Meaning of “Wuthering Heights” by Kate Bush
“Wuthering Heights” is a song based on a book of the same name which Kate Bush was introduced to in her late teens. She has taken on the role of one of the characters by the name of Catherine Earnshaw, i.e. “Cathy” in the track. And as can be deduced from the lyrics, her romantic interest goes by the name of “Heathcliff”.
Without going too much into the specifics of the book, Cathy is actually a ghost who longs for her former lover, Heathcliff. So the song serves primarily to relay this sentiment, though not overtly by mentioning her status. However, there are clues scattered throughout, especially if someone is already familiar with the plot of the story. For instance, Cathy desires to “grab (his) soul away”. This is definitely not something someone would say in a conventional romantic context.
So striped down to its most-basic elements, this is a song about a ghost who is in love with a living man.
Facts about “Wuthering Heights”
- Kate Bush did the writing of “Wuthering Heights” all by herself. With regards to the song’s production, it was handled by English record producer, Andrew Powell.
- “Wuthering Heights” holds the distinction of being the maiden single of Kate’s very successful musical career.
- As aforementioned, this song is based on the classic Emily Bronte’s novel of 1847, which has the same title as this track.
- The song came out officially in January 1978 from her debut album (The Kick Inside).
- The video for “Wuthering Heights” came out in 1978 and it comes in two versions. The first version was directed by Keith “Keef” MacMillan, whereas Rockflix helmed the second version.
- Samples of this tune can be heard in a variety of songs, including the 2011 track, “Free”, performed by English artist, Natalia Kills.
- The 1995 song, “Bad Dreams” by DJ Isaac contains samples of “Wuthering Heights”. Hip-Hop artist, Er Costa sampled the tune in his 2014 track, titled, “Come Cazzo Me Pare”.
- Various cover versions of the tune have been dropped by a host of artists. Some of them include veteran American singer, Pat Benatar (in 1980), rock band, White Flag (in 1992), and legendary Wales singer, Dave Edmunds (in 2015).
“Wuthering Heights” on the Charts
“Wuthering Heights” proved to be one of Kate Bush’s biggest hits. It not only topped the British singles charts, but it also reached number 1 in the following countries:
- New Zealand
It was equally successful in the Netherlands and Belgium, where it ranked at No.6 and No.3 respectively.