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Songs that feature lyrics about dreaming of dying?
November 14, 2010 2:22 PM   Subscribe

SongFilter: Songs with lyrics about dreaming of dying / being dead.

As I was listening to Arcade Fire's new Album "The suburbs", and in particularly to their song "Modern man", the lyrics "in my dream I was almost dead" (at 01:10) -- which later turned out to be "in my dream I was almost there", but whatever -- got me thinking about how dreaming about dying appears in at least a couple of other songs:
Moby - Porcelain (00:40) and Tears for Fears - Mad World (02:11).

So MetaFilter, any songs to add to this list?
posted by danburzo to Media & Arts (26 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
Sade - Bring me home seems to be about wanting to die. Is that any use?
posted by Not Supplied at 2:26 PM on November 14, 2010


Paul Simon's "An American Tune":

And I dreamed I was dying
I dreamed that my soul rose unexpectedly
And looking back down at me
Smiled reassuringly

posted by briank at 2:35 PM on November 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


@NotSupplied I'm looking specifically for songs that have in their lyrics an explicit statement of dreaming of dying.

Moby says in my dreams I'm dying all the time.
Tears For Fears say the dreams in which I'm dying are the best I've ever had.

I'm wondering if there are more songs that talk about this.

(call it Pop-Trivia-OCD)
posted by danburzo at 2:39 PM on November 14, 2010


One?
posted by yoyo_nyc at 2:40 PM on November 14, 2010


Here's a link to the American Tune lyric. And the 'stache.
posted by Balonious Assault at 2:42 PM on November 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Loudon Wainwright gets pretty close to the point

I'd rather be dreaming than sleeping
Just sleeping you're just as well dead
In dreams I can fly
In dreams I don't die
That's why I lie here in this bed
Just sleeping you're just as well dead

posted by parkerjackson at 2:58 PM on November 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Escape Club has a song called "I'll Be There" which includes the lyrics "I may have died, but I've gone nowhere."
posted by headspace at 3:00 PM on November 14, 2010


Gloomy Sunday (my favourite is by Billie Holiday - I'd link you to the song, but I'm work and blocked).

The whole song's about suicide, but this bit in particular hits the mark:

Gloomiest Sunday, with shadows I spend it all
My heart and I have decided to end it all
Soon there'll be candles and prayers that are said, I know
But let them not weep, let them know that I'm glad to go

Death is no dream, for in death I'm caressing you
With the last breath of my soul I'll be blessing you

posted by twirlypen at 3:05 PM on November 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


Bright Eyes, "I Saw You Taking Off"

But this is the hope I have been searching for
As the wings catch the sunlight of this cold Nebraska skyline
This is the dream I am dying in
I will wake to find tomorrow
Be content without perfection
But if this is real then I was mistaken
And if the vision is gone then I was not aware

posted by skyl1n3 at 3:07 PM on November 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Just to be clear, I'm not looking for suicidal songs or songs about death in general, nor about fantasizing about death. When I say dream of dying, I mean dreaming in your sleep.

For now, the songs that fit the request are: Paul Simon - An American Tune, Bright Eyes - I saw you taking off.

Loudon Wainwright is a nice antithesis (in dreams i don't die), Gloomy Sunday has all the key words (death is no dream) but with a different meaning.
posted by danburzo at 3:22 PM on November 14, 2010


John Fogerty - Honey Do

And a couple country songs:

George Strait - Love Without End, Amen

Merle Haggard - Harold's Super Service
posted by Balonious Assault at 3:24 PM on November 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


From the film Donnie Darko

I think it's kinda funny
I think it's kinda sad
The dreams I've had of dying
Are the best I've ever had.
posted by effluvia at 3:35 PM on November 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Guster- Long Way Down

"Dreamt I was dead lying in your bed, floated up from the ground and looked down . . ."
posted by lblair at 3:47 PM on November 14, 2010


A possible match: a Procol Harum song The dead man's dream. A man is dying and having a dream about death, but not specifically calling it a dream about death. Good song, though.
posted by rainy at 3:49 PM on November 14, 2010


