Kate Bush to quote James Joyce on new album

The singer has announced that she's been given the go-ahead to use Molly Bloom’s famous soliloquy from Ulysses

Kate Bush has announced she has been given the okay to use Molly Bloom’s famous soliloquy from Ulysses in a song she plans to release in May called ‘Flower Of The Mountain’.

The song is a reworking of her 1989 hit ‘The Sensual World’ and will appear on her new album, due for release on May 13.

Bush’s announcement has been described as “remarkable” by Joyce scholars, since The Joyce estate is notoriously protective of the writer’s work and have taken countless legal actions against people attempting to quote from his work.

Bush first approached the Joyce estate in 1989 asking to use extracts from Molly Bloom’s famous soliloquy in her song ‘The Sensual World’.

Speaking to Hot Press, Senator David Norris revealed that Kate Bush initially contacted him for advice: “About 20 years ago I got a phone call from Kate Bush asking how she would go about securing the rights for the song. I remember being quite surprised! I gave her the contact details for the estate at the time.”

When Bush was turned down she composed her own lyrics for the song but has spent over 20 years trying to persuade the Joyce estate to alter their decision. According to the singer, whose mother comes from Co. Waterford, “Originally when I wrote the song 'The Sensual World', I had used text from the end of Ulysses, but was disappointed not to receive permission. But when I came to work on this current project I thought I would ask for permission again and this time they said yes. The song has now been re-titled ‘Flower Of The Mountain’ and I am delighted that I have had the chance to fulfill my original concept.”

“I am absolutely delighted that she has secured the rights now,” Norris says. “I can only imagine the estate allowed it as the copyright will soon be ending. I regard her very highly as an artist,” he added. “She’s a wonderful person. I was particularly taken with her song ‘Wuthering Heights’.”

The singer was first struck by the power and potency of Bloom’s soliloquy when she heard Irish actress Siobhán McKenna speaking it. “When I heard Siobhán McKenna read it I thought: ‘My God! This is extraordinary, what a piece of writing!’ It’s a very unusual train of thought,” Bush says.

Bush’s new album has her revisiting two previous albums and recording fresh versions of the songs.


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