"Never Be Mine" as written by and Kate / Bush....
I look at you and see
My life that might have been
Your face just ghostly in the smoke
They're setting fire to the cornfields
As you're taking me home
The smell of burning fields
Will now mean you and here

And this is where I want to be
This is what I need
This is where I want to be
This is what I need
This is where I want to be
But I know that this will never be mine

Ooh, the thrill and the hurting
The thrill and the hurting
I know that this will never be mine

I want you as the dream
Not the reality
That clumsy goodbye kiss could fool me
But I'm looking back over my shoulder
At you, happy without me

This is where I want to be
This is what I need
This is where I want to be
This is what I need
This is where I want to be
But I know that this will never be mine

Ooh, the thrill and the hurting
Will never be mine

The thrill and the hurting

It will never be mine
It can never be
The thrill and the hurting
Will never be mine


Lyrics submitted by weezerific:cutlery

"Never Be Mine" as written by Kate Bush

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Never Be Mine song meanings
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  • +3
    My InterpretationI've just been talking with a friend, and her situation reminded me of this song, so here's my tuppenceworth on its meaning.

    The singer has been out somewhere with a man. It's been a while since they last talked, and he's told her of his newfound contentment with a new partner. Now it's afterwards, and he's driving the singer home. The two of them have some shared history, either as lovers or as friends with lover potential. Now she knows that door has closed forever, and she's feeling the first bleakness of it.

    It's autumn, a dry day after harvest, and the farmworkers are burning straw and stubble left in the fields. It's also the autumn of their relationship - what was previously warm with possibility, now promises only increasing cold and distance. Some of the smoke has got into the car and hangs in the air between them, showing the way he'll fade from her life, the way any familiar but absent face fades through time. Sitting here side by side, she's physically close to this significant man, but already feels he's drifting away from her, and that will continue until she's nothing to him. But he'll never be nothing to her. Too late, she's realised that this is where she wants to spend her life, at his side, feeling alive with this excitement and pain, but knows now that it will never happen.

    At the same time she knows it isn't the real version of this man that she wants, but her imagined version of him. So while her heart is yearning for the man beside her, her mind is telling her that this is illusory. They reach her home and have a clumsy parting kiss, clumsy because it means more to each of them than either is pretending, a fumbled moment of stolen intimacy. And as he drives away, she knows that he's found his fulfilment without her, leaving her behind and still searching for hers. Her life will be less for the lack of him.

    And whenever in future she smells burning stubble, it will bring her immediately back to this place, this time, these feelings.

    And all this in that vulnerable voice and that lovely, wistful music.

    There you go, a 350-word interpretation of a song Ms Bush polished off in a quarter of that. Such is the artistic gift.
    TrueThomason April 15, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI love this song, it means a lot to me, I completely relate to it right now.

    She's completely in love with this guy, and he may like her, but she doesnt mean to him what he means to her: "That clumsy goodbye kiss could fool me" but "I'm looking back over my shoulder/at you, happy without me"
    missmeon January 15, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentHave you ever been in a relationship where just before the end you sensed that your partner is going to dump you, but he/she is probably just waiting for the right moment?

    That's what this song is about. It's sang from retrospective, they have already separated.

    She loves him but the relationship is spiraling downwards recently. The "thrill and the hurting" is about that strange sensation that your loved one is going to leave you.

    My favourite metaphor in this song is "They're setting fire to the cornfields
    As you're taking me home". Farmers burn the cornfields berfore planting seeds of another type. In other words she is feeling that her place will be taken by someone else.

    A truly sensual and beautiful song! Celtic sounds + Trio Bulgarke makes wonders. Enjoy!
    drbrankoon January 10, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentOr, perhaps, being in a relationship with someone else & knowing their heart's not in it. "I want you as the dream, not the reality". The idea of being with them is nice, but when they're together it doesn't actually work - she wants him much more than he wants her. What she wants will never be hers.
    missmeon April 21, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is about 'the other woman' clearly. She is having an affair with a married man and although she wants to have him wholly, (I want you as the dream, not the reality) she knows he won't leave his wife. (looking back over my shoulder, at you happy without me) and of course if anyone has been involved in this kind of affair - you would know that this phrase 'oh the thrill and the hurting' reflects the situation perfectly. The 'thrill' because it is dangerous and exciting and the 'hurting' because you can't have what you truly want. (I look at you and see, my life that might have been) - she might have had the married, happy life he has with his wife/family........Does anyone agree?
    misssammydaphneon August 30, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI don't think it's about someone about to dump you. She says herself, she wants what will never be hers, and never has been hers...it's about wanting someone and something you can never have.
    missmeon April 14, 2007   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningOkay, this is totally subjective but what I take from the song is this - she was with someone that, although she loves them, she knows for whatever reason that they can't be together.

    And so as they separate and when they're apart, she thinks about what life could have been and she imagines what life would be like now if they were together. There are probably good reasons why they aren't together and she probably knows that if they were, life wouldn't be anything like what she dreams ("I want you as the dream, not the reality,") and as she sees him with someone else, she knows that it truly is a dream.

    icytron September 28, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti feel like it could be about wanting someone who hardly notices you

    of course i might just be putting my feelings into it
    TrampVampon March 30, 2011   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI've always felt that this is a song about unrequited love, and I now know the feeling all too well. To me it seems that she's in love with a good friend, 'They're setting fire to the cornfields as you're taking me home. The smell of burning fields will now mean you and here.' She clings to every precious moment with him, all the while knowing that he doesn't see her as anything more than a friend.

    'The thrill and the hurting' are the thrill of being so close to the one you love, the stab of pleasure you get when you see them in the distance, and the hurting is the pain of knowing that you will never experience a deeper relationship with that person, the hurt of seeing them with someone else. But being so in love with them that you can't stay away, you have to see them no matter how much it hurts knowing that their love will never be for you. Dreaming about the life you could have with them, wanting that more than the reality of the friendship. Wanting to be with them so desperately that you physically ache to be with them, to have just a momentary connection with them, having the desperate need to be near them.

    I've not listened to this for years, but I've been listening to The Sensual World today and all of a sudden the feelings that I've had for a good friend of mine have come sharply into focus while listening to this. It's almost as if Kate's reading my mind, but perhaps I'm investing too much of my own life and feelings in this!
    tensqueegalon September 13, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"I want you as the dream not the reality." Yup. Now the dream is ending. And you're left with only that which you've known for decades. Gotta run with it...make it work like it once did...never forget those predictable highs and lows that brought stability. Everyone needs stability. Like Kate Bush and her music.
    MaryMaryQuiteContraryon October 01, 2011   Link

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