* * DREAMING * *

A 'Best of' Love-Hounds Collection

The Sensual World

The Songs Pt. 3

"This Woman's Work"
"Walk Straight Down The Middle"

Back to The Sensual World album page

"This Woman's Work"


Date: Thu, 16 Apr 87 14:48:41 EDT
From: Sue Trowbridge <ins aset%JHUNIX.BITNET@wiscvm.wisc.edu>
Subject: Post, post, post...

The new Kate Bush song from "She's Having A Baby" is entitled "Make It Go Away".


From: "Neil B. M. Calton" <nbc@VAX-D.RUTHERFORD.AC.UK>
Date: Thu, 8 Oct 87 10:55:55 bst
Subject: Kate and XTC together


Browsing through a freebie magazine "Top" (Sept.) from Tower in London I came across an interview with Andy Partridge (XTC, Dukes of Stratosphear) which has some interesting revelations in it. Apparently, XTC have just done a track entitled "Happy Families" for a new John Hughes file called "She's Having A Baby". YES - the very same film that Kate is supposed to have contributed a track to! Small world aint it! BTW any confirmation on that Kate track anyone?


Date: Thu, 31 Dec 87 00:56:46 EST
Subject: New Kate Bush Interview.

Here is [an excerpt from] the interview from the new Kate Bush Club newsletter.

Q. Have you been doing other projects besides the album?

A. I've been mainly concentrating on the album and catching up on my life a bit but I did write a song for a film by an American Director.. John Hughes. The piece from the film is extremely moving an I really enjoyed writing to it.. Let's hope when the film is released (hopefully some time in '88) that you get to see it.. the director has a very distinctive style (he directed "Breakfast Club" ..which I really like) and I think this, his lates film "She's Having A Baby" is well worth a watch.


Date: Fri, 22 Jan 88 15:02 PST


The soundtrack album of the new John Hughes movie "She's Having a Baby", starring Kevin Bacon and Elizabeth McGovern, will be released by IRS Records on February 8. Billboard reports that Kate's new song, "commissioned specially for the film," is not called "Make It Go Away", but "This Woman's Work". There will also be tracks by Bryan Ferry and XTC, Everything But the Girl and several other artists. Remember, you heard about it first in Love-Hounds!

-- Andrew Marvick


Date: Mon, 1 Feb 88 16:20:33 PST
From: leo%bartleby.Berkeley.EDU@violet.berkeley.edu
Subject: Re: "She's Having a Baby"

I saw a free sneak preview of the movie without knowing that a Kate Bush song was part of the soundtrack. When I heard the song, I thought to myself, this is one GOOD song but I couldn't believe it was Kate until it was confirmed in the credits. A very beautiful, moving song (this after one listening!)

I have to get the soundtrack now.

Leo Pereira

[Your humble pseudo-moderator also saw a sneak preview of *She's Having a Baby*. The movie is pretty good -- though nothing extraordinary, except for Kate's song, which is a simple and powerful piano and voice number. When I went to see the movie, I was expecting to hear 10 seconds of Kate's new song, and then have it faded down under lots of noise, but I was very pleasantly surprised when the entire song was played without any dialog or noise mixed in. The song occurs during an otherwise silent flashback sequence. -- |>oug ]


Date: Tue, 9 Feb 88 14:16:06 EST
From: puppy%UMASS.BITNET@MITVMA.MIT.EDU (fidelis orozco 413-546-6731)
Subject: The Neon Judgement

Mild "She's Having a Baby" spoiler:

Well, I finally got to see "She's Having a Baby". I found the plot entirely unoriginal. How many times has the "young-boy-finding-himself-married -and-looking-forward-to-leading-a-normal-life-in-suburbia" plot been churned out by the movie industry extolling the virtues of man-at-work and wifey-at-home having the babies. In a typical scene, wifey is having contractions and yells upstairs to hubby that it's time to go the hospital, he runs around frantically packing her bags, runs out to the car and takes off to the hospital without her. Come on John, you can do better than that!

The one redeeming quality of the entire debacle was Kate's song, of course. Bravo Kate! If IED is right, and Kate only spends nominal time writing movie songs, then this song is an example of what a great artist can do with minimal effort. Just think what must be upcoming on KBVI! Kate is in superb vocal form with this. The some of the lyrics are reminiscent of "All the Love". The stupid theater broke the trailer on the film and I was unable to get the title of the song, but happily IED solved that mystery.


