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From: email@example.com (ronald hill)
Date: Sun, 10 Jan 93 22:01:20 PST
Subject: *** Kate Bush Song Crash Course ***
Compiled by Ron Hill
Each song is followed by quotes from Kate, except when no quotes exist.
More detailed quotes can be found in the electronic book Cloudbusting.
"I actually wrote the song for my teacher, Lindsay Kemp. But the inspiration came from whales."
"...for me, the saxophone is a truly amazing instrument. Its sound is very exciting rich and mellow. It sounds like a female."
"It's all about coincidences. And there's in fact a school of thought about that called, well it's Synchronicity."
"The character starts to feel that he is rooted to the ground, but there is a force pulling him up to the sky."
"The Man with the Child in his Eyes"
"This was about an adult who is still very much of a child and could still take a delight in the innocence of things."
"...one of the reasons it stuck so heavily in my mind was because of the spirit of Cathy, and as a child I was called Cathy. It later changed to Kate."
"James and the Cold Gun"
NO QUOTES, but NOT based on Jesse James.
"A song about a woman who is looking forward to enjoying a relationship with a man she has not yet explored."
"Oh, To Be In Love"
NO QUOTES! The only song from the first two albums not done on the tour.
"L'Amour Looks Something Like You"
Looks at the agony of unfulfilled love through the eyes of a woman.
"Them Heavy People"
Often incorrectly refered to as "Rolling The Ball". "I heard the phrase "Rolling the ball" in my head, and I thought that it would be a good way to start a song, so I ran in to the piano and played it and got the chords down."
"Room for the Life"
May be about the idea that women are mentally and physically programmed to bear children, and because of this, the female of the species possesses a much greater instinct of survival and protection.
"The Kick Inside"
"This song is about a brother and a sister who are in love, and the sister becomes pregnant by her brother. And because it is so taboo and unheard of, she kills herself in order to preserve her brother's name in the family. The actual song is in fact the suicide note. The sister is saying "I'm doing it for you" and "Don't worry, I'll come back to you someday."
"Symphony in Blue" No QUOTES!
"In Search of Peter Pan"
"How a young innocence mind can be just controlled, manipulated, and they [the parents] don't necessarily want it to happen that way."
"People say that the music business is about ripoffs, the rat race, competition, strain, people trying to cut you down, and so on, and though that's all there, there's also the magic."
"Don't Push Your Foot On The Heartbrake"
"[written like] a Patti Smith song."
"Oh! England, My Lionheart"
"My patriotic number!"
"Probably quite autobiographical, you know: talking about how hard I find it to cope with all the feelings I get, from paranoia, pressure, anger, that sort of thing. "
"In The Warm Room"
"Written for men because there are so many songs for women about wonderful men that come up and chat you up when you're in the disco and I thought it would be nice to write a song for men about this amazing female."
"Kashka From Baghdad"
"A very strange American Detective series...inspired the idea of this old house somewhere in Canada or America with two people in it that no-one knew anything about. And being a sorta small town, everybody wanted to know what everybody what else was up to. And these particular people in this house had a very private thing happening." [Yes, the characters are gay!]
"Someeone who thinks they're being poisoned by another person, they think that there's Belladonna in their tea and that whenever they offer them something to eat, it's got poisen in it. And it's just a humorous aspect of paranoia really".
"An actor had a part in a moive but he died on the set, and the current actor was being haunted by the actor before."
"The Empty Bullring"
"It is really about someone who is in love with someone who is obsessed with something that is pretty futile. They can't get the person to accept the fact that it is a futile obsession."
About futile situations: the way in which we often ruin things for ourselves.
"The thing about Delius's music is it's so emotional... and really that is what art is, art is pure emotion. And so anyone that is full of it will attract me, obviously, because I'm looking for the same thing, I'm tuning into the same thing."
"Is a comfort for the fear of dying, and for those of us who believe that music is perhaps an exception to the Never For Ever rule. "
"All We Ever Look For"
"about how we seek something, but in the wrong way, or at wrong times, so it is never found."
an attempted audial animation of the romantic and realistic visions of a country.
"The Wedding List"
"That was based on a film, a Jeanne Moreau film I once saw on the telly, when the bride's husband was killed and she sought revenge for those responsible."
is for all the mad fiddlers, from "Paganini" to "Old Nick" himself.
"The Infant Kiss"
"About a governess. She is torn between the love of an adult man and a child, who are within the same body... It was based on the film, The Innocents."
