Army Dreamers

Album: Never for Ever (1980)
Charted: 16
Play Video
  • B.F.P.O.
    Army dreamers
    Mammy's hero
    B.F.P.O.
    Mammy's hero

    Our little army boy
    Is coming home from B.F.P.O.
    I've a bunch of purple flowers
    To decorate mammy's hero
    Mourning in the aerodrome
    The weather warmer, he is colder
    Four men in uniform
    To carry home my little soldier

    (What could he do?)
    (Should have been a rock star)
    But he didn't have the money for a guitar
    (What could he do?)
    (Should have been a politician)
    But he never had a proper education
    (What could he do?)
    (Should have been a father)
    But he never even made it to his twenties
    What a waste
    Army dreamers
    Oh, what a waste of
    Army (army) dreamers (dreamers)

    Tears o'er a tin box
    Oh, Jesus Christ, he wasn't to know
    Like a chicken with a fox
    He couldn't win the war with ego
    Give the kid the pick of pips
    And give him all your stripes and ribbons
    Now he's sitting in his hole
    He might as well have buttons and bows

    (What could he do?)
    (Should have been a rock star)
    But he didn't have the money for a guitar
    (What could he do?)
    (Should have been a politician)
    But he never had a proper education
    (What could he do?)
    (Should have been a father)
    But he never even made it to his twenties
    What a waste
    Army dreamers
    Ooh, what a waste of
    Army (army) dreamers (dreamers)
    Ooh, what a waste of all them
    Army (army) dreamers (dreamers)
    Army (army) dreamers (dreamers)
    Army (army) dreamers, oh

    B.F.P.O.
    Army dreamers
    Mammy's hero
    B.F.P.O.
    Army dreamers
    Mammy's hero
    B.F.P.O.
    No hard heroes
    Mammy's hero
    B.F.P.O.
    Army dreamers
    Mammy's hero
    B.F.P.O. Writer/s: Kate Bush
    Publisher: Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 17

  • What Is It Good For from UkArmy dreamers paints a sad picture of some young people who don’t have the prospects that others do.
    Look at what is happening today with the war in Ukraine and the senseless deaths of young soldiers on both sides.
    Written in the 80’s, has prevalence today.
  • Andrew from AustraliaI agree that this song is referring to the Northern Ireland conflict, as if you watch the live performance of the song on TV (the clip where she dresses as a housewife), she does a little Irish jig between the soldiers. The symbolism is clear to me. The clip has been posted on youtube and it is a very theatrical performance, possibly better and more meaningful than the official video for the song.
  • Andrew from London, United KingdomB.F.P.O is British Forces Post Office. As disturbing as it might sound if you are killed whilst serving overseas in the British Army then your body is actually returned to the UK through the same channels as everything else that gets sent back to the UK. i.e It gets posted through the B.F.P.O system. Also, Kate has explained that she has purposely attempted to sing with a slight Irish accent on Army Dreamers which can only mean she is referring to the N.I conflict which was very relevant back in 1980.
  • Dave from Glos, United KingdomRude to reply to my own post I know, but another thought struck me. If Kate was talking about recent events then Northern Ireland was the only "combat" zone (I put that in apotrophes because the British Govt called this Internal Security and not a "war" like Paddy PIRA wanted to claim - even though they were too yellow to put uniforms on outside of their own homes/communities). If Kate was talking about "europe" in general, them we would have to go back to WW2 - but then they didn't fly squaddies back in flag draped coffins.... hmm, so, cutting through all of this - it was a poor British Soldier returning home in a pine box, having been murdered by his own countrymen.....
  • Dave from Glos, United KingdomJason Napeil and Lee from Ottawa, BEFORE spouting some "googled" rubbish, why not simply ask a British soldier ?
    After 22 years in the British Army, I can say with some certainty that BFPO stands for British Forces Post Office. Every location where British troops are serving will have a BFPO number - to make it easy for the Army postal service AND to provide some cover for some of the more esoteric locations (so Northern Ireland and the Falkland Islands had BFPO numbers as well as foreign countries - amusingly, the Falklands was initially BFPO 666, until someone realised the link with the devil). So, in this song, the soldier is being repatriated from (most likely) NI, which unsurprisingly had a number of BFPO numbers depending upon your location (Lisburn, Londonderry, Belfast, etc).
  • Dino from Portsmouth, United KingdomKate Bush hits the nail on the head with this song - Its almost as if she served in the forces herself. The Army is full of talented people that "could have been" if only they had the chances in life. It does however highlight the British Forces recruitment strategy and catchment areas.

