The Man with the Child in His Eyes

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"The Man with the Child in His Eyes"
Kate Bush - The Man with the Child in His Eyes.png
Single by Kate Bush
from the album The Kick Inside
Released26 May 1978 (1978-05-26)
Format7" vinyl
RecordedJune 1975 (1975-06), AIR Studios, London
GenreProgressive pop[1]
Length2:42 (Single mix)
2:40 (LP mix)
Songwriter(s)Kate Bush
Producer(s)Andrew Powell, David Gilmour
Kate Bush singles chronology
"The Man with the Child in His Eyes"
"Hammer Horror"
Audio sample
"The Man with the Child in His Eyes"

"The Man with the Child in His Eyes" is a song by Kate Bush. It is the fifth track on her debut album The Kick Inside and was released as her second single, on the EMI label, in 1978.


Bush wrote the song when she was 13 and recorded it at the age of 16. It was recorded at AIR Studios, London, in June 1975 under the guidance of David Gilmour.[2] She has said that recording with a large orchestra at that age terrified her.[3] The song was Bush's second chart single in the United Kingdom where it reached number six in the summer of 1978. In the United States the single was released in December of the same year. It became her first single to reach the Billboard pop singles chart, peaking at number 85 early in 1979.[4] Bush performed this song in her one appearance on Saturday Night Live, singing on a piano being played by Paul Shaffer.

The single version slightly differs from the album version. On the single, the song opens with the phrase “he’s here!” echoing, an effect added after the album was released.[3]

According to the sheet music published in by EMI Music Publishing, the song is set in the time signature of common time, with a moderate tempo of 88 beats per minute. It is written in the key of E minor.[5]

In 2010, former radio and television presenter Steve Blacknell, Bush's first boyfriend, offered the original hand-written lyrics for the song for sale through music memorabilia website[6] The lyrics were written "in hot pink felt tip, complete with Kate Bush's own little pink circles in place of dots over the "I"'s."[7]

The song received the Ivor Novello Award for "Outstanding British Lyric" in 1979.[8]

Track listing[edit]

7" single (EMI 2806) (UK)

  1. "The Man with the Child in His Eyes" – 2:42
  2. "Moving" – 3:06

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1978) Peak
UK Singles Chart[9] 6
Australia (Kent Music Report)[10] 22
Dutch Top 40[11] 27
Dutch Single Top 100 23
Irish Singles Chart[12] 3
New Zealand Singles Chart 36
US Billboard Hot 100[13] 85

Cover versions[edit]

Scottish duo Hue and Cry released the song in their Violently EP in 1989. Dark Orange added "The Man with the Child in His Eyes" as a B-side to their "Sounds of Silence" single in 1992. It was also recorded by Natalie Cole for her 2006 album Leavin'. Australian singer and songwriter Tina Arena recorded the song in 2007 for her album Songs of Love & Loss. Lara Fabian covered this song on an acoustic album Every Woman In Me (2009) where she covers English-speaking women that inspired her during her musical career in many ways.[14] Norwegian singer Liv Kristine (former vocalist for the band Theatre of Tragedy and current vocalist for the band Leaves' Eyes) recorded the song in 2012 for her solo album Libertine. Charlotte Church recorded a cover of the song in 2005.[15] Marina Prior covered the song for her 2012 album Both Sides Now.

Zenima [pt], Syd Straw and Ruthie Henshall also covered this song.[16]


  1. ^ Breithaupt, Don; Breithaupt, Jeff (2000), Night Moves: Pop Music in the Late '70s, St. Martin's Press, p. 67, ISBN 978-0-312-19821-3
  2. ^ The Kick Inside sleeve notes
  3. ^ a b "Kate Bush in Her Own Words - The Man with the Child in His Eyes". Gaffaweb. Retrieved 2 February 2009.
  4. ^ "allmusic – Kate Bush – Billboard singles". Retrieved 2 February 2009.
  5. ^ "The Man With The Child In His Eyes: Digital Sheet music". Sony/ATV Music Publishing.
  6. ^ "I'm The Man With The Child In His Eyes: Kate Bush's first boyfriend reveals he was the secret inspiration for classic hit". Daily Mail. 24 September 2010. Retrieved 27 February 2012.
  7. ^ Sicha, Choire (23 September 2010). "Kate Bush's Handwriting: Girly, Pink, Awesome – The Awl". Retrieved 24 August 2016.
  8. ^ Kate Bush at the BBC (Television production). BBC Four. 22 August 2014. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
  9. ^ "The Official Charts Company - Kate Bush - Man With The Child In His Eyes". Retrieved 2 February 2009.
  10. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 50. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  11. ^ "De Nederlandse Top 40, week 31, 1978". Retrieved 2 February 2009.
  12. ^ " search results". Retrieved 2 February 2009.
  13. ^ "Kate Bush Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 9 July 2017.
  14. ^ "Lara Fabian - The Man With The Child In His Eyes (Kate Bush cover)". YouTube. 14 April 2012. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
  15. ^ "Charlotte Church to cover Kate Bush"
  16. ^ "Kate Bush - The Man With The Child In His Eyes". ultratop. Retrieved 27 March 2019.