Kate Bush wishes for end to Ukraine war and backs striking nurses in moving Christmas message

Kate Bush wears a white top and blue long sweater as she sings into a microphone and claps her hands above her head during a live performance

Kate Bush has reflected on some of the most important political issues of the day in a rare public statement to mark the festive season.

On Fish People – the Official Site of Kate Bush, the singer shared a very personal message with fans, asking for the war in Ukraine to end and for nurses to “be cherished”.

The essay details Bush’s feelings about 2022, her desires for the year ahead and her feelings about the Stranger Things-inspired resurgence of her classic 1985 song “Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)”.

Bush, 64, also reflected on the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the death of Queen Elizabeth II, who passed away in September at the age of 96.

“Life became incredibly frightening in the pandemic, but just as we think it might be over soon, it seems to keep going. It’s a bombardment – the horrific war in Ukraine, the famines, the droughts, the floods…  and we lost our Queen,” Bush wrote.

“Many of my friends were surprised at how upset they were at her death especially as we aren’t royalists, but I think her passing became a focus for grief, for unexpressed loss that so many people had felt during the pandemic.”

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Kate Bush promoting her new album 'Hounds of Love' at London Planetarium, September 9th 1985.
Kate Bush promotes her new album Hounds of Love at the London Planetarium in 1985. (Getty/Dave Hogan)

Hopes at the top of Bush’s Christmas wish list for 2023 were for the Ukraine war to end and that nurses (many of whom are currently striking in the UK over pay and working conditions) get the respect that they deserve.

“I hope the war will end. I hope that the nurses will be in a position where they are appreciated – they should be cherished. Let’s all hope that next year will be better than this one.”

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She added: “I keep thinking about hope and how it was the last to fly out of Pandora’s box. Sometimes it’s all that seems to glow in the dark times we find ourselves in right now.”

Kate Bush’s song “Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)” was originally released 37 years ago but was re-popularised after Netflix’s sci-fi smash hit Stranger Things used it as a soundtrack to Max Mayfield’s (Sadie Sink) survival towards the climax of season four.

Bush broke the record for the longest-ever gap between number-one singles, according to the Official Charts Company. She last topped the charts 44 years ago with her iconic 1978 song ‘Wuthering Heights’, when she was just 19 years old. 

Reflecting on her unexpected chart comeback, Bush wrote: “I still reel from the success of RUTH, being the No 1 track of this summer. What an honour! It was really exciting to see it doing so well globally, but especially here in the UK and Australia; and also to see it making it all the way to No 3 in the US.”

She added that she found it amusing that many younger listeners assumed that she was a new and emerging artist.

 “Again, thank you so much to everyone who supported the track and made it a hit.”

Kate Bush wrapped up her Christmas message with a moving and lyrical metaphor typical of the beloved songstress.

“Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul,” she wrote. “I‘d like to think that this Christmas when joy is so hard to find, hope will perch in all our souls.”

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