Glycerine by Bush - Daily Song Facts

  • Gavin Rossdale wrote this about his relationship with his girlfriend at the time, a model named Jasmine Lewis. She is credited as a backup vocalist on the Sixteen Stone album. Rossdale dated her for about five years before their breakup, which was exacerbated by busy schedules that kept them apart.
  • Glycerine is a chemical used in perfumes and medicines and also to preserve food. The title comes from the explosive applications of glycerine to stabilize nitro. Rossdale said the song was about how love was like a bomb.
  • This song came together very quickly for Rossdale, who wrote it in his London flat. When he played it for the band, he felt there was something "ancient and mystical" about it. "I was like a conduit," he told Entertainment Weekly in 2017. "Something about it was bigger than anything we were doing."
  • The video, directed by Kevin Kerslake, won the Viewer Choice Award at the 1996 MTV Video Music Awards. Kerslake directed four Nirvana videos, and also worked with Soundgarden, R.E.M. and Stone Temple Pilots.
  • When a popular producer named Desmond Child heard this song, he thought Rossdale was singing "Kiss The Rain." When he found out that wasn't the title, he started writing a song called "Kiss The Rain" for Billie Myers. It became her first single and hit #15 in the US.
  • The Beatles song "Strawberry Fields Forever" is referenced in the line, "We live in a wheel where everyone steals, but when we rise it's like strawberry fields." Bush loved The Beatles and it was John Lennon and Paul McCartney who inspired them to form a band. Gavin Rossdale talked about his Beatles reference and the meaning of the song in an interview with Fuse: "In 'Glycerine,' it's a cynical world. 'Strawberry Fields' is a Beatles reference because when people think of that song it makes them happy: it elevates you and it lifts you up. For me, it's like a soft pillow. Most of my lyrics and most of the songs that I've written are about rising up against struggle and what you do within problems like the human condition. How we can screw up and how we can make up for it and what we can escape from and what we can win."
  • The song is in the key of F major. The chord progression is F maj – C maj – D min – B♭ maj throughout the verse with various ornamental embellishments diatonic to the key of F major, including the bridge which cycles between the I (F major), V (C major), IV (B♭ major), and V chord in F Major. The refrain towards the end hangs on the vi (D minor) – IV (B♭ major) before returning to the recurring progression for the last verse.
  • The music video for "Glycerine" was notable for being shot in a very short time period when the band was on tour in the United States. The video was shot so quickly because the band's visas had expired.
  • The song was voted number 5 on the Australian annual music poll Triple J Hottest 100 in 1996.

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Daily Song Facts
Daily Song Facts

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