Elvis protest song, If I Can Dream: the lyrics and their meaning

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If I Can Dream is a famous song by Elvis Presley released in 1968, written by Walter Earl Brown and famous for its resemblance to the well-known revolutionary speech “I Have a Dream”, expressed by Martin Luther King Jr in 1963. It’s the song interpreted by Maneskin at the Eurovision Song Contest 2022 and also the protest song you can see in the movie at the theatres: in this article we will analyze the lyrics and their meaning.

Below is the full song in one of Elvis Presley’s most popular live versions.

Elvis Presley If I Can Dream 68 Black With Orchestra

If I Can Dream: the lyrics and their meaning

The similarity with Martin Luther King’s speech is both in form and content of the text: the meaning of the song consists precisely in the wish for a better world, a world where one can live in peace and harmony, where pain can be transformed into serenity. An ideal world that can be reached by the strength of every single man who will not abandon the desire and hope for a better world, and who will not give up on this difficult undertaking.

There must be lights burning brighter somewhere
Got to be birds flying higher in a sky more blue
If I can dream of a better land
Where all my brothers walk hand in hand
Tell me why, oh why, oh why can’t my dream come true

There must be peace and understanding sometime
Strong winds of promise that will blow away
All the doubt and fear
If I can dream of a warmer sun
Where hope keeps shining on everyone
Tell me why, oh why, oh why won’t that sun appear

We’re lost in a cloud
With too much rain
We’re trapped in a world
That’s troubled with pain
But as long as a man
Has the strength to dream
He can redeem his soul and fly

Deep in my heart there’s a trembling question
Still I am sure that the answer gonna come somehow
Out there in the dark, there’s a beckoning candle
And while I can think, while I can talk
While I can stand, while I can walk
While I can dream, please let my dream
Come true, right now
Let it come true right now
Oh yeah

Read other popular song lyrics and their meaning on Auralcrave