While it is common for novels to be adapted into films, it is not unusual for them to inspire songs now and then. Wuthering Heights is Emile Bronte’s only book, tragically after which she died. Although Wuthering Heights is now widely regarded as a classic of English literature, contemporary reviews for the novel were deeply polarized; it was considered controversial because its depiction of mental and physical cruelty was unusually stark, and it challenged strict Victorian ideals of the day, including religious hypocrisy, morality, social classes and gender inequality.
The story unfolds in a Yorkshire Farmhouse by the name of Wuthering Heights. The book is about a wealthy man Mr Lockwood who visits Wuthering Heights for peace and recuperation. At night he has a dream about the ghost of the previous inhabitant: Catherine. Soon the story of Heathcliff and Catherine’s friendship is revealed. The love he had for her and the love she had for him could never come to fruition because of social stigmas. The novel ensues with the story of how Heathcliff actually becomes a wealthy man and how eventually Catherine dies. The novel ends with Heathcliff dying years later and buried next to Catherine.
Kate Blush released a song by the same name inspired from the book. Lyrically the song uses several quotations from Catherine, most prominently in the chorus “Let me in! I’m so cold!” – As well as in the verses, with Catherine’s confession to her servant of “bad dreams in the night”. It is sung from Catherine’s point of view, as she pleads at Heathcliff’s window to be allowed in. This romantic scene takes a sinister turn if one has read Chapter 3 of the original book, as Catherine is in fact a ghost, calling lovingly to Heathcliff from beyond the grave. Catherine’s “icy” ghost grabs the hand of the Narrator, Mr Lockwood, through the bedroom window, asking him to let her in, so she can be forgiven by her lover Heathcliff, and freed from her own personal purgatory.
While most critics at the time recognised the power and imagination of the novel, they were also baffled by the storyline and found the characters extremely forward and uninhibited for Victorian times. The novel received a lot of flak, but this didn’t stop from becoming a phenomenon. It went on to inspire various individuals and said individuals exceeded expectations with their work. Kate Blush’s song opened 1st at the UK chart and still remains her best-selling hit.