From: trwrb!trwrb!cfalex@ucbvax.Berkeley.EDU (Craig F. Alexander)
Date: 20 Feb 88 20:09:39 GMT
Subject: This Woman's Work

Just bought the soundtrack to "She's Having A Baby". The album is marginal but the KATE BUSH track "This Woman's Work" is incredible. Does she plan on re-releasing the track on an upcoming album????


[I can't speak for Kate, but find it very unlikely that "This Woman's Work" will be on an upcoming album of Kate's (unless someday she puts out a special compilation album containing B-sides and other extras. -- |>oug ]


Date: Wed, 24 Feb 88 16:33:17 CST
From: William LeFebvre <phil@rice.edu>
Subject: Re: This Woman's Work

> From: Craig F. Alexander

> Just bought the soundtrack to "She's Having A Baby". The album is marginal but the KATE BUSH track "This Woman's Work" is incredible.

You should hear it in context! WOW! I went to see the movie last Friday. Overall I found the movie somewhat enjoyable and quite funny in spots. But the series of scenes showed while Kate's song is playing and the context in which the song is presented (it's during the movie's climax, if you'll pardon the expression) made it simply phenomenal! T'was worth it just to experience that (of course, I didn't pay full price for the movie.....).

William LeFebvre


Date: Thu, 17 Mar 88 02:16 PST
Subject: This Woman's Work. Orig. Soundtrack

> (no chance to make the same mistakes?)

["first" line in the lyrics:]

This is your hearing of the (extremely hard-to-hear) spoken words in the background just before the main vocal begins, right? IED spent ages going over that one, too. Before giving up, he came to the tentative conclusion that it was a line from the film which Kate re-inserted in her recording. It might be the line that the nurse tells the husband immediately preceding the start of Kate's song. Her words were something like "You'll have to wait in here." IED is too cheap to go see the movie again to figure this problem out, but will have another go at it when it comes out on video in a few months. It's neat to see that other people have been studying the song as closely as you have, though.

-- Andrew Marvick


Date: Thu, 17 Mar 88 07:54:17 PST
From: Douglas Weiman <WEIMAN@SRI-NIC.ARPA>
Subject: David Hsu's T.W.W. lyrics

oh, oh, oh
(You'll have to wait outside, Mr. )
pray God you can cope
I'll stand outside
this woman's work
this woman's word
ooh it's hard on the man
now his part is over
now starts the craft of the father

I forget the character's name, but I think that's what the background words after the intial "oh, oh, oh" is.

Whatdya think?????


Date: Sun, 20 Mar 88 21:25 PST
Subject: TWW comments from J. Drukman

Second, if you think there's "not much" production to "This Woman's Work", then you need to "focus" on the song a lot more! It is very wrong to assume that production is measured by the thickness of the sound or the number of identifiable tracks, or by any such similar quantifying standard. In classical music production, for example, an engineer and a producer sometimes spend entire careers trying to get the sound of their solo piano recordings "up to snuff." Production isn't less present just because its presence is less noticeable.

And among pop production jobs of recent months -- even years -- IED dares anyone to come up with one example that matches or even approaches some of the subtly masterful touches of production in "This Woman's Work". Listen to the mixing and matching of ambient sounds in the transition between the introductory "Ah-ha-oo"s and the line "Pray God you can cope." The difficulty of blending those sounds without damaging the flow or jarringly shifting the dominant volume level at that point, while at the same time including a spoken line in the "background" which contains a different but compatible degree of echo, must be incalculably great.

And listen to the spaces -- the moments of "empty" air, the use of silence in the recording, even at its climaxes. That's the kind of touch that ninety-nine out of a hundred producers could not bring off with the natural, leisurely authority that Kate achieved in "This Woman's Work". And what about the climactic eight bars, near the end of the track? There may not "seem" to be elaborate production in the song, but IED would bet anyone that that section involved a hell of a lot of painstaking production work, involving many more distinct tracks than might be immediately audible. The transparency and clarity of that climax, despite the extraordinary buildup of both volume and instrumentation, are a stunning feat of production.

IED sincerely hopes that you'll take the time to get even more familiar with the song -- familiar enough to realize that it's an extremely good piece of music.

Summation: Are you crazy, or deaf, or wut? "This Woman's Work" is incredibly fucking great, for chrissake!

