Kate Bush – “This Woman’s Work” Lyrics Meaning

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Written By Joanna Landrum

Joanna holds a BSc in English Literature and uses her expertise in literary analysis to uncover the deeper meaning of her favorite songs.

The song navigates the complex emotions of a man standing by, feeling helpless, as a woman faces a life-altering situation. The lyrics traverse themes of regret, longing, and the realization of unspoken words and actions. Bush urges listeners to express love and appreciation for the women in their lives while they can, highlighting the often unseen strength and resilience of women. Written for a movie scene where a woman’s life hangs in the balance during childbirth, the song serves as a universal call to acknowledge and honor the often-overlooked work of women.

“Give me these moments back, give them back to me.” Ever wished you could turn back time and express what was left unsaid? “This Woman’s Work” captures that universal longing and regret breathtakingly.

“This Woman’s Work” Lyrics Meaning

“Pray God you can cope” immediately immerses us in a moment of desperation and uncertainty. “I stand outside this woman’s work, this woman’s world” reflects an outsider’s perspective, possibly a man recognizing a woman’s immense strength and resilience.

“Ooh, it’s hard on the man, now his part is over” acknowledges the man’s feeling of helplessness, as the woman faces a challenging situation. “Now starts the craft of the father” shifts the focus, highlighting a new beginning and responsibility.

“I know you have a little life in you yet, I know you have a lot of strength left” is a reassuring mantra, celebrating the woman’s inner strength and life force. The repetition emphasizes the depth of belief in her resilience.

“I should be crying, but I just can’t let it show” reveals a struggle to maintain composure, while “I should be hoping, but I can’t stop thinking” portrays a mind caught in a storm of regret and what-ifs.

“Of all the things I should’ve said that I never said, all the things we should’ve done that we never did” is a lament of missed opportunities and unexpressed feelings, urging listeners not to make the same mistakes.

The plea, “Oh, darling, make it go, make it go away” echoes a desperate wish to erase the pain and bring back the lost moments. “Give me these moments back, give them back to me” reinforces this longing for a second chance.

The Story Behind “This Woman’s Work”

Kate Bush composed “This Woman’s Work” under unique circumstances. The song was written for the 1988 John Hughes film “She’s Having a Baby,” specifically for a dramatic scene where the female lead faces complications during childbirth. Bush had to put herself in the shoes of the male protagonist, capturing his feelings of helplessness and realization of the woman’s strength.

At the time, Bush was already acclaimed for her ability to convey deep emotion and craft atmospheric music. “This Woman’s Work” was a continuation of her exploration into the complexities of human emotion and relationships.

The song’s creation reflects Bush’s incredible empathy and her knack for storytelling. She delved into a character’s psyche, surfacing unspoken emotions and regrets. “This Woman’s Work” stands as a testament to her artistic depth, showcasing her ability to create a universally resonating song from a specific cinematic moment.