KT Cloudbusting -- Kate Bush In Her Own Words

and Dream Of Sheep

The side is about someone who is in the water alone for the night. ``And Dream of Sheep'' is about them fighting sleep. They're very tired and they've been in the water waiting for someone to come and get them, and it's starting to get dark and it doesn't look like anyone's coming and they want to go to sleep. They know that if they go to sleep in the water they could turn over and drown, so they're trying to keep awake; but they can't help it, they eventually fall asleep - which takes us into the second song. (1985, KBC 18)


The continuous flow of music on a compact disk masks the fact that hounds of love and the ninth wave were conceived as two quite separate sides to the album.

Yes they were. I started off writing, I think, `` Running Up That Hill", `` Hounds of Love", and then I think probably ``Dream of Sheep.'' And once I wrote that, that was it, that was the beginning of what then became the concept. And really, for me, from the beginning, The Ninth Wave was a film, that's how I thought of it. It's the idea of this person being in the water, how they've got there, we don't know. But the idea is that they've been on a ship and they've been washed over the side so they're alone in this water. And I find that horrific imagery, the thought of being completely alone in all this water. And they've got a life jacket with a little light so that if anyone should be traveling at night they'll see the light and know they're there. And they're absolutely terrified, and they're completely alone at the mercy of their imagination, which again I personally find such a terrifying thing, the power of ones own imagination being let loose on something like that. And the idea that they've got it in their head that they mustn't fall asleep, because if you fall asleep when you're in the water, I've heard that you roll over and so you drown, so they're trying to keep themselves awake. (1991, Classic Albums)


Going back to the obscurity of some of your songs that are personal to you, and how you feel people pick up on this - can you give some detailed examples?

I think it works on the basis of: if it moves you, it could move others. Hitchcock was talking about his films and saying the best subjects for his films that were frightening were things that frightened him - like Vertigo. Apparently he was terrified of heights. It seems logical, doesn't it?

Yeah, sure. Hitchcock was brilliant.

Yes, I agree, a genius. An engineer we were working with picked out the line in ``And Dream of Sheep'' that says ``Come here with me now.'' I asked him why he liked it so much. He said, ``I don't know, I just love it. It's so moving and comforting.'' I don't think he even knew what was being said exactly, but the song is about someone going to sleep in the water, where they're alone and frightened. And they want to go to sleep, to get away from the situation. But at the same time it's dangerous to go to sleep in water, you could drown. When I was little, and I'd had a bad dream, I'd go into my parents' bedroom round to my mother's side of the bed. She'd be asleep, and I wouldn't want to wake her, so I'd stand there and wait for her to sense my presence and wake up. She always did, within minutes; and sometimes I'd frighten her - standing there still, in the darkness in my nightdress. I'd say, ``I've had a bad dream,'' and she'd lift bedclothes and say something like ``Come here with me now.'' It's my mother saying this line in the track, and I briefed her on the ideas behind it before she said it. And I think it's the motherly comfort that this engineer picked up on. In fact, he said this was his favourite part of the album. (1987, KBC 21)


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