"King of the Mountain" as written by Paul Stanley, Desmond Child and Bruce Kulick....
Could you see the aisles of women?
Could you see them screaming and weeping?
Could you see the storm rising?
Could you see the guy who was driving?
Could you climb higher and higher?
Could you climb right over the top?
Why does a multi-millionaire
Fill up his home with priceless junk?

The wind is whistling
The wind is whistling
Through the house

Elvis, are you out there somewhere
Looking like a happy man?
In the snow with Rosebud
And king of the mountain

Another Hollywood waitress
Is telling us she's having your baby
And there's a rumor that you're on ice
And you will rise again someday
And that there's a photograph
Where you're dancing on your grave

The wind is whistling
The wind is whistling
Through the house

Elvis, are you out there somewhere
Looking like a happy man?
In the snow with Rosebud
And king of the mountain

The wind, it blows
The wind, it blows the door closed


Lyrics submitted by DarkLuna62

"King of the Mountain" as written by Kate Bush

Lyrics © EMI Music Publishing, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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King of the Mountain song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentThe song's all about Elvis: his trashy house, women claiming to have had his children, stories that he's still alive, etc.

    The Rosebud reference (from Citizen Kane) is just Kate imagining Elvis alive and carefree, playing like a child. I don't understand the wind whistling through the house, is that also a scene from C.K (a film I only vaguely remember)?
    Paegaon November 11, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentCould wind whistling through the house not be when Elvis has left the building (couldn't resist).? Like when he has gone, it's all gone, nothing matters. It's the person not the persona.
    smgellar_da_bombon March 18, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMy father thinks that some of this song's lyrics might be to do with a movie named Citizen Kane. He says there's a sledge called Rosebud that a child rides on ("In the snow with Rosebud and king of the mountain"), and an elderly, rich man all on his own ("Why does a multi-millionaire/Fill his home with priceless junk?")
    kirotourmalineon October 22, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentmore important than the obvious elvis reference...i think this song refers to fame...being so famous that even after your death, stories are made up about you...people refuse to let you go...i think the wind refers to the rumors that elvis is still alive and always just one step ahead of actually being seen...humorous, but also, kate seeing herself in this situation after her own death....
    musicatokcon October 27, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song is about being released after becoming trapped after finding fame. Elvis became hugely rich and successful but he was unhappy. His wealth and all his priceless junk didn't bring him happiness. This compares to Kane in Citizen Kane - who was also very rich but unhappy. On his deathbed he looked back to simpler times (riding on his sledge as a child) which he couldn't go back to life. However, Kate sees death as positive and she believes the soul is released from the stress of life and complications of modern society and goes to a better place.

    Elvis is released and he becomes part of nature. He is still King but he is King of the Mountain instead of Rock and Roll. A mountain is a contrast to the screaming crowds in Las Vegas. A mountain he away from people but he has finally found happiness within himself.

    The house is whistling because the door is open as Elvis is no longer there. It represents his mortality on earth and what he has left behind. It's an empty shell and Elvis should represent more than Gold discs on a wall, money and all those ridiculous rumours of people who can accept he has gone.
    GaffaUKon February 25, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentCould you see... ...?
    Can anyone foresee their future? The mounting pressures? The complications of fame, etc? NO.
    And how we think we can climb higher and higher without going crazy!

    ...are YOU out there somewhere looking like a happy man? ...in the snow...and king of the mountain? YES! :o)
    Theresa_Gionoffrioon April 01, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe phrase 'King of the Mountain' reminds me of the children's nursery rhyme, 'I'm the king of the castle...' :)

    After his divorce in 1973, Presley became increasingly isolated, overweight and caught in a trap, with (prescription) drugs affecting his health, mood and his stage act. Maybe KB uses 'blurred diction' on KoTM to evoke the slurred later performances of Elvis...

    "So if an old friend I know (shove it up your nose)..."
    - Elvis Presley - Suspicious Mind (1970)
    youtube.com/…

    Elvis also spoke of the hollowness of his Hollywood life, and revealed: "I swear to God, no one knows how lonely I get and how empty I really feel."

    In Citizen Kane, when his second wife abandons him, Kane begins destroying her room. He grabs a snow globe and is about to throw it when he sees the falling snowflakes inside. The image of falling snow evokes involuntary memories in Kane. He remembers being sent away by his mother when it was snowing, making him utter "Rosebud" — another memory of the occasion. When the camera pans a scene of workers burning some of Kane’s less valuable possessions, in the fire is the sled that Kane was riding the day his mother sent him away. Painted on the sled is the name Rosebud...
    'Rosebud' represents his lost life "before the beginning" - his childhood before an inheritance wrenched him away and changed everything forever... [In 1976 KB gets a small inheritance from an aunt, and decides to leave school to concentrate on preparing herself for a career in music. Effectively the money gave her the security to become her own boss and follow her own mind...]

    The second verse to KoTM is an analogy to the sort of rumors that Kate has experienced about herself over the last 15 years...

