Dream a Little Dream of Me

This article is about the song. For other uses, see Dream a Little Dream of Me (disambiguation).
"Dream a Little Dream of Me"
Published 1931
Composer(s) Fabian Andre, Wilbur Schwandt
Lyricist(s) Gus Kahn

"Dream a Little Dream of Me" is a song, from circa 1931, with music by Fabian Andre and Wilbur Schwandt and lyrics by Gus Kahn. It was first recorded in February 1931 by Ozzie Nelson and also by Wayne King and His Orchestra, with vocal by Ernie Birchill. A popular standard, more than 60 other versions have been recorded, but one of the highest chart ratings was in 1968 by Mama Cass Elliot with The Mamas & the Papas.

Early recordings

"Dream a Little Dream of Me" was recorded by Ozzie Nelson and his Orchestra, with vocal by Nelson, on February 16, 1931 for Brunswick Records. Two days later, Wayne King and His Orchestra, with vocal by Ernie Birchill, recorded the song for Victor Records. "Dream a Little Dream of Me" was also an early signature tune of Kate Smith. In the summer of 1950, seven recordings of "Dream a Little Dream of Me" were in release, with the versions by Frankie Laine and Jack Owens reaching the US Top 20 at respectively #18 and #14: the other versions were by Cathy Mastice, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Jordan, Vaughn Monroe, Dinah Shore and a duet version by Bing Crosby and Georgia Gibbs. Other traditional pop acts to record "Dream a Little Dream of Me" include Louis Armstrong, Barbara Carroll, Nat King Cole, Doris Day, Joni James, and Dean Martin.

The song was again recorded in 1968 by Mama Cass Elliot with The Mamas & the Papas, and then by Anita Harris. More than 40 other versions followed, including by the Mills Brothers, Sylvie Vartan, Henry Mancini, The Beautiful South, Anne Murray, Erasure, Michael Bublé, and Italian vocal group Blue Penguin (see below: List of recorded versions).

Cass Elliot version

"Dream a Little Dream of Me"
Single by Mama Cass with the Mamas & the Papas
from the album The Papas & The Mamas and Dream a Little Dream
B-side "Midnight Voyage" (the Mamas & the Papas)
Released June 1968
Format 7" single
Genre Jazz


3:22 (Mama Cass' album version)
Label Dunhill (USA)
Stateside (UK)
The Mamas and the Papas chronology
"Safe in My Garden"
"Dream a Little Dream of Me"
"For the Love of Ivy"
Cass Elliot chronology
"Dream a Little Dream of Me"
"California Earthquake"
"Dream a Little Dream of Me"
The Mamas and Papas' version, with solo voice by Cass Elliot, released as a single during 1968.

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"Dream a Little Dream of Me" was recorded for the Mamas & the Papas April 1968 album release The Papas & The Mamas. The group had often sung the song for fun, having been familiarized with it by member Michelle Phillips, whose father had been friends with the song's co-writer, Fabian Andre, in Mexico City where Michelle Phillips' family had resided when she was a young girl. "Mama" Cass Elliot suggested to group leader John Phillips that the group record "Dream a Little Dream of Me". According to him she was unhappy while recording the song, objecting to its campiness. However, Elliot herself would later tell Melody Maker: "I tried to sing it like it was 1943 and somebody had just come in and said, 'Here's a new song.' I tried to sing it as if it were the first time."

In the album version, recorded with the Mamas and the Papas, a spoken introduction from an engineer is heard mentioning a drink, and then concluding with the words: "And now introducing: Mama Cass". Only the last part was heard on the single version of the song. Cass did her own whistling, which is heard before the song's fade.

By the time of the album's release, there were strong indications that the Mamas & the Papas were set to disband, a perception strengthened by the failure of the lead single "Safe in My Garden". Having an opportunity to promote the group's best-known member as a soloist, Dunhill Records gave a June 1968 single release to the "Dream a Little Dream of Me" track with the credit reading - to John Phillips' displeasure -[1] "Mama Cass with the Mamas & the Papas"; in its UK release the artist credit simply read "Mama Cass". Promoted in the US press and on billboards with a photograph of a discreetly but obviously nude Elliot lying in a bed of daisies,[2] "Dream a Little Dream of Me" peaked at #12 on the Billboard Hot 100 that August (its Cash Box peak was #10 and in Record World it reached #8). The Billboard Easy Listening chart ranked the single as high as #2.[3] In the UK "Dream a Little Dream of Me" reached #11 that September; the track also afforded Mama Cass a hit in Ireland (#13) and South Africa (#8). In Australia the Go-Set Top 40 chart ranked "Dream a Little Dream of Me" at #1 for the weeks of 4 & 11 September 1968.[4] "Dream a Little Dream" was released as a single in Europe in 1992 - credited to the Mamas and the Papas and featuring that group's #1 hit "Monday, Monday" as the B-side - to reach #5 in Germany and #22 in Switzerland. In Australia the song spent two weeks at #1,[5] and was the 16th biggest hit of 1968.[6]

