POP / Riffs: Shawn Colvin on 'Don't Dream it's Over' by Crowded House

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The Independent Online
I STILL find myself going back to this song; they haven't done anything as good since. Their albums get better and better, but there's no individual song on them that's as haunting as this one. It's one of those 'beautiful tragedy' songs, sad and wistful. It lures you in from the start, with just a lone guitar playing. You don't know where it's going to go, but suddenly you sink into this lush thing, with its lilting rhythm. And then the singer pops out with this philosophical statement - 'There is freedom within, there is freedom without.' Mostly, the lyrics use solid, down-to-earth imagery, and yet there's a very vague, cryptic quality to them: 'I'm towing my car / There's a hole in the roof . . .'. Part of you is thinking, 'What the hell is he on about?', yet it's all so day-to-day. It's intriguing in the chorus, too: 'Hey now, hey now / Don't dream it's over.' It gets romantic here, though he never actually suggests the song is addressed to someone. Neil Finn (songwriter and vocalist) is very good at writing songs which are passionate but not soppy, which have a degree of black humour in there. The organ on the track tips a hat to 'Whiter Shade of Pale', but it's done very deftly. Its roots are clear but it is its own thing.

'Don't Dream it's Over' is on the album 'Crowded House'

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