-- Andrew Marvick


Date: Mon, 15 Aug 88 11:52 PDT
Subject: Ktrivia

Cary Darling of Movie Line, a Hollywood throwaway, commented in the March 4 issue: "<John> Hughes really shows his skill for song selection in She's Having a Baby. Those who see the film can't help but be dazzled by Elizabeth McGovern's childbirth scene, and part of its power is derived from the accompanying song, A Woman's Work <sic> by Kate Bush. With a whisper of luck, the British singer/composer may now start to enjoy the kind of popularity in the U.S. that she has in Europe. This mesmerizing ballad is so strong it almost overwhelms the rest of the soundtrack."

-- Andrew Marvick


Date: Mon, 04 Dec 89 17:20 PST
From: IED0DXM%OAC.UCLA.EDU@mitvma.mit.edu
Subject: TWW

[re Drukman:]

Actually, Drukman, you have as usual failed utterly to realize anything at all! IED is not surprised, but the fact is quite plain (as Ed Suranyi has already noted eloquently) that the single mix of This Woman's Work is very audibly different from the album version! The strings are much more prominent. Furthermore, the lead vocal has been given a slightly more "matte" sound than on the LP. These are not illusions, they are perfectly apparent to anyone who has any ear for musical nuance at all--or to anyone who actually takes the trouble to listen to music before passing judgement on it.

Said differences to the recording having been made for the single release, it would have been "dishonest" of Kate not to have made the plain and factual comment that the single mix differs from that on the album. The idea that Kate is attempting thereby to increase sales is patently absurd. She has several times made it clear that she is extremely sensitive to the changes in audio that radio broadcast of her records can produce in them. As a result, she has made similarly subtle but nonetheless very real changes to several of her earlier recordings prior to their release as singles, and as in all those prior instances, the changes were the product of aesthetic decisions.

It becomes clear that we cannot realistically expect Drukman to cease his postings on the subject of the new album, for he has--despite himself--been undeniably affected by its greatness. What saddens IED more, however, is that hope must be abandoned, as well, that Drukman will make even the feeblest sort of effort to listen and to think before he posts. Drukman's recent screeds on the subject of TSW have been even more heavily laden with factual errors than their predecessors, despite IED's and others' repeated demonstrations of Drukman's apalling propensity for intellectual and musicological carelessness.

At this point, we have no choice but to leave Drukman in the dark, grim morass of slovenly thinking and tawdry subconnoisseurship to which he stubbornly insists on consigning himself. Therefore let us pray to Kate for the departed, once tolerable (if never actually respected) Soul of Drukman, and let us all take heart in the knowledge that he will surely remain ignorant of the tragedy of his own fall from grace. May the scales never fall from Drukman's eyes, lest he recognize his ilk for the poor, benighted, fickle, cynical, Philistine, fad-conscious wretches they are.

-- Andrew Marvick, an unsympathetic, sometimes even unsavory, but always true Kate Bush fan


Date: Tue, 05 Dec 89 13:00 PST
From: IED0DXM%OAC.UCLA.EDU@mitvma.mit.edu
Subject: TWW

[Drukman re TWW:]

> I don't think so. Or, if they are, I can't hear it, and I have (if I say so myself) a pretty good ear for these sorts of things. Maybe they're pushed just the tiniest amount up, but it certainly doesn't qualify for the "single mix" appellation that the EMI cretins have given it.

This is astoundingly stupid. IED just made a comparison of all three mixes of TWW on CD last night, and sure enough the distinctions were just as Ed and IED described them to you, Drukman, and they weren't even subtle differences. Listen to the passages around the line "just can't let it show" and if you have any vestige of musicality, even you will be able to detect the differences in the mix. The differences between the original soundtrack mix and the TSW LP mix are already pretty clear. The difference between the bass line of the TSW LP mix and the new single mix are equally audible.

This being the case, IED points out once more that it would have been dishonest of Kate had she not made the note that this mix is not the same as the LP mix. IED frankly can't understand why this simple bit of factual information should irritate Drukman, unless its true cause is Drukman's pathetic frustration at his own lamentable inability to detect the obvious differences between these mixes.

Incidentally, if you listen closely, you will all be able to detect where the bit of spoken dialogue, heard in the soundtrack mix of the song near the beginning, has been excised. There is an odd kind of noise in exactly that spot on the TSW LP and single mixes.


