This Woman's Work

Album: The Sensual World (1989)
Charted: 25
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • Bush wrote this for a sequence in the 1988 movie She's Having A Baby where a man is waiting helplessly in a hospital while his wife gives birth in the next room. She wrote it from the man's point of view.

    The song first appeared on the movie soundtrack, then was included on Bush's 1989 album The Sensual World.
  • A cover by the R&B American artist Maxwell was released as a single in 2001, peaking at #56 on the Hot 100.
  • Bush told the NME: "It was written for John Hughes' film She's Having A Baby. Really light comedy about this young guy who gets married, very much a kid. His wife is pregnant and it's alright until they get to the hospital and the baby's in the breach position.

    That's the sequence I have to write the songs about and it's really very moving, him in the waiting room, having flashbacks of his wife and him going for walks, decoration... It's exploring his sadness and guilt, suddenly it's the point where he has to grow up. He'd been such a wally up to this point."
  • Bush re-recorded the song for her 2011 album, Director's Cut, in which she updated a selection of tracks from The Sensual World and The Red Shoes.
  • The song returned to the UK singles chart at #63 in April 2012 after contestant Hope Murphy performed it on Britain's Got Talent. Maxwell's cover also entered the top 75 for the first time when it reached #41 the same week.
  • The music video opens with Bush playing the piano in a darkened room and transitions to scenes of a distraught man (English actor Tim McInnerny) in a hospital waiting room. We learn that his wife (Bush) suffered a medical emergency and he's waiting for news of her condition. Bush also directed the video, which was tricky business since the song was already based on a film. "It was interesting because the song had originally been written to visuals, but the song has its own storyline as well, so then it was like making a film of the song. Obviously in the movie it's about a man waiting for wife having a baby. Now I didn't want to put myself in a situation where I have to be pregnant," she laughed. "It's all too complicated. So left it very ambiguous. And I think it looks like a little film in that it tells a story." (Option, 1990)
  • This was prominently featured in the Alias episode "So It Begins" (2001). It plays while Sydney is in the bathtub reflecting on her relationship with her late fiancé, which was tragically cut short by his murder. On Netflix, the song was replaced by Rie Sinclair's "Island of Loneliness."

    It was also featured in these TV shows:

    The Handmaid's Tale ("June" – 2018)
    The Cleveland Show ("Yemen Party – 2011)
    It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia ("Dee Gives Birth" – 2010)
    CSI: Miami ("Backfire" – 2010)
    Ghost Whisperer ("Birthday Presence" – 2009)
    7th Heaven ("And Baby Makes Three" – 2006)
    Party of Five ("Hitting Bottom" – 1997)

    His version was used in the movies Stomp the Yard (2007) and Love & Basketball (2000).

