“The Weight of Dreams” by Greta Van Fleet
“The Weight of Dreams” reads as if Greta Van Fleet may be criticizing the system of Western capitalism. Or let’s not really say capitalism per se but rather the type of greed which is known to fuel it – the type that is so obsessed with obtaining wealth that it doesn’t consider the negative aftereffects.
And no, they are not approaching this subject on a systemic level. Indeed they are analyzing common individuals – like you, I and themselves – who could be involved in such pursuits.
And to illustrate this point, the vocalist utilizes a narrative which is largely based, symbolically speaking, on the California Gold Rush. That was an era in American history during the mid-19th century where people from all over the country ‘rushed’ to California in hopes of discovering gold.
However, the lyrics modify the related terminology by rather changing the ambition of one finding his or her weight in gold to rather a search for their “weight of dreams”.
The “Weight of Dreams”
And we will go about interpreting the titular statement as follows. When a person pursues riches, whether it be gold or cash or whatever, those are just a means to an end. Instead what the real goal is to actually use those to fund our dreams.
So basically the word “gold”, as used in the song, is representative of money in general.
And Josh Kiszka points out both the physical and mental side effects of feening in such a manner. Physically he uses the metaphor of “gold minds melting men in the sunshine”. Such imagery paints a picture of people laboring so hard to achieve wealth that such has a detrimental effect on their health.
Then he speaks to the concept of ‘spoiled wine tasting so sweet’, and the idea of ‘we having gone blind’. And whereas both of those statements may read like physical sensations, they are actually alluding more to the psychology of the people, “we” even, as Josh Kiszka puts it.
The Mad Pursuit of Wealth
And what it appears he is speaking to is a concept that we (inspired by Jay-Z) sometimes refer to as ‘the allure’. Most simply, that is when someone gets so caught up in the attraction of riches that everything else, including logical reason, becomes secondary.
And the vocalist here is saying something similar, as in individuals becoming so obsessed with the pursuit of this “gold” that they simply ignore all of the detrimental aspects associated with this ambition.
So the presented conclusion is something like when we try too hard to make our dreams of living the good life into reality, sometimes we revert to the type of unsavory characteristics highlighted in this song.
Indeed that appears to be the same type of argument also being presented in the second verse. However, it is done so in the Greta Van Fleet sort of way, meaning through the use of complicated metaphors. However again, analogies such as people ‘robbing the grave of a dead queen’ and ‘bathing in a river that has run dry’ also lead us to what is arguably the thesis sentiment of the song.
And that is, once again, people becoming so entangled in getting rich that along the way, in their own respective ways, they totally and completely dumb out. And again, all of this is being presented in a macrocosmic sense. Or rather let’s say that this band, who tend to be quite humble in their criticisms of the world at large, know that this frenzied mindstate can affect anyone, including themselves.
And such is another way of interpreting the term “weight of dreams”. Or if we were to rename this track ourselves, in terms of making the title more directly reflective of what is being asserted therein, we would rephrase it something like ‘the cost of feening’. Or as Greta Van Fleet is putting it, dreams of grandeur themselves have their own burden or “weight”.
Writing Credits for “The Weight of Dreams”
Greta Van Fleet is one of those types of bands in which every member of the crew tends to get credit as far as writing their songs go. And as at the release of this track, said members would be as follows:
- Josh Kiszka
- Jake Kiszka
- Danny Wagner
- Sam Kiszka
More Interesting Facts
This song came out on 16 April 2021 as part of Greta Van Fleet’s second album, “The Battle at Garden’s Gate”. Up until this point, they have released two full-length projects as well as two EPs.
And the most-successful out of the lot thus far would be 2017’s “From the Fires”, their second EP, which actually earned the crew a Best Rock Album Grammy Award in 2019.
There are two labels responsible for the release of the song. The one which most people would be familiar with is Republic Records. And they issued “The Battle at Garden’s Gate” alongside Lava Records, whom Republic actually serves as a distributor for.
This track was produced by Greg Kurstin. And as at the release of it he is one of the top producers in the industry. He has worked alongside the likes of Britney Spears, Sia, Paul McCartney and Céline Dion. We would say at least he has worked with half of the big-name pop artists out there.
Just falling shy of nine minutes in length, “The Weight of Dreams” is the lengthiest track to be found on “The Battle at Garden’s Gate”.
One of my absolute favorite tracks. The guitar
is insane! The whole album is great! These boys are pure talent in every way!