A slightly different version of "Dream a Little Dream of Me" was included on Elliot's solo debut album, Dream a Little Dream.[2]

Chart performance

Weekly singles charts

Chart (1968) Peak
Australia[7] 1
Canada[8] 7
Germany[7] 5
Ireland[9] 13
South Africa 8
Switzerland[10] 22
UK[7] 11
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 12
U.S. Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks 2
U.S. Cash Box Top 100 10
U.S. Record World 8

Year-end charts

Chart (1968) Rank
Australia [7] 14
Canada [11] 72
UK [12] 94
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 [13] 105
U.S. Cash Box [7] 85

Anita Harris version

The release of the Mama Cass single of "Dream a Little Dream of Me" prompted a cover by Anita Harris which was recorded at Olympic Studios in a session produced by Mike Margolis with Alan Tew as musical director. Released 26 July 1968, the Harris version debuted in the UK Top 50 dated 10 August 1968 at #46 ahead of the Cass version at #49 although the latter would vault into the Top 30 and then Top 20 over the next two weeks while the Harris version would never reach the Top 30. However Harris's version of "Dream a Little Dream of Me" would maintain a lower chart presence throughout the ascendancy of the Cass version with Harris's single peaking at #33 the week after Cass's peak at #11. Both Cass's and Harris's versions of the song have an inaccurate rendering of the middle eight bars.

Robbie Williams version

"Dream a Little Dream"
Single by Robbie Williams
from the album Swings Both Ways
B-side "You Got Old"
Released 13 December 2013 (2013-12-13)
Format Digital download
Length 3:10
Label Island
Producer(s) Guy Chambers
Robbie Williams singles chronology
"Go Gentle"
"Dream a Little Dream"
"Shine My Shoes"
Music video
Robbie Williams ft. Lily Allen "Dream A Little Dream" on YouTube

English singer-songwriter Robbie Williams recorded "Dream a Little Dream of Me" (retitled "Dream a Little Dream") for his tenth studio and second swing album, Swings Both Ways (2013). While the album version is a duet with Lily Allen, she was omitted from the single version, which was released on 13 December 2013 as the album's second single.

Music Video

The video features Williams singing the song whilst presenting a Christmas show in the style of The Dean Martin Show.

Track listings

  1. "Dream a Little Dream" – 3:10
  1. "Dream a Little Dream" (single version) – 3:11
  2. "You Got Old" – 3:43
  3. "Puttin' on the Ritz" (remix) – 2:18


Album version featuring Lily Allen
Chart (2013) Peak
scope="row"Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[16] 16
scope="row"Belgium (Ultratip Wallonia)[17] 34
scope="row"Denmark (Tracklisten)[18] 18
scope="row"France (SNEP)[19] 160
scope="row"Germany (Official German Charts)[20] 88
scope="row"Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[21] 67
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[22] 144

Release history

Region Date Format Label
Ireland[14] 13 December 2013 Digital download Island Records

List of recorded versions

Year Performer Album Source
2001 Al Martino The Magic of Al Martino [25]
2004 Anne Murray I'll Be Seeing You [26]
2014 Barry Manilow My Dream Duets [27]
1957 Bing Crosby Bing With a Beat [28]
1959 Dean Martin Sleep Warm [29]
2007 Diana Krall We All Love Ella [30]
1990 Dinah Shore Long Songs Sung [31]
1958 Doris Day Day by Night [32]
2011 Eddie Vedder Ukulele Songs [33]
1993 Ella Fitzgerald 75th Birthday Celebration [34]
1957 Ella Mae Morse Barrelhouse, Boogie, and the Blues [35]
2013 Emilia Mitiku I Belong to You [36]
1963 Frankie Laine I Believe [37]
1994 Gerry Mulligan Dream a Little Dream [38]
1969 Henry Mancini A Warm Shade of Ivory [39]
1968 Louis Armstrong What a Wonderful World [40]
2010 Michael Bublé Special Delivery [41]
1999 Nat King Cole Dream a Little Dream of Me [42]
1968 The Mamas & the Papas The Papas and the Mamas [43]
2002 Tony Bennett & k.d. lang A Wonderful World[44]

