"The Kick Inside" as written by and Kate Bush....
I've pulled down my lace and the chintz.
Oh, do you know you have the face of a genius?
I'll send your love to Zeus.
Oh, by the time you read this,
I'll be well in touch.

I'm giving it all in a moment or two.
I'm giving it all in a moment, for you.
I'm giving it all, giving it, giving it.
This kicking here inside
Makes me leave you behind.
No more under the quilt
To keep you warm.
Your sister I was born.
You must lose me like an arrow,
Shot into the killer storm.

You and me on the bobbing knee.
Didn't we cry at that old mythology he'd read!
I will come home again, but not until
The sun and the moon meet on yon hill.

I'm giving it all in a moment or two.
I'm giving it all in a moment, for you.
I'm giving it all, giving it, giving it.
This kicking here inside
Makes me leave you behind.
No more under the quilt
To keep you warm.
Your sister I was born.
You must lose me like an arrow,
Shot into the killer storm.


Lyrics submitted by weezerific:cutlery, edited by Mellow_Harsher

"The Kick Inside" as written by Kate Bush

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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The Kick Inside song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentA note on the origin of this song: "Lizzie Wan" (alternately "Lucy Wan") is an 18th-century English/Irish folk ballad, best known as The Ballad of Lizzie Wan, which recounts the tragedy of Lizzie Wan, who falls in love with her brother and then kills herself while carrying his child. Kate's original lyrics in the demo version of The Kick Inside included the line "Welling eyes from identifying with Lizzie Wan's story" making it clear that her own story refers to a modern pair of siblings who face a similar crisis. In the finished version as heard on the album, the explicit reference to the early folksong was removed, making the song's inspiration harder to identify. But her intent remains, as indicated by this excerpt from the original:

    When will you return again,
    My son, come tell to me?
    When the sun and the moon set on yonders green hill,
    And I'm sure that never can be.
    trinity_tragedyon March 21, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI think since the Lizzie Wan story was cut out of this, it's possible to interpret it both in terms of that song, but also in terms of the myth of Artemis and Apollo; of two very close siblings. The 'Kick Inside' can be taken literally, as pregnancy, or as a metaphor for something about to be born that will 'make me leave you behind'; i.e. Kate's incredible creative drive.

    Kate was and is incredibly close to her brother Paddy, who was her lifelong collaborator. This song can express the feeling that her artistic career (which was just about to take flight) will take her from him. I'm sure she must have thought of him when writing this.

    It seems that she's taken the story of Lizzie Wan and expanded it in a way that it has more layers and resonances.

    She's the greatest female songwriter I know. To have written this so young is jaw-dropping.
    dorianblackon August 03, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe themes of this song are quite controversial but i've always loved that Kate isn't scared to experiment with sensitive subjects. I do wonder where she gets the inspiration for songs like these though! It's about a woman who's having a sexual relationship with her brother and finds herself pregnant with his baby...i told you it was controversial! It's like a suicide note aimed at her brother in the form of a song. She plans to kill herself because of all the shame she's brought upon herself and her family.
    Licion October 12, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis is definately about brother/sister incest, the resultiing pregnancy, and her decision to commit suicide rather than bring shame on her brother.....i read in one of her bios that this lyric is based on an old folk song/tale.....kate reads a lot and was introduced to a great deal of poetry and lore by her oldest brother, poet/photographer, John Carder Bush!
    musicatokcon October 29, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe album, THE KICK INSIDE, was Kate’s first ‘child’ (artists often refer to their creative outputs as children, etc.). TKI naturally reflects many influences and origins.

    When the album TKI came out, Kate was shot into stardom (itself a potential killer storm - Joplin, Hendrix, Cobain, etc.).
    The old Kate was lost and Kate the star was born. A very scary (suicide/rebirth) transition…
    And by the time WE as fans read these lyrics, Kate had gone global (well in touch) and was working and learning among the Zeuses of Rock’s Hall of Fame.

    From the start, Kate was determined to ‘be well in touch’ (creatively sensational) and to ‘give it all’ in her work… Her creative urges (This kicking here inside…) gave her no choice but to leave ‘her old self’ behind…

    The song, The Kick Inside, can thus be seen as a goodbye thank you to the creative genius/influences that made a star… It is the birthing song of a star… About realising destiny and hitting the charts!
    Theresa_Gionoffrioon April 06, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI don't think "the kick inside" means that there's actually a baby kicking inside her. And I don't think that the song is about her having sexual relations with her brother.
    I think trhe kicking inside symbolises an urge to go out and explore the world, and that's why she has to leave him behind. When she says "your sister I was born" she doesn't mean they're blood relatives, but brother and sister in other ways.
    marureeon July 11, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is so sad, i cried when i first heard it, i performed it in front of my class and most of the girls and even some of the boys definately felt for the song

    i agree that it is a suicide note from a girl who is pregnant with her brothers baby, and even though she loves her brother, she feels that suicide is the only way out
    daferdatyon June 03, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTragedy depicts the downfall of a basically good person through some fatal error or misjudgement, producing suffering and insight on the part of the protagonist and arousing pity and fear/horror on the part of the audience. Sometimes the audience only get the horror and do not see the pity. But THE KICK INSIDE emphasises the pity over the horror.

    Maybe the two opening lines remember the night of the tragic union. Her heavy belly brings insight, lucidity and shame. Driven by an heroic sense of responsibility, and by the now lucid horror of events, she elects to kill herself. She is forced now to suffer mythic horror, where once before she felt only tearful pity at that old mythology.

    This tender song is not about adding horror to horror. KB makes us feel the pity and cry at their tragic mythic tale.
    Theresa_Gionoffrioon November 07, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"Oh, do you know you have the face of a genius?..."
    Apollo was the great Olympian god of prophecy, music, song, poetry, archery, etc. He is considered the ideal of manly beauty. To be 'Apollonian' is to be serenely high-minded, noble and bright, etc.

    "I'll send your love to Zeus..."
    Artemis was the sister of Apollo. They were the twin offspring of Zeus and Leto.

    "You must lose me like an arrow
    Shot into the killer storm..."
    Apollo and Artemis were two great Olympian Archers. In old mythology, they are often shown equipped with hunting bow and quiver of arrows.

    "The sun and the moon meet on yon hill...
    Apollo was a Sun God and Artemis was a Moon Goddess.
    Theresa_Gionoffrioon June 01, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentamazing song... listened to this album tons of times. Man with the child in his eyes was my favorite.. But this caught me in a space and just took over...
    kickinsideon June 21, 2013   Link

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