Meaning of “Babooshka” By Kate Bush
“Babooshka” by English singer and songwriter Kate Bush tells the story of a mature wife who is feeling insecure in her marriage. So to ascertain how faithful her hubby is, she initiates a scheme to send him love letters but under the guise of another woman by the name of “Babooshka”.
“Babooshka” is actually a representation of the wife’s younger self who she feels her husband would be more attracted to than who she actually is in the present. The ultimate conclusion and thus meaning of the song has been interpreted in various ways. Babooshka’s generally interpretation is that the wife, in successfully tempting her husband with the promise of another woman, ended up destroying their relationship. However, it has also been suggested that ultimately the wife realizes that she indeed is “Babooshka” and in the process regains the desired admiration of her husband.
What is the meaning of “Babooshka”?
It is a Russian word for grandmother. According to Bush, she chose this word for her song because it kept coming across her path. Once while watching TV, Bush saw a singer passionately singing about it. As if that wasn’t enough, another time, while flipping through the pages of a magazine, she met the interesting word again. These coincidences coupled with the fact that she had a friend who owned a pet cat she had named Babooshka.
All these interesting coincidences made Bush use this fascinating Russian word as the foundation and title of her song.
Facts about “Babooshka”
- Kate Bush solely composed this track. Having composed the track, she went on to co-produce it with Jon Kelly.
- This classic was released through EMI on June 27, 1980. It was the second single from the album Never for Ever. This was the third studio album of Bush’s musical career. Not only did Never for Ever become the first number 1 album in the UK but it also made her the first female artist from the UK to hit the number one spot on the UK album chart.
- “Babooshka” ended up becoming one of Bush’s biggest hits. It was a top-10 hit in multiple countries, including the UK where it peaked at number 5. In Australia, the song peaked at number 2 and was crowned one of the most successful singles in Australia in 1980.
Did Kate Bush shoot a video for this song?
Yes. There’s an official music video for “Babooshka”. You can see it below.
Did the song “Babooshka” ever win a Grammy Award?
Despite being one of the most successful songs of 1980, it didn’t win a Grammy. Heck, it wasn’t even nominated for one!
The “Never For Ever” Album
Kate is an English Songwriter, musician, dancer and record producer. She released “Never For Ever” on 7th September, 1980.
Shortly after its release, the album made history as it made Kate the first female musician to ever achieve the feat of topping the UK Album chart.
The album was produced by Kate and British audio engineer and record producer Jon Kelly.
The album was released for the labels EMI (UK) EMI America (US) and Harvest (Canada).
“Never For Ever” consists of 11 songs (5 on side one, and 6 on side 2), bearing a total duration of thirty-seven minutes, sixteen seconds. Bush composed all the tracks on the album.
The tracks belong to a number of genres:
- Art rock
- Baroque pop
- Progressive pop
Three singles were released prior to the album;
- “Army Dreamers”