Kenny Rogers & Kim Carnes/Youtube.com

A bit of the song…

Recorded by Kenny Rogers and Kim Carnes as a duet, “Don’t Fall in Love with a Dreamer” is a song written by husband and wife Dave Ellingson and Kim Carnes. Released in March 1980, it was the first single from Rogers’ album Gideon. The song reached no. 3 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart and no. 1 on the RPM Country Tracks chart in Canada. It was also recorded in Spanish as “No Te Enamores De Un Loco.”

All about the character’s love interest…

“Don’t Fall In Love With A Dreamer” is about the love interest of the main character in the song.

He is telling her, “I’m really no good for you. Don’t fall in love with a dreamer, because he’ll break you every time.”

He’s letting her know that he’ll be out of there. They’re saying it to each other, but it’s really a confessional to her on the last night they’ll be together. More than anything Carnes wanted to convey, in the way the song was written and recorded, a sense of urgency that two people feel when they know this is the very last night they’ll be together. Then the harsh reality comes in the morning when people consider changing their minds because they know that once they walk away, they probably won’t ever see each other again. Of all the songs on the album, this one came most quickly to Carnes and Ellingson.

On the creation of the song: Carnes’ POV

On a book where Kim Carnes was one of the writers, she shared the song’s creation and its story.

According to her, Kenny Rogers called her husband, Dave Ellingson, and her. He asked them if they are interested in working on a concept album for him (Rogers). Apparently, the project seemed like a daunting task, but eventually, they liked and accepted the challenge.  The first thing that they realized was to formulate the characters. Then, they conceived the story and worked backward and then wrote the song.

The only thing Rogers specified was that the album had a modern cowboy theme. Hence, they created the main character, whose name was Gideon Tanner. Carnes and her husband characterized “Gideon” as a ladies man, a rogue per se. Carnes said that the character became very real to them. In addition, they’ve always fantasized the story with the songs as a Broadway musical.

Here are the lyrics of the song…

Just look at you sitting there
You never looked better than tonight
And it’d be so easy to tell ya I’d stay
Like I’ve done so many times

I was so sure this would be the night
You’d close the door and want to stay with me
And it’d be so easy to tell ya I’ll stay
Like I’ve done so many times

Don’t fall in love with a dreamer
‘Cause he’ll always take you in
Just when you think you’ve really changed him
He’ll leave you again
Don’t fall in love with a dreamer
‘Cause he’ll break you every time
Oh, put out the light, just hold on
Before we say goodbye

Now it’s mornin’ and the phone rings
And you say you’ve gotta get your things together
You just gotta leave before ya change your mind

And if ya knew what I was thinkin’, girl
I’d turn around if you’d just ask me one more time

Don’t fall in love with a dreamer
‘Cause he’ll always take you in
Just when you think you’ve really changed him
He’ll leave you again
Don’t fall in love with a dreamer
‘Cause he’ll break you every time
Oh, put out the light, just hold on
Before we say goodbye
Before we say goodbye
Goodbye

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