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Released in 2013

Beautiful Dreamer

Written by Stephen Foster

Last updated on November 30, 2016

Album This song officially appears on the On Air - Live at the BBC Volume 2 Official live.

Timeline This song was officially released in 2013

From Wikipedia:

Beautiful Dreamer” is a parlor song by American songwriter Stephen Foster (1826–1864). It was published posthumously in March 1864, by Wm. A. Pond & Co. of New York. The first edition states on its title page that it is “the last song ever written by Stephen C. Foster. Composed but a few days prior to his death.” However, Carol Kimball, the author of Song, points out that the first edition’s copyright is dated 1862, which suggests, she writes, the song was composed and readied for publication two years before Foster’s death. There are at least 20 songs, she observes, that claim to be Foster’s last, and it is unknown which is indeed his last. The song is set in 9/8 time with a broken chord accompaniment.

The song tells of a lover serenading a “Beautiful Dreamer” who is oblivious to worldly cares and may actually be dead. Foster’s works feature many dead young women, including his sister Charlotte and “Jeanie“. Helen Lightner writes, “This sentimental ballad is folk-like in character with its repetitious but lovely melody and its basic harmonic accompaniment… The quiet and calm of this mood is portrayed by the monotony of the arpeggiated accompaniment, by the repetitiveness of the melodic pattern, and by the strophic form itself.

Recordings, film, and television


The song has been recorded by Bing Crosby with John Scott Trotter & his Orchestra; The Nutmegs; Steve Conway with Jack Byfield & his Orchestra; Thomas Hampson with Jay Ungar (mandolin), David Alpher (piano), and Molly Mason (guitar); John Leyton; Jerry Lee Lewis; Slim Whitman; and Roy Orbison on the album In Dreams (a top ten Australian single in 1964).

[…] Gerry Goffin and Jack Keller wrote a doo-wop version for Tony Orlando which took considerable liberties with the original; the opening quatrain, for instance is “Beautiful Dreamer / Wake unto me / Can’t you see me baby / I’m on my bended knee“. Orlando released this version as a single in 1962 and it quickly became a regular part of the Beatles set list, from 1962 through the Beatles Winter 1963 Helen Shapiro Tour in early 1963. A recording of a 1963 Beatles performance of the song on the BBC was released in 2013 on their album On Air – Live at the BBC Volume 2. Rory Storm and The Hurricanes also featured the song in their live performances. […]


Beautiful dreamer, come on baby, wake up to me

Can't you see me baby, I'm down on bended knee

Beautiful dreamer, come on baby, give me one time

I'll give you the world baby if you just say you'll be mine

I use to dream of Jeanie with the light brown hair

Since I met you baby, that girl ain't anywhere

Beautiful dreamer, come on and end my misery

Beautiful dreamer, won't you wake up to me?

I use to dream of Jeanie with the light brown hair

Since I met you baby, that girl ain't anywhere

Beautiful dreamer, come on and end my misery

Beautiful dreamer, won't you wake up to me?

Yeah, beautiful dreamer, wake up to me

Beautiful dreamer, I'm down on bended knee

Beautiful dreamer, come on and wake up to me, yeah baby!

Beautiful dreamer, I'm alone in misery, oh yeah

Officially appears on

  • On Air - Live at the BBC Volume 2

    Official live • Released in 2013

    1:46 • LiveL1 • The song was written in the mid-nineteenth century by American writer Stephen Foster. Recordings by crooners Bing Crosby and Al Jolson ensured "Beautiful Dreamer" remained a popular standard in the next century. In the late fifties, there was a trend for reviving ‹oldies› by adding a faster rhythm. Tony Orlando’s "Beautiful Dreamer", updated by songwriters Gerry Goffin and Jack Keller, was released in the UK at the end of 1962. A few weeks later The Beatles’ cover of his single, including all the changes to the original lyric and its added "hully-gully" beat, was recorded for Saturday Club.

    Paul McCartney : Bass guitar, Vocals Ringo Starr : Drums John Lennon : Rhythm guitar, Vocals George Harrison : Lead guitar Jimmy Grant : Producer

    Concert From "Saturday Club" in London, United Kingdom on Jan 26, 1963


Live performances

Beautiful Dreamer” has been played in 2 concerts.

Latest concerts where “Beautiful Dreamer” has been played

Paul McCartney writing

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