Can't Be Sure

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"Can't Be Sure"
Single by The Sundays
from the album Reading, Writing and Arithmetic
B-side"I Kicked a Boy", "Don't Tell Your Mother"
ReleasedJanuary 1989
GenreIndie pop, dream pop
LabelRough Trade
Songwriter(s)David Gavurin, Harriet Wheeler
Producer(s)The Sundays, Ray Shulman
The Sundays singles chronology
"Can't Be Sure"
"Here's Where the Story Ends"

"Can't Be Sure" was the 1989 debut single by the British indie pop group The Sundays.[1][2] It was the first (and in the UK, only) single to be released from their album Reading, Writing and Arithmetic, which appeared a year later. The B-side was "I Kicked a Boy", which also appeared on the album. The 12" single contained an additional, non-album track, "Don't Tell Your Mother".

The song's lyrical theme is "desire", treated as a general concept rather than being directed towards anything or anyone in particular.[3]

And did you know desire's a terrible thing?
The worst that I can find
Did you know desire's a terrible thing?
But I rely on mine.

By the song's closing refrain, the song's narrator appears to have come to terms with, if not necessarily resolved, the dichotomy:[3]

And it's my love, And it's my life
And though I can't be sure if I want any more
It will come to me later.

The single was voted number one in John Peel's Festive Fifty for 1989 and reached #45 in the UK charts in February of that year.[4][5]


  1. ^ Gavin Stoker (chapter author) (1999). Peter Buckley, ed. The Rough Guide to Rock (2. ed., expanded and complety rev. ed.). London: Rough Guides. p. 1034. ISBN 9781858284576. Retrieved 25 September 2012.
  2. ^ Martin C. Strong (2004). The Great Rock Discography (7th ed.). New York: Canongate U.S. p. 1486. ISBN 9781841956152. Retrieved 25 September 2012.
  3. ^ a b Mason, Stewart. "Can't Be Sure - The Sundays". Allmusic. Retrieved 25 September 2012.
  4. ^ "BBC - Radio 1 - Keeping It Peel - Festive 50s - 1989". BBC. Retrieved 25 September 2012.
  5. ^ "Sundays | Artist". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 25 September 2012.

External links[edit]