We can picture one of the Mamas and Papas walking down a sidewalk in a desolated park, a church is nearby ( abandoned, except for the preacher inside), leafs blowing in the wind. You feel cold, just hearing the song. This song for me, being a fan of animated films and musicals, has the perfect melody for a villain song. I mean listen to ``YOU KNOW the preacher likes the CO-old...Prea..cher likes the cold.'' John Philips has such an edgy, devil-may-care vibe in that line, it sounds as if he is Snively Whiplash plotting a scheme. Of course, what really makes it feel like a perfect villain song is the final chorus at the end, ``...On such a winters day''. Michelle and Mama Cass really project at the ``Dream-ing'' part, and it really makes the song all the more climactic by the time the song ends. I know it sounds silly, that I think this is a villain song, but the melody really ranks up there with some of the best Disney songs I've heard.
    Disneyfan8on April 27, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis has always been a singy songy feel good song that I don't think most ever thought of the actual meaning beyond the surface. Um, I don't think most people have gotten in on SM. It's all satirical irony hello? Doesn't matter what your zip code is or what the weather is (although I do believe seasonal depression exists) but ultimately you have to face and address your problems regardless and running away or talking a walk in californiae is not necessarily going to fix them:) And your local pastor will tell you the same:):):)
    zestybestyon April 14, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis is just prettty...
    stardropleton May 23, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentit makes me think of when i was little.i remember my sister listenin to this.i've liked it for suc a long time.it makes me think of fall and winter.i really enjoyed when they showed the contestants from american idol singin it..they did it very well
    sky15on August 06, 2002   Link

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