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1960s / Roy Orbison In Dreams 1963
"In Dreams" is a song composed and sung by American rock and roll performer, Roy Orbison. An operatic ballad of lost love, it was released as a 45rpm single on Monument Records in February 1963. The song's opening line refers to "A candy-colored clown they call the Sandman". The Sandman is a character in Hans Christian Andersen's children stories who brings sleep and dreams by sprinkling magic sand onto the sleeping. It became the title track on the album In Dreams, released July 1963, and also appears on his 1989 posthumous album A Black & White Night Live from the 1988 HBO television special. "In Dreams" was used famously in an infamous whorehouse scene in David Lynch's Blue Velvet (1986). An effeminate drug dealer, played by Dean Stockwell, lip synchs the song at the insistence of a sadistic criminal played by Dennis Hopper. Later, Hopper's character utters the lines "In dreams I talk to you... in dreams you're MINE - all the time!" as he threatens Kyle Maclachlan's character. The song also appeared in and provided the title for Neil Jordan's 1999 psychological thriller In Dreams. If the structure of a standard pop song is ABABCAB (verse-chorus, verse-chorus, bridge, verse-chorus), then the structure of "In Dreams" is ABCDE: the lyrics "A candy-colored clown," "I close my eyes," "In dreams I walk with you," "But just before the dawn," and "It's too bad that all these things" all introduce sections of new musical material that are not repeated. In 1988, songwriters Will Jennings and Richard Kerr wrote a response to "In Dreams", called "In The Real World", which Orbison recorded for his 1989 album Mystery Girl. In 2004, Rolling Stone Magazine named "In Dreams" as one of the "500 Greatest Songs of All Time."