"Night Scented Stock"
"I love music without words when it works because it suddenly becomes so much freer, it's like landscapes moving around you and I've always wanted to work in a musical area sometimes rather than always putting lyrics to my songs. "
"About a grieving mother who, through the death of her soldier boy, questions her motherhood."
"It's about a baby still in the mother's womb at the time of a nuclear fallout, but it's more of a spiritual being... It has all its senses: sight, smell, touch, taste and hearing, and it knows what is going on outside the mother's womb, and yet it wants desperately to carry on living, as we all do of course."
"Warm and Soothing"
was a demo-tape which we did basically just to see what Abbey Road sounded like.
"Lord of the Reedy River"
"One of my favorite [Donovan tracks]... which he actually wrote himself to his own music."
Sat in your Lap
"About the way you try to work for something and you end up finding you've been working away from it rather than towards it. It's really about the whole frustration of having to wait for things the fact that you can't do what you want to do now, you have to work toward it and maybe, only maybe, in five years you'll get what you're after."
There goes a Tenner
"It's very much a song about bank robbery... it's about the fear that people feel rather than the glorification of bank robbers."
"Pull Out The Pin"
"I saw a programme with a camera man on the front line in Vietnam. The Vietnamese were portrayed as being very craftful people who treated their fighting as an art. They could literally smell the Americans coming through the jungle. Their culture of Coke cans and ice creams actually made them smell...Anyway, I learnt that before the Vietnamese went into action they popped a little silver Buddha in their mouths. I thought that was quite beautiful."
"Suspended in Gaffa"
"The idea of the song is that of being given a glimpse of "God" something that we dearly want but being told that unless we work for it, we will never see it again, and even then, we might not be worthy of it. Of course, everybody wants the reward without the toil, so people try to find a way out of the hard work, still hoping to claim the prize, but such is not the case. The choruses are meant to express the feeling of entering timelessness as you become ready for the experience, but only when you are ready."
"Leave It Open"
"The idea of human beings being like cups like receptive vessels. We open and shut ourselves at different times. It's very easy to let you ego go "nag nag nag" when you should shut it. Or when you're very narrow-minded and you should be open. Finally you should be able to control your levels of receptivity to a productive end."
"The song was originally going to be called "Dreamtime," which is the name the Aborigines gave to a magic time before man was man as he is today when man was an animal and could change shape. This magical time was also known as the Dreaming to the Aborigines, so I thought it would be an ideal title for the song."
"Night of the Swallow"
"The whole idea of the song was that the choruses were this guy flying off. He's a pilot who's been offered a load of money if he doesn't ask any questions. He really wants to do it, for the challenge as well, but his wife is really against it because she feels he's going to get caught. The verses are her saying "Don't do it!" and the choruses are him saying "Look, I can do it, I can fly like a swallow". We used the idea of the ceilidh band taking off. "
"All the Love"
"Although we are often surrounded by people and friends, we are all ultimately alone, and I feel sure everyone feels lonely at some time in their life. I wanted to write about feeling alone, and how having to hide emotions away or being too scared to show love can lead to being lonely as well."
"And the song is written from Mrs. Houdini's point of view. And what was rather beautiful was she used to help him a lot with his tricks and one of the things that she would do, before he went off into his tank or to jump into the sea or whatever it was, she would pass him a tiny key with a kiss before she left him and he went off. And when he was then in the water he would use the key to unlock the padlocks. So in many ways by passing that key she was keeping an eye on his life, making sure that he be safe, that he would come out again."
"Get Out of My House"
"The idea with that song is that the house is actually a human being who's been hurt and he's just locking all the doors and not letting anyone in. The person is so determined not to let anyone in that one of his personalities is a concierge who sits in the door, and says "you're not coming in here" like real mamma. "
"Ne T'enfuis pas"
"Really the only language I know enough of to be able to work creatively with is French, so I thought of all the odd words I know, and tried to piece a story together. It's surprising how inspiring it can be to work from a slightly different tangent."
"Under the Ivy"
"It's very much a song about someone who is sneaking away from a party to meet someone elusively, secretly, and to possibly make love with them, or just to communicate, but it's secret, and it's something they used to do and that they won't be able to do again. It's about a nostalgic, revisited moment."
"Running Up That Hill"
"It's the two people in the song, a man and a woman, that what to make a deal with God in order to swap places with each other. That if the man could be the woman, and vice-versa, they would understand what it's like from that other person's point of view and that perhaps there'd be less problems in the relationship."
