So, listening today to Kate Bush and “Wuthering Heights” I was struck by a few questions.

Why does the ghost have to keep telling Heathcliff it is Cathy? Surely he knows what Cathy looks like. It’s not an amorphous blob. It looks, if we are to believe the film clip, rather like a woman in a white dress…who looks rather like Kate Bush and changes costume if you are American.

My answer, which I think is rather more interesting from a gaming perspective, is that it’s not Cathy at all. It is some sort of faerie. It’s clearly a psychopomp, and it has a traditional ward in that it can’t enter a house unless invited in. It even tells him its come to grab away his soul. Now: it is possible this psychopomp is here to lead him to a paradisal existence with his one true love, but I think we can discount this cheery hypothesis, due to my other question.

If this is Cathy, why is she singing at the wrong window?

In the book, you’ll recall she was calling at the window of a guest, who recounted her as a dream to Heathcliff. Does the ghost of a person’s true love do that? Misread the directions?

So, this is a supernatural predator that’s trying to break into Wuthering Heights and eat the soul of Heathcliff. This makes the song far more interesting, because it’s a confidence trick.

If looking for versions on YouTube, please be aware that many of the people who have sung covers seem to treat this as a Kate Bush impersonation contest. I’d like to point you toward the version by Wolfmother, not because it is particularly excellent, but because at least they try and do it their own way, with decent diction, rather than as an excuse to push the heights of their vocal ranges.


2 replies on “Heathcliff: I’d step away from the window if I were you

  1. It’s an interesting though – a faerie impersonator of Cathy trying to steal Heathcliff’s soul (and hence vitality). I wonder whether Heathcliff himself could be a changeling and the faerie Cathy is in fact the original faerie that sired him returned in a different guise to claim the glamour invested in his conception and/or cash in on the vitality produced by the tragic tale created by his life?

    As to Kate Bush songs – I must say I’m still a fan of the original, although the Wolfmother cover isn’t bad. I remember when I was feeling particularly whimsical I used to play the film clip of “Wuthering Heights” on fast forward and watch Kate spin around waving her arms at high speed. Sometimes I would sing and dance along. However I’d note faerie is no longer about whimsy these days so let’s stick to the story… 🙂


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