Wild Man

Album: 50 Words For Snow (2011)
Charted: 73

Songfacts®:

  • This is the first single from singer-songwriter Kate Bush's tenth studio album, 50 Words For Snow. The radio edit was debuted on BBC Radio 2's Ken Bruce Show on October 10, 2011, and the 7:16 long single was released the following day.
  • The song is about the existence of the Yeti, a large manlike or apelike animal that is said to inhabit the Himalayas. Bush is warning the woolly creature to beware of humans: "They want to know you," she sings. "They will hunt you down/Then they will kill you."
  • Stories of the Yeti first emerged in Western popular culture during the 19th century. The first reliable report appeared in 1925 when a Greek photographer, N. A. Tombazi, working as a member of a geological expedition in the Himalayas, saw a creature at about 15,000 ft (4,600 m) near Zemu Glacier. When he asked the locals what the beast was that he'd just seen they told him it was a "Kangchenjunga demon." (The Kangchenjunga is the third highest mountain in the world after Mount Everest and K2). Western interest in the Yeti peaked in the 1950s particularly after Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay reported seeing large footprints resembling those of a large bear while scaling Mount Everest in 1953. At a 2011 conference in Russia, participating scientists and enthusiasts declared having "95% evidence" of the Yeti's existence.
  • The song features backing vocals from former Amen Corner singer Andy Fairweather Low.
  • Bush explained to Mojo magazine why she depicts the yeti-like creature in such empathetic terms: "In our contemporary world, things of mystery are even more precious than they were before the internet and I think it would be really terrible if that mystery was taken away from us, don't you? It's really important."

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