This week, a four-decade-old song resurfaced thanks to the return of a popular TV show. If you are reading this article, you would likely know both of these unknown variables, but for someone who wanders on this article from elsewhere, we are talking about Kate Bush’s 1985 hit single “Running Up That Hills (A Deal with God)” and the Netflix TV series Stranger Things.
Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill” was a popular hit before Stranger Things ever came along. It was Kate Bush’s second-highest charting single at #3 on the UK Singles Chart. It also reached #30 on US Billboard Hot 100 Chart, giving Kate a major breakthrough in the USA. The song was the first single from Kate Bush’s 1985 album ‘Hounds of Love.’ Kate Bush wrote, played the keyboards for, produced, and performed the song.
Kate Bush spoke about the theme behind “Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God)” and the formation of the song’s title;
I was trying to say that, really, a man and a woman can’t understand each other because we are a man and a woman. And if we could actually swap each other’s roles, if we could actually be in each other’s place for a while, I think we’d both be very surprised! And I think it would lead to a greater understanding. And really the only way I could think it could be done was either… you know, I thought a deal with the devil, you know. And I thought, ‘well, no, why not a deal with God!’ You know, because in a way it’s so much more powerful the whole idea of asking God to make a deal with you. You see, for me it is still called “Deal With God”, that was its title.
A remix version of the song was played on the first episode ‘The Hellfire Club’ of the brand new season of Stranger Things. This episode also packed in some big hits from the past such as “California Dreamin'” by The Mamas and The Papas, “Object of My Desire” by Starpoint, “Detroit Rock City” by the Kiss, and more.
Listen to “Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God)” by Kate Bush
Kate Bush “Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God)” Lyrics Meaning and Song Review
The entire premise of the song revolves around the singer wanting to swap places with her lover so that he could understand what she is going through.
You don’t want to hurt me (Ye-yeah, yeah, yo)
But see how deep the bullet lies (Ye-yeah, yeah, yo)
Something in their relationship is hurting her, and she feels as if she is alone in sharing and tolerating this pain. Maybe it is something her partner did or does. She does mention that there is “thunder” in their hearts, which could roughly translate to emotions of hate. The singer questions how someone could love a person and also hate them at the same time.
Kate Bush might be looking for empathy when she says she wants to swap roles with her significant other. They would see how she feels in this relationship and she would get to see what he sees/feels about her.
I’d make a deal with God
And I’d get him to swap our places
Kate Bush revealed that initially the song title was meant to be ‘a deal with the devil,’ but decided against it due to the influence of her record label.
In cult fiction, we have seen people doing deals of this nature with the devil. God would probably not intervene in such matters, especially since whatever goes on between two humans are likely God’s plan/will for them. However, Kate Bush did not want to take the devil route when writing this song; hence, the mention of running up a hill to reach God.
Let’s exchange the experience
Kate Bush’s wish in this song is as far fetches as they come. No one will be exchanging their places and no one will be walking in each other’s shoes. Communication is the only savior.
Let us hear what you think about this song in the comments below. Check out the complete lyrics on Genius.