Helen Vahdati’s Song Lyric Sunday theme this week is “sleep,” something I probably should be doing right about now. But when I thought about the sleep theme, what came to mind was the Roy Orbison song, “In Dreams.”
Roy Orbison was an incredible singer whose voice could span a range of three octaves, a range that was beyond that of most rock ‘n roll singers at the time. “In Dreams,” composed and sung by Orbison, is an operatic ballad of lost love. The song was released as a single on Monument Records in February 1963, and was the title track on the album In Dreams, released in July of the same year. The single peaked on the Billboard Hot 100 charts at number 7 in 1963.
Typical of many Orbison songs, “In Dreams” is a heartbreaker. He’s asleep at night and that’s the only time he can be with the one he loves, and when he wakes up, she’s gone. Orbison claimed in interviews that the lyrics for this song came to him in a dream. He wrote the music once he woke up.
Here are the song’s lyrics.
A candy-colored clown they call the sandman
Tiptoes to my room every night
Just to sprinkle stardust and to whisper
“Go to sleep. Everything is all right.”
I close my eyes, Then I drift away
Into the magic night. I softly say
A silent prayer like dreamers do.
Then I fall asleep to dream My dreams of you.
In dreams I walk with you. In dreams I talk to you.
In dreams you’re mine. All of the time we’re together
In dreams, In dreams.
But just before the dawn, I awake and find you gone.
I can’t help it, I can’t help it, if I cry.
I remember that you said goodbye.
It’s too bad that all these things,
Can only happen in my dreams
Only in dreams In beautiful dreams.