I recently watched a more or less lackluster documentary on Kate Bush which had the usual weirdly unconnected star-interviews, no interviews with the featured artist herself and probably a lot of footage from previous documentaries. However, one description by one of her closer musician-friends about Kate’s voice in a lot of her songs got me thinking. He said, how maternal songs like “Army Dreamer” or “Breathing” are and I had this sudden realization that the paternal/maternal voice in music is rarely visible.
This song is about a mother’s worries to send her kid (back then only the boys) into war at an age when no one should hold a gun. The beauty lies in the lack of “war is bad”-aggression. It is about a mother who wonders what her son could have been if he would have had more chances in life to avoid the army (a way out for many boys who didn’t finish school or had otherwise trouble to find a proper job).
Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that it is not there, because I guess we all can cite songs like “Tears in Heaven” (sadly misappropriated for soggy background music) or the conflated “Glory” by Jay-Z that probably was a sign of love – but also a well-timed cash-cow if you ask me.
But if we look at the bigger picture, the pop stars that have kids (did you know that they do have kids? Crazy!), then hardly any one of them sings about them, at least not in single+music video-format and rather in the last-song-of-the-album-format that no one listens to anyway.
We have tons of songs about love and lost love and unrequited love and ex-boy/girlfriends and sexy time but those songs about being a parent, of having to care for a human being that is tiny and breaks easily (believe me, drop a mug and no one bats an eye but drop a baby and all hell breaks loose) – those songs are strangely absent.
Written for Shara’s son. It is about her always being there even when she one day will die. It’s a lovely, darkly humorous and heart-wrenching song. Could you imagine Beyoncé singing it?
This could have several reasons. Continue reading