Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image
Scroll to top


Wow In Music – You Make My Dreams

Wow In Music –  You Make My Dreams

| On 17, Jul 2019

Darrell Mann

Something of a guilty pleasure of a song for this month’s ‘Wow’ feature. “You Make My Dreams”, sometimes incorrectly referred to as “You Make My Dreams Come True”, is a song by the American duo Hall & Oates, taken from their ninth studio album, Voices, released in 1980. The song, after being released as a single, reached number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1981.

The duo were responsible for some of the catchiest, most endearing songs from the 1980’s, several of which have continued to be used in film and TV for generations, and they’re sound is still rocking it in film. Something about the tune You Make My Dreams is just so catchy that it can’t help but be fit into a number of scenes that could definitely use a good, bouncing theme to kick them off. In fact it has become something of a ‘go to’ happy song, featuring in the films The Wedding Singer (1998), Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd (2003), Step Brothers (2008) (500) Days of Summer (2009), Eddie the Eagle (2016), and Ready Player One (2018). In 2012, it appeared in an eHarmony commercial. It appears in a 2017 commercial for Applebee’s. The song also appears in Young Sheldon. The song appears in a 2018 commercial for Dick’s Sporting Goods, promoting a Father’s Day sale. In addition, the song is currently being used by the Toronto Maple Leafs of the National Hockey League (NHL) during their home games in the 2018-19 season after every Leaf goal scored at the newly renamed Scotiabank Arena.

Probably the most memorable marriage between the song and a movie was (500) Days Of Summer, the morning after the hero has consummated his relationship with the heroine. The iconic post-coital celebration needed the perfect upbeat song, and in You Make My Dreams, it got it. Watch the scene here and see if you can avoid smiling.

What elicits the wow reaction, even now nearly thirty years after the song’s initial release is the relentless rhythm. Here’s what Hall & Oates have to say about how the song came about:

The duo wrote the keyboard-driven classic with Sara Allen, who was Daryl’s girlfriend and the subject of the song “Sara Smile.” When we spoke with John Oates in 2011, he said of the track: “It’s a great song, simple as that. Good songs are good songs. They stand on their own, they can be stripped away of the production. A song is what happens when a writer sits down on their individual instrument and creates something out of nothing. And there’s magic involved and there’s inspiration involved. ‘You Make My Dreams Come True’ represents a vibe, it represents a collaboration between myself and Daryl and the band in the studio in the ’80s. Its simplicity and directness is where the charm lies in that song.”

In the October 16, 2009 issue of Entertainment Weekly, Daryl Hall listed this as one of his Top 5 Hall & Oates songs. He explained: “It’s funny – it’s ubiquitous, especially now. I think because it’s such a happy song, just a pure expression of joy. And it’s set to a really old-time-gospel kind of groove. The fact that they use it in a pivotal scene in (500) Days of Summer… I’m very flattered.”

John Oates released a new version of this song on his 2011 solo album Mississippi Mile. In interviews for the album he revealed how it came together: “Through a happy accident, my guitar player friend of mine and myself were jamming in the dressing room, and I started playing a delta blues and he started playing a Texas swing, and we put them together, and all of a sudden into my head popped ‘you make my dreams.’ I just started singing it. I don’t know why, but I did. And it sounded really cool and everyone liked it. It was as simple as that.”

Principle 5, Merging it is then. A happy accident between a delta blues and a Texas Swing. Wouldn’t it be great if you could plan these things in advance 🙂 ?