Performances in other media


  1. New York Times, 14 July 1968, p.D22
  2. 1 2 Fiegel, Eddi. Dream a Little Dream of Me: the Life of "Mama" Cass Elliot (London: Sidgwick & Jackson. 2005. ISBN 0-283-07331-4) pp.256, 261.
  3. Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 153.
  4. "Go-Set Australian charts ~ 1968". Poparchives.com.au. Retrieved 2016-10-01.
  5. "Go-Set Australian charts - 11 September 1968". Poparchives.com.au. 1968-09-11. Retrieved 2016-10-01.
  6. "Go-Set Australian charts - Top Records for the Year of 1968". Poparchives.com.au. Retrieved 2016-10-01.
  7. 1 2 3 4 5 "Songs from the Year 1968". Tsort.info. Retrieved 2016-10-01.
  8. "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 2016-10-01.
  9. "The Irish Charts - Search for "Mama Cass" or "Dream a Little Dream of Me"". IrishCharts.ie. Archived from the original on 2011-07-21. Retrieved 2016-10-04.
  10. "Mama Cass - Dream a Little Dream of Me - hitparade.ch". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2016-10-04.
  11. "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 2016-10-01.
  12. "Top 100 1968 - UK Music Charts". Uk-charts.top-source.info. Retrieved 2016-10-01.
  13. 1 2 "iTunes - Music - Dream a Little Dream - Single by Robbie Williams". Itunes.apple.com. 2013-12-13. Retrieved 2014-02-13.
  14. 1 2 "iTunes - Musik – "Dream a Little Dream - Single" von Robbie Williams". Itunes.apple.com. 2013-12-13. Retrieved 2014-02-13.
  15. "Ultratop.be – Robbie Williams feat. Lily Allen – Dream A Little Dream" (in Dutch). Ultratip.
  16. "Ultratop.be – Robbie Williams feat. Lily Allen – Dream A Little Dream" (in French). Ultratip.
  17. "Danishcharts.com – Robbie Williams feat. Lily Allen – Dream A Little Dream". Tracklisten.
  18. "Lescharts.com – Robbie Williams feat. Lily Allen – Dream A Little Dream" (in French). Les classement single.
  19. "Offiziellecharts.de – Robbie Williams – Dream A Little Dream". GfK Entertainment Charts.
  20. "Swisscharts.com – Robbie Williams feat. Lily Allen – Dream A Little Dream". Swiss Singles Chart.
  21. Zywietz, Tobias. "CHART: CLUK Update 30.11.2013 (wk47)". Zobbel. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
  22. "iTunes - Musik – "Dream a Little Dream - Single" von Robbie Williams". Itunes.apple.com. 2013-12-13. Retrieved 2014-02-13.
  23. "iTunes - Musik – "Dream a Little Dream - Single" von Robbie Williams". Itunes.apple.com. 2013-12-13. Retrieved 2014-02-13.
  24. Magic of Al Martino - Al Martino | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic
  25. I'll Be Seeing You - Anne Murray | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic
  26. My Dream Duets - Barry Manilow | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic
  27. Bing with a Beat - Bing Crosby | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic
  28. Sleep Warm - Dean Martin | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic
  29. We All Love Ella: Celebrating the First Lady of Song - Various Artists | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic
  30. Love Songs Sung - Dinah Shore | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic
  31. Day by Night - Doris Day | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic
  32. Ukulele Songs - Eddie Vedder | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic
  33. 75th Birthday Celebration - Ella Fitzgerald | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic
  34. Barrelhouse, Boogie, And the Blues - Ella Mae Morse | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic
  35. I Belong To You by Emilia Mitiku: Amazon.co.uk: Music
  36. Frankie Laine - I Believe - Amazon.com Music
  37. Dream a Little Dream - Gerry Mulligan Quartet,Gerry Mulligan | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic
  38. A Warm Shade of Ivory - Henry Mancini | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic
  39. What a Wonderful World - Louis Armstrong | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic
  40. Special Delivery - Michael Bublé | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic
  41. Dream a Little Dream of Me - Nat King Cole | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic
  42. The Papas & the Mamas - The Mamas & the Papas | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic
  43. A Wonderful World - Tony Bennett,k.d. lang | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic
  44. "Bill Gofi". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2016-10-01.
  45. "Bert Rigby, You're a Fool (1989)". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2016-10-01.
  46. "1 spot(s) TV diffusé(s) en mai 1989 sur". Musiquedepub.tv. Retrieved 2016-10-01.
  47. "Yoplait Yop : Yaourt A Boire - Publicité". Ina.fr (in French). 1970-01-01. Retrieved 2016-10-01.
  48. "Premier Inn 2012 Advert - A Good Night's Sleep Guaranteed". YouTube. 2012-03-07. Retrieved 2016-10-01.
  49. "Caro Emerald - Dream a little dream of me - De Gouden Notekraker 02-09-12 HD". YouTube. Retrieved 2016-10-01.
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