Example (Basic Template


Introduction 1. Background 2. Opinion 3. Reason for Opinion

Literary Themes in Music: The Case of Kate Bush.
Kate Bush has consistently been regarded as one of England‟s most engaging female singers. Since 1978, when her debut single „Wuthering Heights‟ hit number one in the UK charts, Bush has recorded a string of pop songs about a range of literary themes, which have delighted and enthralled a wide variety of fans and a variety of musicians. Although her music may sound conservative to newcomers of her music, her art is far more challenging, deeper and questioning than most singers in the „pop‟ genre. Bush

herself has claimed to like „the idea of emulating classical music „ (Gill, 2011), but her admirers are a wide-ranging, eclectic bunch: Johnny Rotten, former lead singer of British punk legends The Sex Pistols, called her music „beauty beyond belief‟ (Elan, 2012), and American rapper Tupac

Shakur cited her as one of his favourite artists (Golus 2007 26). Such musicians might have been delighted by Bush‟s vocal histrionics on Wuthering Heights (1977), but in my opinion the beauty of Kate Bush is found in the literary themes and ideas which she has explored in her art throughout her career. This short piece will discuss three literary themes found within her art: love, betrayal and mysteries. It will attempt to describe how such themes might help to deepen our knowledge of foreign culture and subcultures.
Reason 1. 2. 3. Supporting Details Supporting Ideas Supporting Facts

„Wuthering Heights‟, the only published novel from British writer Emily Bronte (1818 – 1848), was a classic novel characterized by the theme of love, a love which is doomed and which turns to destruction. In Bush‟s

same-titled single (1978), the chorus of “Heathcliff, it’s me,

Cathy. I’ve come home - I'm so cold, let me in-a-your window” is a lyric spoken by the character, Catherine, in the novel itself, and is worded so clearly that it could not help but attract those who already loved Bronte‟s novel. Her decision to choose to sing about doomed love, as inspired from this piece of classic literature, began a string of songs in her career about less obvious shades of love. Another example from the same time, „Kashka from Baghdad‟ (1978), saw Bush look at a gay relationship between two Iraqi Moslems, as shown with the lyrics “Kashka from Baghdad lives in sin, they say. With another man, but no one knows who”, and which revealed a willingness to support same-sex love early in her career. Thirty years on, and her willingness to look at less obvious sides of love manifested itself in the more recent „Misty‟ (2011), a song which describes a snowman who makes love to a woman. With the music of Kate Bush, you have to

suspend disbelief and open your mind – even in the theme

of love.

Bush‟s desire to look at the less obvious topics also manifested itself in her explorations of „suffering‟ and „betrayal‟ at the hands of modern technology. Nowhere

more is this more apparent than in the video for „Deeper Understanding’ (2011) in which Robbie Coltrane, the actor popularized to a global audience through his role of Hagrid in Harry Potter, becomes addicted to his computer and finds love and satisfaction from it. The video shows how

computers and screens can fool people and make victims of the lonely and the unaware. When first recorded, Bush said of the song: “(it) is about people... well, about the modern situation, where more and more people are having less contact with human beings. We spend all day with machines; all night with machines. You know, all day, you're on the phone, all night you're watching telly. Press a button, this happens. [...] 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 (Bush, 1989)! In the 20 years which have passed since this quote, the human over-reliance on technology has increased. Her worry about the use of There are

computers has turned out to be a real one.

more and more people who are obsessed about computers and other similar gadgets. Still, her decision to use the actor who plays „Hagrid‟, to represent a lonely obsessive in the 2011 video, is especially powerful for her new audiences today.

Though we might misuse technology by ourselves, Bush has also written about how governments and the military can or could have used technology against the people. On her 1986 album „Hounds of Love‟, this was

shown in both „Experiment IV’ and „Cloudbusting‟.

Experiment IV is a song which appears to be about a scientist or a group of scientists who are working secretly for the military to „make a sound which can kill someone‟. Like with the theme of love, Bush uses Experiment IV to show that something which can give us much pleasure (songs/sound) can also be used to „damage‟ us, with this song describing how technology can be used to control people by governmental powers. Similarly, the lyrics to

Cloudbusting return to the issue of governmental control of technology. The song was inspired by Peter Reich‟s book,

„The Book of Dreams‟ (1973)‟, which was about his scientist father, Wilhelm Reich, a man whose arrest and imprisonment is covered in the video. Reich is taken away

by police because of his invention of a cloudbusting machine, a machine that was said to be able to make rain. In the video, Kate Bush acted as Wilhelm Reich‟s young son, and helps her father develop the machine. Additional themes such as love manifested between father and son,

the importance of perseverance, and the notion that technology can bring happiness and sadness to humanity are also very clearly presented in the video to the song. . Finally, two related themes which Kate Bush has never avoided are the mysteries of God and the mystery of Death. Perhaps her most loved song from the 1980s, „Running Up That Hill’ (1986), saw Bush discuss „making a deal with God‟ and to „exchange places‟ with someone who is alive, though she (as the narrator) is dead. The video,

with the scenes of choreographed ballet, evokes the human desire for a meeting with a higher force, and reminds us of dances from the Sufi religion, or from those created by another artist she wrote about: George Gurdjieff. Similarly, in the more recent „Moments of Pleasure‟ (1993), Bush remembered family members and friends who had died and passed on from this earth. The message of the

song is that every moment in our life is precious – and that

both joy and pain will come our way.

