Kate Rusby answers questions from our IMPs

Our Inclusive Music Projects (IMPs) have been finding out about Kate Rusby as part of their Arts Award Explore. The IMPs sent her some questions and she replied with these fabulous answers! A huge thank you to Kate for taking the time to write back to our IMPs. They were so chuffed!

Hello Molly and the IMPs

Thank you for your lovely letter. It was very nice to read about your group and your projects. It sounds like you have a lot of fun whilst learning too. I'm so pleased you chose me for your topic for your Arts Award. I'm very happy to help you by answering your questions, and very interesting questions you have come up with too! 

Best wishes to you all,


What inspired you to write "Underneath the Stars"?

I just started playing a little tune on my guitar at the beginning and after a while of playing the same little tune the words started to form. I have always loved the night sky, stars and planets so I went along those lines and the song just grew from that.

Where did you record it?

At Pure Records Studio near Barnsley. This is where Pure Records, the family business, is based.

What does the song mean?

The words are about saying hello and goodbye to the stars and the stars and moon being my friend.

Who was playing which instruments?

I play the guitar, John Mccusker plays the ukulele, James Mackinosh plays the bells, Richard Marshall the cornet, Jim Fletcher the Eb horn, James Hartley the tuba, Robert Shires the flugel horn and finally Michael Dodd the euphonium.

How long does it take to write a song like "Underneath the Stars"?

Sometimes 2 days and sometimes 2 weeks. It depends on my mood and what inspiration I have for writing it.

Do you prefer writing new songs or performing old songs?

I really enjoy both so that is difficult to answer. I love finding old songs and dusting them down and giving them new life but I love to create something new from my imagination too.

What is your favourite song you have written and why?

Again this is difficult because it changes as the years go on. At the moment it is "Bitter Boy" because I wrote that for my Uncle so it reminds me of him.

Do you like space?

I really don't like flying so I don't want to travel to space but do like to look at the night sky
from the safety of earth.

What is your favourite star?

My favourite star constellation is Orion because when I see that I know where the other stars are. Also it looks like Sagittarius which is my sign.

What do you think of when you see the stars?

  • Wonder
  • Awe
  • Beauty
  • Peace
  • Calm
  • Happiness

Please tell Jess that I love her description of what my song means to her. She would be a good songwriter.