Reaching Out

Song written by Kate Bush. Originally released on her sixth studio album The Sensual World in 1989.

Cover versions

'Reaching Out' was covered by E-Clypse featuring Emma Price and Chris Spillios.

Kate about 'Reaching Out'

That was really quick, really straightforward. A walk in the park did that one for me. I really needed one more song to kind of lift the album. I was a bit worried that it was all sort of dark and down. I'd been getting into walks at that time, and just came back and sat at the piano and wrote it, words and all. I had this lovely conversation with someone around the time I was about to start writing it. They were talking about this star that exploded. I thought it was such fantastic imagery. The song was taking the whole idea of how we cling onto things that change - we're always trying to not let things change. I thought it was such a lovely image of people reaching up for a star, and this star explodes. Where's it gone? It seemed to sum it all up really. That's kind of about how you can't hold on to anything because everything is always changing and we all have such a terrible need to hold onto stuff and to keep it exactly how it is, because this is nice and we don't want it to change. But sometimes even if things aren't nice, people don't want them to change. And things do. Just look at the natural balance of things: how if you reach out for something, chances are it will pull away. And when things reach out for you, the chances are you will pull away. You know everything ebbs and flows, and you know the moon is full and then it's gone: it's just the balance of things. (...) We did a really straightforward treatment on the track; did the piano to a clicktrack, got Charlie Morgan [Elton john's drummer] to come in and do the drums, Del did the bass, and Michael Nyman came in to do the strings. I told him it had to have a sense of uplifting, and I really like his stuff - the rawness of his strings. It's a bit like a fuzzbox touch - quite 'punk'. I find that very attractive - he wrote it very quickly. I was very pleased. (Tony Horkins, 'What Katie Did Next'. International Musician, December 1989)

Yes, you can't help but reach out and touch certain things even if you think they might hurt. When children reach out to touch parents it's a lottery as to whether they'll get a clip round the ears or a cuddle. ('Love, Trust and Hitler'. Tracks (UK), November 1989)

Credits

Drums: Charlie Morgan
Bass: Del Palmer
Mandolin: Paddy Bush
Strings arranged by Michael Nyman
Strings: Balavescu String Quartet With Clare Connors and Justin Pearson)

See how the flower leans instinctively toward the light
See how the heart reaches out instinctively for no reason but to touch