Fleetwood Mac: Dreams Meaning
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Song Released: 1977
You say you want your freedom
Well who am I to keep you down
Its only right that you should
Play the way you feel it
But listen carefully to the sound
Of your loneliness
Like a heartbeat.. drives you mad
anonymous Sep 22nd, 2012 9:23am report
I am so tired of her saying this was her positive, philosophical song about the Lindsey break-up while he chose to go the angry route with "Go Your Own Way". "Dreams" includes some of the cruelest lyrics ever; it is every bit as mean-spirited as "Go Your Own Way"-- just more subtle. The words are essentially damning an ex-lover to a life of eternal loneliness that he won't even be able to escape in his dreams. And even the "women they will come & they will go/when the rain washes you clean you'll know" line is a thinly veiled snipe at Lindsey's habit for dumpster-diving with dirty groupies. It's an amazing song but I wish Stevie would own it for what it is; a powerful kiss-off to a faithless lover and not some wistful ditty about hope and dreams......
Possum1972 Jan 13th, 2012 1:05am report
I remember hearing an interview, many, many years ago, in which Stevie Nicks referred to 'Dreams' as her 'very romantic' way of dealing with her romantic split from Lindsey Buckingham.
I have known this song, like many FM songs, forever and as I have grown older, the meanings have altered a little, for me.
As a young girl, possibly in my teens, this song was a girl trying to comfort someone by saying 'Ok, you don't want me anymore, that's fine. I want you to be happy and do what you want to do, I could never be happy if you are not. Go and find your happiness.' Almost like, 'I wish you well.' ('Well there you go again, you say you want your freedom. Well, who am I to keep you down. It's only right that you should play it the way that you feel it...')
This someone is no doormat though, and she expresses her annoyance and doubt about the situation. 'Leave me then, but I feel that you'll miss having someone to talk to and share things with. I don't think you'll get that from anyone else the way that I gave it to you. Don't let it drive you crazy!' ('...but listen carefully to the sound of your heartbeat drives you mad, in the stillness of remembering what you had and what you lost.')
The girl also believes in redemption for the person who wronged her and tells the person to keep strong and focus on what is really important to them. Once all the crap is dealt with you'll be able to continue and start again, even if it is not with her. ('Thunder only happens when it's raining, players only love you when they're playing. Women they will come and they will go. When the rain washes you clean you'll know, you will know.')
I have no idea if this is even close to how Stevie Nicks was feeling at the time she wrote this, for Rumours, in Sausalito many years ago before it became FM's only USA no# 1 hit. This is what I feel about it when I hear it.
Again, just Genious with gorgeous vocals!! Love it everytime I hear it, and I just can't help dancing to it. xx :)
anonymous Jan 12th, 2012 1:09pm report
I remember hearing an interview, some years ago, in which Stevie Nicks refers to 'Dreams' as her 'very romantic' way of dealing with her split from Lindsey Buckingham as opposed to 'Go your own way' which she referred to as Lindsey's 'very unromantic' way of dealing with her split from him.
Once again, I have known 'Dreams' forever, before I became aware of Fleetwood Mac. To me and it has always sounded like a song of acceptance and resignation. Almost like, 'Ok, you don't want me anymore, that's fine. I understand and I wont stop you from leaving me, how could I anyway.' ('Now there you go again, you say you want your freedom, well who am I to keep you down? It's only right that you should play it the way that you feel it...')
It's not about being a total doormat though and I do hear a bit of annoyance in Stevie's lyrics. Almost like, 'Be careful though, you will miss having someone there to talk to and share things with. You will miss me. Don't let it drive you crazy!' ('...but listen carefully to the sound of your loneliness, like a heartbeat drives you mad, in the stillness of remembering what you had and what you lost.')
I just love the chorus, always have, even before I formed my own thoughts on what Stevie was talking about. In my mind, this means 'There are people in the world who only want to know you and be there for you when times are good but, given the first sign of trouble they will desert you fast. ('Thunder only happens when it's raining, players only love you when they're playing. Women they will come and they will go...')
For me, it is also saying that redemption is always possible. No matter how bad situations can get. No matter how big a hole you may find yourself in, if you can just draw on an inner strength and battle through the crap that life may throw at you, if you can do all this then you will be washed clean and you'll be able to continue on or start again ('...when the rain washes you clean you'll know, you will know.')
I have no idea if this is even close to Stevie's feelings as she wrote this song in Sausalito all those years ago, but this is what the song says to me. Love it!! xx :)
anonymous Sep 2nd, 2011 9:33pm report
I think she is talking to herself. I think this is an example of her conflicting feelings inside of her own head.
anonymous Aug 2nd, 2010 8:04pm report
This is about someone who used someone, played them hense, players only love you when they're playing. Who is she to keep the player down, they move around. Women come and they will go, but when the rain washes you clean, you'll know. Player falls in love but by then, it's too late. Now the tables have turned and they get to feel the pain, the heartbeat that drives you mad when you've lost love. The love relation lives but only in dreams...spend their life dreaming about the one, the one they've lost.
krystal2010 Mar 4th, 2010 3:25pm report
Stevie is talking to your stereotypical "want your cake and eat it too" kind of guy. And she's pretty much telling him that she's not going to be the one who controls what he wants to do. Shit happens but when all's said and done your going to be the one who will go crazy to the sound of your lonely heart beating...
"thunder only happens when its raining, players only love you when they're playin"
what's meant to happen will happen and if it's not, it wont... you can never tamper fate..
This song was about the breakup between Stevie and Lindsey, but I don't think these are the words she was sayign to Lindsey. Stevie has always been very adamant in the fact that she left him. So why would she say to him something like,
now here you go again
you say you want your freedom
well, who am I to keep you down
I think this is something Lindsey said to her when she wanted out. Lindsey is obviously not the one who wanted his freedom, he has stated many times that he was devastated by the breakup and when he realized the relationship was ending, he tried desperately to hold on to her, which resulted in pushing her away even further.
Another example in this song of what I think Lindsey was saying to Stevie,
But listen carefully to the sound
Of your loneliness
Like a heartbeat drives you mad
In the stillness of remembering what you had
And what you lost
He is trying to convince her that leaving him is not the right thing to do, that she will be lost and lonely without him. On the other hand, if it was Stevie saying this to Lindsey, I think it was very cruel. It's like she was rubbing it in his face that she was leaving, knowing he was be lost without her and in fact hoping that he would be always longing for her.
anonymous May 5th, 2007 5:43am report
This song was written by Stevie Nicks and was about after the break up of her and Lindsey Buckingham during the making of the 'Rumours' album.
This song is about how Stevie has kind of moved on from Lindsey and she wants him to do his own thing, make music the way he wants, do what he wants with his life. The song is also about how Lindsey would only help Stevie with her music if he felt like it
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