A Nightmare on Elm Street – It’s Just a Dream

nightmareonelmstreet1The ending of A Nightmare on Elm Street has been the source of a fair amount of debate.  Wes Craven wanted the film to end with the kids driving off into the fog while Freddy remains vanquished.  The producers wanted a jump scare, so it was tried a few different ways.  Ideas include a red and green roof slamming shut on a convertible full of kids and an obvious looking mannequin getting pulled through a small window in the door by Freddy’s arm.  All the alternate endings feature some permutations of these elements.

I can’t say with any real conviction that I strongly prefer one to the other.  None of them are absurdly terrible and none of them really ruin the previous 90 minutes either.  The climax has never been the movie’s strong point anyway.

One thing that has never been up for debate though, is the sheer awesomeness of the song that plays over the end credits.  According to the soundtrack section, it’s called Nightmare and it’s by the band 213.  That’s about all I know about either the song or the band.

In this case though, that’s more than enough.  This song is equal parts ridiculous and amazing. On the surface, this may sound like a short generic 80s rocker, but listen carefully.  First off, the vocals bring to mind Love Is a Lie by Lion which played during Jimbo’s crazy dance scene in Friday the 13th Part IV.  I don’t need to tell you how great that is, do I?

Jimmy Dance

No way. Not tonight!

If the lyrics are any indication, it was written specifically for the movie, which is always cool.  It’s short enough to transcribe the two main verses here in their entirety:

I never was the kind to sleep light/But then I never had these kind of nights/Something evil watching over me/And I’m afraid this ain’t no fantasy

I locked the doors and nailed the windows tight/I thought that everything would be all right/But when I shut mu eyes he’ll find a way/Somebody wake me help me get away

Granted, this isn’t as specific as The Ballad of Harry Warden that plays at the end of My Bloody Valentine, but it’s a solid effort.  This alone wouldn’t be enough to warrant a spot in my collection, but in between the verses the song gets into an argument with itself.  It’s impossible to do it justice by transcribing it.  Take a listen (the song is short, but the part I’m talking about really kicks into gear just after a minute in):

I seriously cannot get enough of the guy yelling “It’s a nightmare!” followed by the voice of dissent whispering, “It’s just a dream, a dream.”  Of course, the appropriate response to such an argument would be another scream, “No, it’s  nightmare!”  They go on like this for a while.  It’s a delight.

It can be a bit confusing though.  What’s the argument?  In the context of the movie, it’s obviously a nightmare.  But since a nightmare is a type of dream, are we just getting bogged down in semantics?  I suppose the real bone of contention here is whether or not this dream (no, it’s a nightmare!) is dangerous.

Regardless, this song was never designed to make you think.  It was designed to make you rock.  It’s been so effective with me that I can guarantee that any time anyone in my life ever says, “It’s just a dream” or anything remotely like that, I will answer by screaming, “No, it’s a nightmare!”  Go ahead, try me.

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11 Responses to A Nightmare on Elm Street – It’s Just a Dream

  1. Fringe Void says:

    The Hell? I’ve probably watched ANOES close to twenty times in my life. How have I never noticed this cheesy 80s synthrock before? Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. drhumpp says:

    Ha ha! Thank you for the kind words. It takes a bit to realize it’s a song during the end credits and not just more of the score.


  3. I’ve been noticing a lot of cornball songs at the end of films lately. This one takes the blue ribbon…It’s a Nightmare!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Tony Parsons says:

    I’ve never loved the Elm street films as much as the Friday the 13th series but this song is a whole lot of fun and quite rocking in a 80’s glam-metal kind of way. Is it just one singer arguing with himself?

    Liked by 1 person

    • drhumpp says:

      Honestly, I have no idea if it’s just one singer. I always assumed it was. What I can say for certain is that when I sing it, I do both parts.

      As for the Elm St movies, I do like them for the most part. The first is incredible and some of the sequels have their moments. I too prefer for the Friday the 13th movies. The first six were consistently entertaining and have held up better than the first six Elm Street films.


  5. The hell…I too must have seen Nightmare at least 20 times and have not once noticed this slice of cheesy goodness. And up until this point I thought Dream Warriors by Dokken was the height of songs coming out of the series. This puts that ditty to shame! Thanks for highlighting it…and thanks for getting it completely stuck in my head that I’ll likely be singing it for a week straight!


  6. Aaron says:

    Does it seem that the “No, it’s a nightmare” voice becomes ever-so-slightly more exasperated throughout the song with the smug dismissal of the “It’s just a dream” voice, or am I just projecting my own frustration?


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