Monday, 30 October 2017

Murder Ballad Monday--The Wedding List (Kate Bush)

 Hello and welcome to Murder Ballad Monday. We've recently been exploring many ballads based on dashing Highwaymen which have a more classical feel to them. Today, I would like to introduce you to murder ballad based on a Western.

The Wedding List by the stunning Kate Bush is everything you'd expect in a song by her--sky high vocals, enormous wide-eyed looks, angular mimes, over the top performance and unusual-never-before-done subject matter. The song was inspired by the 1968 Western film The  Bride Wore Black  by François Truffaut.
                                   Image result for the bride wore black
If you don’t know the film, basically the plot is this: {SPOILER ALERT}

A groom is accidentally murdered on the day of his wedding by a group of five people who shoot at him from a window. They were members of a hunting club and were horsing around with the gun when it went off. The bride succeeds in tracking down each one of the five and kills them in a row. The last one happens to be in jail, so she lets herself be arrested for killing the others and manages to kill the last one in prison.
                                        Image result for never forever kate
The song was premiered during the Christmas Special in 1979 and appeared a little over eight months later on Kate's third album, Never For Ever.

It is a masterpiece of story-telling as well as a perfect reminder of what the 80’s looked like—all frizzy crimped hair and way too much makeup.

Kate Bush is a bit Marmite—you either love her or you hate her. Personally, I adore her and her creativity. She never does anything by halves, and this song is no exception.

I love the story element of it,

I love her crazy, jerky almost marionette style dancing on the chorus that perfectly matches the discordant tone of her voice.

I love that her brother Paddy plays both the Vicar in the filmed wedding scene and the “baddie” in the live portions.

I love her perfect breasts in that wedding dress.

I love the way she appears to either bite a blood capsule or manage to smear her lipstick all over her teeth, so at the end as she’s singing her heart out all wild eyed and crazy and her mouth is filled with red.

I love the way her voice goes up in the stratosphere at the end and she does that little hop—it reminds me of Yosemite Sam, for some reason.

I also really love that this premiered on a Christmas special. Only in Britain.

The video is a masterpiece--like a mini film-- but I have also included the lyrics below if you'd like to follow along. And if you are one of the people who don't like her voice (it can be sort of shrill), then skip the video and listen to the video below it. It is an early demo of the song, just Kate and a piano, and it is more melodic and less jarring. Lyrically, it is slightly different. It is fascinating to me to see her editing process and see how the lyrics changed over time. I am so pleased that she altered it to include my favourite line 
You got what you gave by the heel of my bootie.

Bang-bang--Out! like an old cherootie.

And now the earlier demo:

No, I'll never give the hunt up,
And I won't muck it up.
Somehow this is it, I knew.
Maybe fate wants you dead, too
We've come together in the very same room,
And I'm coming for you!

Do you think I'd ever let you
Get away with it, huh?
He swooned in warm maroon.
There's gas in your barrel, and I'm flooded with Doom.
You've made a wake of our honeymoon,
And I'm coming for you!"

"All of the headlines said 'Passion Crime"
'Newlyweds Groom Shot Dead
'Mystery Man.' God help the bride
She's a widow, all in red,
With his red still wet. She said--"
I'll put him on the wedding list!
I'll put him on the wedding list!
I'll get him, and I will not miss.

Now, as I'm coming for you,
All I see is Rudi.
I die with him, again and again.
And I'll feel good in my revenge.
I'm gonna fill your head with lead
And I'm coming for you!

And when it's all over you'll roll over
The butt of my gun:
One in your belly, and one for Rudi.
You got what you gave by the heel of my bootie.
Bang-bang--Out! like an old cherootie,
I'm coming for you!

"All of the headlines said 'Passion Crime:
'Newlyweds Groom Shot Dead
'Mystery Man.' God help the bride!
She's a widow, all in red,
With his red still wet. She said--"
She sure got him on the wedding list
I'll got him on the wedding list!
I'll got him, and I will not miss.
I'll put him on the wedding list!

"And after she shot the guy,
She committed suicide.
I'm coming, Rudi!
"And later, when they analysed,
They found a little one inside.
"It must have been Rudi's child."
I shot, I shot, I shot him honey!
"Never mind, she got the guy."
He hit the ground, Rudi!

"An eye for an eye."
Ashes to ashes
"Eye for an eye."
I hit him, hit him
Rudi!, Rudi!
I'm coming coming, coming honey
"Eye for an eye."

Stay tuned next week for a murder on the dance floor. 

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