This song is about the kind of people who want to have knowledge but can't be bothered to do the things they should in order to get it. It implies that the more you know, the more ignorant you realize you are; when you get over one wall, you will find an even bigger one.
The Dreaming was Bush's first album as a solo producer, allowing her to experiment musically in areas that were new to her.
The video for this song was intentionally made to be comical rather than serious. It contained images indicating lack of knowledge such as dunces and jesters.
Lee - Ottawa, Canada, for all above
In a 1982 fan club newsletter, Kate explained how the track came together: "I already had the piano patterns, but they didn't turn into a song until the night after I'd been to see a Stevie Wonder gig. Inspired by the feeling of his music, I set a rhythm on the Roland and worked in the piano riff to the high-hat and snare. I now had a verse and a tune to go over it but only a few lyrics like 'I see the people working,' 'I want to be a lawyer,'' and 'I want to be a scholar,' so the rest of the lyrics became 'na-na-na' or words that happened to come into my head. I had some chords for the chorus with the idea of a vocal being ad-libbed later. The rhythm box and piano were put down, and then we recorded the backing vocals 'Some say that knowledge is...' Next we put down the lead vocal in the verses and spent a few minutes getting some lines worked out before recording the chorus voice. I saw this vocal being sung from high on a hill on a windy day. The fool on the hill, the king of the castle... 'I must admit, just when I think I'm king.'"
Kate made extensive use of synthesizers on this album, including the digital Fairlight CMI and the analog Yamaha CS-80, which she used on this track to create a brass arrangement. She explained: "The idea of the demos was to try and put everything down as quickly as possible. Next came the brass. The CS-80 is still my favorite synthesizer next to the Fairlight, and as it was all that was available at the time, I started to find a brass sound. In minutes I found a brass section starting to happen, and I worked out an arrangement. We put the brass down and we were ready to mix the demo."