"Hounds of Love"
"about someone who's scarred of falling in love with someone, of being trapped, and sees it as a simile of a pack of hounds that are chasing them. And instead of being happy about it, terrified, so they're running for their life really. "
"The Big Sky"
"Someone sitting looking at the sky, watching the clouds change. I used to do this a lot as a child, just watching the clouds go into different shapes. I think we forget these pleasures as adults. We don't get as much time to enjoy those kinds of things, or think about them; we feel silly about what we used to do naturally. The song is also suggesting the coming of the next flood how perhaps the "fools on the hills" will be the wise ones."
"Mother Stands for Comfort."
"It's about a son who has committed a terrible crime, and how basically, although his mother knows that he's done something wrong, she'll protect him and care for him and hide him from the people who are looking for him. It's talking about a mother's love, and how sometimes she will actually go against the morality she feels within herself about what is right and wrong, if the child is endangered."
"Draws its subject from A Book of Dreams by Peter Reich. The book was written as if by a child who was telling of his strange and unique relationship with his father. They lived in a place called Organon, where the father, a respected psycho-analyst, had some very advanced theories on Vital Energy; furthermore, he owned a rain-making machine, the Cloudbuster. His son and he loved to use it to make it rain. Unfortunately, the father was imprisoned because of his ideas."
The Ninth Wave
The side is about someone who is in the water alone for the night.
"And Dream of Sheep"
"is about them fighting sleep. They're very tired and they've been in the water waiting for someone to come and get them, and it's starting to get dark and it doesn't look like anyone's coming and they want to go to sleep. They know that if they go to sleep in the water they could turn over and drown, so they're trying to keep awake; but they can't help it, they eventually fall asleep which takes us into the second song."
"is the dream that the person has. They're skating on ice; it's a frozen river and it's very white everywhere and they're all alone, there doesn't appear to be anyone else there. As they skate along they look down at the ice and they can see something moving underneath. As they skate along with the object that's moving under the ice they come to a crack in the ice; and as it moves under the crack, they see that it's themselves in the water drowning, and at that moment they wake up into the next song, which is about friends and memories who come to wake them up to stop them drowning."
"Waking the Witch"
"As they wake up and surface, they are coming out of the whole feeling of deep subconsciousness. One of the voices tells them there's someone there to see them, and here in the water is a witchfinder. This is a sort of nightmare they're having. This monster figure is basically trying to drown them, trying to see if they're innocent or guilty. If they drown then they're innocent. If they don't drown they're guilty, they'll be drowned anyway. It's the trial of this girl who's in the water; and all she wants to do is survive and keep her head above water."
"Watching You Without Me"
"about how she wants to go home. That's really the thing she wants most, just to be in the cosy atmosphere of her belongings all around her, and the security of those four walls and the firm ground, and being with the one that she loves. She finds that she's there in spirit, and there's her loved one sitting in a chair by the fire, but she hadn't conceived the idea that she wouldn't actually be there in real terms. She's not real. And although she can see her man, he can't see her she can't communicate with him in any way."
"Jig of Life"
"This is about the future self who comes to her rescue, basically. She says "Look, I'm the next part of your life and if I am going to survive and enjoy the things that I've enjoyed having my children, my happy home and my husband then you've got to keep it together, you've got to stay alive, you mustn't drown or I will drown with you." It's the future begging her, pleading with her to let her, the future lady, live."
"this is the point where she's so weak that she relives the experience of the storm that took her in the water, almost from a view: looking down on the earth up in the heavens, watching the storm start to form the storm that eventually took her and that has put her in this situation."
"The Morning Fog"
"Well, that's really meant to be the rescue of the whole situation, where now suddenly out of all this darkness and weight comes light. You know, the weightiness is gone and here's the morning, and it's meant to feel very positive and bright and uplifting from the rest of dense, darkness of the previous track. And although it doesn't say so, in my mind this was the song where they were rescued, where they get pulled out of the water."
I wanted something that was relatively up-tempo, and just a fun song. I don't think the lyrics are by any means profound, but it was something that I felt was fun to do and was a very different energy from the a-side of the record."
"My Lagan Love"
"A traditional song that is one of the most beautiful tunes I think exists in traditional music. And throughout the years, people have used the song and their own versions of the lyrics to it."