From: gatech!mit-eddie!eddie.mit.edu!henrik@uunet.UU.NET (Larry DeLuca)
Date: Tue, 5 Dec 89 22:15:01 GMT
Subject: This Woman's Work & This Man's Work

Well, I agree with IED - when I first heard the single mix of "This Woman's Work", I was OVERWHELMED by the strings - they just kind of grab you by the balls and pull out your innards in that way that only Kate Bush can do.

Actually, I also thought of The Beatles' complaints that there was never enough bass in their records - I think this was a play by Kate Bush to get more airplay for her music by generating a sufficiently large sonic vibration in the bass that it would cause the needle to jump off the groove, the record to flip over, and the B-side to play without DJ intervention. ;-)



Date: Wed, 13 Dec 89 00:17:02 EST
From: Tippi Chai <martinn@csri.toronto.edu>
Subject: TWW strange symbol

Let's move on to the strange symbol found on both the 12" and the picture disk single of TWW. It looks (very roughly) like this

( | ) 

On the picture disk, the top part is a circle, and the "stem" reaches only halfway up the circle. The whole symbol is enclosed in double quotes. (On the other side is the message "UP YOURS UGLY", also in double quotes, as been reported by Vishal.)

On the 12" single, the top portion is an elipse, and the stem reaches all the way to the top, so it resembles a "P" that is reflected about its axis. It is not enclosed in quotes and there are no other messages on the disc.

Since it appears on BOTH media, it's worth thinking about, no?


From: pekowsky-larne@CS.YALE.EDU (Larne Pekowsky)
Date: 29 May 90 17:45:09 GMT
Subject: Up yours, ugly

A while back I seem to recall someone asking why "Up your's, ugly" was engraved in the center of one of Kate's singles [TWW-picture disk]. Well, it seems it's a Young Ones reference (as I discovered this weekend during a massive YO-fest). At one point in "Sick" Vyvyan's mum shows up and gives him a bottle of vodka. He eagerly unwraps it and discovers it's all been drunk, and she says something to the effect of "Ha, got you! Up your's ugly!" and leaves. This was a particular disappointment to Vyv, as he had earlier wasted his last bottle trying to blow up Ric and Neil.

Man, I had forgotten just how funny this thing is. We all barely made it past the "tell tale garden Gnome" bit.


Date: Thu, 12 May 94 12:03:54 EDT
From: Andrew B Marvick <abm4@columbia.EDU>
Subject: TWW versions

There are three mixes (that IED knows of) of "This Woman's Work": the original, which includes a very brief, and (to IED) still undeciphered line of dialogue from the movie itself, near the beginning of the track -- this version appeared on the soundtrack CD of "She's Having a Baby", and the spoken words were part of the finished Kate Bush track, not (apparently) added on later; a mix done for The Sensual World by Kevin Killen, which brought the sound of the track into line with the general sonic character of the album -- but with the spoken words removed; and a slightly different-sounding mix of the album mix, released as the CD-single. The three tracks sound much more like each other than unlike each other.


From: chrisw@fciad2.bsd.uchicago.edu (Chris Williams)
Date: Sat, 11 Feb 95 05:00:20 GMT
Subject: Re: This Woman's Work

> Recently, when listening to "This Woman's Work" on Sensual World, I suddenly realised that it sounds like Kate is saying goodbye to her mother, who died just before Red Shoes was released (5 yrs later.) [Strangely, though, the 1st verse of the song sounds like it's about child-birthing, although it does not seem to relate to the rest of the song at all!]

The first line, and the rest of the song, was specifically written for the John Hughes film She's Having A Baby . It directly relates to the action in the film. Hughes lets Kate's song play in full with no additional voices over the montage of the of the husband (Kevin Bacon) worried about his wife's (Elizibeth Perkins) difficult delivery. The film is worth catching, if only to catch how well the song fits into the film. I'd say that (apart from Kate's own film) this is the best usage of Kate's music in a film. Be Kind To My Mistakes works wonderfully in Castaway , but it's used in the opening titles, and would have more impact later.

>Does anyone know if Kate's mum first got sick in 1989? Listen to the song & it really sounds like she's preparing to say goodbye to someone she loves who is dying. Also, it is fascinating to compare it with "Moments of Pleasure", where it sounds like Kate is actually making direct reference back to Woman's Work & hence completing the story about mum:(i.e. "Give me those moments back" - Woman's Work;"Just let us try to give these moments back to those we love, to those who will survive." - Moments of Pleasure.)

