Kate Bush regrets the title of her biggest hit

Kate Bush

Kate Bush’s mesmerizing song “Running Up That Hill” achieved the exceptional recognition of becoming a two-time hit. At first, she released it as the lead single for her fifth studio album, “Hounds of Love,” in 1985.  It achieved the third position on the UK chart. Almost four decades later, Netflix’s “Stranger Things” featured the song, reviving its popularity. This led the song to claim the number-one spot in eight different countries.

In a 1985 interview, Bush described the lyrics of the song. She explained that the lyrics revolve around a profound love between a man and a woman, where the intensity of their relationship creates insecurities and challenges due to its powerful nature. The song itself featured bouncy synths and Bush’s unique vocals as she considered themes of relationships, gender, and supernatural involvement.

Bush thought that a body swap, similar to the concept in the movie “Freaky Friday,” could help reduce those insecurities. The song suggests that if the couple could swap roles and attain a better understanding of each other’s viewpoints, their issues would disappear. “I believe it would result in a deeper understanding,” Bush stated. At first, Bush could only imagine this occurring through a contract with a higher power.

After speculating about the possibility of making a deal with the devil. Bush eventually decided on a deal with God. She proposed that “in a way, it’s far more powerful, the entire concept of requesting God to enter into a pact with you.” Thus, the iconic chorus of ‘Running Up That Hill’ came into existence.

Throughout the song, Bush assertively states, “And if I only could, I’d make an agreement with God.” She expresses her desire to exchange places with Him. This core concept drives the song’s lyrics. It drove Bush to originally intend to title the track ‘Deal With God.’ To her, that remains the song’s name.

Kate Bush stated, “For me, it’s still called ‘Deal With God.’ That was the original title.” However, they offered advice that maintaining this title might obstruct the song’s release in countries with strong religious sensitivities. Additionally, they warned that it could potentially face censorship due to the inclusion of the word ‘God.’  This appeared completely illogical to me, and the title was crucial to the song’s core. I couldn’t understand it.”

However, Kate Bush compromised on the title, substituting ‘Deal With God’ with ‘Running Up That Hill.’ Certainly, ‘Deal With God’ is a title more easily recalled and more faithful to the core of the song. As expected, this change in the name is a choice that the songwriter regretted afterward.

She conveyed, “I thought I needed to take a mature approach, so we modified it to ‘Running Up That Hill.’ Nevertheless, it’s a decision I’ve always regretted, I must admit. Typically, I regret any compromises I make,” she concluded. Despite the name change that she regretted, ‘Running Up That Hill’ resulted in an iconic television scene, stands as one of Bush’s most significant hits, and remains one of the most cherished songs of all time.



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