Friday, 3 October 2008

UnderRated: Kate Bush

I remember my first sight of Kate Bush in a video on Top of the Pops when she had just got to Number One with 'Wuthering Heights'.

This strange, huge-eyed waif-like creature, all pointy fingers, floaty frock and surrounded in a cloud of dark curly hair.

Pulling her body into all sorts of strange shapes and contortions which were totally at odds with her glam/rock/disco/punk contemporaries. And all the while warbling and yodelling about Heathcliff and Kathy. It was something totally different to anything I had ever seen before and the song was sooooo catchy.






Pamela Stephenson did this fantastic spoof of that performance in a sketch on Not the Nine O'Clock News.



Kate was one of those elusive stars who never quite fitted into any definite musical category but she captured my imagination and her singles were never a disappointment. Babooshka, The Man with the Child in his Eyes, Running up that Hill, Cloudbusters and Dont Give Up, which she did with Peter Gabriel. Soulful, plaintive earworms with an amazing depth of feeling in the story behind them.

But, in recent years, it is this one which has remained with me. It was the theme tune to one of those ITV emotional dramas a couple of years back and summed up the state of my marriage post-children pretty succinctly. Almost succeeded in encapsulating the immense regret and deep sadness that I could no longer do or be what he needed, give what he wanted with nothing in return.


Pray God you can cope.
I stand outside this woman's work,
This woman's world.
Ooh, it's hard on the man,
Now his part is over.
Now starts the craft of the father.

I know you have a little life in you yet.
I know you have a lot of strength left.
I know you have a little life in you yet.
I know you have a lot of strength left.

I should be crying, but I just can't let it show.
I should be hoping, but I can't stop thinking

Of all the things I should've said,
That I never said.
All the things we should've done,
Though we never did.
All the things I should've given,
But I didn't.

Oh, darling, make it go,
Make it go away.

Give me these moments back.
Give them back to me.
Give me that little kiss.
Give me your hand.

(I know you have a little life in you yet.
I know you have a lot of strength left.
I know you have a little life in you yet.
I know you have a lot of strength left.)

I should be crying, but I just can't let it show.
I should be hoping, but I can't stop thinking

Of all the things we should've said,
That we never said.
All the things we should've done,
Though we never did.
All the things that you needed from me.
All the things that you wanted for me.
All the things that I should've given,
But I didn't.

Oh, darling, make it go away.
Just make it go away now.

8 comments:

Jennybean said...

That's some crazy shit...

L. said...

Kate is one of my top faves from way back. I remember getting a book on her life for Christmas when I was a teen. The phrase that stood out from that book (and I still remember it): "Kate Bush is a woman who looks like she menstruates." It struck me as an interesting way of summing her up.

scarlet-blue said...

Her voice takes me back into the past, she's brilliant. And as you say she is much underrated. I remember 'Oxygen'; was it supposed to be about nuclear fallout or something? It really frightened me at the time. Haunting.
Sx

The Troll said...

She's so under-rated that The Troll had never heard of her.

Interesting highly original style.

Apollo Unchained said...

Of course I've heard of Kate Bush for years but am embarrassed to admit that until now I've neither heard nor seen her.

Really enjoyed that video, makes me think of other highly original artists who combine a lot of performance with their music, like David Byrne or Laurie Anderson.

admin said...

"Kate Bush is a woman who looks like she menstruates." It struck me as an interesting way of summing her up.


agree - that just does sum her up - and I'd never heard that before - thanks for the quote, who was the author of that quote? (do you remember)?

L. said...

I'm not sure who the quote came from exactly. I suspect it *might* have been Fred Vermorel in the "Secret History of Kate Bush: And the Strange Art of Pop". The early 80s edition looks about right.

admin said...

tks L :)