The Tin Man Dreamer

The Tin Man Dreamer

How many times have you heard an artist wax poetic about a song they thought was headed straight to the top of the charts, but never achieve the lofty goals they expected?

I am running a couple of days behind for this week’s Song Lyric Sunday but I say better late than never. So getting to it, Jim at A Unique Title for Me has asked us to explore songs that just missed their climb to the top of the charts, great expectations that ultimately missed the mark. I have chosen to explore two such songs, one from British rockers Supertramp and the second from Country superstar Kenny Chesney.

Supertramp – Dreams, Dream, Dream Along…

In 1974 Supertramp release their “Crime of the Century” album which included such tracks as “School“, “Rudy“, and the singles “Bloody Well Right” and “Dreamer“. I remember hearing an interview with Rick Davies and Roger Hodgson on Toronto rock radio station 104.5 Chum FM around the time of the release of the Paris Live album. The two band members were lamenting about “Dreamer“, a song both the band and their label believed was destined to reach the top of the charts. Unfortunately, it was a considered a commercial failure as a single, reaching only #13 in the U.K. and not charting in the U.S. at all. They were hoping for better success with the live version in 1980 but that version did not chart in the U.K. and reached a modest #7 in the U.S. The live version did manage to reach #1 in my native Canada.

Original Version
Live Version

Dreamer Lyrics

Dreamer, you know you are a dreamer
Well, can you put your hands in your head? Oh no!
I said, dreamer, you're nothing but a dreamer
Well, can you put your hands in your head? Oh no!

I said, "far out, what a day, a year, a life it is!"
You know, well, you know you had it comin' to you
Now there's not a lot I can do

Dreamer, you stupid little dreamer
So, now you put your head in your hands, oh no!

I said "Far out, - What a day, a year, a life it is!"
You know, well, you know you had it comin' to you
Now there's not a lot I can do

If I could see something
You can see anything you want, boy
If I could be someone
You can be anyone, celebrate, boy

Well, if I can do something
You can do something
If I could do anything
Can you do something out of this world?

Take a dream on a Sunday
Take a life, take a holiday
Take a lie, take a dreamer
Dream (dream), dream (dream)
Dream (dream), dream (dream), dream along

Dream, dream, dream along
C'mon and dream and dream along
C'mon and dream and dream along
C'mon and dream and dream along

Dreamer, you know you are a dreamer
Well, can you put your hands in your head? Oh no!
I said, dreamer, you're nothing but a dreamer
Well, can you put your hands in your head? Oh no!
Oh no!


Songwriters: Richard Davies, Roger Hodgson

Other great songs from Supertramp‘s Crime of the Century:

Kenny Chesney – I Wish I Were…

Kenny Chesney is synonymous with Country music, a superstar of the genre. He has had 23 #1 singles including, “She’s Got It All“, “She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy“, “How Forever Feels“, “You Had Me From Hello” and “When the Sun Goes Down” with Uncle Kracker. However, if we go back to the early days and his first album “In My Wildest Dreams” you will find a track that Chesney and his label expected to rocket him to stardom.

Chesney would ultimately achieve that stardom but the track “The Tin Man” was not the catapult. The song appeared as a single from that first album and when it flopped was added to the track list for his second album “All I Need To Know” where it was released as a single again. The highest it would reach in those early releases was #70 on the U.S. Country charts. Chesney would re-record the song in 2001 for his “Greatest Hits” compilation and release it as a single for a third time. The re-recorded version would reach #19 but climb no further. It is another example of an artist falling in love with one of their own songs far more than the music consumer ever did.

Original Version

The Tin Man Lyrics

Saw a man in the movies that didn't have a heart
How I wish I could give him mine
Then I wouldn't have to feel it breaking all apart
And this emptiness inside would suit me fine
It's times like these
I wish I were a tin man

You could hurt me all you wanted
And I'd never even know
I'd give anything just to be the tin man
And I wouldn't have a heart and I wouldn't need a soul

I couldn't see your leavin' comin'
You took me by surprise
Even now, it still seems like a dream
But I know I can't be dreamin'
'Cause as I lay down each night
The pain so great that it won't let me sleep

It's times like these
I wish I were a tin man
You could hurt me all you wanted
And I'd never even know
I'd give anything just to be the tin man
And I wouldn't have a heart and I wouldn't need a soul
Well, I'd give anything just to be the tin man
And I wouldn't have a heart and I wouldn't miss you so

Songwriters: David Lowe, Stacy Slate, Kenny Chesney.

Other great songs by Kenny Chesney:


Jim Adam’s Song Lyric Sunday.
Theme: Hidden Gems, Songs That Missed the Top of the Chart
Date: 2022-06-25 | Tags: #sls, #songlyricsunday

Photo Credit: Eric Krull via Unsplash. | Album Art: discogs.com.
Copyright 2022 Greg Glazebrook, All Rights Reserved.

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