Song written by Kate Bush. Originally released on her fifth studio album Hounds Of Love. Fifth track of The Ninth Wave suite. The song was also released as a B-side track on the 12" single Hounds Of Love.
There is only one studio version of this song.
A live version appears on the album Before The Dawn.
In 2014, Kate performed 'Jig Of Life' live during all the shows of Before The Dawn. During the performance, a video of John Carder Bush appears on a television screen, reciting the poem at the end of the track.
Kate about 'Jig Of Life'
At this point in the story, it's the future self of this person coming to visit them to give them a bit of help here. I mean, it's about time they have a bit of help. So it's their future self saying, "look, don't give up, you've got to stay alive, 'cause if you don't stay alive, that means I don't." You know, "and I'm alive, I've had kids [laughs]. I've been through years and years of life, so you have to survive, you mustn't give up."
This was written in Ireland. At one point I did quite a lot of writing, you know, I mean lyrically, particularly. And again it was a tremendous sort of elemental dose I was getting, you know, all this beautiful countryside. Spending a lot of time outside and walking, so it had this tremendous sort of stimulus from the outside. And this was one of the tracks that the Irish musicians that we worked with was featured on.
There was a tune that my brother Paddy found which... he said "you've got to hear this, you'll love it." And he was right [laughs], he played it to me and I just thought, you know, "this would be fantastic somehow to incorporate here."
Was just sort of, pull this person up out of despair. (Richard Skinner, 'Classic Albums interview: Hounds Of Love. Radio 1 (UK), aired 26 January 1992)
Drums: Stuart Elliott, Charlie Morgan
Fiddles, whistles: John Sheahan
Bouzouki, Bodhran: Donal Lunny
Uillean pipes: Liam O'Flynn
Bass: Del Palmer
Dijeridu: Paddy Bush
Narration by John Carder Bush