Interesting point, and one that I had not noticed. We don't know much about Hannah Bush's illness, when it started or even what it was. The family was, and always has been very protective of each other. We do know that at the time of the 1990 Convention, Hannah was somewhat frail.


"Walk Straight Down The Middle"


From: Graham Bardsley <mcvax!tcom.stc.co.uk!graham@uunet.UU.NET>
Date: 19 Sep 89 12:54:06 GMT
Subject: Cut the crap, cut the cack - heres The Sensual World

(Heres another set of equaly strange words. I think she's talking about Steve Biko but the word Biko in the song is masked a bit by the music.)

Walk Straight Down The Middle

?A warmth? come o'er my legs
Can't say no can't say yes
Can't help myself I need your help

Biko - ooh ooh what do we do we just can't move

----[Actually this "Biko" is "We Go..."!!! :-) --WIE]

We're calling out for middle street
Biko - ooh ooh what do we do we just can't move
We hang on to every line and walk straight down the middle lane

Oh he thought he was gonna die, but he did'nt
And she thought she just could'nt cope but she did
And we thought it would be so hard but it wasn't It wasn't easy at all

Can't say yeh can't say no
Can't begin can't let go

Oh help me now

ooh ooh what do we do we just can't move
We're calling out for middle street
Biko - ooh ooh what do we do now just can't move

We hang on to every line and walk straight down the middle again
Oh he thought he was gonna die, but he did'nt And she thought she just could'nt cope but she did
And we thought it was all over but it wasn't It hadn't started yet no oooooo

oh I (just come for) walk straight down the middle event
oh I (just come for) walk straight down the middle event
oh I (just come for) Brgrgrgrgrgrgrgr Ah Brgrgrgrgrgrgrgr Ah

Oooh oooh, oooh oooh calling out for middle street
Oooh oooh calling out for middle street
Oooh oooh ... [etc]
Walking down the middle street

Well that should give IED something to mull over...

Graham Bardsley


Date: Wed, 20 Sep 89 12:27 PDT
From: IED0DXM%OAC.UCLA.EDU@mitvma.mit.edu
Subject: Kate-echism XXIV.9.xx

>she's talking about Steve Biko but the word Biko in the song is masked by the music. Well that should give IED something to mull over...

>-- Graham Bardsley

It does! But IED doesn't think there's any reference to Biko in the song, Graham. IED thinks she's just saying "We go". Also, the first lines are (as IED hears them): "Can't move my arms/Can't move my legs". She's pronouncing them very unclearly, though, and IED admits he may be quite wrong.

-- Andrew Marvick


Date: Thu, 12 Oct 89 13:14 PDT
From: IED0DXM%OAC.UCLA.EDU@mitvma.mit.edu
Subject: MisK.--Mailbag

[Walk Straight Down The Middle:]

Kate didn't characterize these sounds as bird cries. She only said her mother thought they sounded like a peacock's call. Also, Kate did explain their narrative relevance--they are cries for help. Also, IED suspects that there is more to this song than Kate let on to that "Len Brown" character in the NME interview. Let's just wait a bit and get a few more interviews.

-- Andrew Marvick


From: Doug Alan <nessus@athena.mit.edu>
Date: Wed, 06 Dec 89 14:27:40 EST
Subject: Walk Straight Down the Middle

"Walk Straight Down the Middle", a perfectly wonderful song, was recorded in only two days, and we have to put up with Kate pissing around for *four* years to do an album! I used to always figure that it just took this long for her to record such great music. Now it's clear that Kate just doesn't have a grip on her own ability to spew out masterpieces without even thinking about them. Oh, woe is us!



From: IEDSRI@aol.com
Date: Fri, 27 Jan 1995 12:27:21 -0500
Subject: Walk Straight Down the Middle

Regarding Walk Straight Down the Middle: remember that this song was not part of The Sensual World. It was intended by Kate to be a b-side. Only when EMI requested a "bonus" track for the CD did Kate agree to add WSDtM. You'll notice that there's an unusually long pause between the end of TWW and WSDtM (at least on IED's copy).

The song is NOT, however, a "mistake". It is a supreme masterpiece, and a moment of almost holy, redemptive beauty for our generally shameful and disgusting century.

-- Andrew Marvick (IED)


On to The Reviews

written by Love-Hounds
compiled and edited
Wieland Willker
Sept 1995 June 1996