KT Cloudbusting -- Kate Bush In Her Own Words

The Man With The Child In His Eyes


It tells of the relationship developed between a young girl and an older man.

She sees this man as an all-consuming figure. He's wise, yet he retains a certain innocent quality. The song tells how his eyes give away his ``inner light'' He's a very real character to the girl, but nobody else knows whether he really exists. (1978, Music Talk)


The inspiration for ``The Man With the Child in His Eyes'' was really just a particular thing that happened when I went to the piano. The piano just started speaking to me. It was a theory that I had had for a while that I just observed in most of the men that I know: the fact that they just are little boys inside and how wonderful it is that they manage to retain this magic.

I, myself, am attracted to older men, I guess, but I think that's the same with every female. I think it's a very natural, basic instinct that you look continually for your father for the rest of your life, as do men continually look for their mother in the women that they meet. I don't think we're all aware of it, but I think it is basically true. You look for that security that the opposite sex in your parenthood gave you as a child. (1978, Self Portrait)


Oh, well it's something that I feel about men generally. [Looks around at cameramen] Sorry about this folks. [Cameramen laugh] That a lot of men have got a child inside them, you know I think they are more or less just grown up kids. And that it's a ...[Cameramen laugh] no, no, it's a very good quality, it's really good, because a lot of women go out and get far too responsible. And it's really nice to keep that delight in wonderful things that children have. And that's what I was trying to say. That this man could communicate with a younger girl, because he's on the same level. (1979, Swap Shop)


This was about an adult who is still very much of a child and could still take a delight in the innocence of things. In some men I think it's a positive thing to sometimes not let go of that. I liked the idea of the innocence of a person shining in their eyes. How wonderful it is that they manage to retain this magic. (???, AVD)

The earliest of all the tracks. I was 16 when it was recorded and terrified working with a large orchestra for the first time. (C.1986, AVD)

*Actually kate you seem very advanced in your years [Kate laughs] with some of the titles. I mean, for your first album you call it the kick inside. the kick inside and then ``man with the child in his eyes", I mean these titles, they just come to you like that? A flash of inspiration or did you think about titles like that?

Well ``The Man With the Child in His Eyes'' just happened. And I think it had something to do with one of my nephew's books. I don't remember how, but that line just happened. And sometimes they just sorta get contrively written, you know what I mean? Sometimes they just happen. (1979, Personal Call)


*I wrote that when I was 16. I've got two older brothers and have always been in the company of older men. They seem to have so much fun and are able to laugh at themselves. I love that. It's a song expressing that most men are really children at heart. (1979, Liverpool Echo)


*Yes, that probably was the simplest one [Video] we've ever done. Again, the song dictated it, it was a very intimate song about a young girl almost voicing her inner thoughts, not really to anyone, but rather to herself. And it just started off where I sat down on the floor, crosslegged, and getting ready to work out some ideas to the routine with the music on. And my brother Jay came in and saw me sitting there and said, ``why don't you just keep it like that?'' (1981, Razzmatazz)


Is the child in the picture sleeve of ``the man with the child in his eyes'' you when you were younger?

Yes it is, and the photo was taken by my brother John, at the same time as the picture of me and ``someone'' in this issue's competition. (1979, KBC 2)


Why did you leave the echoing ``he's here!'' - on the single of ``the man with the child in his eyes'' - off the album version? And was the mix of `` wow'' on lionheart different from that of the single?

It was the other way round with ``The Man With the Child in His Eyes": I added ``He's here!'' to the single. Otherwise, the mix of all the singles has been the same as on the albums. (1979, KBC 3)


Your lyrics have always fascinated me, but none more so than those of ``the man with the child in his eyes". I have often wondered whether you found inspiration for this from emily bronte's poetry. It is her constant references to eternity which make me wonder: For example, ``the sea of death's eternity'' parallelled with your ``telling me about the sea/all his love, till eternity."

I find your parallel interesting, but unfortunately the only Bronte work I have ever read is `` Wuthering Heights'' (1984, KBC 17)


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