What does A Bad Dream mean?

Keane: A Bad Dream Meaning

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Album cover for A Bad Dream album cover

A Bad Dream Lyrics

Why do I have to fly?
Over every town up and down the line?
I'll die in the clouds above
And you that I defend, I had do not love

I wake up, it's a bad dream
No one on my side
I was fighting
But I just feel too tired
To be...

  1. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jun 30th 2014 !⃝

    The song was inspired by a poem by Yeates. It tells the tale of a fighter pilot, and ace, who knows that probably today will be his last sortie. He laments his fate, knowing that as a tool for others both he and those he is fighting against have no real stake in what is happening. He wonders what life would be like if they (him and his prey) had met under different circumstances. His ultimate fate is left ambiguous.


  2. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Feb 1st 2013 !⃝

    Why do I have to fly
    over every town up and down the line?
    I'll die in the clouds above
    and you that I defend, I do not love.

    I think it’s about an old man about to die reflecting on the one that got away. He was in a relationship with someone he never loved.

    I wake up, it's a bad dream,
    No one on my side,

    He was thinking about the time they shared, now he is and he still can't believe it, calling it a bad dream.

    I was fighting
    But I just feel too tired
    to be fighting,
    guess I'm not the fighting kind
    He didn't truly care about her, so he just let her leave. When she left he realized he might now. He’s too sad and tired to try and fix things from so long ago.

    Where will I meet my fate?
    Baby I'm a man, I was born to hate.
    And when will I meet my end?
    In a better time you could be my friend.

    He knows his time is running out but he still feels lost. He’s searching for answers, trying to figure it all out, and waiting for the end .He old and sad, still feeling alone without her. He admits that because of this he neglected her. he became bitter and forgot about her so she moved on. He thinks then wasn't the right time, and if it was they could have been close.


    Wouldn't mind it
    if you were by my side
    But you're long gone,
    yeah you're long gone now.

    He wronged her, she left. He misses the company. Even though things were never right between them, he wishes she was there just so he was alone. Now that she’s gone, he realizes what happened but it’s already too late. He never really loved her, so he didn’t really bother with trying to get her back.

    Where do we go?
    I don't even know,
    My strange old face,
    And I'm thinking about those days,
    And I'm thinking about those days.

    He’s lost. Time has passed since she left, a lot. He still thinks about it in his old age, still full of regret.


    He still can’t believe losing the girl who loved him once. He never truly loved her, but it beat being alone and wishes she was still here. Now he’s too old and it’s been far too long for him to get her back.

  3. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Aug 25th 2011 !⃝

    It's about war, from the view point of a solider, probably someone who was drafted). He's wondering when he will die ("Where will I meet my fate?") and is tired of fighting in this war ("I was fighting/but I just feel too tired").

    He doesn't love his country, and is only fighting for it because he was forced to ("And you that I defend, I do not love"). And he is speaking to the opposite side, possibly an enemy solider that he killed ("You're long gone now"). He is thinking about how he could have been friends with this man, if the circumstances had been different ("In a better time you could have been my friend" and "Wouldn't mind it/if you were by my side").

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