Kate Bush In Her Own Words
Featuring kate's dad, the good doctor bush, plus nigel kennedy and
some wicked seagull imitations. It seems to be more about ponds and
swimming pools than pea-soupers.
It's about trying to grow up. Growing up for most people is just
trying to stop escaping, looking at things inside yourself rather than
outside. But I'm not sure if people ever grow up properly. It's a
continual process, growing in a positive sense. (1989,
This song, ``the fog'' on here, featuring your father as himself...
[Laughs] ...my first feature
A family affair,
this album. Tell me about that song. I haven't quite go the hang of
it, it's something to do with childhood, it's something to do with
childhood memories and growing up and having to stand on your own two
feet. I think so anyway, but can you tell me what you were thinking?
Yes, well that's jolly good.
Totally wrong, but...
No, it's not. Again, it's quite a complex song, where it's very
watery. It's meant to be the idea of a big expanse of water, and
being in a relationship now and flashing back to being a child being
taught how to swim, and using these two situations as the idea of
learning to let go. When I was a child, my father used to take me out
into the water, and he'd hold me by my hands and then let go and say
``OK, now come on, you swim to me.'' As he'd say this, he'd be
walking backwards so the gap would be getting bigger and bigger, and
then I'd go [Splutters]. I thought that was such
an interesting situation where you're scared because you think you're
going to drown, but you know you won't because your father won't let
you drown, and the same for him, he's kind of letting go, he's letting
the child be alone in this situation. Everyone's learning and
hopefully growing and the idea that the relationship is to be in this
again, back there swimming and being taught to swim, but not by your
father but by your partner, and the idea that it's OK because you are
grown up now so you don't have to be frightened, because all you have
to do is put your feet down and the bottom's there, the water isn't so
deep that you'll drown. You put your feet down, you can stand up and
it's only waist height. Look! What's the problem, what are you
worried about? (1989, Roger Scott)
Again, I think it's such a human condition, where we actually, a lot
of the time, have such fear of things actually there's no need to be
frightened of at all. It's all in our heads, this big kind of trap -
you know, that actually it's not always as terrifying as we think.
Again, you know, it's meant to be saying ``OK, so it can be rough but
there must be a way out - it's all right!''
[Laughs] (1989, Roger
"The fog" (lyrics of trust?)
Trust? That's nice. It's paralleling being in a relationship with
learning to swim. You're too scared to put your feet down but if you
did you'd find the water is only waist high and you needn't have been
frightened at all. (1989, Tracks)
"The fog'' is a brave song. It co-stars kate's dad on
intoning with fatherly/doctorly reassurance, ``just put your feet down
child/'cos you're all grown-up now''
I started with the idea of a relationship in deep water and thought I
could parallel that with learning to swim, the moment of letting go,''
she says. ``When my dad was teaching me to swim he'd hold both my
hands, then say, ``Now, let go.'' So I would. Then he'd take two
paces back and say, ``Right, swim to me,'' and I'd be, ``Oo-er, blub,
blub, blerb...'' But I thought it was such a beautiful
image of the father and child, all wrapped up in the idea of
really loving someone, but letting them go, because that's a part of
real love, don't you
think, the letting go?
So it's personal about kate and her father then. It sounds as though
it might be personal about her and del too.
Yes, it does, doesn't it? SHE LAUGHS, REALLY AMUSED BY HER
PROFESSIONALLY EVASIVE REPLY. Have you ever watched Woody Allen being
interviewed? Obviously his films are very personal, and when the
interviewer asks him the ``Has this happened to you, then?'' question,
he's all... SHE COWERS BACK INTO HER CHAIR, CROSSES AND UNCROSSES HER
LEG THRASHES, ABOUT LIKE A SPEARED FISH. Then he'll say, ``Oh, well,
no, I'm just acting
out a role.'' It's ironic, but it's much easier to speak about very
personal things to lots of people through a song, a poem or a
film than it is to confront the world with them through
someone asking questions. Maybe you worry because it's going to be
indirectly reported. (1989, Q)
Another song from
the sensual world, ``the fog", appears to be
on the surface the story of a father teaching his child to swim. Yet
there's much more to it than that.
