The Dreaming

Today a dear friend and mentor shared an article from DailyOM.com. This website promotes “… a universal approach to holistic living for the mind, body, and spirit and supports people who want to live a conscious lifestyle.” 

The article, “Aboriginal Dreamtime,” is about the Indigenous people of what is now known as Australia. It’s a short piece, but it fascinated me. It immediately brought to my mind the 1984 Werner Herzog film, Where The Green Ants Dream, which shows how the Indigenous people of Australia and their ways are under threat by colonialism and industrialization, much the same way as settler culture has led to the disappearance of much of the traditional Indigenous culture, faith and practices here in Canada. (As a side note, the movie was a favourite of my mum’s, and I can still hear her voice reciting her favourite lines from it.) The article also reminded me of the Kate Bush song, “The Dreaming,” from her 1982 album of the same name.

The song is the best portrayal I have seen, in a popular music context, of elements from the Dreamtime which, as the article states, is “the spirituality and culture of the Aborigines, (and) explains the origins and culture of the land and its people.”

I was puzzled by the appearance in the video of what looks like a stylized umbilical cord on the costumes. Some believe the appearance of that infers a link between the past and the future, which seems like it could fit with the mood and intention of the piece.

Like much of Bush’s work, the video (like the album, she wrote and solo-produced it) is exuberant and outlandish, making use of the singer’s talents in visual art and expressive movement. In an interview for the book She’s a rebel: the history of women in rock & roll, Bush said that The Dreaming was her “‘She’s gone mad’ album.’” Some listeners may relate to that; Bush can be an acquired taste for those unfamiliar with her style, though many of her songs are less “over-the-top.” 

Today’s selection is the third Kate Bush song I’ve featured on this blog; the other two are “This Woman’s Work” and “Under the Ivy.” Those two songs, along with the album Hounds of Love, which includes the track “Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God), would be where I’d suggest starting if you want to sample Bush’s music, and then go from there. You’ll be hearing more from her here, at any rate…

Now you know a little about why this is my song of the day for today. Thanks for joining me here, and please enjoy.

Here’s the official video for the song from Kate Bush’s YouTube channel:

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