Wuthering Heights (Kate Bush version)

veritàNONesiste

Senior Member
Österreich, Österreichisch
Good afternoon ...

I'm struggling with one word in Kate Bush's song "W.H."; additionally, I am not sure whether I interpret passages correctly. So I'd appreciate any help, agreement and/or suggestions from your part ...

As I do not have the original text (only some lyrics I found on the internet) I'm not sure if the passages given below corresponds with the original one but (hoping so):


Out on the wiley, windy moors
(or is it out on the wild, windy moors???)

We'd roll and fall in green.
(caressing / teasing / playing ... and falling in love - innocently / fresh / new - as the green alludes to ... or does the green rather refer to being unexperienced?)
I pine a lot. I find the lot

Falls through without you.
(meaning - destiny has turned against me since I turned away from you???)
 
  • maxiogee

    Banned
    English
    Good afternoon ...

    I'm struggling with one word in Kate Bush's song "W.H."; additionally, I am not sure whether I interpret passages correctly. So I'd appreciate any help, agreement and/or suggestions from your part ...

    As I do not have the original text (only some lyrics I found on the internet) I'm not sure if the passages given below corresponds with the original one but (hoping so):


    Out on the wiley, windy moors
    (or is it out on the wild, windy moors???)

    We'd roll and fall in green.
    Song lyrics are notoriously difficult to 'translate' into proper English.

    I always thought the line was "Out on the wild and windy moor".

    Fall in green - some moors are grassy, others are heather covered - both would generally be green.
     

    veritàNONesiste

    Senior Member
    Österreich, Österreichisch
    Well, and what about
    ... the lot falls through without you ...?

    I agree with you ... partly

    Out on the wild ... windy moors
    we'd roll ....

    because tempts a differnt reading / listening such as
    windy moor 'sweet roll' ... => here the windy moors hops over to the we'd roll - resulting in windy moor, sweet roll ...
     

    maxiogee

    Banned
    English
    Well, and what about
    ... the lot falls through without you ...?

    I agree with you ... partly

    Out on the wild ... windy moors
    we'd roll ....

    because tempts a differnt reading / listening such as
    windy moor - 'sweet rool' ...
    "sweet rool" doesn't mean anything.
    I suggest that you find a copy of the album and check the lyrics, if they are printed on the sleeve notes.

    The lot = all of (something)
    Fall through = collapse, come to nothing.

    The lot falls through without you = if you are not here then I have nothing, not even the moors.
     

    . 1

    Banned
    Australian Australia
    Out on the wiley, windy moors
    Wed roll and fall in green.
    http://www.lyricsfreak.com/k/kate+bush/wuthering+heights_20077284.html

    The moors are wiley and twisty and sinuous and the poet is twisting word sounds. You are supposed to hear 'wildy' as the singer twists the pronunciation. You must remember that this is a performance poem requiring a singer of the talent and range of Kate Bush to sing. This is not a song that could be successfully sung on the football terraces.


    To fall into each other's arms is a well known phrase of lovers. A roll in the hay is a well known idiom meaning to copulate in the outdoors so when you roll and fall in green the image is of rolling in the hay and falling into each other's arms but doing it in the green moors where the lovers come out covered in green bits of the moors.

    I submit that the twisting of we'd (we would) to wed is an intentional reference to marriage and is a reinforcement of the theme of committed lovers.

    The entire piece is a work of art.

    .,,
     

    veritàNONesiste

    Senior Member
    Österreich, Österreichisch
    "sweet rool" doesn't mean anything.
    I suggest that you find a copy of the album and check the lyrics, if they are printed on the sleeve notes.

    The lot = all of (something)
    Fall through = collapse, come to nothing.

    The lot falls through without you = if you are not here then I have nothing, not even the moors.
    Out on the wiley, windy moors
    Wed roll and fall in green.
    http://www.lyricsfreak.com/k/kate+bush/wuthering+heights_20077284.html

    The moors are wiley .,,
    Can't I read 'the lot' as 'destiny' or 'situation' or 'luck' here? Hm, meaning "withouth you everything gets out of control"
    What is wiley? My dictionaries do not have any entries on this word ...

    all in all:
    thank you for your explanations
     

    mgarizona

    Senior Member
    US - American English
    The OED only gives 'wiley' as an old spelling of 'wily' which means 'cunning, crafty' as in 'a wily coyote.'

    I've always belonged to the "the wild and windy moors" school here, which I think makes more sense and which, if you Google it, turns up regularly in non-WH contexts.

    EDIT: Shd mention that it does SOUND like she's saying 'wily,' it just never made sense to me.

    EDIT 2: Occurs to me, mightn't it be "Out on the winding, windy moors ..."? Proper sound, some sense.
     

