IN THIS (PANDEMIC) TIME
Rare and Remastered Cuts from Kate Bush CONTENTS
- INTRO: Rare Artist, Rare Songs
- PLAYLIST: Rare and Remastered on YouTube
- LYRICS: Mná na hÉireann (Women of Ireland)
IN THIS (PANDEMIC) TIME is a Kurated series informed by COVID-19.
KATE BUSH: RARE ARTIST, RARE SONGS
Today’s Kate Bush Rarities playlist is the result of one of those millions of interactions that wouldn’t have happened outside the COVID-19 quarantine. In April my friend and gym buddy Michael Jenner and I were lamenting via email the closing of our community fitness centre. Hard to get in a workout in the living room we both noted. Not much equipment to work with either.
So I offered to lend him some extra weights I had lying around. When we made the physically distant exchange a few days later he shared a couple of cds he’d burned. One of them features 19 rare tunes from veteran British performer, dancer, record producer and composer Bush.
Michael is a very big fan. He’s always glad to share his enthusiasm be it marvelling at – and quoting – her lyrics or noting her groundbreaking technical knowledge and virtuosity.
I’ve trimmed his playlist to my nine favourites which include a superb cover of Marvin Gaye’s Sexual Healing and a reggae-style version of Elton John’s Rocket Man featuring Bush on ukulele. She also showcases excellent French on Un Baiser D’Enfant (The Infant Kiss) and sings in Irish on her interpretation of Mná na hÉireann (Women of Ireland). That song is based on a poem written in the 1700s and put to music two centuries later. It has an interesting history which you can read about in this Wikipedia entry.
Bush’s 1978 recording debut at age 19 saw her become Britain’s first woman artist to score a Number 1 single on the UK charts with a self-written song. Still active and very popular, she has 10 studio albums in her catalog, one live album plus some recently issued remastered box sets plus The Other Sides which is where most of these songs appeared.
During her 40-year career Bush has taken significant pauses between recordings. Following the release of her 1994 Red Shoes collection she announced her intention to take a one year break. But it turned into a 12-year hiatus during which she had a son, Bertie, now 22. However, she has consistently returned from those interludes with inventive music worthy of her vital and creative artistry.
Special thanks to Michael Jenner for introducing these songs and curating this edition.
Feel free to share this post with your musical friends (see below).
Stay tuned and enjoy,
12 July 2020
Lyrics Women of Ireland (Kate Bush version) This is the translation performed by Kate Bush on the album Common Ground – Voices of Modern Irish Music. There's a woman in Ireland who'd give me a gem and my fill to drink, There's a woman in Ireland to whom my singing is sweeter than the music of strings There's a woman in Ireland who would much prefer me leaping Than laid in the clay and my belly under the sod There's a woman in Ireland who'd envy me if I got naught but a kiss From a woman at a fair, isn't it strange, and the love I have for them There's a woman I'd prefer to a battalion, and a hundred of them whom I will never get And an ugly, swarthy man with no English has a beautiful girl There's a woman who would say that if I walked with her I'd get the gold And there's the woman of the shirt whose mien is better than herds of cows With a woman who would deafen Baile an Mhaoir and the plain of Tyrone And I see no cure for my disease but to give up the drink