x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Bush gets go-ahead for Joyce song

A song on Kate Bush's new album will now include lyrics from a character in James Joyce's Ulysses.

Kate Bush has replaced the lyrics to her song The Sensual World to include words from a character in James Joyce's Ulysses.
Kate Bush has replaced the lyrics to her song The Sensual World to include words from a character in James Joyce's Ulysses.

Kate Bush is no stranger to literary associations. She first warbled her way to international recognition in 1978 with Wuthering Heights, the debut single that saw her assuming the persona of a distraught Catherine Earnshaw, imploring Heathcliff to let her in.

Keen, it seems, to carry on these literary associations, the singer sought permission to include passages from James Joyce's convoluted modernist classic Ulysses, in one of her songs. This request was refused by the author's estate and Bush was forced to rewrite the lyrics of The Sensual World.

Now, some 20 years later, as she prepares to release her latest album Director's Cut, (a reworking of songs from The Sensual World and The Red Shoes) it transpires that perseverance has paid off and her original wish has been granted. Bush has, with the blessing of the Joyce estate, re-recorded the song, this time replacing her original lyrics with the words of Joyce's character, Molly Bloom, renaming it Flower of the Mountain in the process.

Director's Cut is due to be released on May 16 and includes a rejigged version of Deeper Understanding, now featuring Bush's son Albert as a computer programmer.

She may well be renowned for her reclusive tendencies, but it seems Bush has a sense of humour: a forthcoming video for this new track will feature Robbie Coltrane, Frances Barber and Noel Fielding (the comedian who recently parodied her Wuthering Heights single as part of a Comic Relief gag).