Crowded House – “Don’t Dream It’s Over”

This song was a huge part of my growing into a young adult. I remember riding around in my 1979 Mercury Cougar with that song blasting on the radio, cruising and singing. According to Songfacts, Crowded House lead singer Neil Finn wrote this song. He explained in an interview with Goldmine: “I wrote that on my brother’s piano. I’m not sure if I remember what the context was, exactly, but it was just about on the one hand feeling kind of lost, and on the other hand sort of urging myself on: Don’t dream it’s over. That one actually fell out literally, without me thinking about it too much.”

This was Crowded House’s biggest hit in the US. The group is from New Zealand, where they are very popular. Crowded House was their first album, which did very well in the US, peaking at #2, and # 27 in the UK. Subsequently released albums had success in the UK, but not in the states.

This was used in commercials for the New Zealand Tourism Commission.

In 1989 Paul Young performed a cover of this song at the Nelson Mandela Tribute Concert. >>

This song was used in the TV miniseries The Stand, which aired in March 1994. The miniseries was based on the Stephen King novel. >>

Sixpence None The Richer recorded this song for their album Divine Discontent. Their version has a similar arrangement, but with female vocals. Veteran music video director Sophie Muller helmed a clip for this version, which has lead singer Leigh Nash discovering a baby goat and singing the tune among paratroopers on a beach.

Clad in hoodie pajamas and sitting in an inflatable chair, Miley Cyrus and Ariana Grande performed this as part of Cyrus’ Backyard Sessions for her Happy Hippie Foundation in 2015. Two years later, the pair teamed up again to sing it at the One Love Manchester concert to benefit victims of the terrorist attack at Grande’s Manchester Arena show two weeks earlier.

When Crowded House reunited in 2016, Neil Finn explained that he’s happy to keep playing this one. He told ABC: “I really enjoy singing it every time I do it, and I’m super pleased and proud that the song that is almost the most identifiable for us is, I think, one of my best songs.”

Mitchell Froom, the producer of the first three Crowded House albums, helped Neil Finn complete the song. Finn recalled to Uncut:

“The day I did it, I knew I had something quite special. Then the next day we played it with the band and it sounded like a bag of s–t. It was only when Mitchell suggested the bassline, which Nick (Seymour) elaborated on, that it really found its groove. I was wavering away doing demos, and Mitchell made some quite profound suggestions. Like an R&B bassline might be better than a rock or pop approach, or a Hammond organ could sound nice. These were not textures I was used to. He filled in quite a few areas that we weren’t covering, but maybe it made our individual sound less distinctive. It took a while, but then ‘Don’t Dream It’s Over’ started to work in the US and the whole record went on to have a pretty big life.”

The entire song plays at the beginning of the 2018 Season 6 season premiere of the spy drama The Americans, introducing the changes that have taken place since the previous season, with a new level of tension among the married main characters that is emphasized with the line, “build a wall between us.” The series is set in the ’80s, and that particular episode takes place in 1987.

This was the one Crowded House song Fleetwood Mac performed on tour when Neil Finn joined the band in 2018. Stevie Nicks joined him on vocals for these performances.

Finn considers this a song of unity. When he performed it in Hartford, Connecticut with Fleetwood Mac on March 15, 2019, he dedicated the song to the victims of the shootings in Christchurch, where earlier in the day a gunman opened fire on two mosques.

 

Song Lyrics –

There is freedom within, there is freedom without
Try to catch the deluge in a paper cup
There’s a battle ahead, many battles are lost
But you’ll never see the end of the road
While you’re traveling with me

Hey now, hey now
Don’t dream it’s over
Hey now, hey now
When the world comes in
They come, they come
To build a wall between us
We know they won’t win

Now I’m towing my car, there’s a hole in the roof
My possessions are causing me suspicion but there’s no proof
In the paper today tales of war and of waste
But you turn right over to the T.V. page

Hey now, hey now
Don’t dream it’s over
Hey now, hey now
When the world comes in
They come, they come
To build a wall between us
We know they won’t win

Now I’m walking again to the beat of a drum
And I’m counting the steps to the door of your heart
Only shadows ahead barely clearing the roof
Get to know the feeling of liberation and release

Hey now, hey now
Don’t dream it’s over
Hey now, hey now
When the world comes in
They come, they come
To build a wall between us
We know they won’t win

Don’t let them win (hey now, hey now, hey now, hey now)
Hey now, hey now
Don’t let them win (they come, they come)
Don’t let them win (hey now, hey now, hey now, hey now)

Credit: song facts

Video: YouTube

Photo: Bing.com/images

5 thoughts on “Crowded House – “Don’t Dream It’s Over”

    1. I love them too, and this song was so popular with my friends and me back then. We used to ride up and down this main street name Commercial Avenue, but of course, we gave it another name. We called it the “Drag.” Friday and Saturday nights we would spend riding up and down the Drag, stopping and getting out of our cars downtown to talk, dance, and just shoot the breeze with one another. I sure miss those days.

      1. Oh yes….I grew up in a town…and am still only a few minutes away with two stop lights. We would travel up and down up and down and have so much fun.