    HOLLY (reading to Kit from a movie fan magazine): "Rumor: Pat Boone is seriously considering giving up his career so he can return to school full-time and complete his education. Fact: Pat has told intimates that so long as things are going well for his career, it's the education that will have to take the back seat."
    KIT: I don't blame him.
    HOLLY: "Rumor: Frank Sinatra and Rita Hayworth are in love... Fact: True, but not with each other."
    (Kit chuckles at this, which pleases Holly.)
    - from Badlands (1973)

    KoTM is like a conversation with Elvis. I agree that the first verse looks at Elvis's funeral, his last concert. But KoTM also reminds me of 'Rocket's Tail'... It seems to tap into the negative and destructive side of fame; how it brings alienation and anomic disorientation (from fans and things) by failing to realize the life goals of the individual. Fame ought to mean satisfaction and achievement, but it can mean paranoid Suspicious Minds, loneliness, fear, emptiness, etc. And without meaning and purpose, there is only distress, hunger and junk...

    The chorus makes me think of a parallel, OK universe with Elvis, Kane or anyone, out there happy, before the fall of fame... :)

    "The wind is whistling
    Through the house...
    The wind it blows
    The wind it blows the door closed..."

    Finally, this is a far cry from the slamming doors of GOoMH! ... A gentle whistling wind has replaced the scream... The House seems exorcised of its ghosts...

    The 'Washing' photograph showing Elvis's famous white jumpsuit next to the Bertie cartoon accompany the lyrics to KOTM in the CD/Vinyl booklet remind me of the phrase, The King is dead. Long live the King!

    To promote KOTM, KB wore a KGB-style Russian winter red star hat. KB... KgB... Maybe another pun on her initials?
    Theresa_Gionoffrioon June 01, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentKGB: CAGEY BUSH!

    The KOTM video begins in what could be Citizen Kane's "Castle" at San Simeon, full of his priceless antiquities. Indeed, William Randolph Hearst purchased the San Francisco Evening Post in 1913; and at 0:39 in the video, the "San Francisco Evening Post: Goodbye Elvis... We'll Always Love You" flies by! (A fictional or factual headline? On the same cover is the headline: "Horror Crash Kills 5"!)

    At 0:43-0:53, what looks very much like a bust of Prince Albert remains in frame... Prince Bertie?

    At 0:55, the video moves to Elvis' bedroom. In his later years, divorced from Priscilla Presley and obese, Presley barricaded himself from the public gaze in Citizen Kane-like isolation at Graceland, his Memphis mansion and present-day shrine for millions of Presley fans.

    And at 2:22, a figure seems to strangely rise from behind the billowing red sheets...

    At 2:38-45, KB and Elvis are in the center of a poppy snowstorm.
    And why do KB (2:34) and Rolf Harris (3:49) both cradle the famous white jumpsuit?
    And why is the famous white jumpsuit so happy to see Rolf Harris? (or William Randolph Hearst? or Citizen Kane?)

    At 3:13, Rolf Harris arrives on 'Rosebud' and at 3:35 is clearly featured dancing with the famous white jumpsuit! Rolf Harris had a UK Top Ten Hit in 1962 with 'Sun Arise', a song that celebrates the reassurance the Sun brings, rather like a mini Australian A Sky Of Honey. The song was written in 1960 after Harry Butler played Rolf tapes of the first Australian Aboriginal singing he'd ever heard. The original version sold badly, and in 1962 was revised, incorporating suggestions by George Martin. As Rolf couldn't play the didgeridoo at the time, and didn't know anyone in England who could, the didgeridoo sound is simulated by eight bass fiddles! The song reached number 2, beaten to number 1 the following week by... Elvis Presley!

    A Sky Of Honey features Rolf Harris playing the didgeridoo on one track as he had done on KB's 1982 single "The Dreaming". Harris also provides vocals on 'An Architect's Dream' and 'The Painter's Link'... The co-writer of Sun Arise becomes the Great Painter of the Universe! An honor and homage!
    And so A Sky Of Honey has its origins in The Dreaming and the Dawning of Aboriginal Culture...

    The King Is Dead (0:03) ... Long Live The King (4:12)
    At 0:03 in the KOTM video, The New York Echo flies by with the headline, "The King Is Dead!". The Echo also has the cover story, "Courtroom drama in Mafia case".
    At 1:51, a newspaper flies by with the headline, "Elvis Face Spotted On Moon". This newspaper also covers the previously spotted, "Courtroom drama in Mafia case".

    At 2:15, a Chicago Record Herald flies by with the headline, "I had Elvis' Alien Baby". The Chicago Record Herald was purchased by William Randolph Hearst in 1918, merged with the Examiner, and renamed Herald-Examiner.

    Are these headlines KB fiction? ... Are they by K. G. Bush?
    Are they by cagey Bush? ...

    To promote KOTM, KB wore a KGB-style Russian winter red star hat.
    KB... KgB... "Cagey Bush"!

    At 4:12 in the KOTM video, a Chicago Post flies by with the headline, "Long Live The King". The headline is accompanied by the Bertie KOTM cartoon that features in the Aerial booklet...
    The King Is Dead. Long Live King Albert, all noble and bright?

    And at 4:31, Kate gives a crazy grin! ...

    And at 4:37, KB quotes the burning of Rosebud from Citizen Kane (1941).

    In fact, like the pheonix, 'Rosebud' has arisen from the ashes and is now enjoyed by Kate's happy, little man, Bertie, in the snow with Rosebud and king of the mountain...
    Theresa_Gionoffrioon July 03, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhat's happened to Kate's poetry? Compare with the early albums; very stilted in comparison
    Phonophobeon August 15, 2010   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationToo much fame will kill you.
    Marsha74on May 29, 2013   Link

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