The Official VSU Spectator Music Blog

Rebecka McAleer here, Web Editor for the VSU Spectator. Welcome to my music recommendation blog, Additive Noise! Here I'll be discussing snippets from the music culture that surrounds our lives. From Theory of a Deadman to Rascal Flatts to Pink!, you'll find great music here every week! Ready to get started? Just scroll down, and remember to [Listen Out].

Thursday, September 6, 2012

"Running Up That Hill" by Track and Field [Keep Moving On]

Good morning my dears. Today, I'm going to spend a little time letting you into my soul. I hope that's alright with you.
As I'm sure you've imagined, I, as a music blogger, take a lot of my inspiration for life from music. Every now and then, I find a song that really touches me to the core and has the power to influence my feelings, actions, and decisions. My selection for today is one of the songs that has touched me the most in the last year. It's both a classic and not a classic at the same time. What song? "Running Up That Hill", by Track and Field.

Before you get freaked out: YES, this song is a cover of a song originally written and performed by Kate Bush in 1985. YES it is one of the most popularly covered songs in the world. NO, I am not trying to ruin the artistic integrity of the original song. So now that we're all on the same page, let's get started.

Some fun facts:
"Running Up That Hill" was originally writted and performed in 1985 by British songwriter/singer Kate Bush. It was an instant hit, sweeping the globe and topping charts worldwide. It was originally titled "A Deal With God", but the title was changed for fear of blacklisting in some anti-Christian or non-religious nations. It was re-released in 2012, and was even used as the track for a crucial section of the closing ceremonies for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London. Since its record-breaking beginning, the song has been covered by many, many artists. The most famous cover versions released so far are those by Placebo, Track and Field, and Within Temptation. My personal favorite is the version I'm working with today.

Track and Field covered "Running Up That Hill" in 2011 for the season 3 two-part finale episode of popular SyFy original series Warehouse 13. The band itself is half-existent and non-traceable, so it's quite likely that the song was created specifically for the television series. That's where I discovered it, as a big fan of Warehouse 13.


In the series, "Running Up That Hill" is used as a track to cover a scene featuring the death of a beloved character. The heartbreaking piano externalizes the grief felt by the characters, in particular the deceased man's partner. The simplicity of it is what makes the song beautiful. There isn't so much instrumentation as to overshadow the meaning of the song.

Speaking of the meaning of the song, there's some debate to that. According to interviews with Kate Bush, her original intent of the song was to demonstrate the differences and difficulty of understanding between men and women. However, the song has been to her mind 'misinterpreted' for years. Personally I'm of the opinion that interpretation is not possibly. It is like an opinion, everyone has their own. Beauty is in the eye- or ear -of the beholder.

For me, the song will always reflect the ideas of life, death, and grief. It is rare that I don't listen to this song without fighting tears. The clear, striking piano notes that support the lyrics almost seem to reach straight into my heart. They ask questions. If you only could, would you make a deal with God, and get him to swap our places? It's a difficult question, one that not many can answer truthfully. When the steady-beating percussion comes in toward the end of the song, you can almost feel a deadline approaching. When the drums stop, it's too late. Ten seconds to decide. Are you going to make a deal with the devil....or with God?

For a song that holds such magnitude, the lyrics are remarkably simple.

And if I only could,
Make a deal with God,
And get him to swap our places,
Be running up that road,
Be running up that hill,
Be running up that building.
If I only could, oh...
The verses vary a bit, but the chorus remains the same. Some might call it repetitive, but to me, the question can never be asked enough times. It's too important to dismiss as repetitive or redundant. I could listen to this song for days and not once get tired of hearing it.

Are there any songs like that in your life? Something you could just sit there and soak in forever?

Readers, I challenge you this week to think about the important things. In these troubled times, we never know what might happen. Are you ready to make the hard decisions if you need to?

Check back here next week for more tunes, and remember...

[Listen Out]

1 comment:

  1. It's been a while since you posted this but I'm hoping for an answer. Do you have chords to this song? Because I can't find it anywhere at all. Thank you!!