A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes

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"A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes"
Single by Ilene Woods
from the album Cinderella (1950 film soundtrack)
FormatLP record

"A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes" is a song written and composed by Mack David, Al Hoffman and Jerry Livingston for the Walt Disney film Cinderella (1950). In the song, Cinderella (voiced by Ilene Woods)[1] encourages her animal friends to never stop dreaming, and that theme continues throughout the entire story. The theme of the song was taken from Franz Liszt's Etude No. 9 Ricordanza of the Transcendental Etudes.[2][unreliable source?] This song was also performed by Lily James for the soundtrack of the live-action version of Cinderella in 2015.

"Dreams" as a recurring Disney theme[edit]

Thematically, the lyrics recall the sentiments expressed in "When You Wish upon a Star" from Pinocchio (1940). In equating a dream with a wish, the song establishes that Cinderella is using the word "dream" in the metaphorical sense of desires that can, as the lyric promises, "come true." "When You Wish Upon A Star" makes this same promise, as does other Disney material, such as the fireworks show Remember... Dreams Come True and related promotions.[3] The literal meaning of the word, as something that happens "when you're fast asleep", reappears in another Disney song, "Once Upon a Dream" from Sleeping Beauty (1959).


The original version appears on a CD of the original soundtrack, as well as several compilations. Ilene Woods with Harold Mooney and his Orchestra recorded the song in Hollywood on October 26, 1949. It was released by RCA Victor Records as catalog number 31-0014B (in USA) and by EMI on the His Master's Voice label as catalog numbers B 9971, SG 272, HM 2753, JK 2679, SAB 7 and EA 3914.

It has also been recorded by a number of other artists, including Daniel Bedingfield who sang a swing version, Nikki Blonsky, Michael Bolton, Todrick Hall, Ashley Brown, Perry Como, Hilary Duff, Eden Espinosa, Kimberley Locke, Johnny Mathis, Cher, Bette Midler, Linda Ronstadt, Shakey Graves, Tomiko Van and Sabrina Carpenter. One studio compilation, Cinderella: Songs From The Classic Fairy Tale (1998) places the song in context with other musical treatments of the Cinderella story, including songs by Rodgers and Hammerstein, Sergey Prokofiev, Stephen Sondheim and the Sherman Brothers.

Perry Como with Mitchell Ayres' and His Orchestra recorded it in New York City on October 3, 1949. It was released by RCA Victor Records as catalog number 20-3607A (in USA)[4] and by EMI on the His Master's Voice label as catalog numbers B 9961, HM 2730, SAB 8 and IP 615.

Jack Pleis and His Orchestra recorded it in 1955. It was released by Decca Records on the album Music from Disneyland (catalog number DL 8105).

The song has also been used as part of the opening titles of several iterations of the Walt Disney anthology television series, notably in the medley for The Wonderful World Of Disney (1969–1979) and in The Magical World Of Disney (1988).

Brian Wilson covered it as a bonus track on his album In The Key Of Disney, which was released on October 25, 2011.

In the French version of the film, the song was titled Un rêve est un souhait qui vient de ton cœur (Literally, "A dream is a wish that comes from your heart").

Suburban Legends included it as the first track of their 2013 release, Dreams Aren't Real, But These Songs Are, Vol. 1 EP.

The Voice Australia winner Anja Nissen recorded it as part of the compilation "We Love Disney".

Lily James, who plays Cinderella in the 2015 Disney film remake, recorded the song for the film's soundtrack.

Indonesian singer Raisa Andriana covered the song in Bahasa Indonesia as "Mimpi Adalah Harapan Hati" (later renamed as "Mimpi Adalah Harapan"), for the film's Indonesian release and later in the We Love Disney Indonesia Edition.

Jessie Ware recorded a cover of the song for the 2015 compilation album We Love Disney.

Cole Plante remixed of the song in the 2014 remix album DCONTRUCTED from bonus track.

Disney Cruise Line[edit]

The song is heard on board the Disney Dream in various shows and as the ship's horn.[5]

Circle of Stars version[edit]

"A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes"
Single by Disney Channel Circle of Stars
from the album DisneyMania 4
ReleasedNovember 21, 2005
RecordedFebruary 20, 2005
  • 3:45 (single version)
  • 3:39 (radio edit)
LabelWalt Disney
Disney Channel Circle of Stars singles chronology
"Circle of Life"
"A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes"
"Do You Want to Build a Snowman?"

The song was re-recorded by the Disney Channel Circle of Stars, a group of actors and actresses who have appeared in Disney Channel television series and original movies. The line-up was significantly different from that of their re-recording of "Circle Of Life" in 2004. It shot #1 on Disney's singles chart, along with topping several charts around the world. This version has been used to launch the inflight music aboard international flights via Cebu Pacific airlines, starting in December 2010.

Track listing[edit]

Digital track listing
  1. "A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes" (Single Version) – 3:55
  2. "A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes" (Christmas Version) – 3:45

Official versions[edit]

  • "A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes" (Single Version) – 3:55
  • "A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes" (Radio Edit) – 3:39
  • "A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes" (Christmas Version) – 3:45
  • "A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes" (Cut Live Version) – 1:21


  1. ^ Sherman, Robert et al. (2005). From Rags to Riches: The Making of Cinderella (DVD extra). Disney.
  2. ^ "Source Material: A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes". 2013. Retrieved 2016-11-21.
  3. ^ "Disney Parks: Where Dreams Come True". 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-11-22. Retrieved 2007-08-21.
  4. ^ RCA Victor in the 20-3500 to 30-3999 series
  5. ^ "Disney Dream Float Out". YouTube. 2010-10-30. Retrieved 2012-02-14.