The River Of Dreams

Album: River Of Dreams (1993)
Charted: 3 3
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  • In the middle of the night
    I go walking in my sleep
    From the mountains of faith
    To a river so deep
    I must be looking for something
    Something sacred I lost
    But the river is wide
    And it's too hard to cross
    And even though I know the river is wide
    I walk down every evening and I stand on the shore
    And try to cross to the opposite side
    So I can finally find out what I've been looking for
    In the middle of the night
    I go walking in my sleep
    Through the valley of fear
    To a river so deep
    And I've been searching for something
    Taken out of my soul
    Something I would never lose
    Something somebody stole
    I don't know why I go walking at night
    But now I'm tired and I don't want to walk anymore
    I hope it doesn't take the rest of my life
    Until I find what it is that I've been looking for
    In the middle of the night
    I go walking in my sleep
    Through the jungle of doubt
    To a river so deep
    I know I'm searching for something
    Something so undefined
    That it can only be seen
    By the eyes of the blind
    In the middle of the night
    I'm not sure about a life after this
    God knows I've never been a spiritual man
    Baptized by the fire, I wade into the river
    That runs to the promised land
    In the middle of the night
    I go walking in my sleep
    Through the desert of truth
    To the river so deep
    We all end in the ocean
    We all start in the streams
    We're all carried along
    By the river of dreams
    In the middle of the night

Comments: 28

  • Joelfan from ColoradoSomething else relating to "Gloria" that he sings toward the end(i know it's a Cadillacs song) is that "Gloria" in a religious context means "Glory to God". Billy Joel's subconscious talking?
  • 123 from PhilippinesWhat issues about life is confronting the speaker of the song?
  • Peter Hinrichs from Spearfish South Dakota is it great song I think God was really speaking to Billy Joel but Billy Joel decided to ignore God and it's his own fault if he ends up in hell but you never know. But I have to say it kind of gives me hope and my own life and I'm a Christian myself but I will say I have doubts but I think that's okay cuz everyone has doubts every once in awhile but it is by the power of God yeah we can all be saved if you ask me this songs about trying to search food guide in the meaning of life
  • River Of Dreams from Liverpool, UkGod made me an atheist, I lay awake, at night, worrying about insomnia!
  • Chi Girl from NigeriaOne of 2 songs by Billy Joel that I like.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn August 30th 1993, 'The Late Show' with David Letterman premiered on the CBS Television network...
    The show's first musical guest was Billy Joel and he performed one song, "No Man's Land"...
    At the time his "The River of Dreams" was at #11 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart, and on October 10th, 1993 it would peak at #3 {for 1 week}...
    "No Man's Land" wasn't released as a single in the U.S.A., but in the United Kingdom it would reach #50 on the Singles chart.
  • Esskayess from Dallas, TxI do not believe in atheists. Therefore, atheists do not exist.
  • John from Monvtille, NjThe ending lyrics "Gloria..." are also part of a song called "Gloria" by The Cadillacs. Maybe Manhattan Transfer did a cover, or vice versa. I have to research that. I always wondered about what he says there, now it seems obvious he's singing the same part from this song. Check it out on this page: http://www.uulyrics.com/music/the-cadillacs/song-gloria/
  • Steven from Sunnyvale, CaBob Rivers sings about what else happens in the middle of the night in "River of Pee." Listen to it at http://bobrivers.com/#v8572
  • Joe from Toronto, OnIn response to April from Baltimore about "Gloria...it's not Cherie" very faintly sung near the end of this song.

    These are the lyrics and melody of a Manhattan Transfer song called "Gloria".

