"How to Be Invisible" as written by and Kate Bush....
I found a book on how to be invisible
Take a pinch of keyhole
And fold yourself up
You cut along a dotted line
You think inside out
And you're invisible

Eye of Braille
Hem of anorak
Stem of wallflower
Hair of doormat

I found a book on how to be invisible
On the edge of the labyrinth
Under a veil you must never lift
Pages that you must never turn
In the labyrinth
You stand in front of a million doors
And each one holds a million more
Corridors that lead to the world
Of the invisible
Corridors that twist and turn
Corridors that blister and burn

Eye of Braille
Hem of anorak
Stem of wallflower
Hair of doormat
Is that the wind from the desert song?
Is that the autumn leaf falling?
Or is that you walking home?

Is that the wind from the desert song?
Is that the autumn leaf falling?
Or is that you walking home?
Is that a storm in the swimming pool?

You take a pinch of keyhole
And fold yourself up
You cut along a dotted line
You think inside out
You jump â??round three times
You jump into the mirror
And you're invisible


Lyrics submitted by dallew, edited by Mellow_Harsher

"How to Be Invisible" as written by Kate Bush

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

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How to Be Invisible song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentI guess most of us, at some point or another, wanted to be invisible for a length of time at our choosing. I think this relates mainly to Kate's intense desire not to be in the glare of publicity as some stars are. She really wants her privacy but I'm sure this gets trampled upon occasionally by reporters etc. However as she chooses not be in the spotlight compared to other singers - then she has successfully managed to be invisible.

    Therefore if you want to be invisible then you can do have the power to do so. The spell she casts is based on those things - braille, anorak, wallflower,doormat - that we may think are away from the limelight. Instead of being submissive - this is empowering if you choose this lifestyle and want to be left alone.
    GaffaUKon February 25, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentlots of fun here...i'm sure that a woman of kate's stature and fame would like to be invisible at times...sure would be convenient for all of us...love the trance state during recitation of the spell...
    musicatokcon October 27, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentLots of ‘Gothick’, narcotic & classic imagery here…

    how to be invisible… Take a pinch… fold… cut… line… You think inside out… blister and burn… Is that a storm in the swimming pool? … the mirror…

    …Spells, potions & dares! … and very psychoanalytic!
    Theresa_Gionoffrioon March 30, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentA recipe spellbook found in a dusty library… So you want to be invisible!
    A pinch of keyhole… not too much or too deep… Balance. Privacy. Domestic harmony. Imaginative leaps… and the eye of the seer!
    Theresa_Gionoffrioon April 10, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe phrase "How To Be" sounds like the title of an existential tome... And here KB is exploring how to be invisible... At various stages in life and in certain situations people might feel invisible, e.g. old people speak of social invisibility; people get drunk or intoxicated or go on holidays to forget themselves, to disappear; mythological heroes (and villains) seek invisibility to achieve certain goals, etc; and of course the dead are invisible (unless you possess the sixth sense!)... Then again, some people feel terribly visible, e.g. the paranoid, the socially awkward, the famous and the infamous...

    Is KB wanting to be invisible so that she might blend in with the everyday or achieve a greater, heroic goal? ... The song is full of gothic, narcotic, classic and literary imagery… Spells, potions, dares… The Sorcerer's spellbook found in a dusty attic… A pinch, not too much, not too deep; the eye of the seer, the hem of balance, the stem of tranquility, the hair of home... But the quest for invisibility has its dangers, temptations and warning signs... The Sorcerer's Apprentice could not control the magic that he tried to use... This is a hero's quest and not to be undertaken lightly... Maybe the Minotaur stalks the labyrinthine corridors? Or maybe the pitfalls of suicide and introspective madness? ... Yet the Romantic wild wind and leaves dead speak of ghosts, spirits and the Fantasia of 'being' invisible...

    'fold... cut... line...' - These could be instructions found in a Woman's Fashion magazine. And everyday fashion patterns and coupon offers strive to make us all alike, all following the same pattern, all lost in the same invisibility...
    'fold... cut... line... blister and burn... mirror...' - These also suggest drug use paraphernalia, losing oneself in the blur of forgetting...

    'Is that a storm in the swimming pool?' - Now, does this line reflect 1086 Sunset Boulevard? :o)
    Norma Desmond is essentially invisible. But for Max, she is completely forgotten. Her fame is as dead as the monkey under the veil. She has become fixed at the moment of her greatness, and now lives in the past with her 'waxworks'. Like Dracula, she and Max live in gothic decay, with Max feeding her with phoney fan mail to reinforce her self-deluded visibility and dreams of "return." Each time the mirror cracks, she attempts suicide... "Oh, wake up, Norma. You'd be killing yourself to an empty house. The audience left 20 years ago!" ... The arrival of Joe Gillis prompts her "return" to the outside. But the outside grows too loud for Norma and she shoots it down. Her fantasy to escape invisibility leads only to the very visible storm in the swimming pool! ... As a moral tale, Sunset Boulevard (1950) is like a book on how to be invisible which every would-be Hollywood hero should read before attempting a deluded Salome-esque comeback...

    * * *

    Aerial is indeed a wonderful sunset and a wonderful sunrise... It is as never-ending as the cycle of death and rebirth... Aerial captures humankind's fascination with the sun trip by day and at night... From Egyptian Nut arching across the sky, to Newgrange and Stonehenge solstices, to eclipses, the everyday and the beyond, Aerial is indeed a timeless and Classic masterpiece...

    December will be magic again.
    Don't miss the brightest star.
    Kiss under mistletoe.
    I want to hear you laugh.
    Don't let the mystery go now...
    Theresa_Gionoffrioon December 23, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commenten.wikipedia.org/wiki/…

    comes to mind but it has not a thing to do with any thing herbal or spiritual or natural as these lyrics seem to.
    laurelinwyntreon March 07, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is again about herself (and many famous people). She has always been shy and wanted to stay out of the public eye. To practice her art but still have a normal life (raise a family without being in the public eye).

    She is telling us how she trys to do it. To hide in plain sight. Adopt behaviors that get normal people ignored (and most people would not want to be totally ignored).

    She also alludes to some of her other songs giving her away. Can you imagine trying to hide in plain sight and one of your songs comes on the radio. Either you would shrink away or try to stop from smiling.
    exexpat93on October 20, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is one of my favorite Kate Bush songs, the lyrics are brilliant really.

    "Hem of anorak
    Stem of wallflower
    Hair of doormat
    Is that the wind from the desert song?
    Is that the autumn leaf falling?
    Or is that you walking home?"
    b0sendorferon December 13, 2012   Link
  • 0
    My OpinionI admire, and also adore artists who despise the limelight. That is probably why this is one of my favourite songs.
    brokentelephone78on December 20, 2016   Link

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