‘Under Ice’ is a song written by Kate Bush. It was originally released on her fifth studio album Hounds Of Love. Second track of The Ninth Wave suite.

Versions

There is only one studio version of this song.
A live version appears on the album Before The Dawn.

Performances

In 2014, Kate performed ‘Under Ice’ live during all the shows of Before The Dawn.

Cover versions

‘Under Ice’ was covered by Theo Bleckmann, C.J. Boyd & Helena Espvall, Ellen ten Damme, Goodknight Productions, G√∂teborgs Symfoniker, Isadar, The Sandman’s Orchestra, TM Collective and Violet.

Kate about ‘Under Ice’

It was very much the idea of going from very cold water, it’s getting dark, you’re alone, the only way out is to go to sleep, no responsibilities, and forget about everything; but if you go to sleep, the chances are you could rool over in the water and drown. So you’re trying to fight sleep, but you can’t help it, and you hit the dream. The idea of the dream being really cold, and really the visual expectancy of total loneliness, and for me that was a completely frozen river, no-one around, everything completely covered with snow and icicles, and it’s that person all alone in this absolute cold wilderness of white, and seeing themselves under the ice, drowning, to which they wake up and find themselves under the water.

kate Bush in an Interview by Tony Myatt at the 1985 Kate Bush Convention

This was all kinda coming together by itself, I didn’t have much to do with this, I just sat down and wrote this little tune on the Fairlight with the cello sound. And it sounded very operatic and I thought “well, great” because it, you know, it conjured up the image of ice and was really simple to record. I mean we did the whole thing in a day, I guess. (…) Again it’s very lonely, it’s terribly lonely, they’re all alone on like this frozen lake. And at the end of it, it’s the idea of seeing themselves under the ice in the river, so I mean we’re talking real nightmare stuff here. And at this point, when they say, you know, “my god, it’s me,” you know, “it’s me under the ice. Ahhhh” [laughs]

Richard Skinner, ‘Classic Albums interview: Hounds Of Love. Radio 1 (UK), aired 26 January 1992

Lyrics

It’s wonderful
Everywhere, so white
The river has frozen over
Not a soul on the ice
Only me skating fast
I’m speeding past trees
Leaving little lines in the ice
Splitting, splitting sound
Silver heels spitting, spitting snow

There’s something moving
Under, under the ice
Moving under ice
Through water
Trying to get out of the cold water
“It’s me.”
Something, someone–help them
“It’s me.”

Credits

Harmonic vocals: Paddy Bush