In Dreams

Album: For The Lonely: 18 Greatest Hits (1963)
Charted: 6 7


  • Roy Orbison claimed in interviews that the lyrics for this song came to him in a dream; he wrote the music once he woke up. Typical of many Orbison songs, it's a heartbreaker: asleep at night is the only time he can be with the one he loves, as when he wakes up, she's gone.
  • This song is featured in a key scene in the 1986 film Blue Velvet where Dean Stockwell's character lip-synchs to the song. Orbison initially rejected director David Lynch's request to use this song, but later made a video for the track with scenes from the film.
  • The use of this song in Blue Velvet sparked a career resurgence for Orbison. Because of legal entanglements, he didn't have access to the master recordings of many of his hits, so after the movie drummed up interest in his work, he set about re-recording his songs for a compilation called In Dreams: The Greatest Hits. When Orbison asked Lynch if he could use footage of the film in a video for the re-recorded "In Dreams," Lynch not only agreed, but offered to help with the song. With T Bone Burnett producing, Lynch directed Orbison in his performance as he would an actor in a film, and it worked, allowing Orbison to be faithful to the original recording by doing it with no overdubs.
  • Shortly before he died, Roy Orbison recorded a follow-up to this song called "In The Real World" on his 1989 album Mystery Girl.

Comments: 15

  • JessThis song is so beautiful. I didn’t know a clue what it was. My Grandma passed to it and I heard it for a while before I actually looked it up. Made and still makes me tear up every time. Then I saw Blue Velvet too. Again, just beautiful.
  • Margo from OhioI've loved this song even before its popular resurgence in Blue Velvet, but the song took on particularly special meaning to me when my best friend died a few months ago. I am happy in my dreams when I am with them, and then when he sings "and 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 when you said goodbye" I cannot help but tear up. It's kind of amazing how songs about lost love like this particular masterpiece take on new meaning when you lose a loved one. Roy Orbison was amazing, and I cannot praise him enough for writing a song that, while it makes me cry, also gives me a modicum of comfort.
  • Jennifur Sun from Ramonalove this song because now that I have lost so many family members, the only time I'm with them is in my dreams. Wish I could tell Roy thanks.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn June 9th 1963, Roy Orbison appeared in concert* at King George's Hall in Blackburn, Lancashire, England...
    At the time his "In Dreams" was at #10 on the United Kingdom's Singles chart, a month earlier on May 12th it had peaked at #6 {for 2 weeks}…
    Across the pond in the U.S.A., his "Falling" was at #59 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; a little under four weeks later on July 7th it would peak at #22 {for 1 week} and it stayed on the chart for 8 weeks...
    * One of the other acts on the bill were four guys from Liverpool named the Beatles; and at the time their "From Me to You" was in its seventh and last week at #1 on the UK Singles chart...
    R.I.P. John, George, and the Big 'O'.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn May 18th 1963, Roy Orbison began his first tour on the United Kingdom with a concert at the Adelphi Cinema in Slough, Buckinghamshire, England...
    At the time his "In Dreams" was at position #7 on the U.K. Singles charts; two weeks earlier it peaked at #6 for two weeks and stayed for a total of 8 weeks in the Top 10...
    In the U.S.A. it had peaked at #7 {for 2 weeks} on March 24th, 1963 and it spent 13 weeks on the Top 100...
    Two of the opening acts at the Adelphi Cinema concert were Gerry & the Pacemakers and the Beatles*...
    * At the time the Beatles' "From Me to You" was at #1 on the U.K. Singles chart...
    R.I.P. to John, George, and the Big 'O'.
  • Bubblesk from Memphis, TnThis big hit for The Big "O" came out in spring 1963 & I bought the single. What an emotional song & it sure made an impact on the rock/pop charts. In my area, when this was released, it reached #2 in eastern Oklahoma/western Arkansas in several AM rock stations. Orbison was a truly unique rock icon that is sorely missed. "In Dreams" is still a favorite of mine. Back in 1963, wasn't it at this time that he toured with the Beatles in the UK? By then, The Big "O" had an impressive list of big hits. And then along came "Mean Woman Blues" b/w "Blue Bayou" in the summer! I recall that Roy's version of "Mean Woman Blues" bested all previous versions, including Elvis's, and reached either #2 or #3 on the charts. Mercy!
  • Rich from Portsmouth, NhOne of those songs you can't get out of your head--I was working on a poultry farm, 1960's.
    His voice is so plaintive at the end...
  • Jim from Novi, MiPowerfull gets me as teary today as the first day I heard it.
  • Rabitt from Sugar Land, TxI saw an interview once with Bernie Taupin and others. They were talking about what a great songwriter Roy Boy was and Bernie used the opening lyrics to this song to make his case of how great Roy was. A candy-colored clown they call the sandman...' If I remember correctly Bernie's comment was "wow!" Roy was one of a kind and he's still my favorite. THANK YOU Roy! You've brought me much, much joy!
  • Shawn from Green Bay, WiI've sang my wife and kids to sleep with this song for years. Absolutely beautiful and soothing song though laden with sadness. The famous introduction can bring anyone back to their childhood and being tucked in my a gentle hand.
  • Lawrence from Erie, PaThe original name of this song is "A candy Colored Clown" It's strange it took me forever to call it that and now they write it up as [IN DREAMS]. Still one of my faves.
  • Paul from Clio, MiI heard this song is about his wife who past away in a tragic motorcycle accident..One of my favorate roy songs...very touching
  • S.d. from Denver, CoI can never hear this song anymore without conjuring the image of the scene in "Blue Velvet" where Frank Booth (Dennis Hopper) recites the lyrics while the song plays in the background, shortly before he sexually humiliates Isabella Rosselini for the umpteenth time. Fascinatingly grotesque as the movie was, it ruined this classic for me. (And for the record, the film was released in 1986, not 1987.)
  • Congo from Woonsocket, RiI agree with Alex,Fullerton,CA. What a beautiful,passionate song. And the way it builds up! A full yearning heart alert. The way I heard the story is that Roy Orbinson woke up thinking "Ol' Elvis has himself another hit" then realized he had just dreamt the song.
  • Alex from Fullerton, CaI can't believe no one's commented on this song! It's brilliant and mindblowingly beautiful.
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