Song of the Day, October 31: Waking the Witch by Kate Bush

BushWitchToday’s song is Waking the Witch, a darkly compelling track from Kate Bush’s 1985 masterpiece Hounds of Love. It’s the third track in the side two suite The Ninth Wave, a meditation on drowning and solitude. The song’s title refers to the practice of using sleep deprivation in witch trials. Bush skillfully conjures the hallucinatory state that arises from days without sleep, weaving it into the underwater images. Treated vocals invoke the judges who seek the central character’s confession, heightening the sense of terror. It’s a jagged nightmare of a song, containing just enough personal reflection to ground the lyrics and create further sympathy for the narrator. It’s a complex track that works nicely on all levels.

Enjoy this dark song today.

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About Robert Hulshof-Schmidt
Freelance writer, researcher, online comic vendor, and project manager. Fan of a wide range of music -- especially folk and 80s pop -- vintage comics, British TV, and LGBT fiction.

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