"Rocket's Tail" as written by and Kate / Bush....
That November night, looking up into the sky
You said hey wish that was me up there
It's the biggest rocket I could find
And it's holding the night in its arms
If for only a moment
I can't see the look in its eyes
But I'm sure it must be laughing
But it seemed to me the saddest thing I'd ever seen
And I thought you were crazy wishing such a thing

I saw only a stick on fire
Alone on its journey
Home to the quickening ground
With no one there to catch it

I put on my pointed hat
And my black and silver suit
And I check my gunpowder pack
And I strap the stick on my back
And dressed as a rocket on Waterloo Bridge
Nobody seemed to see me
Then with the fuse in my hand
And now shooting into the night

And still as a rocket
I land in the river
Was it me said you were crazy?

I put on my cloudiest suit
Size five lightning boots too
'Cause I am a rocket
On fire
Look at me go with my tail on fire
Tail on fire
On fire

Lyrics submitted by weezerific:cutlery, edited by ladyamanda

"Rocket's Tail" as written by Kate Bush

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Rocket's Tail song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentWhen I first listened to this song I was literally blown away by it's wildness. Just over a minute and 20 seconds into the track the song explodes into a musical frenzy - an explosion that would launch a rocket itself. After reading Kate's lyrics I feel that it's an exploration of the unknown by throwing yourself into something you disagree with/don't understand and then finding joy and energy from it. It's such a powerful song, quite unlike anything I've heared before.
    solar_poweredon September 09, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song deals with the performing artist - It has a sad humour, like Janis Joplin saying: “I just made love to 25,000 people, but I’m going home alone!”

    A tells B how they wish they could experience the brilliant thrill suggested to them by the rocket.
    But B regards this wish as crazy. To B, the rocket symbolises not to be - brevity, sadness, aloneness, etc.

    Years later, B is a performer, like the firework… holding the night in its arms… But when a performer is on stage, most of us can’t see the look in their eyes…
    (‘I put on my pointed hat…’ Kate wore a pointed hat for ‘Sat in Your Lap’… and a black and silver suit ON STAGE… and Waterloo Bridge is very close to the London Palladium where she began her first and last tour in 1979.)

    B puts so much effort in, but still feels unfulfilled when the show is over… Nobody seems to see me…
    (The Dreaming met with a mixed critical reception…)
    So B tries again and again to fill “the gap”…
    (‘I put on my cloudiest suit…’ may refer to Cloudbusting, etc.)
    B is ‘on fire’ with the need to perform, to express herself artistically…

    So the song is about B, looking back on that November night, and ironically thinking, ‘Gosh, was it me who said you were crazy!’
    Theresa_Gionoffrioon April 10, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is a really wild, free and expressive song. solar_powered's explanation sounds like a potentially reasonable one to me now I read it, but being slightly morbid myself, I had interpreted it as about freedom found in death, haha.

    As I see it, it starts off with the first person and second person on Guy Fawkes' Night watching a rocket. The second person is talking about how much he wants to be the rocket, but the first person thinks that the rocket is only going to die, so it's not a happy thing at all.

    But then later on the first person realises that was exactly why the second person was envious of the rocket - because it was full of energy and beauty for a moment before it dies. She is dressed as a rocket and jumps off Waterloo Bridge, and as is shown in the last few lines, she's euphoric for a moment as she flies like the rocket did, until she also dies like the rocket did, as illustrated by where she's cut off in the last line - "look at me go, look at me..." - she doesn't finish the sentence. A little long-winded I know, but that's just what it said to me. xD

    I also love how English this song is. Guy Fawkes' Night, Waterloo Bridge, British shoe sizes (or so I assume, since size 5 is quite small for an adult in America!)
    alana_kaion January 03, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWell, Kate Bush is English, so it would make sense.

    Overall I agree with solar powered. She finds herself caught up in a moment which she had not expected to enjoy. (Was it me said you were crazy?)
    The rocket symbolises the energy but also the vunerability as she launches herself into the unknown.
    This is such a lovely song.
    White---Rabbiton April 09, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe song looks at the unexpected and turns self-doubt into a motivating force…

    The preparing to perform… the rocket suit and gunpowder pack… A rock star shooting into the night… the self-doubting ‘I land in the river!’ … And The Trio Bulgarka!
    A beautiful song!

    But Kate was never a performing ‘stick on fire’!!! … She was and always will be a wonderful star!
    Kate Towers …the biggest rocket I could find… Ever for Ever!
    Theresa_Gionoffrioon April 11, 2007   Link

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