Saw You in a Dream by The Japanese House Lyrics Meaning – Unraveling the Layers Between Reality and Reverie

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for The Japanese House's Saw You in a Dream at
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning


I saw you in a dream, you had stayed the same
You were beckoning me, said that I had changed
Tried to keep my eyes closed, I want you so bad
Then I awoke and it was so sad

Haven’t talked to you in months
And I thought that I might cry
But I’m not that kind of guy

I saw you in a dream, you came to me
You were the sweetest apparition, such a pretty vision
There was no reason, no explanation
The perfect hallucination

All good things come to an end
But I thought that this might last
But you came and left so fast

And when I’m awake, I can’t switch off
It isn’t the same but it is enough
(It isn’t the same but it is enough)

I saw you in a dream, then it came to an end
I wonder if you’ll come and visit me again
You’re taking your time to reappear
I’m starting to believe that when I call your name

You just don’t hear me anymore
And I know that I shouldn’t even try
It’s a waste of time

And when I’m awake, I can’t switch off
It isn’t the same but it is enough
(It isn’t the same but it is enough)
And when I’m awake, I can’t switch off
It isn’t the same but it is enough
It isn’t the same but it is enough

Full Lyrics

When The Japanese House, a moniker for the solo project of Amber Bain, released the ethereal track ‘Saw You in a Dream,’ listeners were immediately transported to a liminal space between sleep and wakefulness. This dream-pop melody, tinged with melancholy and retrospection, serves as a vessel for Bain’s introspective journey through loss, desire, and the quest to hold onto the intangible.

Scratching beneath the shimmering surface of synthesizers and velvety vocals lies a poignant narrative, one that mirrors the human experience of grappling with the ghosts of our past. As we delve into the meaning behind ‘Saw You in a Dream,’ we encounter a delicate tapestry of emotions, unfolding one chord at a time, revealing a compelling story about the aches of nostalgia and the bittersweetness of memories.

A Haunting Reunion and the Ephemeral Nature of Dreams

From the opening lines, Bain conjures a scene where the dreamer and the dreamed remain momentarily untouched by time. It’s a powerful evocation of longing – not merely for the person who appears in the dream but for the former self that exists in a parallel with that relationship. Here, the song becomes a vessel for unrealized possibilities and the version of us that exists in the ‘what if.’

The emotional weight is intensified by the reality that the apparition beckons with knowledge of change, a reminder that transformation is both inevitable and often incalculable. This is the crux of the specter’s allure and the reason why waking up feels like a profound loss.

The Sweet Torture of Nostalgia

The paradox of missing someone or something is that the recollection is often both agonizing and exquisite. Bain captures this dichotomy perfectly with the phrase ‘the sweetest apparition, such a pretty vision.’ Even as she acknowledges the lack of reason or explanation, the hallucination is cherished as a perfect anomaly, an untainted moment that, despite its fleeting nature, offers a sort of solace.

Indeed, ‘Saw You in a Dream’ exposes the heart of nostalgia – we love and long for it, even as it painfully reminds us of our current disconnection from those cherished moments or individuals.

Unpacking the Song’s Hidden Meaning: Acceptance in Disarray

There’s a more profound layer embedded within the dreamy soundscape and poignant lyrics. It’s a subtle nod to the human tendency to revisit and perhaps revise our past, a hope that in our subconscious encounters these revisions might stick. But Bain also offers a quiet recognition that these dream visitations, as much as they comfort, are also a space to rehearse the eventual acceptance of loss.

In the stanza contemplating the efemerality of good things, including the dream itself, she intersects the boundlessness of the dream world with the harshness of reality. It suggests a hidden struggle to reconcile the desire to dream with the need to live in the present.

The Lure of Memories and the Struggle with the Present

‘And when I’m awake, I can’t switch off…’ encapsulates the song’s central tension; the enticement of the dream is potent enough to color the waking world, leaving the dreamer in a state of unrest. Bain’s admission that the present is ‘enough’ and yet not the same underscores a profound human truth: sometimes reality can sustain us, but it cannot always satiate the yearning for what was lost.

In acknowledging this, the song becomes an anthem for anyone who has ever been haunted by the memory of someone or something irreplaceable. It’s a universal narrative about the continuum of moving forward while occasionally looking back with a sense of wistful longing.

Memorable Lines: Echoes of Voices Unheard

‘You just don’t hear me anymore’ might just be the most resonant phrase within ‘Saw You in a Dream.’ It’s the kind of line that rests heavily on the listener’s chest, reflecting the silent shouting into the void that characterizes so much of human grief and loneliness. The dream is a metaphor for communication without response, a signal sent without a receiver.

Bain imparts a message of unrequited yearning – a call that echoes through the chasm that separates the living from the memories of the departed or the distance from someone who has emotionally moved on. It’s a sobering reminder of how solitary the process of coping with absence can be, and yet within that line lies the song’s quiet power: the ability to evoke empathy and connection through shared experiences of solitude.

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