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"Jig of Life"

From:The Ninth Wave (Hounds of Love)
Written by Kate Bush

[What follows is a newly revised transcription of the lyrics of Jig of Life. I have arranged the lines with the double (and sometimes, unfortunately, mutually exclusive) intention of indicating (primarily) distinct characters and (secondarily) channel placement. I have also tried to maximize the narrative logic of the words, without forsaking the poetical presentation (capitals beginning each line). This,too, is a sometimes impossible combination of aims. In both cases, some personal interpretation is required. For example, I have decided that the section beginning with "I put this moment...here" is begun by the young woman, more or less "testing" her "old" incarnation's assertion, as it were. This may be disputed by others. (I put the heroine, without quotation marks, at the far left; her future self at the next indent; and the other voices farther right.) As for the identity of the male voice saying "she said" in one section, or that of the "sort of Irish"-accented male voice (actually the voice of John Carder Bush, who wrote this part of the lyrics)--I have no idea. Finally, divisions between "verses", or sections--only one of which is indicated in the official lyrics--were improvised by me, based upon changes in the music.]

Hello, old lady.
I know your face well.
I know it well.

She says,

"Ooh-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na!
I'll be sitting in your mirror.
Now is the place where the crossroads meet.
Will you look into the future?

"Never, never say goodbye
To my part of your life.
No, no, no, no, no!
Oh, oh, oh,

"Let me live!"

She said.

"C'mon and let me live, girl!"

She said,

"C'mon and let me live, girl!"
("C'mon and let me live!")

"This moment in time,"
(She said.)
It doesn't belong to you,"
(She said,)
It belongs to me,

"And to your little boy and to your little girl,
And the one hand clapping:
Where on your palm is my little line,
When you're written in mine
As an old memory?
Ooh, na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-

"Never, never say goodbye
To my part of your life.
Oh no, no, no, no, no!
Never, never, never!
Never, never let me go!"

She said,

"C'mon and let me live, girl!'
("C'mon and let me live!")

She said,

"C'mon and let me live, girl!"
("C'mon and let me live!")

I put this
moment..............................................here.
I put this moment.........................here.
I put this moment--

"Over here!
"Over here!
Can't you see where memories are kept bright?
Tripping on the water like a laughing girl.
Time in her eyes is spawning past life,
One with the ocean and the woman unfurled,
Holding all the love that waits for you here.
Catch us now for I am your future.
A kiss on the wind and we'll make the land.
Come over here to where When lingers,
Waiting in this empty world,
Waiting for Then, when the lifespray cools.
For Now does ride in on the curl of the wave,
And you will dance with me in the sunlit pools.
We are of the going water and the gone.
We are of water in the holy land of water
And all that's to come runs in
With the thrust on the strand."

 1985 Novercia Ltd.                                                                   


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