This week has been rough. Beyond rough really. I’ve needed to conjure up all the strength and music and coffee that I could to get up and get through it. Today was especially hard to get up and get through it. I woke up wanting to stay under the covers, to call in sick to everything, to hibernate. But, there is too much going on with everything, so I had to get up and get through it. As Tori Amos says in “Caught a Light Sneeze”, “I need a big loan from the girl zone”. So, today is going to be nothing but music from my favorite musical girl zone, starting with today’s Song of the Day, “Hounds of Love” by Kate Bush.
“Hounds of Love” by Kate Bush
from the album, Hounds of Love(1985)
Song of the Day
“Now hounds of love are hunting.
I’ve always been a coward.
And, I don’t know what’s good for me.
Here I go.
It’s coming for me through the trees.
Help me, someone.
Help me please.”
“Hounds of Love” is a song written, produced and performed by Kate Bush. It is the title track and the 3rd single released from her #1 1985 album Hounds of Love. The single was released in February of 1986 and reached #18 on the UK Singles Chart.
It was one of the first Kate Bush songs I heard, right after “Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)”. After I heard both I ran to my local record store and bought the album, becoming a fan almost instantly. I’ve never faltered in my love for Kate’s unique sound and songwriting and presentation. Though I sometimes forget my love for her, it is always there.
The song is about being afraid to fall in love; in the song, this feeling is compared to being chased by a pack of hounds. The music video (directed by Bush herself) was inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s film The 39 Steps and Hitchcock also features in the video (a nod to the director’s famous cameo appearances in his movies). (from Wikipedia)
The song itself was inspired in part by an old black and white movie which was sort of a cult classic in Kate’s family titled Night Of The Demon. The movie was about demons who hid waiting in trees – the song’s opening line (in a male voice) “It’s coming! It’s in the trees!” is taken directly from the movie. (from Songfacts)
Fear is a big part of my anxiety right now. Fear of failure, of potential loss, of issues that may not be able to reconcile, and fear of vulnerability. So, this song is poignant and relevant, and I am turning it up FULL BLAST and singing-a-long in an attempt to get up, get through it, and throw my fears “into the lake”.
“Hounds of Love” (live) by Kate Bush
Thanks, Kate Bush. I need this song today.
“You don’t want to hurt me,
but see how deep the bullet lies.”
About the song:
“Running Up That Hill” is a song by Kate Bush, from her 1985 album, Hounds of Love. It was the first single from that album, released in the U.K. in August of 1985. It was also Kate’s first song to be released as a 12″ single.
The song was the most successful of Kate’s 1980’s releases, entering the U.K. chart at #9, and eventually peaking at #3. The single also had an impact in the U.S., providing Kate with her first chart hit in the U.S. since 1978.
Originally the song was to be released as “A Deal with God”, but representatives at EMI were hesitant to release the song with that title owing to possible negative reception because of the use of the word “God”. Kate relented, changing the title.
However, the album version of the song is listed as “Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God)”.
The song has often been misinterpreted. Kate has described the song as following:
“I was trying to say that, really, a man and a woman can’t understand each other because we are a man and a woman. And if we could actually swap each other’s roles, if we could actually be in each other’s places for a while, I think we’d both be very surprised! And I think it would lead to a greater understanding. And really the only way I could think it could be done was either…you know, I thought a deal with the devil, you know. And I thought, ‘well, no, why not a deal with God!’ You know, because in a way it’s so much more powerful the whole idea of asking God to make a deal with you. You see, for me it is still called “Deal with God”, that was its title. But we were told that if we kept this title that it would not be played in any of the religious countries, Italy wouldn’t play it, France wouldn’t play it, and Australia wouldn’t play it! Ireland wouldn’t play it, and that generally we might get it blacked purely because it had God in the title.”
The music video (see below) features Kate performing an interpretive dance with dancer Michael Hervieu. The video was directed by David Garfath while the dance routines were choreographed by Diane Grey.
I’m not sure I ever caught the male and female connotations in the song, nor do I believe it is that simple, dividing gender as diametrical differences, but I do see what is being described. To me, I felt it was more about no one ever understanding completely what it feels like to be in someone’s skin, and that with someone you are close to, be it a lover, a friend, or a family member, if you could swap skin and shoes and existences, if even for a day, what understanding would be gleaned by the experience?
As for God in this song? Me and God have not been such good friends, to the point that I’m not all that sure I believe in such a thing at all. That said, the idea of it, of making a deal with an perceived almighty, well that’s some pretty heady stuff to consider, much less do.
Running Up that Hill :: Kate Bush
from the album, Hounds of Love
Hounds of Love is the title track of the Hounds of Love album by Kate Bush, the third of the album’s four singles. The single was released on February 24, 1986, and reached # 18 in the UK Singles Chart. British band The Futureheads covered the song in 2005, scoring a UK top 10 hit with it.
The song is said to be about being afraid to fall in love; in the song this feeling is compared to being chased by a pack of hounds. The music video (see above) was very much inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s film The 39 Steps and ‘Hitchcock’ also features in the video (a nod to the director’s famous cameo appearances in his movies).
The versions worldwide differ slightly: the US single mix included an additional chorus just after the second chorus. The words “it’s in the trees, it’s coming!” heard at the beginning of the track are sampled from the British 1957 horror film Night of the Demon and are spoken by an actor from the film, Maurice Denham.
In October 2004, Q magazine placed this song at # 21 in its list of the 50 greatest British songs of all-time.
Hounds of Love (the album) is the fifth studio album by the English singer Kate Bush. Released in 1985, it was Bush’s second album to top the UK album charts and is also her best-selling studio album, having been certified Double Platinum in the UK. Four singles were released from the album: Running Up That Hill, Cloudbusting, Hounds of Love, and The Big Sky. Running Up That Hill became one of her biggest hits in the UK and re-introduced Kate Bush to American listeners, receiving considerable airplay at the time of its release.
The album was recorded in a windowless studio that Kate Bush had constructed in a converted barn near her parents’ house in semi-rural East Wickham, south east of London. Kate Bush said to Q magazine:
“People commented on how the album seems very elemental. And I can’t help but put quite a lot of that down to the fact that I moved out into the country. The visual stimulus coming in was that of fields and trees, and seeing the elements doing their stuff.”
In 2002, Q Magazine named Hounds of Love the third Greatest Album of All-Time by a Female Artist, and in 2000, the twentieth Greatest British Album of All Time.
Editor’s Note: Kate Bush’s music, this album especially, feels like dreaming to me. Ethereal and otherworldly at one moment, raw and viscerally emotional the next, this song is one of those that I often go to, and cling to, when seeking writing inspiration.