"The Handsome Cabin Boy"
"For me it is an absolutely classic story"
"Wuthering Heights (New Vocal)"
"I wanted to put a contemporary mark on it. I felt it sounded like a very little girl singing that to me, and the production was very much a Seventies production. And although there were some other tracks in there that you could say the same thing of, they weren't as blatant as that one was."
"A nightmare vision of the future where music is harnessed by evil scientists as a weapon of destruction."
"The Sensual World"
"Because I couldn't get permission to use a piece of Joyce it gradually turned into the song about Molly Bloom the character stepping out of the book, into the real world and the impressions of sensuality, says Kate, softly, almost childlike. Rather than being in this two-dimensional world, she's free, let loose to touch things, feel the ground under her feet, the sunsets, just how incredibly sensual a world it is."
"Love and Anger"
"This is about who you can or cannot confide in when there's something you can't talk about."
"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."
"I had this lovely conversation with someone around the time I was about to start writing it. They were talking about this star that exploded. I thought it was such fantastic imagery. The song was taking the whole idea of how we cling onto things that change we're always trying to not let things change. I thought it was such a lovely image of people reaching up for a star, and this star explodes. Where's it gone? It seemed to sum it all up really."
"Head's We're Dancing"
"A woman at a dance before the war and this guy comes up to her tossing a coin with this cocky chat-up line, Heads we're dancing. She doesn't recognise him until she sees his face in the paper later on and then she's devastated. She thinks that if she'd known she might have been able to *get* him and change the course of history."
"And this is the idea of someone who spends all their time with their computer and, like a lot of people, they spend an obsessive amount of time with their computer. People really build up heavy relationships with their computers! And this person sees an ad in a magazine for a new program: a special program that's for lonely people, lost people. So this buff sends off for it, gets it, puts it in their computer and then like <pyoong!>, it turns into this big voice that's saying to them, "Look, I know that you're not very happy, and I can offer you love: I'm her to love you. I love you!" And it's the idea of a divine energy coming through the least expected thing."
"Between a Man and a Woman"
"It's about a relationship being a very finely balanced thing that can be easily thrown off by a third party. The whole thing really came from a line in The Godfather, during some family argument, when Marlon Brando says, "Don't interfere, it's between a man and a woman." It's exploring the idea of trying to keep a relationship together, how outside forces can break into it."
"Never Be Mine"
"It's that whole thing of how, in some situations, it's the dream you want, not the real thing. It was pursuing a conscious realisation that a person is really enjoying the fantasy and aware it won't become reality. So often you think it's the end you want, but this is actually looking at the process that will never get you there. Bit of a heart-game you play with yourself."
"I guess it's saying there's nothing wrong with being right here at this moment, and just enjoying this moment to its absolute fullest, and if that's it, that's ok, you know. And it's kind of using the idea of a rocket that's so exciting for maybe 3 seconds and then it's gone [phutt!], you know that's it, but so what, it had 3 seconds of absolutely wonderful..."
"This Woman's Work"
"John Hughes, the American director, was doing a film called She's Having a Baby a great film, very nice and comic. And he had this scene which he wanted me to write a song for where it gets very heavy. The film's about this guy who gets married and he likes being a kid, really very much up in the clouds and she gets pregnant and they go into hospital, and she's rushed off becuase the baby's in the breach position. And suddenly there he is, just left in the waiting room by himself. It's probably the first time in his life he's had to grow up."
"Walk Straight Down the Middle"
"came together very quickly. It's about following either of two extremes, when you really want to plough this path straight down the middle. Rather than "WAAAARRRRGGGGHHHH": being thrown from one end of the spectrum to the other. I'd like to think of myself as holding the centre, whereas in fact I'm "WAAARRRRGGGGHHHH" taking off all the time. "
"Be Kind To My Mistakes"
Kate wrote this for Nicholas Roeg's film Castaway.
"I'm Still Waiting" NO QUOTES
"From the age of 11, Elton John was my biggest hero. I loved his music, had all his albums and I hoped one day I'd play the piano like him (I still do). When I was asked to be involved in this project and was given the choice of a track it was like being asked "would you like to fulfill a dream? Would you like to be Rocket Man? ...yes, I would."
"Candle in the Wind"
NO QUOTES. Notice the apparent simularities between Marilyn Monroe and Kate's life.
On to The Debate about "Gaffa"
written by Love-Hounds
compiled and edited
Sept 1995 June 1996