‘The Fog’ is a song written by Kate Bush. It was originally released on her sixth studio album ‘The Sensual World’ in 1989. The song features the voice of Dr. Bush, Kate’s father.

Cover versions

‘The Fog’ was covered by Goodknight Productions and TM Collective.

Kate about ‘The Fog’

It’s about trying to grow up. Growing up for most people is just trying to stop escaping, looking at things inside yourself rather than outside. But I’m not sure if people ever grow up properly. It’s a continual process, growing in a positive sense.

Len Brown, ‘In The Realm Of The Senses’. NME (UK), 7 October 1989

Again, it’s quite a complex song, where it’s very watery. It’s meant to be the idea of a big expanse of water, and being in a relationship now and flashing back to being a child being taught how to swim, and using these two situations as the idea of learning to let go. When I was a child, my father used to take me out into the water, and he’d hold me by my hands and then let go and say “OK, now come on, you swim to me.” As he’d say this, he’d be walking backwards so the gap would be getting bigger and bigger, and then I’d go [Splutters]. I thought that was such an interesting situation where you’re scared because you think you’re going to drown, but you know you won’t because your father won’t let you drown, and the same for him, he’s kind of letting go, he’s letting the child be alone in this situation. Everyone’s learning and hopefully growing and the idea that the relationship is to be in this again, back there swimming and being taught to swim, but not by your father but by your partner, and the idea that it’s OK because you are grown up now so you don’t have to be frightened, because all you have to do is put your feet down and the bottom’s there, the water isn’t so deep that you’ll drown. You put your feet down, you can stand up and it’s only waist height. Look! What’s the problem, what are you worried about?

Roger Scott, BBC Radio 1 (UK), 14 October 1989

That started at the Fairlight. We got these big chords of strings, and put this line over the top, and then I got this idea of these words – slipping into the fog. I thought wouldn’t it be interesting to sort of really visualize that in a piece of music, with all these strings coming in that would actually be the fog. So I wrote a bit of music that went on the front of what I’d done, and extended it backwards with this bit on the front that was very simple and straightforward, but then went into the big orchestral bit, to get the sense of fog coming in.
Then we put a drummer on, and Nigel Kennedy, the violinist, came in and replaced the Fairlight violin, which changed the nature of it. He’s great to work with – such a great musician. The times we work together we sort of write together. I’ll say something like, “what about doing something a bit like Vaughan Williams?”, and he’ll know the whole repertoire, and he’ll pick something, and maybe I’ll change something. By doing that we came up with this different musical section that hadn’t been on the Fairlight.
So when I got all this down it seemed to make sense story-wise. This new section became like a flashback area. And then I got the lyrics together about slipping into the fog, and relationships, trying to let go of people.
It sounded great with the Fairlight holding it together, but it just didn’t have the sense of dimension I wanted. So we got hold of Michael Kamen, who orchestrated some of the last album, and we said we wanted this bit here with waves and flashbacks. He’s really into this because he’s always writing music for films, and he loves the idea of visual imagery. So we put his orchestra in on top of the Fairlight.
Again a very complicated process, and he was actually the last thing to go on. I don’t know how anything comes out as one song, because sometimes it’s such a bizarre process. It does seem to work together somehow.

Tony Horkins, ‘What Katie Did Next’. International Musician, December 1989


“You see, I’m all grown up now.”

He said,
“Just put your feet down child,
‘Cause you’re all grown up now.”

Just like a photograph,
I pick you up.
Just like a station on the radio,
I pick you up.
Just like a face in the crowd,
I pick you up.
Just like a feeling that you’re sending out,
I pick it up.
But I can’t let you go.
If I let you go,
You slip into the fog…

This love was big enough for the both of us.
This love of yours was big enough to be frightened of.
It’s deep and dark, like the water was,
The day I learned to swim.

He said,
“Just put your feet down, child.

“Just put your feet down child,
The water is only waist high.
I’ll let go of you gently,
Then you can swim to me.”

Is this love big enough to watch over me?
Big enough to let go of me
Without hurting me,
Like the day I learned to swim?

“‘Cause you’re all grown up now.

Just put your feet down, child,
The water is only waist high.
I’ll let go of you gently,
Then you can swim to me.”


Drums: Stuart Elliott
Guitar: Alan Murphy
Solo violin: Nigel Kennedy
Cello: Jonathan Williams
Celtic harp: Alan Stivell
Whistles: Davy Spillane
Dialogue: Dr. Bush
Orchestra arranged by Michael Kamen