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California Dreamin'
The Mamas & the Papas Lyrics


Jump to: Overall Meaning ↴  Line by Line Meaning ↴

All the leaves are brown (all the leaves are brown)
And the sky is gray (and the sky is gray)
I've been for a walk (I've been for a walk)
On a winter's day (on a winter's day)
I'd be safe and warm (I'd be safe and warm)
If I was in L.A. (if I was in L.A.)

California dreamin' (California dreamin')
On such a winter's day

Stopped into a church
I passed along the way
Well, I got down on my knees (got down on my knees)
And I pretend to pray (I pretend to pray)
You know the preacher like the cold (preacher like the cold)
He knows I'm gonna stay (knows I'm gonna stay)

California dreamin' (California dreamin')
On such a winter's day

All the leaves are brown (all the leaves are brown)
And the sky is gray (and the sky is gray)
I've been for a walk (I've been for a walk)
On a winter's day (on a winter's day)
If I didn't tell her (if I didn't tell her)
I could leave today (I could leave today)

California dreamin' (California dreamin')
On such a winter's day (California dreamin')
On such a winter's day (California dreamin')
On such a winter's day

Overall Meaning

The lyrics to The Mamas & the Papas's song California Dreamin' paint the picture of a person longing for California, particularly Los Angeles, during the winter season. The opening verses describe a dreary scene, with brown leaves and a gray sky, and the singer expresses their desire to be somewhere warm and safe. The chorus reveals that the singer is dreaming of California, specifically, in order to escape the winter blues.


The second verse describes the singer stopping at a church along the way and pretending to pray. The preacher is described as liking the cold and knowing that the singer will stay. This verse further emphasizes the singer's desire to escape the winter and highlights the contrast between the singer's desires and the contentment of those living in colder climates.


The final verse adds a twist to the story as the singer notes that they could leave today if they didn't tell someone. This implies that the singer may be running away from someone or something and sees California as a safe haven. Overall, the song's lyrics explore themes of longing, escape, and the contrast between warm and cold climates.


Line by Line Meaning

All the leaves are brown
The fall season has arrived.


And the sky is gray
It is a dull day with bleak weather.


I've been for a walk
The singer takes a walk to escape their thoughts.


On a winter's day
The current season is winter.


I'd be safe and warm
The singer imagines being in a better situation than their current one.


If I was in L.A.
The singer wishes to be in Los Angeles where it is sunny and warm.


California dreamin'
The singer imagines a better life in California.


On such a winter's day
The contrasting weather in California is a desirable escape from the current winter day.


Stopped into a church
The singer enters a church on their walk.


I passed along the way
The church was on the singer's route.


Well, I got down on my knees
The singer kneels down to pray.


And I pretend to pray
However, the singer only pretends to pray.


You know the preacher like the cold
The singer describes the preacher as being used to the cold seasonal weather.


He knows I'm gonna stay
The singer implies they are stuck in their current situation and the preacher recognises this.


If I didn't tell her
The singer considers leaving without telling someone.


I could leave today
The singer has the urge to leave their current situation.




Lyrics © O/B/O APRA AMCOS
Written by: John Edmund Andrew Phillips, Michelle Gilliam Phillips

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Most interesting comment from YouTube:

@carlosjavierbarrientosgarz8434

The Mamas & The Papas

All the leaves are brown (all the leaves are brown)
And the sky is gray (and the sky is gray)
I've been for a walk (I've been for a walk)
On a winter's day (on a winter's day)
I'd be safe and warm (I'd be safe and warm)
If I was in L.A. (if I was in L.A.)

California dreamin' (California dreamin')
On such a winter's day

Stopped into a church
I passed along the way
Well, I got down on my knees (got down on my knees)
And I pretend to pray (I pretend to pray)
You know the preacher like the cold (preacher like the cold)
He knows I'm gonna stay (knows I'm gonna stay)

California dreamin' (California dreamin')
On such a winter's day

All the leaves are brown (all the leaves are brown)
And the sky is gray (and the sky is gray)
I've been for a walk (I've been for a walk)
On a winter's day (on a winter's day)
If I didn't tell her (if I didn't tell her)
I could leave today (I could leave today)

California dreamin' (California dreamin')
On such a winter's day (California dreamin')
On such a winter's day (California dreamin')
On such a winter's da



All comments from YouTube:

@FolkExperience

Enjoy this vintage Spring music mix https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-iksA5NRao 🌻

@GermansRuinedWT

This is one of those rare times where I caught a comment early

@apollo4suns494

​@@GermansRuinedWT indeed

@dianebrown6686

Must be smoking to much

@GG_AJfan

You should check out Angelina Jordan's cover and arrangement of this song and thank me later.

@fragglepuppies

True stereo

79 More Replies...

@giorgi222

This song makes me feel so weird, sad, nostalgic and happy at the same time, it’s confusing but I love it

@esmelivin1876

Omg same

@oAldanitao

I swear I feel the same

@Sao_Cheech_79

Same! 🙋🏻‍♂️✌️

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