Yeah, it's very much using the parallel of the father teaching the
child to swim, with a relationship where - well, when I was taught to
swim, my father would take me out into the water and then he'd say,
you know, ``Swim to me,'' and you had to sort of let go of his hands
and he'd keep stepping away so it was always like you kept going. And
the whole process of kind of letting go that I think we have to do
throughout life. I think, really, the older I get the more I feel
this is what so much of life is about. It's just letting go of all
these things that you get caught up in. The idea in the song that
things that you're frightened of, quite often, it's the thought of it
that's more frightening than the action. It's the idea of the water
seeming so deep that you're going to drown if you put your feet down,
but actually, if you do put your feet down, the bottom's really close
and you can stand up and it will probably only come up to your waist.
Everything's all right, you know.
That song also features dialogue by your father, dr. Bush.
That was just sort of a natural thing, or did you hear that when you
were first composing the song?
I love using bits of
dialogue in music as well. We haven't done too much of that on this
album, but I have used my parents and my
family and friends before to speak various passages.
Obviously in this song, because it was within the context of a father
teaching a child to swim, I thought it was - who else could have done
it? Who else?
It had to be him. (1989, KFNX)
I wonder if ``the fog'' off
the sensual world - was that originally written for
the ninth wave? Because I feel there is a similarity
between that and the ninth wave.
Yes, I think you're very right. It does sound like a song that's come
from that side. It wasn't written as part of The Ninth
Wave, but it was probably one of the first songs that I wrote
Sensual World album. And it's when you hit moments like
that that you think, ``Well, I haven't quite found where this next
album is meant to be.'' Because I - I worry if it's sounding like the
last album. In a way there's a natural sense for you to want to just
carry on writing in the same style of writing that you did before.
And uh, I really feel each album should be somehow a new expression of
something. But yes, I thought that, too.
I don't think it sounds anything like the ninth wave,
it's just theme of the girl trying to swim...
It is, it's a lot of water imagery again. Uh, I felt that, when I was
writing it, that it was...And I think in some ways I haven't really
let go of The Ninth Wave. Maybe this is it. The song is
about letting go, so...
Maybe that will continue on through your career and eventually there
will be songs that will...it will become a bigger concept, maybe?
Oh, that's a nice idea, isn't it? (1990 Kate Bush Con)
I've been a big fan of Alan's music for quite a while and I thought
how nice it would be to get him to come in and play some harp and
about two days later this letter turned up out of the blue ... and
I'd never met the guy or spoken to him or anything, and it was a
letter from Alan saying that he'd really like to work with me and he
didn't know if I'd heard his music but ... and it's like, you know,
within a space of two days we'd suddenly come into the air ... and so
that is how we met and worked together. (1989,
That started at the Fairlight. We got these big chords of strings,
and put this line over the top, and then I got this idea of these
words - slipping into the fog. I thought wouldn't it be interesting
to sort of really visualize that in a piece of music, with all these
strings coming in that would actually be the fog. So I wrote a bit of
music that went on the front of what I'd done, and extended it
backwards with this bit on the front that was very simple and
straightforward, but then went into the big orchestral bit, to get the
sense of fog coming in.
Then we put a drummer on, and Nigel Kennedy, the violinist, came in
and replaced the Fairlight violin, which changed the
nature of it. He's great to work with - such a great
musician. The times we work together we sort of write together. I'll
say something like, ``what about doing something a bit like Vaughan
Williams?", and he'll know the whole repertoire, and he'll pick
something, and maybe I'll change something. By doing that we came up
with this different musical section that hadn't been on the Fairlight.
So when I got all this down it seemed to make sense story-wise. This
new section became like a flashback area. And then I got the lyrics
together about slipping into the fog, and relationships, trying to let
go of people.
It sounded great with the Fairlight holding it together, but it just
didn't have the sense of dimension I wanted. So we got hold of
Michael Kamen, who orchestrated some of the last album, and we said we
wanted this bit here with waves and flashbacks. He's really into this
because he's always writing music for films, and he loves the idea of
visual imagery. So we put his orchestra in on top of the Fairlight.
Again a very complicated process, and he was actually the last thing
to go on. I don't know how anything comes out as one song, because
sometimes it's such a bizarre process. It does seem to work together
somehow. (1989, International Musician)
Cloudbusting / Music / The Fog