We should help

others when we can because „just being alive can really hurt‟. In her words: ” (T)hese moments given are a gift from time. Just let us try to give these moments back. To those we love (and) to those who will survive”. At the

end of Moments of Pleasure, Bush „talks‟ to friends who have passed away, to the greater unknown – the biggest mystery of all.
Conclusion 1. Final comment 2. Review of Reason 3. Review of Opinion

Kate Bush is an artist who has used pop music to sing songs about significant literary themes and topics. In this

essay, I have discussed how she has used the themes of love („Wuthering Heights‟), of technology („A Deeper Understanding‟) and of the mysteries of life/death („Moments of Pleasure‟) in her work. These literary In my

themes add richness and vitality to her music.

opinion, these themes are the most important part of her

art, an collection of art in which she allows us to consider a range of meaningful issues that we encounter in life and also surround our eventual death.

References Bronte, E (1993). Wuthering Heights. London: Penguin Books. Bush, K (1977). Wuthering Heights. Vinyl Single. Music. Bush, K (1978). Kashka from Baghdad. Song on the LP „Lionheart‟. EMI Music. EMI

Bush, K (1986). Running Up That Hill; Experiment IV and Cloudbusting. Song on the LP „Hounds of Love‟. EMI Music. Bush, K (2011). Misty. Song from the CD ‟20 Words for Snow’. Fish People/EMI Music. Bush, K (2011). Deeper Understanding. Song from the CD ‟Director’s Cut’. Fish People/EMI Music. Bush, K (1985) The Kate Bush Chronicles. KBC Mag 18.

Retrieved May 14, 2012 from http://www.kate-bush-archives.org/kbc-mags/kbc-mag-1 8 Bush, K (1989). BBC Radio 1 Interview (14th October 1989). Retrieved May 14, 2012 from http://gaffa.org/reaching/ir89_r1.html Elan, S (2012). NME.com. „Popwatch: The Greatest Pop Songs In History ? No 11: Kate Bush -Wuthering Heights?‟ Retrieved May 14, 2012 from http://www.nme.com/blog/index.php?blog=148&title=the _greatest_pop_songs_in_history_no_11_&more=1&c=1&tb= 1&pb=1) Gill, A (2011, November 18). The Independent. Interview: Kate Bush: The ice queen of pop returns Retrieved May 14, 2012 from: http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music /features/kate-bush-the-ice-queen-of-pop-returns-626355 9.html

Golus, C (2007). Tupac Shakur. Minnesota: Lerner Publishing Retrieved May 14, 2012 from http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=VndZuYv9u4kC&print sec=frontcover&hl=ja#v=onepage&q=page%201&f=false Reich, P (1973). A Book of Dreams. Dutton Obelisk.

Retrieved May 14, 2012 from

Wuthering Heights Lyrics
Performed by Kate Bush Review The Song (94)

Send "Wuthering Heights" Ringtone to your Cell
I have the original record, The Kick Inside (1978). This is the lyrics at the back cover: Out on the wiley, windy moors We'd roll and fall in green You had a temper, like my jealousy Too hot, too greedy How could you leave me? When I needed to possess you? I hated you, I loved you too Bad dreams in the night They told me I was going to lose the fight Leave behind my wuthering, wuthering Wuthering Heights (Chorus) Heathcliff, its me, Cathy come home

I'm so cold, let me in-a-your window Oh it gets dark, it gets lonely On the other side from you I pine alot, I find the lot Falls through without you I'm coming back love, cruel Heathcliff My one dream, my only master Too long I roam in the night I'm coming back to his side to put it right I'm coming home to wuthering, wuthering, Wuthering Heights (Chorus) Oh let me have it, let me grab your soul away Oh let me have it, let me grab your soul away You know it's me, Cathy (Chorus)

LYRICS We were working secretly For the military. Our experiment in sound, Was nearly ready to begin. We only know in theory

What we are doing: Music made for pleasure, Music made to thrill. It was music we were making here until They told us All they wanted Was a sound that could kill someone From a distance. So we go ahead, And the meters are over in the red. It's a mistake in the making. From the painful cry of mothers, To the terrifying scream, We recorded it and put it into our machine. Then they told us All they wanted Was a sound that could kill someone From a distance. So we go ahead, And the meters are over in the red. It's a mistake in the making. It could feel like falling in love. It could feel so bad. But it could feel so good. It could sing you to sleep ?"I'll bet my mum's gonna give me a little toy instrument!"? But that dream is your enemy. We won't be there to be blamed. We won't be there to snitch.

I just pray that someone there Can hit the switch. But they told us All they wanted Was a sound that could kill someone From a distance. So we go ahead, And the meters are over in the red. It's a mistake we've made.

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