The song was written by Céline Dion, her mother Thérèse and brother Jacques.
On June 19, 1981 Dion made her first broadcast appearance. She performed "Ce n'était qu'un rêve" in a very popular talk-show in Quebec hosted by Michel Jasmin.
On September 5, 1981 the song entered the Quebec Singles Chart, spending five weeks on it and peaking at number 14.
"Ce n'était qu'un rêve" was also Dion's debut single in France, released in 1982 with "L'amour viendra" as B-side.
An early music video from a TV special was made when the single came out in 1981.
Dion performed "Ce n'était qu'un rêve" many times during her career. It was included on The Colour of My Love Concert VHS/DVD (1995), Au cœur du stade CD (1999), Au cœur du stade DVD (1999) and her 2005 French greatest hits compilation On ne change pas.