Them Heavy People

Album: The Kick Inside (1978)
Charted: 10
  • This first appeared on Kate Bush's debut album, The Kick Inside in 1978, but was only released as a single in Japan under the title "Rolling The Ball" (it reached #3 on the Japanese charts). The following year, it was the lead track from Bush's Live On Stage EP, a collection of live recordings from a benefit concert at Hammersmith Odeon, London. That version peaked at #10 in the UK.
  • This song refers to Georges Ivanovich Gurdjieff (1877-1949), a Greek-Armenian mystic and spiritual teacher who used stylized dance to help people to unleash the powers within themselves and develop their full capabilities. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Edward Pearce - Ashford, Kent, England, for above 2
  • When Bush sings, "I love the whirling of the Dervishes," she refers to the ancient meditative dance in the Sufi tradition, which is a form of Islamic mysticism. During their sacred Sema ceremonies, the Dervishes - members of the Mevlevi Order of Islam - rapidly twirl until they reach a peaceful, spiritual state called Sufism.
  • In the lyrics, the knowledge-hungry singer wants to learn from a variety of teachers, not just Gurdjieff, whom she heard her father and brother discussing while she was writing the tune. She explained in a 1979 fan club article: "I thought it was important not to be narrow-minded just because we talked about Gurdjieff. I knew that I didn't mean his system was the only way, and that was why it was important to include Whirling Dervishes and Jesus, because they are strong, too. Anyway, in the long run, although somebody might be into all of them, it's really you that does it - they're just the vehicle to get you there."
  • Bush wrote this at her parents' house after the opening phrase, "Rolling the ball," popped into her head.
  • She performed this, along with "The Man With The Child In His Eyes," during her sole Saturday Night Live appearance on December 9, 1978.

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Crystal WatersSongwriter Interviews

Waters tells the "Gypsy Woman" story, shares some of her songwriting insights, and explains how Dennis Rodman ended up on one of her songs.

Paul WilliamsSongwriter Interviews

He's a singer and an actor, but as a songwriter Paul helped make Kermit a cultured frog, turned a bank commercial into a huge hit and made love both "exciting and new" and "soft as an easy chair."

90s MetalFact or Fiction

Test your metal - Priest, Maiden, and Beavis and Butt-head show up in this one.

Bass Player Scott EdwardsSong Writing

Scott was Stevie Wonder's bass player before becoming a top session player. Hits he played on include "I Will Survive," "Being With You" and "Sara Smile."

Andy McClusky of OMDSongwriter Interviews

Known in America for the hit "If You Leave," OMD is a huge influence on modern electronic music.

Divided Souls: Musical Alter EgosSong Writing

Long before Eminem, Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj created alternate personas, David Bowie, Bono, Joni Mitchell and even Hank Williams took on characters.