Meaning of “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” by Eurythmics

 “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” is a famous 1983 single by British music duo Eurythmics. The “sweet dreams” referred to in this track are actually the personal motivators we all have in our individual quests for fulfillment. 

The recurring theme throughout the song is a never-ending search for contentment. Indeed no matter where on the Earth the singer may find herself, she is always surrounded by people who are consumed by their “sweet dreams”, and as such, aspire to live out their fantasies. 

And these aspirations seem to manifest themselves in one of two ways. Either a person is taking advantage of someone else, or they are being taken advantage of. 

Ultimately though, “Sweet Dreams” has an uplifting message. Why? Because in it, the duo encourages listeners to stay optimistic and not to give up on accomplishing their goals.

Lyrics of "Sweet Dreams"

In Annie Lennox’s 2001 biography titled Annie Lennox: The Biography, Lennox shed more light on the meaning of “Sweet Dreams”. According to her, the lyrics focus on mankind’s quest to find fulfillment in life. And in doing so, mankind is motivated by their “sweet dreams”.

The Birth of “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)”

According to Lennox, the song was written after she and her partner/colleague David A. Stewart had a fight. The fight was so bitter that Lennox was left extremely depressed. It was at that moment that Stewart started working on his synthesizer to produce the song’s beat and riff.

Lennox (who was in the same room with him while he worked) was so overcome by misery that she lay on the floor barely paying any attention to what he was doing.

However, upon hearing the amazing sound he suddenly began producing, Lennox instantly got interested. She threw away her misery, stood up from the floor and joined Stewart to work on his creation. Before long, the couple knew they had just created a major hit.

Annie Lennox Breaks Down “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)

According to Lennox, she was “desperately unhappy”at the time this song was written. One of the major causes of her happiness was because her goals/aspirations to make it in the music industry were not coming to pass. She poured part of this unhappiness into the song.

She revealed that from the first line, “Sweet Dreams” is devoid of happiness. She described that  line as “dark” and referred to the whole song as one that expressed exactly how she felt at that time. And how did she feel? According to her, she was “hopeless and nihilistic” then.

Lennox further revealed that the line in which she sings about traveling the world and “the seven seas” and seeing “everybody searching for something” is about how mankind is always in “this perpetual state of seeking”.

One of the most misinterpreted set of lyrics in this track is where Lennox sings about some people wanting to be used/abused by you and your wanting to be used/abused by them.

Many misinterpret it to be about a weird intimate affair. However, Lennox insists those lines have nothing do with romance or a freaky intimate affair.

In the music video of the song, Lennox deliberately chose to wear a suit. According to her, she did that to appear as the “opposite of the cliche of the female singer”. She said she wanted to appear “as strong as a man”.

Facts about “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)”

“Sweet Dreams” was penned by the members of Eurythmics (Annie Lennox and David A. Stewart). Stewart handled its production.

RCA Records released this track as a single from the duo’s second studio album titled Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This).

In total, this album produced four singles. Of all four singles, “Sweet Dreams” was the most successful.

Lennox and Stewart were in a romantic relationship when they wrote and released “Sweet Dreams”.

RCA initially didn’t want to release the song as a single. Why? The label felt since it didn’t have a chorus, it wasn’t going to be a successful single.

Interestingly enough, the song went on to become the duo’s biggest hit as well as on of the most successful songs of the 1980s.

What was the release date of “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)”?

RCA Records released “Sweet Dreams” in the United Kingdom on January 21, 1983. Few months later, it was released in the United States.

The Eurythmics

The British band, Eurythmics originated from London, England, and was formed in 1980. With a line-up consisting of Scottish singer Annie Lennox and David Allan Stewart, their sound was steered in the genre direction of synth-pop, dance-rock, and new wave.

The duo were initially members of a group called The Tourists which disbanded in 1980, the very year this band started their career.

The Eurythmics released 8 studio albums, one soundtrack album, and won 11 awards, some from the MTV Video Music Awards, Brit Awards, and the Grammys with 38 other nominations.

They sold over 75 million records all around the globe and earned their UK Music Hall of Fame induction in 2005. The duo has disbanded and reunited a couple of times up until 2019.

14 Responses

  1. Ahemd Empirical says:

    This song is a flat earth and vegan song, pay attention to the video! At the beginning of the video, she sings sweet dream pointing to a globe earth and astronauts, and about midst of the song, she points to cows, and how the cows want their freedom, and how this is sweet dreams for them. Pretty much, the song is about the illusion most people live in. Their own sweet dreams!!

  2. Martin says:


  3. Bkess says:

    Sweet dreams is about duality and even spirituality for me. Lennox wearing a suit with short hair, cows inside the office, cows bear a computer and a computer desk. Lennox sporting an Indian Bindi, people who wants to use and be abused. The insatiable conquest of man, “everybody’s looking for something”. Sweetdreams in this physical realms that cannot be satisfied because we belong originally in the spiritual world. Swetdreams the dark and the light side of humanity and nature is calling us in the midst of our busy, hectic material world.

  4. Tahj says:

    I think it’s about the way one pees and how they shiver after. “Sweet dreams are made of pee, who on their mind would shake from pee”. The lyrics are euphoric in nature.

  5. mayor mccheese says:

    sweet dreams are made of cheese
    who am i to dis a bree
    i cheddar the world and the feta cheese
    everybody is looking for stilton

    • Cheese Louise says:

      Some of them want some fondu

      Some of them hope their cheese is Bleu

      Neat dreams all require cheese

      Who am I to…um……provolone……And I Am spent.

  6. Anonymous says:

    The song is about the inner thoughts and un realistic hopes of a persons perceptions of how they want to live their life in a perfect scenario without any regard for others inside their own perfect world. Someone has a dream of becoming a movie star or a famous singer but without thinking about what it would do or effect the people around them when they are famous. Meaning you might have dreams to be something other then what you are now but there is no thoughts or feelings about your loved ones and how it will effect them as they are incorporated with you in your life. Its very simple to understand. Some want to use others in order to achieve their un realistic persceptions in life and some want to be used when they achieve their unrealistic perceptions in life. Its all just dreams with selfish motives that people have with total disreguard for others in order to achieve those dreams. Maybe you want to be a pornstar but the problem is your already married and you have a religious family that would disapprove. But in your own mind there is a small glimmer of unrealistic expectations that might happen that will enable you to be that pornstar you have always dreampt about. You can always dream about it. And it may just come true. But in reality it would screw everyone up around you and use and abuse the ones that are trying to love you.

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