Kate Bush, Running Up That Hill: the meaning of the lyrics

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Running Up That Hill is one of Kate Bush’ biggest hit and in general one of the most appreciated songs of the 80s. It even met a new wave of popularity in 2022, when it became an important element of Stranger Things Season 4, as Max’s favourite song: millions of viewers had then the opportunity to listen to it again and ask themselves what the real meaning of the lyrics is. In this article we will analyse deeply the meaning of the song, as Kate Bush itself wanted to convey it, and give an interpretation of the author’s perspective.

The meaning of Running Up That Hill

Kate Bush - Running Up That Hill - Official Music Video
Running Up That Hill, the official video

As Kate Bush itself explained in an interview, Running Up That Hill talks about the relationship between men and women, how the two worlds are so hard to understand to each other. Therefore Kate Bush wishes to make a deal with God (“A Deal with God” was indeed the original title proposed by Kate, changed afterwards under request of her label) and switch places, in order to see the world in the other side’s eyes.

And if I only could
I’d make a deal with God
And I’d get him to swap our places
Be running up that road
Be running up that hill

Looking closer to the song lyrics, we notice that the singer is worried about how the two parts of the relationship tend to hurt each other without real reasons. “There is thunder in our hearts”, a painful verse through which Kate Bush wants to highlight the natural inclination of human beings to enter into conflicts, when they fell inside a relationship in which they are not understood.

You don’t want to hurt me
But see how deep the bullet lies
Unaware I’m tearing you asunder
Ooh, there is thunder in our hearts

With those words Kate Bush points her finger to the fact that men and women don’t really mean to hurt each other. But they do, as an instinctive reaction in a situation of distance and discomfort, two feelings that become natural when it comes to a relationship between a man and a woman, unable to put oneself on the other’s shoes.

The deep meaning of Running Up That Hill lyrics therefore lies on a beautiful, evergreen purpose: being able to understand everybody’s point of view properly, in order to avoid unnecessary pain to anyone. A message that can apply to many of us, still today.

Read other popular song lyrics meaning on Auralcrave

The full lyrics of the song

You don’t want to hurt me
But see how deep the bullet lies
Unaware I’m tearing you asunder
Ooh, there is thunder in our hearts
Is there so much hate for the ones we love?
Tell me, we both matter, don’t we?

You
It’s you and me
It’s you and me, won’t be unhappy

And if I only could
I’d make a deal with God
And I’d get him to swap our places
Be running up that road
Be running up that hill
Be running up that building
Say, if I only could, oh

You
It’s you and me
It’s you and me, won’t be unhappy

Oh come on, baby
Oh come on, darling
Let me steal this moment from you now
Oh come on, angel
Come on, come on, darling
Let’s exchange the experience, oh, uh-oh

And if I only could
I’d make a deal with God
And I’d get him to swap our places
I’d be running up that road
Be running up that hill
With no problems

Say, if I only could
I’d make a deal with God
And I’d get him to swap our places
I’d be running up that road
Be running up that hill
With no problems