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Featuring the songs of Nick Sullivan

Demos, discussion, lyrics, sheet music

Forgotten Dream


Album:  Songs Sung Sideways

2. Forgotten Dream

For many of us, the memory of dreams evaporates quickly once we are fully awake. Half-awake is a different matter: your dream is still fresh; your id is still bubbling; and long dead dreads and longings pop up spectrally to startle you awake or tempt you back to sleep. It would seem that the protagonist in this song, finding himself in such a precarious twilight state, is just about to succumb again when the doorbell rings.

"Don’t try to solve serious matters in the middle of the night."
Philip K. Dick (1928-1982)

The Song

Forgotten dreams may be the only kind that some of us have. Nick, for example, seldom remembers his dreams, or even the state of dreaming, but that may be just from inattention; it was similar with Latin, once upon a time.

The brain’s operating system unfortunately doesn’t furnish tidy reports about activity that took place when you were off shift, which makes you wonder what you might have been missing. This song leaps bravely into that knowledge gap, but doesn’t do much to fill it.

The Music

Our piano arrangement of Forgotten Dream has a classical feel, particularly in the full instrumental verse. The arrangement does not literally repeat at any point, but the accompaniment for the third verse is a simple variation of that in the first verse, which is handy to keep in mind if you’re learning how to play it. After spending the whole song in the key of D major, the arrangement veers suddenly at the end to G minor, then settles at last on G major with the closing “doorbell” chord. On the CD, this gave a serendipitous lead-in to the following song, Trouble on his mind, which is also in G.

The vocal starts operatically with an octave leap, and Nick’s voice on the soundtrack starts up erratically in much the same way. The overall vocal range is just a ninth, however, so it’s actually not as strenuous as the first two notes threaten. While we don’t use harmony vocals on these demo recordings, it’s easy to imagine a second voice joining in here and there.

Lyrics and Chords


D  A7 Em7 A7 (5 times)

D  Em  G  A7

Verse 1

   A     F#m Em7

It makes you sad to know

     A                            D     A7

That nothing here is really as it seems,

   A     F#m Em7

It calls to  mind


Forgotten dreams

            G       D                  F#m7    Bm

And they’re just as simple and they’re just as pure

   E9                     A      A6  A7

As any old star that ever gleams;

    D        A7      Em7      A7     D     A7  Em7  A7

And will you make me weep, forgotten dream?

D     A7      Em        A7     D      A7  Em7  A7

Cry myself to sleep, forgotten dream?


D  A7  Em7  A7

D  Em  G  A7

Verse 2

You did me wrong, maybe,

Some say it was not wholly undeserved,

But that was when

You lost your nerve;

And it’s just as simple and it’s just as sad

As any old song I ever heard;

But will you take me back, forgotten dream?

Will you take me back, forgotten dream?

Verse 3

Those dreams we have laid down,

We think that they will never rise again,

But that was now,

And this is then;

And it’s just as simple and just as wrong,

As any old lie I ever told;

For who knows what forgotten dreams may hold?

What might these forgotten dreams unfold?


D        A7      Em       A7

Will you take me back, forgotten,

D        A7      Em       A7     D     A7  Em  A7

Will you take me back, forgotten dream?


D  A7  Em  A7

D  Em  G  A7


D        A7      Em       A7     D  A7  Em  A7

Will you take me back, forgotten,

          Gm     G

Forgotten dream?

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