210. Kate Bush – ‘Hello Earth’ (1985)

“I get out of my car
Step into the night
And look up at the sky
There’s something bright, travelling fast
Just look at it go”

Taken from the album Hounds Of Love

It’s funny how someone can make an offhand comment, and it changes your view of something else forever. I was once reading something, somewhere on the internet, long ago and a writer said that this line from ‘Hello Earth’,

“Watching storms start to form
Over America
Can’t do anything
Just watch them swing with the wind out to sea”

reminded them of the September 11 attacks on New York City. Think of the line with the image in mind of the two towers billowing smoke, representing the “storms”, slowly moving out to sea while we, the world, are helpless. Of course Kate Bush didn’t travel sixteen years into the future but it’s uncanny how I can now see ‘Hello Earth’, and it’s dark atmosphere in the context of that tragedy. It has that feeling about it. It’s not a happy song.

This song really is a masterpiece, perfectly mapping out all intentions and fulfilling all goals. The world is created around Kate’s lyrics, aspects of every song prior to ‘Hello Earth’ are brought back for a reprise, and this becomes the dramatic high point of the record. When Kate yells “Murderer! Murder of calm!” it’s like the old Kate, the theatric Kate from the Lionheart years, has come to visit us, but now with so much more experience and knowledge, she is able to inject much more venom into her words.

In the middle of ‘Hello Earth’, a Russian or Czech mens choir appears, and they sing for what feels like an eternity, this long, drawn out choral passage. It is so creepy. I remember being a weirdo teenager, sitting at the computer and listening to ‘Hello Earth’, staring at this light in the distance out the window. The back of my house is all bush, I have no idea where the light came from, but I would stare at it and listen to this scary, weird song with all these men singing from who knows how long ago. They’re probably all dead now, aren’t they? That freaks me out something chronic, I tell you.

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