Forteana and Musical Ephemera 1 Kate Bush Cloudbusting

Here in the UK there's currently a bit of interest in the fantastic singer Kate Bush. 

On the 26th of August she's starting a series of live performances.  For the first time in 35 years.  So she's frequently in the newspapers and we have just had a couple of one hour specials about her broadcast by the BBC.  And there are lots of chats on Facebook and Twitter.  As far as I am concerned all of this is A GOOD THING.  I like Kate Bush and her music.  Always have done right from the first time I heard her sing Wuthering Heights.  And it got me thinking.  A number of Kate Bush's songs have a Fortean theme to them, so why not blog about that.  I then decided to both broaden and narrow the topic at the same time! rather than looking at the entirity of one artists work and trying to pick out all of the Fortean themed aspects why not look at a range of performers and concentrate on one song?

It sounds like a plan so up first in Forteana and Musical Ephemera (FAME) is Kate Bush and Cloudbusting.

Kate Bush is a British singer / songwriter and record producer.  Born in 1958 she first came to the attention of the world with Wuthering Heights released in 1978.  A number of her records seemed to contain Fortean and old film themes, a woman after my own heart.  Over the years due to her withdrawal from the fame scene a number of rumours have been thrown about.  For example she was once said to have written a story for Peter Davison's incarnation of Dr Who - a story entitled Kinda, and one based heavily on Buddhist philosophy.  Sadly she didn't, that story was written by Christopher Bailey.  It was rumoured that in her youth she was the head of a local UFO group.  Sadly there is no proof to back this up.  It was also said that at one time she was a subscriber to Fortean Times.  Oh, actually that one is true! So we do have a definite link with Forteana over and above her lyrics!  

I've chosen Cloudbusting  over and above the many other possibilities prettty much at random to be honest.  If you don't know the song in question and would like to hear it just click on the picture for the official video - which quite frankly tells you a lot of what you need to know!

And yes that was Donald Sutherland father of Kiefer (Jack Bauer) Sutherland.

Released in 1985 the song featured on the album The Hounds of Love.

The song is inspired by the life of Wilhelm Reich and is told through the eyes of his young son, played by Kate in the video, with Donald Sutherland playing Reich.  Reich is of course well know to Forteans for many aspects of his work, including his championing of Orgone energy.   He claimed orgone energy was everywhere, blue grey in colour and it was resposible for many things.  Including God, the colour of the sky and the Northern Lights.  In 1951 Reich claimed to have discovered a negative form of Orgone energy which he called Deadly Orgone Radiation (DOR).  Accumulations of DOR produce deserts.  To combat this DOR Reich designed and built his cloudbuster - a slightly fanciful version of which can be seen in the above photograph.  Reich claimed it would unblock Orgone energy in the atmosphere and cause rain.  In 1953 two farmers in Maine used his services and so happy were they with the results they were more than happy to pay the fee.  The eyewitness account of the succesful rain making and subsequent saving of the crops was probably all drawn from the story but about by Reich's son Peter.  And that is basically the story behind the Kate Bush song, Cloudbusting.  The reminscences of a boy watching his father remove negative energy from an area and trying to make it rain.  Except there's more. 

The song ends with a visitation from the Government.  Quite literally Men in Black.   The Reich character's work is ransacked and he is taken away.  But as he goes his son makes the machine work and it rains.  His work is vindicated.

 

I still dream of Orgonon
I wake up crying
You're making rain
And you're just in reach
When you and sleep escape me

You're like my yo-yo
That glowed in the dark
What made it special
Made it dangerous
So I bury it
And forget

But every time it rains
You're here in my head
Like the sun coming out
Ooh, I just know that something good is going to happen
And I don't know when
But just saying it could even make it happen

On top of the world
Looking over the edge
You could see them coming
You looked too small
In their big, black car
To be a threat to the men in power

I hid my yo-yo
In the garden
I can't hide you
From the government
Oh, God, Daddy
I won't forget

'Cause every time it rains
You're here in my head
Like the sun coming out
Ooh, I just know that something good is going to happen
And I don't know when
But just saying it could even make it happen

The sun's coming out.
Your son's coming out

Songwriter: KATE BUSH

Cloudbusting lyrics © EMI Music Publishing

 

 

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