Running Up That Hill

Yes, Kate Bush  was actually part of the Olympic Closing Ceremony.

To watch the video click on the small YouTube icon in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen to start it. Then enlarge the screen. To come back here, close the YouTube tab  or close your screen and start over.

I really didn’t understand or appreciate the glimpses I had of it during the original broadcast… what were they doing with those ginormous sugarcubes, why were all those dancers writhing on the (newsprint) stage wrapped in what looked like bandages and then throwing themselves prone at the base of the “hill”, and what did the drummers have to do with anything?

North American audiences were badly served, with cuts to the broadcasts to permit commercials. I am not even sure that her name nor the name of the song, Running Up That Hill, were announced.

I can tolerate a fair amount of ambiguity and I love puzzles… no spoilers or obvious hints, please… but this was utterly meaningless until I started researching it on-line.

Now that I know a little more, I am still confused. The boxes, apparently represent each of the game events, and were erected in a  pyramid to match the song and the efforts of the athletes.  (Okay… a pyramid  in the center of the flag shaped stage, beside a flaming torch, surrounded by triangular light standards,  in a circular stadium…??? )

It comes as no surprise that Kate Bush did not appear in person. She made only one performance tour and despite her fame, has lived as a recluse.  She allegedly hates to  fly… smart lady! She also continues to make her art, on her own terms, without selling out to popular demands.

To what extent are the stories we hear about the drug wrecked lives of star performers caused by the stress and exhaustion of constant touring and live performance?

(The great Canadian pianist Glen Gould also eventually refused to play in public. I saw him in a rare concert early in his career at Stratford, Ontario.  A university student, I had no idea at the time what a big deal this would become. I did know that the Bach was amazing and that the man at the piano, on his tiny chair, humming along and making strange faces and sounds, was beyond eccentric!)

Back to Kate… here is the original video of Running Up That Hill…  and the lyrics… And if I only could, I’d make a deal with God…

It doesn’t hurt me.
Do you want to feel how it feels?
Do you want to know, know that it doesn’t hurt me?
Do you want to hear about the deal that I’m making?
You, It’s you and me.

And if I only could,
I’d make a deal with God,
And I’d get him to swap our places,
Be running up that road,
Be running up that hill,
Be running up that building.
Say, If I only could, oh…

You don’t want to hurt me,
But see how deep the bullet lies.
Unaware, I’m tearing you asunder.
Ooh, There is thunder in our hearts.

Is there so much hate for the ones who love?
Tell me we both matter don’t we?

You,
It’s you and me,
It’s you and me who won’t be unhappy.

And if I only could,
I’d make a deal with God,
And I’d get him to swap our places,
Be running up that road,
Be running up that hill,
Be running up that building.
Say, If I only could, oh…

You,
It’s you and me,
It’s you and me who won’t be unhappy.

Come on baby, come on darling
Let me steal this moment from you now
Oh come on angel, come on come on darlin’
Let’s exchange the experience oh…

And if I only could,
I’d make a deal with God,
And I’d get him to swap our places,
Be running up that road,
Be running up that hill,
With no problems…

Say if I only could,
I’d make a deal with God,
And I’d get him to swap our places,
Be running up that road,
Be running up that hill,
With no problems…

Say if I only could,
I’d make a deal with God,
And I’d get him to swap our places,
Be running up that road,
Be running up that hill,
With no problems…

Say, If I only could…
Oh…
Be running up that hill,
With no problems…

If only I could,
Be running up that hill…

This media interview is well worth watching… Kate Bush not only remarkably beautiful and intelligent. She is a gifted performer, a unique and dynamic creative leader, unafraid of challenging conventions and breaking new ground for all the artist (male or female) who followed her.

  10 min doc

More to come…

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