“Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)” is the opening track from English singer-songwriter Kate Bush and her fifth studio album “Hounds of Love”, released in 1985. “Running Up That Hill” was written and produced by Bush.
“Running Up that Hill (A Deal With God)” is an art rock and new wave song that discusses men and women swapping genders and therefore roles. In a 1992 Radio 1 interview with Richard Skinner, Bush explained her intention behind the track as it had often been misinterpreted, as well as the issue with her wanting to add “God” in the title of track:
“I was trying to say that, really, a man and a woman can’t understand each other because we are a man and a woman. And if we could actually swap each other’s roles, if we could actually be in each other’s place for a while […] I think it would lead to a greater understanding. And really the only way I could think it could be done was either… you know, I thought a deal with the devil, you know. And I thought, ‘well, no, why not a deal with God!’ You know, because in a way it’s so much more powerful the whole idea of asking God to make a deal with you […] But we were told that if we kept this title that it would not be played in any of the religious countries, Italy wouldn’t play it, France wouldn’t play it, and Australia wouldn’t play it! Ireland wouldn’t play it, and that generally we might get it blacked purely because it had God in the title.”
The music video for “Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)” was released in 1985 and uploaded to YouTube in January 2011 to Kate Bush’s channel. Directed by David Garfath, the video shows Kate Bush performing an interpretive dance with dancer Michael Hervieu, choreographed by Diane Grey. The end of the video shows an infinite line of unknown figure wearing masks which are pictures of both Bush and Hervieu’s faces. As of June 2021, the video has 64.8 million views and 872 thousand likes.
In 2022, the track entered the mainstream charts, charting at #1 in the UK and many other countries, thanks to being featured in the fourth season on Netflix’s popular horror show, “Stranger Things”.
“Running Up that Hill (A Deal With God)” is certified Gold in New Zealand, Silver in physical sales in the UK, and Platinum in the UK for Digital sales.
The lyrics to “Running Up That Hill” can be viewed here.
*All information accurate at the time of publishing.