Song Spotlight: “All I Have To Do Is Dream”

Duplicate photos of two young white men with close cropped hair on the side, long on top. Label reads "Everly Brothers" and "1950s Jangle Pop"
  • Mood: Contemplative, Sweet
  • Themes: Love, Dreaming
  • Tempo: Slow
  • Genre/Style: Jangle Pop, 1950s

Having beautiful experiences to dream about or something special to look forward to can boost our outlook on current life circumstances. Daydreaming about things we enjoy can give us a much needed rest from attending to all of the things that can be draining in the day to day. The Everly Brothers sang “All I Have to Do Is Dream,” and it perfectly captures the sound of a gentle and sweet daydream.

“All I Have to Do Is Dream” was written by a married songwriting pair, Felice and Boudleaux Brayant. This pair wrote many songs that were sung by the brother duo, the Everly Brothers. The brothers recorded the song in just two takes and featured their family friend Chet Atkins. Upon its release, it hit number one on the Billboard singles chart and was played frequently by radio jockeys. It was not only popular in the US but in the UK as well.

This beautiful song is in a genre called jangle pop, a type of music that features a undistorted electric guitar (in comparison to the later rock and roll sound of electric guitars in the 60s) with chords that keep the sound ever present. These sustained chords drone and create the sound that makes it evocative of dreaming, combined with the liting harmonies make this a great song to relax to. As a bonus, the repetitive lyrics of this song makes it ideal for singing along with.

Here are some of the lyrics:

Dream, dream, dream, dream
Dream, dream, dream, dream
When I want you in my arms
When I want you and all your charms
Whenever I want you, all I have to do is
Dream, dream, dream, dream

This is a great song to use in a 1:1 setting or group and would go well with a collection of songs about love or dreams. It can be used as a transition into group discussion, an opportunity for musical engagement, movement and more

Try This:

Theme – This song would fit well into a collection of songs about love or a dream theme. Other complementary songs may include “Dreams,” “Wake Up Little Susie” and “Dream On.”

Encourage the group to share things that they had day dreamed about in the past. Alternatively, you can discuss songs that the groups find beautiful or match the dreamy style of this song.

Movement: Try out expressive movements that reflect the droning, sustained guitars or the shape of the melody or do gentle stretches along with the song.

Show photos of the Everly Brothers after listening to the song.

Sing along with the chorus of the song or bring the lyrics and sing through the entire song. Invite individual to try singing along with one of the brothers at a time to try out harmony and melody or try singing your own harmony. (Don’t worry about trying to get it to sound perfect; play around with the notes!)

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