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The Origin of The Sensual World. 'Antice, dzanam, Dusice'?

From: Wieland Willker <>
Date: Sun, 28 Jan 1996 14:11:13 -0100
Subject: The Origin of The Sensual World. 'Antice, dzanam, Dusice'?
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The Origin of The Sensual World 

'Antice, dzanam, Dusice' ?

What follows are four articles taken from the LH-archive. They discuss to some 
extent the traditional origin of the song The Sensual World. They also show
IED in 
top condition. :-)
Maybe some knowledgable person can point us to a commercially available source 
of this music? *Helpful* comments welcome. 

The Archive says:"I tell you the truth!"

"And what is truth?" Pilate asked.


From: (Leo Breebaart) 
Subject: Dutch Kate Bush review + accusation 
Date: 30 Oct 89 12:09:05 GMT 

Anyway, with everybody posting magazine reviews and articles about Kate's new 
album, I thought that at least for completeness' sake, it might be
interesting to let 
you know what Holland's leading music magazine 'Oor' has to say about it. 'Oor' 
means 'Ear', and qua contents it is like the Dutch Rolling Stone, and
heavily biased 
towards the more 'alternative' circuit, which over here does not really
include Kate. 

[Now for the second, more interesting piece, which appeared two weeks later in 
'Oor' Nr. 21, 21 october 1989:] 

BUSH FRAUD ? [In Dutch: 'Bush Bedrog?', a nice alliteration] 
'The Sensual World' is the name of the new single by Kate Bush. Although, 
'new'? I have known the melody which her accompanist Davy Spillane plays in
song on bagpipes for years. 
In the fall of 1985 I was going to interview Kate Bush in England. Because she 
then already had shown her love for (Irish) folk music, I had brought a
cassette of 
my folk favourites. The interview first was cancelled, but after a few days
La Bush 
called me after all at home (collect). The interview was never published
(too thin), 
but I did send her the tape afterwards. On that tape was the [?] from
Macedonia originating 'Antice, dzanam, Dusice', performed by the Haagse [i.e. 
from The Hague] ensemble Calgija, conducted by etnomusicologist Wouter Swets. 
Originally a song about a poor girl who had to take care of her younger
sister, and 
therefore couldn't get a husband; in Swets' (instrumental) version almost as 
beautiful as 'Mother Nature's Song' by the Beatles. 
According to the booklet of the LP and CD 'The Sensual World' the title song 
was written by La Bush herself: not true. Was this traditional melody
suggested to 
her by the Trio Bulgarka, guests on the album, or did my cassette reach her
address in Kent, after all? 
[by Jan Libbenga] 


Date: Tue, 31 Oct 89 17:44 PST 
Subject: Dutchman's allegations of Kate Bush "fraud" 

