So long ago
Was it in a dream?
Was it just a dream?
I know, yes I know
It seemed so very real
Seemed so real to me

Took a walk down the street
Through the heat whispered trees
I thought I could hear
Hear
Hear
Hear

Somebody call out my name (John)
As it started to rain
Two spirits dancing so strange
Ah! Bowakawa, pousse pousse
Ah! Bowakawa, pousse pousse
Ah! Bowakawa, pousse pousse

Dream, dream away
Magic in the air
Was magic in the air?
I believe, yes I believe
More I cannot say
What more can I say?

On a river of sound
Through the mirror go round, round
I thought I could feel
Feel
Feel
Feel
Music touching my soul
Something warm, sudden cold
The spirit dance was unfolding
Ah! Bowakawa, pousse pousse
Ah! Bowakawa, pousse pousse
Ah! Bowakawa, pousse pousse
Ah! Bowakawa, pousse pousse
Ah! Bowakawa, pousse pousse
Ah! Bowakawa, pousse pousse
Ah! Bowakawa, pousse pousse
Ah! Bowakawa, pousse pousse
Ah! Bowakawa, pousse pousse
Ah! Bowakawa, pousse pousse
Ah! Bowakawa, pousse pousse
Ah! Bowakawa, pousse pousse


Lyrics submitted by kevin

#9 Dream Lyrics as written by John Winston Lennon

Lyrics © Downtown Music Publishing

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

#9 Dream song meanings
Add Your Thoughts

38 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +4
    My Interpretation

    I have always felt that this was a dream by Lennon. If you heard that facts that came out after his death it would appear that this song tells the story of his death. As in all dreams, not everything matches up.

    Took a walk down the street (Lennon was walking on the street towards his apartment) Thru the heat whispered trees (Late at night-less noise in NYC. A mild night for December) I thought I could hear (hear, hear, hear) Somebody call out my name as it started to rain (Chapman calls out Lennon's' name)

    On a river of sound (Four gunshots) Thru the mirror go round, round (I had read one time that as Lennon was hit he spun from the bullets) I thought I could feel (feel, feel, feel) Music touching my soul, something warm, sudden cold (As he passed the music touched his soul-his blood would have made him feel something warm and as he went into shock and passed he would have felt sudden cold) The spirit dance was unfolding (a dance was coming to an end that had started earlier in the day betwwen Chapman and Lennon)

    Just my opinion but I have always felt that Lennon dream t his own passing and wrote it in this song.

    LimeGreenSezon December 07, 2011   Link
  • +3
    General Comment

    bAwakawa means "situation" or "case" in Japanese

    So Lennon is probably saying with "b'wakawa pousse" "the situation pushes." Which would be an indirect/clever way of saying "the plot thickens".

    AquariaTXon September 02, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    John sings the foreign-sounding phrase "Ah! böwakawa poussé, poussé" in his song "#9 Dream." According to John, it doesn't mean anything...it is just a phrase that came to him in a dream and he decided to base a song around it. Artists are funny that way. from bagism.com/faq.html

    thebosslemuron January 03, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    wats with all these songs sounding so peaceful yet eerie. it puts u in a trance. i like the magical way it sounds thru

    Two spirits dancing so strange

    Ah! böwakawa poussé, poussé

    ....odd but nice... any1 get me?

    JessicaJayneon January 18, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    For me, the song is about some lingering memory, dream or feeling. Intangible, but present.

    "Ah! böwakawa poussé, poussé" is just syntax without sematics - nice sounding words without meaning.

    Also, I checked the female whispering voice in the background during the line "Music touching my soul, something warm, sudden cold". It's the same voice as during "Somebody call out my name as it started to rain" saying the same thing, "John", but this time backwards. I assume it's Yoko.

    emilkon February 24, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    I think this song is better than imagine.

    Shellsmashedxbox360on April 22, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    Together with “Mind Games” on Shaved Fish, the dream is a celebration of the mystery rite of love.The poem describes a very mysterious and beautiful experience involving love and rain. The song is said to have come to Lennon in a dream. At first he says he knows, at least that it seemed so very real, but then he admits, that he believes, and what more can he say?

       He was walking down the street in the heat, when he heard someone call out his name, and then they met as it started to rain, and their dance was like the spirits dance, as love brings the two to participate in what is like the dance of spirits, within the harmony of things lost from the beginning, in a conjunction of conscious and unconscious mind that is like walking in a waking dream. The harmony can apparently be entered briefly by two in love, and it is this brief contact that makes them both wish that the dance were permanent, and seek to recover the lost harmony in the end. But it is here that for a moment the divided human being can be as if whole, when the two participate in or incarnate the life of the soul which, if it were in one, would be the perfected soul. They are out of their minds, and at the same time more in them than they are likely to be again. Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet dance like the two hands of a praying saint, and it is on this higher perfection that love depends for its magic. The two together and the singular soul are both in turn images of the Most High, or show what it means that the soul is an image of God, since here the overflow of the image allows indirect vision, by reflection. In love, the intelligible enters the visible, and so, some very strange things happen, as is commonly reported.

