"Never Coming Home" as written by and Gordon(sting) Sumner....
Well its five in the morning
and the light's already broken
And the rainy streets are empty
for nobody else has woken
Yet you turn towards the window
as he sleeps beneath the covers
And you wonder what he's dreaming
in his slumbers

There's a clock upon the table
and it's burning up the hour
And you feel your life is shrinking
like the petals of a flower
As you creep towards the closet
you're so careful not to wake him
And you choose the cotton dress
you bought last summer

There's a time of indecision
between the bedroom and the door
But the part of you that knows
that you can't take it any more
There's the promise of the future
in the creaking of the floor
And your torn
if you should leave him with a number

And in your imagination
you're a thousand miles away
Because too many of his promises
got broken on the way
So you write it in a letter
all the things you couldn't say
And you tell him
that you're never coming home

She starts running for the railway station
praying that her calculation's right
And there's a train just waiting there
to get her to the city before night
A place to sleep, a place to stay
will get her through another day
She'll take a job she'll find a friend
she'll make a life that's better

And the passengers ignore her
just a girl with an umbrella
There's nothing they can do for her
there's nothing they can tell her
Nothing they could ever say would
change the way she feels today
She'd live the life she'd always dreamed
if he had only let her

Now in her imagination
she's a million miles away
When too many of his promises
got broken on the way
So she wrote it in a letter
all the things she couldn't say
And she told him
she was never coming home

I wake up in an empty bed
a road drill hammers in my head
I call her name there's no reply
it's not like her to let me lie
It's time for work it's time to go
but something's different I don't know

I need a cup of coffee
I'll feel better
I stumble to the bathroom door,
her makeup bag is on the floor
It really is a mess this place
it takes some time to shave my face
But I’m not really thinking straight
she never lets me sleep this late

I’m almost done
and then I see the letter
In his imagination
she's a universe away
Too many of his promises
got broken on the way
So she wrote it in a letter
all things she couldn't say

And she told him
she was never coming home,
She told him
she was never coming home,
She told him
she was never coming home

I’m gonna live my life
I’m gonna live my life in my own way

Lyrics submitted by thewhitepony33

Never Coming Home song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentThis song (and his album) came out at around the same time that my ex-fiancee and I split up. And there are three songs that remind me of her (off this album, among many): "Inside", "Whenever I Say Your Name", and this one.

    My ex-fiancee and I had a great relationship when it started. We had met in a very unusual place and hit it off famously. She lit up a room with her smile. She was stunning, cute and very funny. I adored her to no end. We fell in love, we shared every moment together and when I asked her to marry me it was one of the single most important and emotional events of my life (it comes a very close second to another highly emotional event in my life; my dad's passing). I had been prepared to spend a life with her. I had been prepared to wake up every morning to see her face and go to bed every night with her in my arms.

    Then things took a turn for the worse like they always do. We started to plan for a life together and it was like watching a brand new house quickly deteriorate because the foundation was loose and the material was cheap and the two people who built it couldn't agree on how to fix it so they just let it crumble.

    This song reminds me of the process from the time we were in denial of our relationship falling apart to the time we had our very messy, angry breakup, where she told me she was "never coming back" to me - and all the stuff in the middle. For example, her parents (her mom in particular) was highly restrictive on her movements and freedoms and so the line "she'd live the life she'd always dreamed/if he had only let her" reminds me both of the way her parents treated her but also of the way I wish I could have been more receptive to her and what she wanted (which I thought was marriage). I think this song shows the breakup of two people who obviously cared or loved for each other but just couldn't stand each other anymore.

    I often think if I had a second chance I'd go back and fix what was wrong but then the last lines of the song set me straight: I'm gonna live my life in my own way. I've recently been told it's time to move on. (By a new woman in my life, who I've now discovered I can't really trust. Woe is me!)

    For those wondering whatever happened to my ex-fiancee: she became one of those stupid teeny-bopping, clubbing whores that takes home guys from all walks of life - and is fully proud of it too. Not exactly the kind of woman I would have wanted to spend my life with after all!
    thedab101on February 15, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis could be a song where he imagines his mother—leaving his father because she couldn’t find from him the intimacy and affection she needed. She's up early in the morning—watching him sleep, wondering if he’s dreaming. There’s indecision but determination—should I leave a letter? She writes to say she’s never coming home.

    His father wakes and finds she’s gone. Sting has mentioned that his father—like so many other people—found it hard to show affection while his mother found she didn’t want to exist without it. She ran off with one of his father’s employees. When this didn’t work out—how we are challenged in our lives at times—she returned.

    I think his closing lines indicate that the story wasn't lost on him and he’s going to live his life his own way—hopefully never facing the heartache his parents did.
    sillybunnyon July 22, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"Never Coming Home," finally, is a dramatic set-piece that finds a woman at a crossroads in her life, like the man in "Dead Man's Rope," in a sense. Her decision to claim her personal freedom is told from three perspectives - hers, her husband's, and an omniscient narrator's. "I have sympathy for both characters, I really do," Sting says. "They are characters I will revisit later."
    sillybunnyon August 28, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'm pretty sure it was inspired by his parents, his mum running away from home (though she did return later) in a secret, yet perfectly calculated, plan while his dad was at work.
    In his autobiography, "Broken Music", where we learn about this incident, he says that back then he has sided with his father and couldn't forgive his mother for what she did until it was too late. I think the song is an attempt to understand both sides.

    Anyway, Sting's songs use to have more than one source of inspiration or layer and what he describes here is a perfect picture of thousands of married couples, whether one of them eventually escapes or just keeps on dreaming about it.
    I love how he includes symbols of the everyday routine, eg. the girl with an umbrella (like there are hundreds at the train station, looking just the same), the husband expecting her to wake him, then his everyday bathroom procedure etc. It shows how routine can trap us, make us blind to the things that happen around us and for the woman, makes it even harder for her to escape.

    PS: Sting's mum left no letter.
    WhiteWolfDiefon July 22, 2010   Link
  • 0
    MemoryI just saw Sting live yesterday at The Fillmore in Miami Beach. The version of this song, sang together with his backup singer for the Back to Bass tour, was incredible. At the end they started yelling at the mic facing each other and I think she was saying "You ruined my life" instead of the usual "I'm gonna live my life". It felt really powerful then.
    bluefabrikon November 14, 2011   Link

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