    . 1

    Banned
    Australian Australia
    This is art.
    All references give the lyric as wiley or wily.
    I have always heard it as wiley.
    Artists do not always seek lucidity or we wouldn't be discussing this piece right now.

    .,,
     

    mgarizona

    Senior Member
    US - American English
    This is art.
    All references give the lyric as wiley or wily.
    I have always heard it as wiley.
    Artists do not always seek lucidity or we wouldn't be discussing this piece right now.

    .,,
    Not all. I found this site which offers "winding, windy moors" and has the added 'plus' of giving the chorus as "Heathcliff, it's me, your Cathy" instead of just "it's me, Cathy" the way most do. If you listen to the song, it's clear she's saying "your Cathy."

    http://www.chordie.com/chord.pere/www.ultimate-guitar.com/print.php?what=tab&id=130304

    I've always found Kate Bush's lyrics entirely sensible. She's not Michael Stipe.
     

    emma42

    Senior Member
    British English
    Hello, foreros. I am an ex-professional singer and have sung this song many times, have the original vinyl album with lyrics, and have an official Kate Bush Songbook with lyrics. It's "wily" or "wiley", not "winding" or anything else. So there.
     

    . 1

    Banned
    Australian Australia
    Hello, foreros. I am an ex-professional singer and have sung this song many times, have the original vinyl album with lyrics, and have an official Kate Bush Songbook with lyrics. It's "wily" or "wiley", not "winding" or anything else. So there.
    Thanks Emma. I am glad that your experience reinforces my artistic logic.
    Out on the winding windy moors just doesn't make poetic sense. Winding is a poetically wasted word in that phrase. Everybody is expecting winding so the twisty wiley poet makes our imagination do the artistic work and everybody associates the wiley word with winding.

    As a professional singer I am sure that Emma will confirm that winding and wiley are very different sounds to project. As a very amateur performance poet words like winding with the hard central sound are very tricky to use with a microphone and not distort the word.
    Wiley just flows out there and you can hardly make a mistake.


    .,,
    Words for performance have differing requirements to the written variety.
     

    maxiogee

    Banned
    English
    Hello, foreros. I am an ex-professional singer and have sung this song many times, have the original vinyl album with lyrics, and have an official Kate Bush Songbook with lyrics. It's "wily" or "wiley", not "winding" or anything else. So there.
    That's what I was hoping for. Someone with the sense to ignore what is on lyrics sites on the web and to check the sleeve notes. Website lyrics are notoriously unreliable.
    In my original post I wrote that I always thought the line was "Out on the wild and windy moor" - maybe she should change them ;) My line is better.
     

    . 1

    Banned
    Australian Australia
    In my original post I wrote that I always thought the line was "Out on the wild and windy moor" - maybe she should change them ;) My line is better.
    I am very pleased that Ms. Bush and her advisers did not agree with your self appraisal.:D

    The song is of the ether and so should the lyrics. Such a tune with plain and simple words would be a plain and simple waste of talent.

    .,,
     

    emma42

    Senior Member
    British English
    Tony, you are terrible, so!

    Robert, "the song is of the ether" - that's brilliant. I remember trying to work the words out back in 1978 and being surprised and delighted at "wily".
     

    mgarizona

    Senior Member
    US - American English
    OK, I wasn't crazy about 'winding' myself--- I only said it had 'some' sense--- but I wasn't going to believe the line was 'wily' just because a bunch of websites said so. ('Notoriously unreliable, quoth Maxi') Especially ones which can't even spell the word. Wiley?

    Would be interesting to learn from the great Kate what she meant by 'wily.' I'll hope to ask her someday.

    By the way, Emma, if it's not too much trouble could you confirm the lyric sheet reads "your Cathy" in the chorus? Because I can hear that quite plainly.
     

    emma42

    Senior Member
    British English
    Actually, I can't, mgarizona because I have just sold all my records and books! She definitely sings something in between "It's me" and "Cathy". I think she sings "Oh", but it isn't written in the lyrics. Can't swear to it, though. Sorry.
     

    . 1

    Banned
    Australian Australia
    Especially ones which can't even spell the word. Wiley?

    Would be interesting to learn from the great Kate what she meant by 'wily.' I'll hope to ask her someday.
    Maybe you could also ask her if the word was misspelt by the writer of the song or the websight.

    Actually, I can't, mgarizona because I have just sold all my records and books! She definitely sings something in between "It's me" and "Cathy". I think she sings "Oh", but it isn't written in the lyrics. Can't swear to it, though. Sorry.
    Bob Dylan is notorious for not sticking to the script.
    I imagine that Kate Bush also wily twisted the wiley words.

    .,,
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    I'd always thought it was wild and windy; and it's me, your Cathy too:)

    (I must admit I'm having trouble getting my head round wiley windy:confused::confused::confused: ~ wiley is not a word I'd associate with moors. Ever.)

    (But I'll take M42's word for it.)
     
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