"When I Dream of Michelangelo" as written by Millard Powers, David Bryson, David Immergluck, James Bogios, Charles Gillingham, Daniel Vickrey and Adam Duritz....
You know I don't like you
But you want to be my friend
There are bodies on the ceiling
And they are fluttering their wings
It's OK, I'm angry
But you'll never understand
You dream of Michelangelo
They hang above your hands

And I know, she is not my friend
And I know, cause there she goes
Walking on my skin again

And I can't see why
You want to talk to me
When your vision of America
Is crystal and clean
I wanna white bread life
Just something ignorant in the rain
But from the walls of Michelangelo
I'm dangling again.


Saturn on a line
The sun afire of strings and wires
Spin above my head and make it right
Anytime you'd like, you can catch a sight
Of angel eyes on emptiness and infinite
And I dream of Michelangelo when I'm lying in my bed
I see God upon the ceiling
I see angels overhead
And he seems so close
As he reaches out his hand
We are never quite as close
As we are led to understand

And I know, she is not my friend
And I know, cause there she goes walking walking walking
And I know, she is not my friend
And I know, cause there she goes
Walking on my skin again and again
On my mind
Oh Lord no
Yes she's walking on my skin again and again

Lyrics submitted by stormye, edited by bfreeby

"When I Dream of Michelangelo" as written by David Lynn Bryson James Bogios

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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When I Dream of Michelangelo song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentI think this song is more about art, hence the Michelangelo reference, it's the idea of trying to create something so beautiful that it'll be remembered for years. I think Angels of the Silences is the same but portrayed in a sort of love song type way. Angels is an optimistic view looking to the future whereas Michelangelo is looking back in regret, sort of wishing he had done things differently. To me, as well, it speaks of my friend, who's American (I'm not) who I've had a troubled relationship with and who I've distanced myself with ('I can't see why you'd want to talk to me, when your vision of America is crystal and clean'). It seems a song that desires an ordinary life, either that or an extraordinary life, nothing in between
    Dandercoolon November 25, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song, to me, feels like a comparison between the old and the new. That's why I think he makes the deliberate reference to "Angels of the Silences" I think he's saying "This is where I was then, this is where I am now, and I still believe that 'God...seems so close, as he reaches out his hand, but we are never quite as close, as we are led to understand'".

    This song should make me sad, I think, but it always manages to make me smile. I guess it's part of that "Sunday Mornings" half..the acceptance of where you are in your life and the realization that you've just got to keep moving forward.
    thecoldparton March 26, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMaybe it is a song about obsession. There is a girl he really doesn't like, but for some reason she is just in love with him. She thinks he has all the mystery of beauty of Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel painting. Yet she is on his skin (or she annoys him). Still, the more she obsesses over him the more he realizes maybe he just doesn't want to like her because of that. I think in the end he realizes that he does in deed like her as well (she is on his mind).
    Comebakatzon March 29, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt could be how adam is ripped between 2 lives that he wants. One a "white bread" or average life. But he cant get it becuase he "dreams of michelangelo" possibly meaning the artistic and more hectic lifestyle
    Mangore28on April 24, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"We are never quite as close
    As we are led to understand"

    Liars are heartbreakers...
    spicyfloon July 25, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIts about reaching for the impossible
    and never seeing the things that were actually in your reach
    until it is too late.
    dinnie450on December 16, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'm not sure I really see how it fits, but last night he told a long story before they played this; he started writing it like 20 years ago (hence the Angels of the Silences connection) about how he imagined the lives of artists - but he hadn't lived that life yet. while you're focussing on this one important thing, everything else passes you by. he only felt ready to write it when SN&SM came along.
    still dont get it as it seems to be more about relgion but hey, it's about artists.
    x-sophs-xon May 17, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's about reaching for something divine, trying to do something extraordinary in art, and that the messed up thing about that wasn't that you couldn't do it, it was that you spent all your time trying to and you forgot about the human beings around you, and you kind of lose your humanity, and that's what this songs really about.

    That's what Adam said in the live version from Soho. Just thought I'd add that.
    matthewconteon July 21, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentDuritz said that parts of this song had been written for years and he thought he wasn't read or hadn't experienced enough to pull it all together in the past but when they made this album, they felt they were ready to make it because of what they had experienced in life and because the song was about life.

    When he said that I can see what he means about parts of it being written years before, as they appear in several older crows songs.
    kingoftherainon September 06, 2009   Link

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