Analyse this



Analyse this

Postby guilddigger » Mon Oct 26, 2009 1:41 pm

For me the lyrics have always been important when listening to music.
In part of my my literature studies I learned the tools to analyse both prose and poetry to find any underlying meanings other than what the printed or spoken words give at a first reading or hearing.
I thought it could be interesting to see how differently we interpret lyrics and find out what they mean for different people.
Not in an academic way, but as a fun and interesting discussion.

I would like to begin with a very haunting song by Kate Bush, based on Emily Brontes' novel 'Wuthering Heights'.

What happens in Kate Bush's adaptation of 'Wuthering Heights'? Is she only retelling the story of Cathy and Heathcliff or can her lyrics be interpreted in another way?

Here's one of the videos made for the song
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BW3gKKiTvjs&feature=related

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
They told me I was going to lose the fight
Leave behind my wuthering, wuthering
Wuthering Heights

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

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

Too long I roam 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, I'm Cathy, I've come home
I'm so cold, let me in in your window
Heathcliff, it's me, I'm Cathy, I've come home
I'm so cold, let me in in 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, I'm Cathy, I've come home
I'm so cold, let me in in your window
Heathcliff, it's me, I'm Cathy, I've come home
I'm so cold, let me in in your window
Heathcliff, it's me, I'm Cathy, I've come home
I'm so cold
"heaven is all around translated to sound" - michael hedges
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Re: Analyse this

Postby tardistraveler » Mon Oct 26, 2009 7:25 pm

Hi, Tom! Glad to see you here!

I'm not a particular fan of the novel Wuthering Heights, and I haven't heard Kate Bush do this song. And it's not a good time to watch the video here at work. But reading through the lyrics you post here, it appears to me that Cathy has hit bottom in some way - perhaps dying? - and wants to reconcile with Heathcliff before it's too late. Or maybe it's already too late, and her soul is still yearing for Heathcliff and trying to contact him?

I'm interested to hear others' take on this one . . .
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Re: Analyse this

Postby thehallway » Mon Oct 26, 2009 7:28 pm

Well, I don't like Kate Bush, I've never actually heard this song and I've never read the book, but here goes:

Is the song about some sort of over-protective lover? Their partner who they used to have control over has left them, and now they want them back so they can own them again?
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Re: Analyse this

Postby yesireebob » Mon Oct 26, 2009 10:45 pm

I am a fan of both Kate Bush and the book Wuthering Heights. As for Kate, I don't actually own this particular song. I came to her later, with Hounds of Love. As for the book Wuthering Heights, IMO it's the best work of all three Bronte sisters combined, both for its complex and for-its-day innovative structure, and for its dark powerful theme, what happens to true passion when it is allowed to be twisted into hatred and revenge. It is a very dark book, everyone is an asshole and everyone dies. Sometimes only that kind of book will do. ; ) Catherine "betrays her own heart" in rejecting Heathcliffe and sets in motion her own death, the transformation of Healthcliffe's passion into tortuous cruelty, and the dreadful consequences to her brother, Linton's sister, and ultimately their children. Only the children, in the end, are able to transcend the tragedy. I think in her song Wuthering Heights, Kate has Cathy as a ghost, coming back to "make it right." Some ambiguity here, as it could mean that Cathy regrets her decision in life to marry Linton and be someone she was not and now pines for Heathcliffe from beyond the grave. Or, perhaps she, herself wishes a little ghostly revenge upon Heathcliffe, to haunt him for his misdeeds. But then again, in the novel, Heathcliffe digs up her corpse in order to see her again, so perhaps he welcomes the haunting.

BTW, I liked the video with Kate dressed in white better than the one in red.
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Re: Analyse this

Postby yesireebob » Mon Oct 26, 2009 10:55 pm

BTW, my favorite film adaptation is the one with Juliette Binoche and Raph Fiennes. If ever there was an actor made to play Heathcliffe, it is Raph Fiennes.
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Re: Analyse this

Postby thehallway » Fri Oct 30, 2009 1:49 pm

It says in Nick Mason's 'Inside Pink Floyd' book that Kate Bush was discovered by David Gilmour; he was allegedly sent lots of demos throughout his career and thought that Bush was very talented.
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Re: Analyse this

Postby yesireebob » Sat Oct 31, 2009 6:20 pm

Here is David Gilmour and Kate Bush doing Running Up That Hill, one of my favorite Kate Bush songs.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vl9OKddQBRg&feature=related
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Re: Analyse this

Postby yesireebob » Sat Oct 31, 2009 6:25 pm

And, David Gilmour and Kate Bush doing Comfortably Numb:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKuRvBCuwkE&feature=related
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Re: Analyse this

Postby guilddigger » Mon Jan 11, 2010 4:58 pm

I read somewhere that Kate Bush wrote this song quite late during the recordings of her album and that the song just as well could have not been chosen as a track.
The lyrics are based on the novel and follows the plot as Cathy indeed dies and comes back to haunt Heathcliff, as she had promised.
There are on the other hand many different ways to interpret lyrics, which makes literature analysis so much fun, as one interpretation is as right as any other.

When I first read the lyrics I thought that the woman in the song is a mental patient who believes that she is Cathy and stalks someone she calls Heathcliff, which gives the lyrics an even spookier meaning. She says "I'm Cathy I've come home, I'm so cold let me in in your window". She is standing outside and pounds on his window and wants to 'grab his soul away'. Perhaps she has looked too deep into the novel, identifying herself with Cathy and is now out to seek revenge on behalf of her.
Well, that is one way to read those lyrics.


Another song that is open for interpretation is James Taylor's very beautiful 'Never Die Young'.
Taylor seldom reveals what his songs are about and especially who Susan in 'Fire And Rain' is has been debated countless times.
Anyway, what is this song about and more precisely, who are 'they'?


Never Die Young

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4qjS5Q2Xqg

We were ring-around-the-rosy children
They were circles around the sun
Never give up, never slow down
Never grow old, never ever die young

Synchronized with the rising moon
Even with the evening star
They were true love written in stone
They were never alone, they were never that far apart

And we who couldn't bear to believe they might make it
We had to close our eyes
Cut up our losses into doable doses
Ration our tears and sighs

You could see them on the street on a saturday night
Everyone used to run them down
They're a little too sweet, they're a little too tight
Not enough tough for this town

We couldn't touch them with a ten-foot pole
No, it didn't seem to rattle at all
They were glued together body and soul
That much more with their backs up against the wall

Oh, hold them up, hold them up
Never do let them fall
Prey to the dust and the rust
and the ruin that names us and claims us
and shames us all

I guess it had to happen someday soon
Wasn't nothing to hold them down
They would rise from among us like a big baloon
Take the sky and forsake the ground

Oh, yes, other hearts were broken
Yeah, other dreams ran dry
But our golden ones sail on, sail on
To another land beneath another sky
"heaven is all around translated to sound" - michael hedges
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