A recent Love-Hounds posting (IED is greatly indebted to the transcriber, to 
Vickie Mapes--via Larry Hernandez--for calling IED's attention to it, and to 
Michael Butler for reading it over the phone to him), taken from an article
in the Dutch music journal Ur (#21, October 21, 1989), has moved IED to do a
research on his own, and he has a few observations to make now. 
First, what exactly happened between Mr. Libbenga and Kate? Mr. Libbenga 
more or less admits that he never actually had any personal contact with
Kate. In 
fact, it seems that whatever telephonic communication he had with her was too 
"thin" to fill even the brief kind of interview-article now considered adequate 
among contemporary-music publications. Nevertheless, we are told, Mr. Libbenga 
"sent Kate" a tape of folk music. It is not clear to what address this tape
was sent, 
but there can be no doubt that Kate and her brothers are recipients of a vast 
number of such tapes each year, and we cannot assume that Kate ever heard Mr. 
Libbenga's tape, nor that, if she did hear it, she was aware from whom the
tape had 
come. Paddy Bush, we know, has an enormous collection of tape-recordings of
music, and presumably Kate's exposure to these and other collections is
casual, even 
chaotic, at times. 
We also have the information that Kate called Mr. Libbenga "collect". And why 
not? Mr. Libbenga had asked for an interview with Kate Bush, and--almost
because he had associated himself with a Dutch music journal--he was granted
Perhaps his evident pique at being asked to pay for the cost of the
interview was a 
partial cause of the succeeding interview's suspicious "thinness"? We cannot
What of the question of "fraud", then? There can be no question that the 
recording heard on Kate's album is completely different from the recording
by Mr. Libbenga. The choice of Uillean pipes, Greek bouzouki and Irish
fiddle as the 
instrumentation of the "air" in question is surely original--particularly
if, as Mr. 
Libbenga claims, the melody is Macedonian. (Macedonia is a part of what is now 
Whatever similarity does exist between Mr. Libbenga's Dutch tape and Kate's 
The Sensual World must, therefore, be strictly limited to the melody itself.
It would 
be unwise to take any stranger's word for it that one melody is "the same" as 
another without hearing the two recordings oneself; in this case it would be
unwise, for we know already that Mr. Libbenga apparently had some reason for 
harboring a grudge against Kate (for calling "collect", and for failing to
oblige him 
with a "thick" enough interview to further his career), and we also know
that Mr. 
Libbenga has described his original tape recording as sounding much like The 
Beatles' recording of Mother Nature's Son --a comparison which, in IED's
puts in the gravest doubt Mr. Libbenga's claims about the likeness of his
tape to 
Kate's recording! 
Two other points are in order. First, it will be remembered that the author
of the 
interview with Kate which was published recently in New Musical Express twice 
referred to Kate's instrumental material from The Sensual World as a
air". We need not be in any doubt that this knowledge was not the author's
own, but 
was transmitted to him by Kate Bush herself. (There is little likelihood
that a staff 
writer for New Musical Express could distinguish a Macedonian air from a
plate of 
peas.) Therefore, assuming that the origin of the melodic material is
Kate has already proven herself perfectly forthcoming on the issue. 
The second point is that, however Kate became acquainted with the melody, its 
folk origins place it squarely in the public domain, and therefore any
question of 
"fraud" is moot. 
Despite this fact, it is significant that Kate has always been perfectly
willing to 
identify elements of her music which are borrowed from traditional sources.
In fact, 
Kate was openly apologetic when, through a label typo by EMI, credit for the 
composition of The Handsome Cabin Boy was given to her (the song is
Similarly when My Lagan Love was released Kate was very explicit about the 
traditional origin of the music vs. the John Carder Bush-originated lyrics
she used 
for the song. And again when describing the use of a traditional melody in
Earth Kate was admirably forthright in ascribing its origins to the
soundtrack of 
Werner Herzog's film Nosferatu. (She also thanked Herzog and the film's 
soundtrack supervisor Florian Fricke in the liner notes of Hounds of Love .)
still another time, Kate went out of her way to identify a rhythm she used
in Jig of 
Life as coming from Greek folk sources. 
Given this proven honesty on Kate's part in the past, IED can see no reason for 
doubting her when she claims that her recording, The Sensual World, is
her own work. IED thinks the most likely explanation is that a minimum of
material was adapted--with at least some changes and probably considerable 
variation and development--by Kate from traditional Macedonian sources,
but by no means certainly through exposure to Mr. Libbenga's homemade 
compilation of public-domain traditional music; and that, following its
novel and 
radical re-instrumentation and arrangement by Kate with the aid of Irish
she rightly felt that such a natural absorption of folk elements in her work
did not 
jeopardize her status as creator of the final recording. And despite this,
she has 
apparently been quite willing to identify the Macedonian roots of a (no
doubt small) 
part of her recording's elaborate counter-melody. 
All in all, IED can find no justification for Mr. Libbenga's quibble with Kate; 
indeed, IED sees far more evidence to doubt both the legitimacy of Mr.
musical expertise and the honorability of his motivation for making these
-- Andrew Marvick 


Date: Fri, 03 Nov 89 11:17 PST 
Subject: MisK. and KT NEWS 

The new Kate Bush Club Newsletter has finally arrived. 
There's an article by Paddy in which (irony of ironies) he thanks an
Dutch person for giving them a tape of Macedonian music which they ended up 
using (very loosely) for The Sensual World, and asking the Dutchman to get
in touch 
with them so that they can give him credit! Seems this Dutch bastard just
keep his mouth shut long enough, but had to go and accuse Kate of "fraud" the 
second he heard the song. IED bets he regrets his nasty-mindedness now! And 
apparently he never made his bloody identity clear to the Bushes anyway! 


From: (Leo Breebaart) 
Subject: Kate Bush vs. the Dutch Magazine 'Oor' 
Date: 19 Dec 89 08:43:11 GMT 

A month or so ago, I posted a translation of an article in a Dutch music
in which Kate Bush was accused of falsely taking writing credit for the song
Sensual World', and ... oh heck, I'll repeat the translation further on in
this posting. 
I didn't get much response from the Love-Hounds, except - of course - for
IED, or 
rather Andrew Maverick, who (at my suggestion) composed a letter, which I 
subsequently send to the editors of the magazine. I had already forgotten
about it 
when a few days ago I got a reply from the journalist who wrote the original
Just for completeness' sake, I thought it might be interesting to let this
know the final outcome of this matter. 

