And Dream Of Sheep

Album: Hounds Of Love (1985)

Songfacts®:

  • Side two of Hounds Of Love is a seven-track concept piece called "The Ninth Wave," about a person who is alone in the water for the night. Kate Bush begins "The Ninth Wave," with this song:

    If they find me racing white horses
    They'll not take me for a buoy
    Let me be weak, let me sleep
    And dream of sheep


    Kate Bush explained in an article published in The Garden: "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."
  • The spoken "Come here with me now" line is said by Kate Bush's mother. The singer explained:

    "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."
  • Bush re-recorded the song as the lead single for her 2016 live Before The Dawn album. She laid down the lead vocal whilst being filmed lying in the huge water tank at Pinewood Studios. This was to create a sense of realism, to fit in with lyrics about being lost at sea. However Bush spent so long in the water during the first day of filming that she contracted mild hypothermia and had to take a day off before carrying on. The final film was then projected onto a large oval screen which hung above the stage during the performances of her live show.

    "I'd never worked in water before, and we didn't know, purely from a technical point of view, if we could find a microphone that could cope with being submerged," Bush recalled to The Independent. "So a lot of research went into that."

    "Also, lying on your back, it's a different way to sing, and we weren't sure we were going to achieve what we wanted, certainly from an audio point of view," she added. "What was probably most difficult, particularly on the first day, was that I was in the tank of water for so long that I actually got really cold. Hour by hour, it was becoming more realistic!"

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