Never Be Mine

Song written by Kate Bush. Originally released on her sixth studio album The Sensual World in 1989.

Versions

There are two versions of 'Never Be Mine': the original album version on 'The Sensual World' and the new album version on Kate's 2011 album Director's Cut.
A live version appears on the album Before The Dawn.

Cover versions

'Never Be Mine' was covered by E-Clypse featuring Emma Price.

Kate about 'Never Be Mine'

It's that whole thing of how, in some situations, it's the dream you want, not the real thing. It was pursuing a conscious realisation that a person is really enjoying the fantasy and aware it won't become reality. So often you think it's the end you want, but this is actually looking at the process that will never get you there. Bit of a heart-game you play with yourself. (Len Brown, 'In The Realm Of The Senses'. NME (UK), 7 October 1989)

I wanted a sort of eastern sounding rhythm. I wrote it first on the piano, though the words were completely different, except for the choruses. I did it on the piano to a Fairlight rhythm that Del programmed - I think that maybe because of the quality of the sounds, it was harder for Del to come up with the patterns. And I was more strict - he found it much harder. I think the pattern in 'Heads We're Dancing' is really good - really unusual, the best he came up with. But 'Never Be Mine' was kind of tabla based. We got Eberhard (Weber) over to play bass and he played on the whole song. When we were trying to piece it together later we kept saying it just doesn't feel right, so we just took the bass out and had it in these two sections. You hardly notice it going out at all. I think the song has a very light feel about it, which helps the whole imagery. The Uilean pipes have a very light feel, and the piano is light... I think it's a nice contrast when the bass suddenly come in.
The piano on this is an upright Bernstein that has a really nice sound - I think it has to do with proportions for us. We did have a big piano and it's a small room, and it didn't record well. The small piano sounds much bigger. (Tony Horkins, 'What Katie Did Next'. International Musician, December 1989)

Credits

Drums: Stuart Elliott
Bass: Eberhard Weber
Uillean pipes: Davey Spillane
Vocalists: Trio Bulgarka

I want you as the dream
Not the reality