Kate Bush wrote this poignant piano ballad in honor of her lighting director Bill Duffield, who died on opening night of the singer's Tour of Life in 1979. Duffield was checking out the stage at Poole Arts Centre in Dorset, England, when he fell nearly 20 feet through an open floor panel to the concrete floor below. "'Blow Away' is a comfort for the fear of dying," she explained in the Kate Bush Fan Club newsletter, "and for those of us who believe that music is perhaps an exception to the Never for Ever rule."
The Never For Ever rule is the certainty that nothing lasts forever, an idea Kate was mulling over while writing the song. She told Zigzag magazine in 1980: "Although the song had been formulating before and had to be written as a comfort to those people who are afraid of dying, there was also this idea of the music, energies in us that aren't physical: art, the love in people. It can't die, because where does it go? It seems really that music could carry on in radio form, radio waves... There are people who swear they can pick up symphonies from Chopin, Schubert. We're really transient, everything to do with us is transient, except for these non-physical things that we don't even control."
The lyrics mention several late musicians she hopes her friend will meet in the afterlife, including Minnie Riperton, Keith Moon, Sid Vicious, Buddy Holly, Sandy Denny, and T. Rex frontman Marc Bolan.
The line, "Put out the light then, put out the light," is a nod to William Shakespeare's Othello. It's spoken by the title character in the scene before he murders his wife, Desdemona.