    I'm not sure why Billy added it to the end of the song. Perhaps he's just tipping his hat to one of the acts from NYC that he likes?
  • Newman from Compiègne, FranceOne of the most intense and great song written by Billy Joël shaking you up and down, this song makes me crying whenever i hear it : it was one of my mum's favorite song, we played it at her funerals...
  • Newman from Compiègne, FranceOne of the most intense and great song written by Billy Joël shaking you up and down, this song makes me crying whenever i hear it : it was one of my mum's favorite song, we played it at her funerals...
  • April from Baltimore, MdI too have heard the chanting and it always made me wonder what they were saying. Also at the end it sound like he's saying "Gloria" and then "It's not Cheri..." I know that cannot be right but I have no clue what he's really saying..
  • Jason from Alexandria, VaThis song is indeed about much more than walking in his sleep. I saw an interview on TV once where he was talking about it. I dont remember it all, but he said it was about a spiritual journey seeking the meaning of life and how it happens in ones unconcious mind. It's about faith, searching for something for a great meaning to life, searching for something greater etc.
  • John from Houston, TxWhat makes me believe this is a reflective look at Billy's faith is how it is placed on the album. It immediately follows "Goodnight My Angel" which is his answer to his daughter's question about where do we go when we die. And it is right before "2000 Years" which talks about a new way of life and concludes with the line "It's been a long time but I'm finally with you after 2000 years." Of course 2000 years ago is when Christ was born. May be just a coincidence but the the lyrics together form quite a message of searching
  • Dale from Santa Fe, NmI hear it too, Ross. It sounds like a children's choir chanting three words, then played very softly, but I too cannot make them out.
  • Ken from Louisville, KyWhen Joel is in concert, he teases the audience during the brief "false ending" towards the end on the song. He'll get up, take a sip of water, pretend to talk to band members and even wink at the audience before resuming the song. Sometimes this can last for up to a minute!
  • Shannon from Hamilton, OhI don't have any facts to back me up, but seriouslly listen to this song and you'll agree with me 100%.

    THIS IS NOT ABOUT SLEEP WALKING.

    This song is so much deeper than people percieve.

    I think this is one of the most serious and deep-rooted songs he's EVER done.

    He's obviouslly finding faith, God, the meaning of life, or spirituality.

    Proof:

    *Through the jungle of doubt, mountains of faith, valley of fear, and desert of truth... to a river so deep.*

    "I've been searching for something, something sacred I lost, but the river is wide, and it's too hard to cross."

    "I've been searching for something, something so undefined, that it can only be seen by the eyes of the blind."

    "Even so I know the river is wide
    I walk down every evening and I stand on the shore, I try to cross to the opposite side
    So I can finally find what I've been looking for"

    "I've been searching for something, taken out of my soul, Something I would never lose, something somebody stole"

    "I'm not sure about a life after this,
    God knows I've never been a spiritual man,
    Baptized by the fire I wade into the river that is runnin' to the promised land"

    "We all end in the ocean
    we all start in the streams
    We're all carried along
    by the river of dreams

    In the middle of the night..."

    Come on!
  • Tracy from ----------------, CtI LOVE this song...great message, and it's simply a beautiful song all around!
  • Mike from Hueytown , AlYeah if you play this song backwards there is a Satanic Message. Here's what it says :

    Barney is Satan....Barney is Satan ....His song made us suffer....the children love him....Death to Barney
  • Ross from Westfield, NjI have listened to this song on Joel's album "The Essential Billy Joel," and I have noticed something rather strange. Near the end of the song in this album there is a repetitive chant that is very soft and can barely be heard. Is it a message revealed when the song is played backwards or slowly?
    Anyone know what I am talking about?
  • Matthew from East Brunswick, NjBill is a great pianist and artist, one of the best Billy!
  • Dave from Pittsburgh, PaJoel has stated in a television interview that he had no intention to actually write this song (because it was too Gospel like, and Joel wasn't Gospel...but who can really define him as any Genre) but the song stuck in his head so bad that he just had to do it... thanks BJ!
  • Abi from Toronto, Canadai dont think this song is about walking in his sleep. its about searching for the meaning of life.
  • Apb from Farmington, CtThe 2000 Millenium Concert Live version of this is a BEAST. Great (best track on the CD) and gets you really pumped up when his goes into the "NA, NA, NA etc.).
  • Vladimir from Novi Sad, SerbiaA NY radio DJ (His first name is Scott, I'm not sure about his last name, Brennan, perhaps) heard a premiere of this song on radio while being in England. He recorded the track on his portable recorder, brought the tape back home and played on his show. The other stations called Sony Music, thinking Scott was given the promo copy before the others. Sony music then unlocked the storages and released the single 2 weeks before they originally planned to do it.
  • Ken from Louisville, KyThe title of the song is only mentioned briefly towards the end. Joel himself refers to it as "In The Middle Of The Night."
  • John from Millersville, MdJust great. It has a whimsical sort of retro appeal, but keeps the Billy Joel style we all love.
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