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California Dreamin
Song

California Dreamin

Mamas and Papas
Album:
If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears

Song Meaning of California Dreamin by Mamas and Papas, and what is the song about


On a cold winter day in Manhattan, a song came to John Phillips in the middle of the night.


He woke up his young wife, Michelle, who was homesick for the West Coast, to help him finish writing “California Dreamin’. The lyrics express the longing for the warmth of Los Angeles during a cold winter in New York City.


John would work on compositions late at night and brought Michelle the first verse one morning. At the time, John and Michelle Phillips were members of the folk group the New Journeymen, which evolved into the Mamas and the Papas.


The tune was first recorded by Phillips’ folk group the New Journeymen, and later given to Barry McGuire as a thank-you after McGuire, riding high with “Eve of Destruction,” introduced the group to producer Lou Adler, who convinced the Mamas and the Papas to cut it themselves.


"California Dreamin'" became a signpost of the California sound, heralding the arrival of the nascent counterculture era


After making its chart debut in January 1966, the song peaked at No. 4 in March on both the Billboard Hot 100, lasting 17 weeks, and Cashbox, lasting 20 weeks.


The song entered the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2001


Lyrics of the song California Dreamin by Mamas and Papas


All the leaves are brown and the sky is gray

I've been for a walk on a winter's day

I'd be safe and warm if I was in L.A.

California dreamin' on such a winter's day

 

Stopped in to a church I passed along the way

Well I got down on my knees and I pretend to pray

You know the preacher lights the coals

He knows I'm gonna stay

California dreamin' on such a winter's day

 

All the leaves are brown and the sky is gray

I've been for a walk on a winter's day

If I didn't tell her I could leave today

California dreamin' on such a winter's day

California dreamin' on such a winter's day

California dreamin' on such a winter's day

Release Date

1965

Songwriter/s

John Philips, Michelle Philips

Producer/s

Lou Adler

Label/s

Dunhill, RCA

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