California Dreamin’

My favorite types of poems are the ones I comprehend and the ones that make me feel the emotions of the speaker. “California Dreamin'” by the Mamas & the Papas checks both of those boxes.

When I was selecting a song for this assignment, I thought about songs that were powerful and emotional. For me, “California Dreamin'” is deeply nostalgic. It reminds me of long family road trips, sitting in the backseat during the long drives to my grandparent’s house.

The song’s lyrics are also nostalgic, with the speaker longing for California on a winter day. The song describes this winter day, explaining that “all the leaves are brown / and the sky is grey.” The imagery of the day depicts the desolate feelings of winter.

The speaker also claims “I’d be safe and warm if I was in L.A.” A California winter is significantly different from the cold and gray winter described previously. Still, the author’s choice to use the word “safe” illustrates that the speaker’s longing for California isn’t just for the warmth of the sunshine state, but rather for the comfort of California and the comfort of home.

The lyrics repeat several times. The simplicity of the lyrics is comforting, echoing the comfortably nostalgic feelings of California that the speaker craves.

Through powerful imagery, diction, and simple lyrics, “California’ Dreaming” shares a deep longing for the comforts of home. The song’s power in making the listener share the feelings of the speaker is what classifies it as more than simply musical entertainment, but poetic art.

4 thoughts on “California Dreamin’

  1. Lizzy L

    I also really like this song, so I really appreciated your analysis of it. I did not realize it until I read what you wrote, but I also find that the imagery of this song is very nostalgic and comforting.


  2. JENNA S

    I appreciate your analysis of this song. After listening to it for the first time, it really makes me think about our winter compared to one in California. If their home was California, winters would be rough somewhere else without both the comfort of home and the warmer weather. I agree that this song can be classified as poetry.


  3. RYAN M

    This assignment has been really interesting because it has made me think more deeply about lyrics to songs that I hear often. Your analysis really made me consider this song as poetry in a way I hadn’t before. The comforting effect that the simple, repeated lyrics have was not something that I consciously noticed before but was probably affected by. It’s also interesting how the personal connection you have to the song changes the way you hear it.


  4. Zach B

    I really enjoy this song, and your analysis gave me a deeper appreciation of it. I never really appreciated the lyrics, but the repetition in the lyrics really makes the song feel like a home or safe space like you said in your analysis.


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