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In the middle of 2022, Kate Bush is back on the charts thanks to Stranger Things

“Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)”, Kate Bush’s song is about to make a comeback thanks to Stranger Things’ new season.

It’s 1986 and Hawkins, a small town in Indiana, is recovering from multiple supernatural events that occurred in years past: demogorgon attacks, experiments in top-secret labs, conflicts with Russia and, above all, teenage love and heartbreak. The fourth season of Stranger Things already points to be one of the best of the series, not only because it is full of references to the 80s horror and possession films of the 80s, but also because Volume 1 has an exceptional soundtrack.

One of the songs that compose it is a gem from 1985: “Running Up That Hill” by Kate Bush, which returned to the charts after the premiere of Stranger Things 4.

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In the first episode of the fourth season, we see Max, who is dealing with the trauma of having witnessed the death of her older stepbrother. She takes refuge in music, in the safety of headphones connected to a Walkman.

If you’re too young to remember, a Walkman was a portable player into which you could insert a cassette and take it with you everywhere. One of the early scenes shows Max walking through Hawkins High School, with “Running Up That Hill” playing in the background. That song is the most important song of the entire season, as it is “Mad Max’s” favorite and represents the healing power of music.

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Stranger Things and Kate Bush

In real life, in 1985, Kate Bush released the album Hounds of Love and its B-side, The Ninth Wave. The songwriter and singer was tired of the physical and mental strain of her last album, The Dreaming, and did something that many of us dream of at some point in our lives: she moved to the countryside. It was at her rural home in Kent that she composed the songs on that material, including “Running Up That Hill”.

The song is about the possibility of switching places between a man and a woman. One of the ways to achieve this, she thought, would be through a pact with the devil. But she was more pleased with the idea of making the story about a pact with God. “A Deal With God” was the original name for the song, but faced with the censorship the song would face in highly religious countries like Italy or France, the record label suggested changing it to “Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God).”

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At the time, the song reached third place on the UK Singles Chart and reached the top 30 on the US Billboard Hot 100. Given that Hounds of Love was also very popular on that side of the world, it makes sense that, by 1986, a tormented teenage girl from Hawkins would carry that Kate Bush record on her Walkman. Later, in 2003, many teenagers started to know the song thanks to the Placebo cover, which came on the B-side of Sleeping With Ghosts.

From “Running Up That Hill” in Stranger Things and the importance that the song acquires as the story progresses, the eighties hit returned to the charts in the middle of 2022.

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Currently, the song is at the top of the iTunes chart and on Spotify’s Top 200. Another Kate Bush track that made a comeback thanks to streaming platforms and social media was “Wuthering Heights,” which you probably heard on dozens of TikTok videos during 2021. What will she think of the resurgence of her music in this context?

“Running Up That Hill (Deal With God)” lyrics

It doesn’t hurt me

Do you want to feel how it feels?

Do you want to know, know that it doesn’t hurt me?

Do you want to hear about the deal that I’m making?

You

It’s you and me

And if I only could

I’d make a deal with God

And I’d get him to swap our places

Be running up that road

Be running up that hill

Be running up that building

See, if I only could, oh

You don’t want to hurt me

But see how deep the bullet lies

Unaware I’m tearing you asunder

Oh, there is thunder in our hearts

Is there so much hate for the ones we love?

Tell me, we both matter, don’t we?

You

It’s you and me

It’s you and me, won’t be unhappy

And if I only could

I’d make a deal with God

And I’d get him to swap our places

Be running up that road

Be running up that hill

Be running up that building

See, if I only could, oh

You

It’s you and me

It’s you and me, won’t be unhappy

Oh, come on, baby

Oh, come on, darling

Let me steal this moment from you now

Oh, come on, angel

Come on, come on, darling

Let’s exchange the experience, oh, uh

And if I only could

I’d make a deal with God

And I’d get him to swap our places

I’d be running up that road

Be running up that hill

With no problems

See, if I only could

I’d make a deal with God

And I’d get him to swap our places

I’d be running up that road

Be running up that hill

With no problems

See, if I only could

I’d make a deal with God

And I’d get him to swap our places

I’d be running up that road

Be running up that hill

With no problems

See, if I only could

Be running up that hill

With no problems

(If I only could, be running up that hill)

(If I only could, be running up that hill)

Story originally published in Cultura Colectiva in Spanish

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