This Woman’s Work
Writer(s): Kate Bush (see lyrics here)
Released: February 8, 1988 (as part of She’s Having a Baby soundtrack)
Released: November 20, 1989 (as a single)
First Charted: December 2, 1989
Peak: 6 CO, 25 UK, 89 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)
Sales (in millions): -- US, 0.2 UK
Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 7.6 video, -- streaming
Awards: (Click on award for more details).
About the Song:
Kate Bush made her name in the music world in 1978 when, at 19 years old, she topped the UK charts with “Wuthering Heights.” She had four more top-10 hits in the UK. She didn’t fare as well in the United States, only reaching the top 40 once with 1985’s “Running Up That Hill.” She did, however, reach the top 10 a few times on Billboard’s alternative rock chart, most notably with the #1 hit “Love and Anger.”
That album, 1989’s The Sensual World, also featured “This Woman’s Work.” Bush originally recorded the song more than a year earlier for the soundtrack of the film She’s Having a Baby. The rom-com, directed and written by John Hughes, starred Kevin Bacon and Elizabeth McGovern as newlyweds. “This Woman’s Work” is used in the movie when McGovern has complications when giving birth to their child.
The song was written specifically for the movie and that sequence. She wrote the song from the man’s perspective, matching words to visuals which had already been shot for the movie. A montage of flashbacks of the couple is intercut with scenes of Bacon’s character waiting for news about the condition of his wife and baby. As Bush said, “It’s really very moving, him in the waiting room, having flashbacks of his wife and him…It’s exploring his sadness and guilt, suddenly it’s the point where he has to grow up.” SF
The song was re-edited from the original for her album, The Sensual World and there was even a slightly different mix for the official single, more than a year and a half after the song first appeared on the soundtrack for She’s Having a Baby. Bush directed the video for the song herself, using the same basic concept as the movie.
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First posted 4/3/2021.