In regard to Mr. Libbenga's accusation that the English recording artist Kate 
Bush was deceitful in failing to identify the traditional source of a part
of her recent 
record, "The Sensual World": I would like to make several important points. 
First, Mr. Libbenga seems to have been primarily upset because he had not 
received any personal credit on Ms. Bush's album, even though he himself 
apparently did nothing more than make her aware of a piece of traditional 
Macedonian folk music. 
Second, Ms. Bush has in fact been more than forthcoming about the traditional 
elements in the record--in a recent interview in England's music journal "New 
Musical Express" she expressly identifies the record's counter-melody as a 
Macedonian folk tune. 
Third, Ms. Bush's use of this folk music (which is, of course, entirely in the 
public domain) occupies a minimal role in the overall effect of her
recording: only 
the most basic melodic cell is retained from the Macedonian source, and this is 
confined to an instrumental countermelody which never assumes dominance 
over--and in fact is drastically altered to accomodate--Ms. Bush's original
melody-line. And as if these substantive changes to the music were not
enough to explain the crediting of the recording to Ms. Bush, she
re-arranged the 
Yugoslavian motif for a unique combination of Irish, Greek and electronic 
Finally, I would like to point out that, in an article written by Ms. Bush's
Paddy and published (before Mr. Libbenga's sour-toned, petty article ever
went to 
press) in the most recent issue of the "Kate Bush Club Newsletter", a
special appeal 
was made to the "Dutch person" who had sent Ms. Bush the tape of the original 
Macedonian melody to let them know his identity, so that they could give him
for the service he did them. It seems that Mr. Libbenga never properly
himself to the Bush family in the first place! 
Taking these facts into account--and considering that Ms. Bush has always been 
scrupulously honest and generous in crediting any and all musicians and
sources for 
their help in creating her own indisputibly original and masterful music--I
think Mr. 
Libbenga ought to be ashamed of himself for having accused this supremely 
honourable British musician of deceit. He owes Ms. Bush an apology. 
-- Andrew Marvick 

Dear Leo, 
Thanks for sending the reactions of Andrew Maverick from Los Angeles. I should 
answer his letter personally, but I get the impression that he has never
read the 
article in question himself and that you must have translated it (I am
assuming that 
you are corresponding Bush-fans). 
My article got somewhat of a wry after-taste because an editor put "Fraud?" 
above it, much against my wishes (I only saw it after the issue had been
Read the article without that heading and it gets a lot more friendly. 
Strictly speaking it should have been mentioned on the album that the melody 
originated with the group Calgija. The melody in question is *not* in the
domain' as your acquaintance suggests, but is an instrumental interpretation
of a 
vocal (!) piece by Wouter Swets from The Hague. Copyright exists just as
much for 
arrangements of folk music. The arrangement has been used un-altered (I only 
noticed this later). This is not necessarily 'negligence' on the part of
Kate Bush; the 
responsibility belongs in the first place with her record company EMI. 
Meanwhile, I now know about the Kate Bush Club Newsletter, and there has 
been contact with the management. Accompanying my cassette was a letter
(send via 
EMI, as requested by Kate Bush) and they lost it. That I did not receive
'credit' on 
the record is not important, if you had read (and translated) my article
well, you 
would have seen that I leave it open from whom she got the melody. It was
not out 
of spite, but out of pure astonishment that I wrote the article. In short: I
pleasantly surprised, and play 'The Sensual World' with joy. 
Jan Libbenga 

- I think this is a *very* reasonable letter. What he says makes perfectly good 
sense to me, and does not ring false. In fact, it was a nice surprise to
actually receive 
a reply from 'the man himself', because I was expecting nothing more than a
- He only allows himself one sly dig at the end: "If you had read (and
the article well...". I can say nothing else than that he is right, and very
smart as 
well: IED indeed did *not* see the original translation. At first he had
written a 
longer and much more vicious letter, purely based on a verbal account
someone gave 
him of the article (we all know how IED gets when Kate is done an
injustice!). I 
pointed out some mistakes to him, and he rewrote the letter accordingly.
the part about Jan Libbenga wanting credit for himself was indeed still
wrong, and 
it is my mistake that I did not 1) tell IED this, and let him rewrite again;
or 2) send 
him a transcript of the original article, so that he wouldn't have made the
mistake in 
the first place. This was completely my responsibility, and Jan Libbenga
does not fault IED for this. 
- Afterthought. At first I thought it would be nice to return the courtesy
to Jan, 
and write him a personal letter as well, explaining the context in which all
of this 
has taken place (i.e. Usenet & On second thought, seeing
as how the 
discussion is actually about the unauthorized use of copyrighted material, I
think it 
might be wiser not to tell him that I translated his article, without any
kind of 
permission whatsoever, and distributed it for hundreds if not thousands of
people to 
see... :-) 
Once again going back into passive Gaffa Watching Mode, 
Leo Breebaart