Meaning of Dream On by Aerosmith & Song Story

With over one hundred and fifty million discs sold, the legendary rock band Aerosmith has become America’s most commercially successful band. Evidence of his incredible popularity are also dozens of tracks that have risen to the top of the largest charts, several prestigious awards, including four Grammys, and a place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

And Aerosmith’s first hit was Dream On from the band’s debut album, which this article is dedicated to.

The story & meaning of the song Dream On – Aerosmith

The lyrics and music were written by Steven Tyler. According to him, the story of the Dream On song began when he was only three years old. In early childhood, he loved to crawl under the piano and listen to his father, a classically trained musician, play. Allegedly, it was then that he began to develop a sequence of chords, which later became the song Dream On.

Of course, Tyler’s statement should not be taken literally. However, he did compose the composition for several years. And Steven completed the track already with the rest of the band in the house that their manager rented for the recording of the Aerosmith album.

What is Dream On Aerosmith about? In an interview, Steven Tyler explained the meaning of the composition, and also spoke a little about the history of its creation:

It’s about a strong desire to become someone: “Dream until your dreams come true”… This song sums up all the shit that you have to endure when you’re in a new band. Most of the critics scolded our first album and said that we were imitating The Stones. It was a good barometer of my rage against the press, and I still have it today.

Dream On came about when I was playing the piano at the age of seventeen or eighteen and I didn’t know anything about how to write songs yet. It was just a little sonnet that I started playing one day. I could not imagine that in the end it will turn into a real song.

When Steven introduced Dream On to his Aerosmith bandmates, not all of them were enthusiastic about the song.

Guitarist Joe Perry recalled that he didn’t like her at all:

In those days, you achieved fame by playing live. And for me, rock ‘n’ roll is about energy and show on stage. That’s what attracted me to rock ‘n’ roll, and Dream On was a ballad. I appreciated its musicality only after a while, but I immediately understood that this is a great song, and we included it in our set. We also knew that playing pure rock ‘n’ roll would not get you radio, and if you wanted a top 40 hit, a ballad was the way to go. I don’t remember how often we played it live. Back then you only had half an hour to play, so you didn’t play slow songs. So we only really started playing it after it became a single.

Classic Rock, 2002

Release and achievements

As mentioned above, Dream On was featured on the Aerosmith album, the band’s debut LP. It sold frankly weakly, because Columbia Records threw all its efforts into the promotion of Bruce Springsteen’s first album, and few funds were allocated for the advertising of Aerosmith’s creation.

The company was already thinking about abandoning the collaboration with the group, but the single Dream On, released in a shortened version, reached number 59 on the Billboard Hot 100, and the Columbia bosses decided to give the group a chance. As you can see, they weren’t wrong. A couple of years later, the album version of the song Dream On was released as a single, which climbed to sixth on the Billboard Hot 100.

Let’s listen to the legendary track of the cult band.

Since then, Aerosmith has performed Dream On, which has become their hallmark, in almost all of their performances. The composition is included in most of their best of collections and live albums.

Dream On is one of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time by Rolling Stone.

Video of Dream On – Aerosmith

And now let’s watch the live video with the band’s song.

Interesting Facts

  • Aerosmith played Dream On for the first time at the Shaboo Inn in November 1971. For that performance, the musicians received one hundred and seventy-five dollars and a bottle of gin. Tyler and Perry got drunk, rented girls, spent the night on the same bed and caught the infection.
  • Sirinda Fox, Tyler’s ex-wife, wrote an autobiographical book called Dream On: Livin’ On the Edge with Stephen Tyler and Aerosmith.
  • In February 2013, Massachusetts Representatives James Cantwell and Josh Cutler drafted a bill to make Dream On the state’s official song.
  • Eminem’s song Sing for the Moment is based on Dream On.

Dream On Lyrics by Aerosmith

Every time when I look in the mirror
All these lines on my face getting clearer
The past is gone
It went by like dusk to dawn
Isnt that the way
Everybody’s got the dues in life to pay

I know nobody knows
Where it comes and where it goes
I know it’s everybody’s sin
You got to lose to know how to win

half my life
Is in books written pages
Live and learn from fools and
From sages
You know it’s true
All these things you do come back to you

Sing with me, sing for the years
Sing for the laughter, sing for the tears
Sing with me, just for today
maybe tomorrow,
The good lord will take you away

dream on
dream on
dream on
Dream until your dreams come true

Dream On Lyrics Alternative

Every time I look in the mirror
All those facial wrinkles are getting clearer
The old days are behind
They passed as dawn turns to night
Is not it
We all have to pay bills

I know nobody knows
Where does it come from and where does it go
I know everyone is sinful
Without losing, you won’t know how to win

Half of my life
On book pages
Live and learn from fools and
At the wise men
You know it’s true
Everything you do comes back to you

Sing with me, sing year after year
Sing for laughter, sing for tears
Sing with me, at least today
Maybe tomorrow,
The good Lord will take you

Dream on
Dream on
Dream on
Dream until dreams come true

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