This piece was inspired by a member of the FHR Facebook page querying mention of Kate Bush on the group; it struck me suddenly that many people may not understand why this pop-star has such a hold on the hearts of those who grew up in a certain time, in a certain place, and why she is so indelibly linked with that particularly eccentric Englishness that is a core of folk horror. There is the same dark and capering glee in Kate’s work, a mindset that makes dressing up as itinerant monks to perform ‘Running Up That Hill‘ on Wogan seem perfectly normal, as there is in the concluding procession of The Wicker Man, as there is in Cotswold cheese-rolling and the fireworks of Lewes. There is the delight in sun-kissed mornings and the melancholy of mist-shrouded nights, there is the sadness of loss and the purity of love.
I’m not attempting to write a biography, there are better ones out there, but simply to select an hour’s-worth of music that, for me, exemplify this claim that Kate Bush has to part of the folk horror pantheon and that inspire something in me, personally. This selection will be challenged, I am sure, as there are what many people will consider to be glaring omissions. I’ve not included ‘Wuthering Heights’ because, well, it’s ‘Wuthering Heights’ and is very much its own work as well as having a tendency to dominate collections. Neither ‘Waking The Witch’ nor ‘Jig Of Life’, perhaps obvious choices, make appearances here; sadly, other tracks from Hounds Of Love took precedence. There are probably rare b-sides or alternate versions that could’ve made the cut, if only I had heard them.
I’ve enjoyed sitting with these songs for a while, listening more intensely than I have done for some time.
I hope you do too.
Continue reading “JUST SAYING IT COULD EVEN MAKE IT HAPPEN: A short introduction to folk horror in the work of Kate Bush”