The Dreaming (song)

"The Dreaming" is the title song from Kate Bush's fourth studio album The Dreaming and was released a single on 26 July 1982. Bush had not released a single since "Sat in Your Lap" thirteen months earlier. "The Dreaming" made it to #48 on the UK Singles Chart.

"The Dreaming"
Single by Kate Bush
from the album The Dreaming
Released26 July 1982
Format7" single
GenreArt rock
Length4:40 (album version) 4:09 (single version)
Songwriter(s)Kate Bush
Producer(s)Kate Bush
Kate Bush singles chronology
"Sat in Your Lap"
"The Dreaming"
"There Goes a Tenner"
Audio sample
"The Dreaming"

The song is about the destruction of Aboriginal homelands by white Australians in their quest for weapons-grade uranium. Musical guest Rolf Harris plays the didgeridoo on the recording.

Bird impersonator Percy Edwards provided sheep noises.[1]

The original title for the track was "The Abo Song", which unwittingly made use of a racial slur; promotional 7" copies were circulated before being recalled.[2] . A 12-inch version of the single was also mooted but ultimately rejected by EMI for 'not being commercially viable'.

An alternative version of "The Dreaming", entitled "Dreamtime", was used as the UK single b-side. It is usually referred to as an instrumental version of "The Dreaming". This is not strictly true, in that while the track omits all the sung lead vocal lyrics, it still retains most of the backing vocals, such as the stretched dreamtime harmonies heard during the chorus. It is also of note that "Dreamtime" contains both an extended intro and outro. It starts with approximately 4 bars of double-tracked didgeridoo drone before the original arrangement comes in and finishes with approximately 30 seconds of the same following a breakdown of the original arrangement. At the very end, Harris can be heard saying "we'll stop right there."

Bush's rhythmical breathing, which appears at 0:29 into the song and again at 3:07-3:09, was sampled by Martin Gore for Depeche Mode's successful 1989 single Personal Jesus, which also includes some drum samples from "The Dreaming".

Following his conviction for sexual abuse, Harris was digitally removed from the 2018 remaster and subsequently replaced.


Chart (1982) Peak
Australia (Kent Music Report)[3] 91
UK Singles Chart 48


  1. ^ Percy Edwards Showdown BBC4 4 march, 2009
  2. ^ "Kate Bush - Abo Song". Discogs. Retrieved 10 June 2016.
  3. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 50. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.