       Here is a nice note from one called Linclink on Steve Hoffman's Music Forum:

    mmcdonaldon February 21, 2020   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    I like that thought, Jessica. It's like a dream where something important is said to you, but you cannot remember who told you or what the message was. All you have is the event.

    TheRighteouson January 20, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    one of the most elusive, ethereal and ambiguous of John's songs.

    TheThornBirdson March 16, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    According to Google Translator, "bö wakawa" is Swahili for "they live".

    And "poussé" means pushed in french (I'm French, so you can trust me about this. The verb "pousser" does also mean "to grow" but "poussé" is never used as a way to say "grown", although it's not grammatically incorrect).

    I still can't figure out the real meaning of this sentence, though.

    DivideMeByZeroon October 09, 2010   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!

More Featured Meanings

Album art
Mountain Song
Jane's Addiction
Jane's Addiction vocalist Perry Farrell gives Adam Reader some heartfelt insight into Jane’s Addiction's hard rock manifesto "Mountain Song", which was the second single from their revolutionary album Nothing's Shocking. Mountain song was first recorded in 1986 and appeared on the soundtrack to the film Dudes starring Jon Cryer. The version on Nothing's Shocking was re-recorded in 1988. "'Mountain Song' was actually about... I hate to say it but... drugs. Climbing this mountain and getting as high as you can, and then coming down that mountain," reveals Farrell. "What it feels to descend from the mountain top... not easy at all. The ascension is tough but exhilarating. Getting down is... it's a real bummer. Drugs is not for everybody obviously. For me, I wanted to experience the heights, and the lows come along with it." "There's a part - 'Cash in now honey, cash in Miss Smith.' Miss Smith is my Mother; our last name was Smith. Cashing in when she cashed in her life. So... she decided that, to her... at that time, she was desperate. Life wasn't worth it for her, that was her opinion. Some people think, never take your life, and some people find that their life isn't worth living. She was in love with my Dad, and my Dad was not faithful to her, and it broke her heart. She was very desperate and she did something that I know she regrets."
Album art
When We Were Young
Blink-182
This is a sequel to 2001's "Reckless Abandon", and features the band looking back on their clumsy youth fondly.
Album art
American Town
Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran shares a short story of reconnecting with an old flame on “American Town.” The track is about a holiday Ed Sheeran spends with his countrywoman who resides in America. The two are back together after a long period apart, and get around to enjoying a bunch of fun activities while rekindling the flames of their romance.
Album art
Plastic Bag
Ed Sheeran
“Plastic Bag” is a song about searching for an escape from personal problems and hoping to find it in the lively atmosphere of a Saturday night party. Ed Sheeran tells the story of his friend and the myriad of troubles he is going through. Unable to find any solutions, this friend seeks a last resort in a party and the vanity that comes with it. “I overthink and have trouble sleepin’ / All purpose gone and don’t have a reason / And there’s no doctor to stop this bleedin’ / So I left home and jumped in the deep end,” Ed Sheeran sings in verse one. He continues by adding that this person is feeling the weight of having disappointed his father and doesn’t have any friends to rely on in this difficult moment. In the second verse, Ed sings about the role of grief in his friend’s plight and his dwindling faith in prayer. “Saturday night is givin’ me a reason to rely on the strobe lights / The lifeline of a promise in a shot glass, and I’ll take that / If you’re givin’ out love from a plastic bag,” Ed sings on the chorus, as his friend turns to new vices in hopes of feeling better.
Album art
Midnight
Ed Sheeran
“Midnight” is a song about finding a love that is so true that it provides a calming feeling through every storm. Ed Sheeran reflects on his good fortunes in landing someone with such peace and support and speaks of not fearing the dark days because he knows they’ll all end in the safety nets of her arms. “Well, good morning there / What a way to start the day / With everything laid bare,” Ed Sheeran sings in the first verse, enthusiastic to be waking up beside his woman. He apologizes for missing her calls in the second verse and promises to return them because for him, speaking to her is the most important thing. “Well, I get lost inside my head / In this chaos, you’re my calm / And I will find my feet again / ‘Cause еven the worst days of my life will always еnd / At midnight in your arms,” sings Ed Sheeran in the chorus, revelling in his good luck.