Stranger Things fans are just realising why Max's fave song is Running Up That Hill and I'm sobbing
1 June 2022, 16:15 | Updated: 1 June 2022, 17:38
This theory behind why Max's favourite song in Stranger Things 4 is Kate Bush's 'Running Up That Hill' will blow your mind.
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Stranger Things fans have a theory as to why Max's favourite song is Kate Bush's 'Running Up That Hill' and now I'm crying.
If you've been following Stranger Things closely over the past few years, you will already know that Max is a woman of taste. In season 3, she introduces Eleven to Madonna's underrated 1985 hit 'Angel', and in Stranger Things 4 she's back at it. We learn that Max's favourite song is Kate Bush's 'Running Up That Hill' and it's used in episode 4 in the most moving way.
In fact, it's so moving that Kate Bush is now soaring up charts all around the world. 'Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)' is currently Number 1 on iTunes and Spotify in the US, UK and multiple countries all around the world. Essentially, a whole new generation are becoming Kate Bush-babies and it's all thanks to Sadie Sink's Emmy-worthy performance as Max.
Why is 'Running Up That Hill' Max's favourite song though? Fans have come up with a theory and it makes a lot of sense.
Stranger Things 4 begins six months after season 3 ended and Max is still struggling with the death of her step-brother Billy. She's broken up with Lucas, isolated herself from her friends and feels guilty that the Mind Flayer killed Billy instead of her. As a result, Max becomes the perfect target for Hawkins' new villain Vecna who murders mentally vulnerable people.
During the season, Max learns that she's Vecna's next victim when he begins inhabiting her mind. He later possesses her and is about to kill her but Nancy and Robin work out that she can be saved if she listens to her favourite song. Dustin, Lucas and Steve then play 'Running Up That Hill' through her headphones and, after a tense few minutes, she escapes Vecna's curse.
The entire scene is heart-wrenching but it's made even more emotional when you listen closely to Kate Bush's lyrics. In a viral TikTok, a fan wrote: "just realised why this is max's fave song. it's how she feels abt billy." They then write out the chorus lyrics: "And if i only could, I'd make a deal with God / And i'd get him to swap our places".
In other words, Max adores the song because she wishes she could swap places with Billy and be dead instead of him. Naturally, people are losing it over the theory. One fan commented: "I was crying when watching this scene and when I realised this I was literally sobbing". Another added: "WAIT OMG THIS IS SO SAD".
The video has currently been viewed over 2.2 million times.
Discussing the song choice with Tudum, Stranger Things co-creator Ross Duffer revealed: "Music wasn’t in the initial season outline, but we knew Max was going to get cursed, and we knew we needed some way for her to defeat this curse. We were looking, just medically, into people that have comas and all of this stuff, and I think that’s honestly what led to the music."
He then added: "But then we’re like, "Well, whatever the song is, it’s got to be perfect.'... We knew that scene where she’s running through what we call the mind lair, we knew it needed to have a cinematic scope and build to it. But at the same time, it needed to be emotional, and Kate Bush’s lyrics are just so emotional."
Fellow co-creator Matt Duffer then added: "It’s weird... Ross and I were looking on Spotify, we had our music supervisor, Nora [Felder], looking. And I’ll never forget, she sent an email that was like, 'I think it’s 'Running Up That Hill', Kate Bush. And that was our [mine and Ross’] top choice, completely separately."
In the same interview, Matt teased: "There is an epic Kate Bush moment in the finale [Episode 9] that we weren’t expecting, that we kind of discovered as we were editing. We sent her the scene and she was gracious enough to let us use her song one more time. She’s been amazing. It’s arguably the most epic Kate Bush moment. It comes back in a major way."
In other words, it looks like we'll be crying to 'Running Up That Hill' all over again when Volume 2 drops in July.
Read more about Stranger Things here:
- Who dies in Stranger Things 4 Volume 1? All the deaths explained
- Who is Vecna in Stranger Things 4? His powers and identity explained
- Does Max die in Stranger Things 4? Does she have powers?
- Give Sadie Sink an Emmy for Stranger Things 4 right now
- Who is Victor Creel in Stranger Things 4? His horrifying story explained
- Does Billy appear in Stranger Things 4 Volume 1?
- Is Will Byers gay in Stranger Things 4? Noah Schnapp opens up about his character's sexuality
- Stranger Things 4 Volume 2 release date: When does it come out on Netflix?