When I met you in the restaurant
You could tell I was no debutante
You asked me what's my pleasure
"A movie or a measure?"
I'll have a cup of tea
And tell you of my

Dreamin', dreamin' is free
Dreamin', dreamin' is free

I don't want to live on charity
Pleasure's real or is it fantasy?
Reel to reel is living rarity
People stop and stare at me
We just walk on by
We just keep on dreamin'

Beat feet, walking a two-mile
Meet me, meet me at the turnstile
I never met him, I'll never forget him
Dream, dream, even for a little while
Dream, dream, filling up an idle hour
Fade away (woo), radiate

I sit by and watch the river flow
I sit by and watch the traffic go
Imagine something of your very own
Something you can have and hold
I'd build a road in gold just to have some

Dreamin', dreamin' is free
Dreamin', dreamin' is free

Dreamin', (dream) dreamin' is free
(Dream) dreamin' is free


Lyrics submitted by magicnudiesuit

Dreaming Lyrics as written by Deborah Harry Chris Stein

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management, Warner Chappell Music, Inc.

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Dreaming song meanings
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28 Comments

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  • +4
    General Comment

    IMO, Harry is exploring the dividing line between reality and our thoughts/dreams. She has little or no connection to actual people in the song but rather identifies almost totally with her dreams, even to the point of wondering whether pleasure is created by something real or if it is simply a mental state of being.

    I think a subtext that is repeated here is that dreaming is free, i.e. it requires no emotional risk. Without that risk there is no chance of being hurt, so perhaps her attachment to her dreams is a function of a desire to avoid pain. In the end, she "sits by" and watches the world pass her by but is willing to "build a road in gold" in order to hold on to her dreams.

    jomo83on July 12, 2012   Link
  • +3
    My Interpretation

    I have no way to confirm this other than asking by Debra, but by coincidence one day after watching the 1945 movie "Brief Encounter" I heard the song "Dreaming" and it all seemed to fit, making me believe that she might've been inspired by the movie to write this song.

    Just about every line in the song describes the movie.

    (I've never heard anything that would suggest that she has ever revealed this, so for now it's merely an assumption on my part)

    The leading lady who's married, by chance meets a married man that she fancies in the restaurant of the British train station in Carnforth, and goes on to have a brief secret love affair with him.

    They have tea together like good Brits (I'll have a cup of tea), and in the station there is a little musical group playing, he asked her if she'd like to stay and listen (to a measure), or see a movie. They ultimately go to a movie.

    He offers to pay for her tea, but she refuses (She doesn't want to live on charity).

    Reel to reel is living verite - movie reference of a style of documentary filmmaking that combines improvisation with the use of the camera to unveil truth of highlight subjects hidden behind crude reality.

    People stop and stare at me, we just walk on by, We just keep on dreamin' - (There are gossipy nosey people that observe them together).

    Beat feet, walking a two mile...Meet me, meet me at the turnstile (at the train station is where they'd continue to meet)

    I never met him, I'll never forget him. (She never knew him previously, but now he's all she thinks about).

    Dream dream even for a little while - (They typically have to cut short their dates because of their real lives, but she "fills up the idle hour" by soaking in all the love and romance she can 'til she has to go back home again).

    I sit by and watch the river flow - (The two of them also had a favorite spot to hang out on a stone bridge over a waterway to be alone and to talk while watching the water flow).

    I sit by and watch the traffic go. - (She sees trains coming and going while waiting for the one that he's on).

    Imagine something of your very own, something you can have and hold - (She dreams that they could really be together).

    Ultimately in the movie they have to stop seeing one another, and though she never reveals to her husband what has been going on, he somehow knows but loves her so much that he freely accepts her without making a deal of it. Very touching movie (I'm getting choked up thinking about it) and it wouldn't surprise me if Debra was so moved by it to write the song "Dreaming".

    Yo Debra, if you happen to read this, hit me up. It was mere coincidence that made me connect the dots, but if I'm on to something I'd just love to hear from you what a genius you think that I am. LOL!

    MongSeaningson November 29, 2015   Link
  • +1
    Song Meaning

    this song means when you first meet your first love nothing else matters even though you live miles apart because you know you can still see him in your dreams.

    websyon November 16, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Stonking great pop tune - I wish I could go back to the 70's and fuck her. She wrote most of the songs too,

    Lemonheadon April 01, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    i can't imagine debby aging..i saw her old face earlier and can't identify her..her young face stands out as the symbol for girl rock long before the courtney love's or the brody armstrong's or dalle's..debby and patti smith really brought girls into the core of rock music..so shut up ashley simpson..nah..just joking..i don't like hating..sorry..

    strummervilleon August 12, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    sticks and stones covered this song. it's probably one of my top 10 favorite covers.

    two tone beaton March 20, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    This song is actually areference to the first time Debbie Harry met Blondie guitarist ad long time partner Chris Stein....when I met you in a restaurant ...etc

    steveinnorthantson April 16, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    This song is actually areference to the first time Debbie Harry met Blondie guitarist ad long time partner Chris Stein....when I met you in a restaurant ...etc

    steveinnorthantson April 16, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    would somebody be so kind to explain what exactly a "measure" is? in this context?

    btw, the Billy Corgan version is actually sung with Deborah Harry herself...

    Heinrichon September 21, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I think she just goes about her life but has no real life outside her job (for whatever reason) and watches people and dreams about what her life could be if she cold just meet that special someone. She is very nice and kind but because she does not stand out in the crowd, she is over looked but still holds out hope for her prince charming (he see's the real her and isn't hung up on the cosmetics and flash of life).

    georgegilmoreon January 18, 2010   Link

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