Kate Bush

Kiss me Kate!

The Sensual World

Kate Bush
Kate Bush is a British rock singer who has a reputation for testing the boundaries of her medium. Well known for her amazing vocal range that can almost instantly swoop from a sharp wail to a dreamy whisper, her music blends many diverse styles, from traditional Irish folk to modern pop to melodic and ethereal ambience. The subjects of her songs are often complex, exploring the highs and lows of human emotion, and often drawing on such themes as religion, literature, history, and mythology. She has worked with many artists during her career, including Peter Gabriel and Nigel Kennedy.

"The Sensual World" from The Sensual World

This song is the title track on Kate Bush's 1989 CD, The Sensual World. The lyrics are taken from Molly Bloom's soliloquy at the end of Ulysses. Kate Bush is the perfect musical interpreter for the erotic dreaminess of Molly's last thoughts. The song is quite lovely, opening with chiming bells and evolving into a sensual, churning rhythm, her breathy vocals weaving around various instrumental solos, including a nicely placed melody played on Irish pipes and a tin whistle.
Woj, a friend who runs many rock and pop mailing lists, tells me this about the song:

" The Sensual World" was originally written using Molly's soliloquy, but the Joyce estate refused Kate's request for permission to release the song that way. Thus, she rewrote the lyrics, somehow managing to maintain the meter and, more importantly, the feel of the original. A couple people from Love Hounds (the Kate Bush Internet Mailing List) used the instrumental version of the song from the 12" single to recreate the original (the new vocals were sung by Jenn Turney and the recording was done by Jon Drukman) and it's even more remarkable that both versions are equally effective.


"The Sensual World"

Mmh, yes,

Then I'd taken the kiss of seedcake back from his mouth
Going deep South, go down, mmh, yes,
Took six big wheels and rolled our bodies
Off of Howth Head and into the flesh, mmh, yes,
He said I was a flower of the mountain, yes,
But now I've powers o'er a woman's body - yes.
Stepping out of the page into the sensual world.
Stepping out.............
To where the water and the earth caress
And the down of a peach says mmh, yes.
Do I look for those millionaires
Like a Machiavellian girl would?
When I could wear a sunset, mmh, yes,
And how we'd wished to live in the sensual world.
You don't need words - just one kiss, then another.

Stepping out of the page into the sensual world.
Stepping out, off the page into the sensual world,
And then our arrows of desire rewrite the speech, mmh, yes,
And then he whispered would I, mmh, yes,
Be safe, mmh, yes, from mountain flowers?
And at first with the charm around him, mmh, yes,

He loosened it so if it slipped between my breasts
He'd rescue it, mmh, yes,
And his spark took life in my hand, mmh, yes,
I said, mmh, yes,
But not yet, mmh, yes,
Mmh, yes

Links/CDs/Sound Samples

GaffaWeb is one of the best Kate sites on the Web, and comes highly recommended. It holds many images, lyrics, links, and the Kate Bush FAQ.

Here is the Kate Bush card over at the Ultimate Band List.

The Sensual World is put out by Columbia Records, and has the serial number: CK 44164.

You can purchase Kate Bush CDs, browse other discs, or listen to sound samples at Amazon.com below:

The Sensual World
Kate Bush / Audio CD / Released 1989

--A. Ruch
15 December 2000
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