Happy Birthday Kate Bush. My Lionheart.
I couldn't begin to estimate how many times I've listened to her songs. I know them all intimately. They have traveled with me to every place I've called home. They've confided in me. In the autumn I listen to The Kick Inside and The Dreaming. In spring, Never Forever.
I listen to Hounds of Love throughout the year. On side B, Kate sings of cracking through ice while skating and drowning in the icy waters. She is witness to the Salem witch trials. She sees those she loves, without her. She views the Earth from space. She plumbs the depths of the Underworld in a Nosferatuesque dirge to discover that deep, deep down, there is a light.
Finally she comes back to life inside her body and breathes in the sweet morning fog. She kisses the ground and tells her mother, father and brothers how much she loves them. With her newly gained perspective she realizes,
"you know what? I love you better now."
This is, perhaps my favorite lyric of any song.
I think I saw Kate Bush once when I lived in London. My sister was visiting me at the time and we found ourselves at Boots The Chemist in Liverpool Street station. I spotted a woman with her hair in an updo, wearing black trainers. She was looking at lipsticks. When I turned away from her, the image in my mind was that of an older Kate Bush. When I then looked directly at her again she seemed like Kate Bush but not Kate Bush. When I turned away, in my mind she was Kate Bush again. I pointed her out to my sister.
"No. It's not Kate Bush" she said.
A second later, "wait...maybe."