    Finally, what Kate doesn't add to her BFPO lyric is the numerical suffix that identifies the "POST OFFICE" area. ie: BFPO 17 - Munster.A google search will reveal hit number one as: www.bfpo.org.uk - The "OFFICIAL" website of the British Forces Post Office.Have we done BFPO now? :)
  • Rod from Gainesville, FlWhat i find intriguing about the song is that Kaete explains why the lad did not have good alternatives to army service.

    Rock Star-didn't have the money for a guitar
    Politician-Didn't have a proper education
    Father-But he never made it to his twenties
  • Jason from Napiel, New ZealandTo everyone screaming that "Lee" from Ottawa, Canada is wrong ... actually, you're all wrong. It means both British Forces Posted Overseas and British Forces Posted Overseas.

    A Google search with the exact phrase will turn up "British Forces Posted Overseas" on _numerous_ results containing the phrase with capital case words.

    And if you don't know how to make an exact search with Googlee, disconnect your modem and stop wasting our time. ;)
  • Phoebe from Belchertown, MaGreat song, still relevant today with Iraq and whatnot. green zone gone vague
  • Maxxx from Oslo, NorwayB.F.P.O. Stands for British Forces Post Office!!! google it!
  • Mac from Durham, EnglandBFPO does actually stand for British Forces Post Office, though it is purely for units serving worldwide other than in UK. I served in Germany at two different towns. Detmold (BFPO 41) and Hohne (BFPO 30).Units serving in Hong Kong or Belize for instance also had BFPO numbers. So Kate was in fact correct using BFPO to generalise dead soldiers arriving home in coffins draped with the flag at the aerodrome
  • Dave from Cairns, AustraliaThe acronym BFPO stands for British Forces Post Office or British Field Post Office in a combat zone. I have always thought the words in the song meant a dead soldier being returned home from anywhere with a BFPO number. ie Akrotiri 57 to Zennelager 16.
  • Ed from Leeds, EnglandI agree with Lee. BFPO does stand for British Forces Post Office, but this wouldn't make sense in this context. The subject of the song is coming home from BFPO, and is obviously supposed to have died, so British Forces Posted Overseas would be a more appropriate translation here. Maybe Kate Bush can't be right all the time
  • Lee from Ottawa, CanadaTali,both of Kate's brothers are alive and well.The song is about a fictitious mother whose son dies at war.Paddy Bush has played various instruments on albums after this song and John Carder Bush has taken photographs for albums that came after this.
  • Lee from Ottawa, CanadaActually,Addison,although it is true that I certainly am not right all of the time,I believe I am this time.In the web site Gaffaweb(the ultimate source for all things Kate)at the end of the lyrics for this song is a footnote denoting that B.F.P.O. stands for British Forces Posted Overseas.Also in the web site Cloudbusting:Kate Bush in her own words,Kate herself,when asked if the song is directed at Ireland,says it is more directed at Europe in general and that is why she chose B.F.P.O. In the video it shows soldiers in combat,not people delivering or receiving mail.
  • Addison from Swindon, EnglandActually, Lee, the BFPO is the British Forces Post Office. Sorry pal, we can't be right all the time....
  • Lee from Ottawa, CanadaIn the song Army Dreamers,Kate mentions the soldier in the song coming home from B.F.P.O.This stands for British Forces Posted Overseas.
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