The Top 35 Or So Songs of the 80’s
#03: Kate Bush - Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)
How can a man know what it’s like to be a woman (and vice versa) without any firsthand experience? This is the question behind Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill”. Kate’s answer is a day-in-the-life sexual exchange with her partner, but breaking into the experiential black box requires supernatural intervention. In an interview, Kate said she originally conceived of the song as a deal with the devil but thought God would make a more compelling party to bargain with. Either way, the deal is impossible as the big hypothetical “if I only could” makes clear, and so we’re in the realm of Forbidden Knowledge. The tech-heavy production carves out an icy and distant soundscape, with a big noisy guitar solo and a polyphony of shrieking Bushes thrown in for good measure, but it all serves the premise of the song: Kate Bush, Frustrated Promethean.
I’m trying to decide which version I like better, this one, or Placebo’s cover.