Story of the song: Army Dreamers by Kate Bush

From The Independent archive: Robert Webb on the pop star’s sombre take on military death

<p>Bush signs copies of her album ‘Never For Ever’ at Virgin Megastore, London, in 1980 </p>

Bush signs copies of her album ‘Never For Ever’ at Virgin Megastore, London, in 1980

A little like “Sons Of”, Jacques Brel’s morbid tale of boys going to war and not returning, the equally sombre “Army Dreamers” is about the senseless death of a soldier on manoeuvres. Kate Bush assumes the role of a grieving mother who, through the waste of her son’s life, questions her very motherhood: could she have prevented his death by buying him a guitar or giving him a “proper education”?

“I find it fascinating about mothers that there’s a kind of maternal passion which is there all the time, even when they’re talking about cheese sandwiches,” said Bush of the song.

It has a chilling second verse: “Mourning in the aerodrome / The weather warmer, he is colder / Four men in uniform / To carry home my little soldier.”

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