Jeff Buckley penned this song for his longtime friend Chris Dowd, formerly of Fishbone, who was considering leaving his pregnant girlfriend. Jeff did not want his friend to become like his own father, Tim Buckley, who divorced his mother about a month before Jeff was born.
The last track recorded for Grace, this originated from a jam. Buckley had sung some vocals as a reference but hadn't got round to writing proper lyrics.
Engineer Clif Norrell explained to Uncut magazine that Buckley asked him to help finish "Dream Brother" because the album deadline had passed and the vocals were uncompleted.
"Jeff was in Los Angeles, so they wanted him to get into a studio and finish the song," he said. "We had two days, but Jeff wanted to work on other songs first. On the final night, Jeff sang just the choruses of Dream Brother. He asked me what time it was, I said '11:00 PM', and he said, 'OK, I'll meet you back here at 1:00 AM!' He returned on time and sung the verses a few times and really nailed it. I realized he probably written those verses during the couple of hours he was out of the studio."
Journalist David Browne used the "Dream Brother" title for a posthumous biography of Jeff and Tim Buckley.
Andries from Amsterdam, NetherlandsOne point of could be that this could be about Sleep and it's world of Dreams. I sometimes think Jeff must have read the Sandman gothic novels/comic series, some of it seems to have found its way in this song
Rebekah from Tampa, Fli don't know for sure the song meaning but the one aaron provided makes a lot of sense.. it's also pretty sweet. i think it's very plausible. there's one line in the song that stuck with me alot. it's the last line and it goes "asleep in the sand with the ocean washing over"... it seems a reference to jeff's father who, upon his death, was cremated and had his ashes scattered on a beach, if i'm not mistaken...anyway, it's a very beautiful, resonant song... and i love both buckleys..
Marcus from Jackson, MiThere is a Tim Buckley song called "dream letter." I don't know if Jeff was trying to reference his father. It's crazy though on the cover of the book Dream Brother the two men are next to each other and since they achieved status in the musical world pretty much at the same time in their lives it does look like they are brothers who never new each other rather than father and son.
Zach from Adelaide, AustraliaI always thought this song merely fitted into the rest of the album about being about lost love. But yeah I reckon the father premise makes a whole lot more sense. Maybe its not necessarily about leaving the girlfriend though, I reckon it could be more relevant to his dad dying due to drug related causes.
Fran from London, United KingdomRaymond. Some songs are streams of consciousness. If you have a lot to say, albeit with only one purpose, why not say it? Buckley was deeply affected by his father's abandonment, and, his friend's situation being akin to that of Tim Buckley decades earlier, he is desperate to communicate the hurt and sadness he experienced. It's a heartbreaking song.
Matt from Boston, MaA genius and a visionary. Oh what might have been. I believe in years to come he will attain the mythical status as something akin to music's James Dean. If a perfect album exists its name is "Grace".
Raymond from Sydney , AustraliaToo many lyrics to say very little. I mean, say very much with very few words if possible, because the truth is general but precise, and the door is small and the road narrow, and were looking for that door or we are trying to be appealing in the wide gate and broad highway. Like the bible, people think the meaning is found by combining very many words of the whole book, whereas God is thrifty and conceals enormous meaning in a few choice words here and there: the small door. I never heard the musical accompaniament, though I'm sure its very nice.
Aja from Gloucester, Majeff buckley is my favorite. i have the absolute highest respect for this man. may he rest peacefully.
His keyboard work helped define the Muscle Shoals sound and make him an integral part of many Neil Young recordings. Spooner is also an accomplished songwriter, whose hits include "I'm Your Puppet" and "Cry Like A Baby."