Friday, August 31, 2007

Wuthering Heights - Freaky or Stunning?

A few nights ago, Annie sent me this youtube link of a Music Video of Kate Bush (no, she is NOT related to George W. Bush) singing Wuthering Heights, her debut 1978 single that became an instant hit and remains till this day a hallmark classic. Based on Emily Bronte's only novel and classic of the same name, Kate's Wuthering Heights is a haunting, eerie song that evokes the wretched cajoling of a moor ghost to her star-crossed lover. But what I found really scary, initially at least, was the way Kate Bush sang, danced, glared and clawed in that three minute video as I sat there rapt, horrified yet enthralled by the abject witchiness and ritualistic like atmosphere that she so totally nailed.

To tell you the truth, I'd never heard of Kate Bush at all before then even though she's apparently an iconic artiste in Britain. But I'm not much of a music connoisseur so don't go ballistic. Which was where wikipedia came in handy. I must admit the first viewing sent icy little chills down my spine, I couldn't quite catch the lyrics from the almost whiny, pleading voice but sat rapt and mildly horrified as this crimson blaze of unkempt long hair and sinewy limbs swayed, clawed and sashayed across the screen. It didn't help that it was past midnight and Annie thought that the way she glared at some scenes was exactly the way I glared back in ACS(I).

My internet connection gave out halfway through the performance though having finished loading, it continued and the red shade never ceased her dance. It just struck me as a rather strange and surreal occult ritual albeit a highly charged and intense one. But after watching it a few more times, I started to appreciate it more, especially after I got the lyrics cause even till today I have difficulty catching all of what she's saying. Her mannerisms and spectre-like dancing remain much too distracting.

I'll leave you with the music Video of Kate Bush's Wuthering Heights and the lyrics. Watch it once, twice, then decide. Intense, eccentric, unique, even a little malevolent. It's no wonder people feel so passionately about it. Love it or hate it but you have to admit that Kate Bush is one very unique and talented woman.

Wuthering Heights Lyrics:

Out on the wiley, windy moors
We'd roll and fall in green.
You had a temper like my jealousy:
Too hot, too greedy.
How could you leave me,
When I needed to possess you?
I hated you. I loved you, too.

Bad dreams in the night
You told me I was going to lose the fight,
Leave behind my wuthering, wuthering
Wuthering Heights.

Heathcliff, it's me, your Cathy, I've come home. I´m so cold,
let me in-a-your window

Heathcliff, it's me, your Cathy, I've come home. I´m so cold,
let me in-a-your window.

Ooh, it gets dark! It gets lonely,
On the other side from you.
I pine a lot. I find the lot
Falls through without you.
I'm coming back, love,
Cruel Heathcliff, my one dream,
My only master.

Too long I roamed in the night.
I'm coming back to his side, to put it right.
I'm coming home to wuthering, wuthering,
Wuthering Heights,

Heathcliff, it's me, your Cathy, I've come home. I'm so cold,
let me in-a-your window.

Heathcliff, it's me, your Cathy, I've come home. I'm so cold,
let me in-a-your window.

Ooh! Let me have it.
Let me grab your soul away.
Ooh! Let me have it.
Let me grab your soul away.
You know it's me--Cathy!

Heathcliff, it's me, your Cathy, I've come home. I´m so cold,
let me in-a-your window
Heathcliff, it's me, Cathy, I've come home. I´m so cold,
let me in-a-your window.

Heathcliff, it's me, your Cathy, I've come home. I'm so cold.


Suzie Wong said...

I may be a singer but i've never attempted to even learn this song after once heard someone sang this at a competition. I couldn't make sense of it. But now that you have posted, I've watched the video 3 times and each time getting more fascinated with the music, the lyrics and how so eerily gorgeous she is! The costume is weird, her dance is weird, she is weird but they don't matter because I still love them!

So it brings to mind, don't these older songs have so much more meaning and soul in their contents, compared to now, like "I'm a slave for you?"

Aelgtoer said...

That's exactly the way I feel too Suzie! The first time I heard it, I couldn't catch head or tails of what she was saying and her dancing and mannerisms remained much too distracting.

However after watching the video again along with the lyrics, I've begun to appreciate the talent and weirdness that she so totally nails. She brings the emotions across so forcefully which her strange outfit and moves serve to reinforce.

You can see her singing Wuthering Heights and playing the piano on BBC's Top Pops show in this other youtube video and even though she isn't dancing the sound seems clearer (quality) and her face remains no less expressive.

And yes, you are totally correct, songs those days had so much more soul and meaning. Talents and musical geniuses like Kate Bush can't be compared to 'divas' with the like of B-Spears.

Anonymous said...

She is so freaky! I can't stop laughing though.

Suzie Wong said...

You're to be blame! The first thing i come home (oops! eerie) is to watch more of her videos....

I'm reading all about her, googling her pictures, and found this picture in a pink top, so pretty.

this other video "wow", also very wow leh! Oh i also watching dreaming-the choreo quite interesting again, and the man with child in his eyes....oh she so so pretty in this video, and she sings with a normal voice that's so surprisingly pleasant

any idea how she looks now?

Suzie Wong said...

you gotto watch and listen to "the man with child in his eyes" at

and read some of the comments, exactly how i feel, she has that current pop kind of looks at that time...strange. and my oh my, that song has that effect on me that i keep playing it....uurgh!

savante said...

Interesting! Read Wuthering Heights years back but never thought to see it brought to life as a music vid! By kate Bush no less :)

Aelgtoer said...

@ Suzie: Ha ha, it's certainly addictive isn't it? It's the kind of song that grows on you without you realising it, I guess the weirdness factor is another allure.

I'm not sure how she looks like now but you can google it :) and yep I watched the Man with a child in his eyes video, it certainly seems Kate's one eccentric but talented artiste.

I read with great amusement one of the comments left on the Wuthering Heights BBC MV by a detractor, it reads: "She looks like a crazed maniac here. I wouldn't open my door if I saw that thing standing on my front porch. A real freaky fright show."

Inspite of myself I couldn't help laughing because I can very well picture the person's reaction. Needless to say he or she got flamed like mad. ^^

@ Savante: Personally, I've never read Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights though I did think her sister's Jane Eyre was a real classic.

Apparently Kate Bush's Wuthering Heights song hit ABBA's Take a Chance on me off the top spot and stayed at No 1 for a month when it debuted in 1978. Food for thought. :)

djkitty said...

Hi Aelgtoer! I have been fascinated with Kate Bush since I was like 12 years old and saw the video for Babooshka, where she looks like female viking warrior ( As I got older, I got my hands on The Whole Story, kind of a greatest hits cd, and if you think wuthering heights is lovely, check out the other tracks. She is one of the most prolific songwriters and performers I've ever heard, and I'm sure she was the inspiration for other strong female singers/songwriters (tori amos comes strongly to mind). Also, that version of Wuthering Heights wasn't the first version of the video - here is the first: (it's also interesting to note that she was 19 when she recorded this and only sixteen when she recorded the man with the child in his eyes - one of my alltime favs of hers).