This song is about a guy with big dreams who is incapable of acting on them, so they never come true. As was custom with Supertramp, it was credited to their founding members Rick Davies and Roger Hodgson, who wrote separately but shared composer credits. "Dreamer" was written by Hodgson, who also sang lead. When we asked Roger in 2012 if he was a dreamer, he replied: "I am, and I definitely was even more back then. I was a teenager, I had many dreams. And I feel very blessed that a lot of them came true. But that song flew out of me one day. We had just bought our first Wurlitzer piano, and it was the first time I'd been alone with a Wurlitzer piano back down in my mother's house. I set it up and I was so excited that that song just flew out of me." (Read our full Roger Hodgson interview.)
The original demo for this song had the band banging cardboard boxes and electric fires and anything that clanged. Though there are some drums in the final mix, Supertramp wanted to duplicate the tempo of their demo, so there are also some cardboard boxes being struck somewhere in the mix.
After Roger Hodgson left Supertramp in 1983, the band didn't perform "Dreamer" live until their 2010 tour, where it was part of a three-song encore of cuts from Crime of the Century. Saxophonist John Helliwell explained in a 1988 interview.
"It became a big number on stage. I used to frolic around and stand on the piano and try to make Roger laugh while he was singing it. We don't do that anymore, 'cause it was so much Roger that we really couldn't do another version of that."
Roger Hodgson came up with this song at his mother's house, which is where he recorded the demo, using boxes and various household items for percussion. It wasn't until about five years later that he recorded the song with Supertramp, using that demo as a guide. They couldn't duplicate the demo exactly, but they came as close as they could.
This was featured in the 2001 film The Parole Officer.
Dave from Wheaton, IlThe live version peaked at #15 in Billboard, in '80.
Joe from Grande Prairie Alberta, Cape VerdeI Need to be buried with this Record. So if anyone out there happens to be attending my Funeral Please take note. And it has to be the vinyl not a c.d. or tape...
Cyberpope from Richmond, CanadaEversince this song came out, when I was in grade 3, we always used to sing this rather than just tell someone they're dreaming. . .
"I'm gonna get an A on this test!" "Dreamer! Put your head in your hands, oh no!"
Shannon from Sioux Falls, SdThis songs on the Acura car commercial from like 2006, but i heard they didn't sell Take The Long Way Home to the Greyhound company to use for one of there commercials.....hmmmm.
Bella from Pretoria, --This song makes me get a grip on myself.
Bella from Pretoria, --What?! I've seen The Parole Officer more than once and I don't remember this song! But I probably missed that part cos I don't like the movie much and never saw the whole one.
Bob from Oakland, CaThey seem to really like the lyric "There's not a lot I can do," which also shows up in "Breakfast in America."
Steve from Torrance, CaThis song, along with "Rudy", comprises one of four themes on the concept album "Crime of the Century": in this case Disillusionment/Self-Deception. The other themes are: Paranoia ("School" and "Bloody Well Right"), Mental Illness ("Hide in your shell" and "Asylum"), and Self-Destruction ("If everyone was listening" and "Crime of the Century"). The album's overall concept is the fatal flaws/hubris of human nature.