Comments: 23

  • Patrik from BratislavaIt was also in the Extras, Ricky Gervai's show. He is a big fan of her.
  • Marcus from Houston, TxI consider myself a man's man and don't consider myself a 'wimp", but whenever I hear this song or see the video, I feel like I'm going to cry. I can't even watch the whole video without getting that lump in my throat. I like how the cresendo of choirs break in at the climax of the somg. Very poingant.
  • Melissa from Chinle, AzThis song makes me cry, i love this song. I fell there's hope in this song when i listen to it, i get goose bumps. Absolutely beautiful song, WOW!!
  • Amy from Slatington, PaThis song also played on 7th Heaven after Sandy gave birth to Aaron.
  • Annette from Wyoming, WyI absolutely love this song. I cried as a young women watching the movie "she's having a baby" Mostly because of the song. I cry when I hear it now because of the death of my son. I play it on his birth/death anniversaries and anytime I'm feeling sad about missing him. The song allows me to have a really good cry, even after all these years.
  • Betj from Lima, OhI have always loved this song. When its played in She's Having A Baby...I cry everytime. LOVE this song.
  • Lisa from Sheffield, United KingdomWow!!! How touching, I can cry and cry to this song.
    Means more now that ive had a baby girl and had a bad time giving birth.
  • Shell from Perth, AustraliaI think this is the only song that has ever made me cry. It is so special and can mean different things to different people. I think Kate Bush is the best artist and did a brilliant job on this song!
  • Elizabeth from Seattle, WaThis song was used in the 2nd episode of Alias when Sydney finally begins to take in all that has happened since she told Danny about her life. An amazing song fit that amazing TV show!
  • Kelly from Levittown, PaThis is an awesome song, really moving.
  • Sherri from Waco, Txat the time that i watched "she's having a baby I was seventeen i am twenty-nine now and it scared me to death! I was not a goody goody but I also had not had any children by that time like so many of my friends had. anyhow, I love the song and I have not heard the remake but i beleive it was featured on that movie "love and basketball" it always gives me chills and moves m to tears each time I hear it what a great song! all I can remember was the montage of kevin bacon remembering kristy(elizabeth mcgovern) character with so much depth and sadness and I swear to you I thought she was dead when they removed that oxygen mask and this made me cry even more. This song hits home because I had to have my son by c-section and determined through difficulty carrying him that I would literally give my life for him and under the guise of anethesia I could feel myself stop breathing, and I swear I had an out of body experience! my family and friends were outside the surgery area waiting too and this song just hits home everytime I hear it. I am so blessed that everything went well, and it would be great if they played videos like they used too so you could see them and relive memories. now mtv and vh1 are filled up with reality shows and even the classic replay on cable just seems to replay the same. well can't always get what u want have a great night yall.
  • Jules from Negaunee, MiThe video makes it look like she has fallen ill and he is grieving her passing and all he never did for her. Kate Bush is a brave and amazing artist.
  • Emily from Auburn, AlThis (besides Wuthering Heights) has to be one of the worst songs I've ever heard. Kate Bush's voice is so torturous!
  • Ryan from Kansas City, KsFantastic song. Maxwell's MTV Unplugged version of this track is a classic. It makes sense to be about a baby, but I see it being about a break up. "All the things we should've said that we never said / All the things we should've done that we never did / All the things that you wanted from me / All the things that you needed from me."
  • Terry from London, EnglandThis song moves me to tears everytime I hear it. This is so good, that it took a great singer like Maxwell to even attempt to do it justice and his unplugged version is as good as it gets. If there was a song that deserved the title, a great song, then this is it. Absolute perfection.
  • Alexx from Las Vegas, NvThis song was also used for the official promotional video for the eighth season premiere of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Dead Doll. It fit the general idea for the episode perfectly, as the team searched for one of their own. The team including the missing member's boyfriend.
    Impressive song, probably one of my favorites.
  • Brian Prenston from Birmingham, EnglandThis song was also used in the BBC documentary commemorating the 10th anniversary since the Dunblane School Massacre. Remembering Dunblane.
  • Wendy from Louisville, KyI believe this song was also played at the ending of a Miami Vice episode in 1987 called "Baby Blues". Absolutely beautiful!
  • Andrew from Salem, MaThe husband in the video is portrayed (with impressive depth of character) by Tim McInnery, better known for playing the straight man or the fool against Rowan Atkinson's various incarnations of 'Blackadder'.
  • Jeanette from Elkridge, MdMaxwell did a cover of this song to a tee! I think he is the only male who could sing like that- simply amazing! I get chills every time I hear it no matter who sings it. It's beautifully written, lyrics and melody.
  • Lee from Ottawa, CanadaAn absolutely beautiful song.It gives me shivers every time I hear it.A lot of her best songs,like this one,feature only Kate's voice and her piano playing.I'll bet that these songs take Kate back to when she was a child sitting at the piano and creating wonderful music.Kate herself once said that the more recognition she gained and the more demands on her time,the more it took her away from the simple pleasure of sitting alone,playing the piano and singing.
  • Jen from Eaton, OhThis song also was played on a Party Of Five episode when Baily is looking at Sarah in the hospital bed after the accident that he caused driving drunk.
  • Michelle from Boca Raton, FlI remember seeing the video for this song while vacationing in London. A man?s view of his loved one in a hospital and the helplessness he feels. The video and song always move me to tears.
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