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Notes with Nicole: Songs for Bad Dream 

October 23, 2022

Hi! Welcome to Notes with Nicole. Today I wanted to highlight some songs that capture the essence of a bad dream. Some are comforting, some parallel the feeling that sticks with you after dreaming of something you wish to forget. Also, at the end I assign each song to an astrological placement… so stay tuned.  

At the top of this list is: “A Bad Dream” by Keane. The title clearly matches this theme. However, this song is not necessarily about an actual dream, but real life mimicking a bad dream, or in other words one’s worst fears. The music is a dramatic sequence of instruments, most noticeably drums, piano, and strings. My favorite lyrics from the song are: “I wake up, it’s a bad dream / no one on my side, I was fighting / But I just feel too tired to be fighting / Guess I’m not the fighting kind / Wouldn’t mind it if you were by my side / But you’re long gone, yeah, you’re long gone now”  

The lyrics plus the instrumentals capture that sinking feeling of waking up from a bad dream only to realize it is your reality. The one you love is gone; you’re struggling to be okay in their absence and fighting this overwhelming feeling is becoming too heavy to bear all alone.  

On a lighter note, the song “Saw you in a Dream” by The Japanese House has a very melodic and flowy tone. The lyrics are also gloomy but paired with the lighter music it doesn’t feel as heavy. Amber Mary Bain has a heavenly voice as she sings: “I saw you in a dream / You came to me / You were the sweetest apparition, such a pretty vision”, which transcends you into a dream-like state. She also sings about a person no longer in her life, one that she misses and is having trouble letting go of. Instead of opposing this dream, she welcomes it, since for a moment she can have this person the way she wants to, even if waking up is a harsh reality. I guess that may mean this song isn’t symbolic of a bad dream, but since it’s paired with missing someone and feeling those emotions, I categorized it that way regardless.
Next up, we have “I Dreamt I Saw You in a Dream” by Sunbeam Sound Machine. This is one of my favorite songs, for the music so perfectly encompasses that raw sensation of desolate heartache. There is a bit of repetition within the lyrics, specifically, “I dreamt I saw you in a dream / I dreamt you didn’t dream of me / I dreamt I saw you by the sea / The place where all my visions meet”. I love the lyrics because they are poetic in and of themselves, but also the way the lead singer sings them brings them to life. The music and pitch of the singer’s voice complement one another, rising and falling together. The drums and other instruments become more and more dramatic as the song goes on, emphasizing the emotion and tone. The music carries you into a nostalgic, pensive space. Once again, as a lot of bad dreams are about, this one seems to be about the absence of a loved one. There is a depression and emptiness in the song that is related to this person’s absence. To me, it also symbolizes the feeling of missing someone and dealing with the fact that they are not missing you.  

To wrap this up, I wanted to add a fun little feature to the end of my articles. I am going to assign each song to a zodiac placement. I had to mix my love of music with astrology. So, “A Bad Dream” by Keane, I must give that to the Scorpios of the world. If we want to be more specific, I will say Scorpio moons. The intensity of the song matches the intensity of the feelings Scorpio placements feel when going through a loss. “Saw You in a Dream” is for my Pisces babes. It’s melodic, emotional, and tender. This matches your sweet, loving souls, specifically Pisces Venus’. Lastly, “I Dreamt I Saw You in a Dream”, goes to the Aquarius’ of the world. I want to say Aquarius risings (because that’s me lol). Aquarius’ are naturally very intuitive, pensive, and poetic. This song truly reflects an Aquarius’ inner thoughts, which they may never say aloud.

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