From the film Donnie Darko

That would be Gary Jules covering Tears for Fears "Mad World."
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 3:52 PM on November 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


Bruce Springsteen - Valentine's Day from his Tunnel of Love album:

"They say if you die in your dreams you really die in your bed
But honey last night I dreamed my eyes rolled straight back in my head
And God's light came shinin' on through
I woke up in the darkness scared and breathin' and born anew"
posted by tomjoadsghost at 3:55 PM on November 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Elvis Perkins, "While You Were Sleeping"
did you have that strangest dream before you woke
cos in your gown you had the butterfly stroke
did it escape you like some half told joke?
when you reached for your plume of smoke
it'll haunt you, my honey bee
anyone who is anyone has that same dream
were you falling
were you flying
and were you calling out
or were you dying
posted by pxe2000 at 4:28 PM on November 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Gloomy Sunday has all the key words (death is no dream) but with a different meaning.

Ah, my mistake. Lucky, then, because the song is someone's dream about suicide - perhaps the last verse would be more appropriate?

Death is no dream, for in death I'm caressing you
With the last breath of my soul I'll be blessing you

Gloomy Sunday

Dreaming, I was only dreaming
I wake and I find you asleep in the deep of my heart, here
Darling, I hope that my dream never haunted you
My heart is telling you how much I wanted you


Full lyrics here.
posted by twirlypen at 4:32 PM on November 14, 2010


Laurie Anderson -- Tightrope

" Last night I dreamed I died and that my life had been rearranged into some kind of theme park....
In this dream I'm on a tightrope, and I'm tipping back and forth trying to keep my
balance....
The only thing that binds me to the turning world below and all the people and noise and sounds and shouts.
This tightrope made of sound.
This long thin line made of my own blood.
Remember me is all I ask.
And if remembered be a task forget me."

Neil Young - A Dream that Can Last

"I feel like I died and went to Heaven
The cupboards are bare but the streets are paved with gold

I saw a young girl who didn't die
I saw a glimmer from in her eye
I saw the distance, I saw the past
And I know I won't awaken, it's a dream that can last."
posted by drlith at 5:56 PM on November 14, 2010


Bright Eyes - June on the West Coast
I spent a day dreaming of dying in Mesa, Arizona
Where all the green of life had turned to ash
And I felt I was on fire, with the things I could have told you
I guess I just assumed that you eventually would ask


Joanna Newsom - Kingfisher
I had a dream you came to me
Sayin' you shall not do me harm anymore
And with your knife you evicted my life
From its little lighthouse on the seashore

posted by prinado at 6:07 PM on November 14, 2010


Oh, and Hyperballad by Bjork is about her going to a cliff edge and throwing things off and watching them crash against the ground, then comes these lines:

Imagine what my body would sound like
Slamming against those rocks

When it lands
Will my eyes
Be closed or open?

I go through all this
Before you wake up
So I can feel happier
To be safe up here with you

posted by twirlypen at 6:53 PM on November 14, 2010


Can't believe no one's mentioned Final Fantasy's "CN Tower Belongs to the Dead". So hauntingly gorgeous.
posted by julthumbscrew at 8:13 PM on November 14, 2010


This isn't exactly about dreaming about dying, but rings very close.
Iron Maiden - Dance of Death
posted by Senza Volto at 11:10 PM on November 14, 2010


Stars, "Calendar Girl"

I dreamed I was dying
as I so often do;
and when I awoke
I was sure it was true.

posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 11:27 PM on November 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


How about "A Dream" by Lou Reed and John Cale?
posted by dlugoczaj at 7:38 AM on November 15, 2010


Radiohead, "Pyramid Song"

i jumped in the river and what did I see?
black-eyed angels swimming with me
a moon full of stars and astral cars
all the figures i used to see
all my lovers were there with me
all my past and futures
and we all went to heaven in a little row boat

there was nothing to fear and nothing to doubt

posted by Windigo at 8:31 AM on November 15, 2010


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