I have- intentionally- rationed the purchase of new music. Partly it was a cost cutting measure, but also it was through a desire to visit music that I had but never really listened to.
However, last week I broke my fast and bought this album. I had tracked it for a while- one thing about stopping buying music is that you think carefully about buying- I was glad I did. It is a gut wrenching, sparse record recorded just after his 15 year old son was killed.
It is so well and obliquely written that it is hard to say that it is directly about this event (the best poetry is slippery, elusive and hard to analyse), but everywhere his sadness breathes through the fragility of the album.
This song, in particular, is hard to listen to without tears streaming down the face. But then again, I have a 15 year old son and in what I do, I know how fragile a thing is life.
This is a very old song, but it is one that I have returned to again and again.
It says more about the domesticating of God by the faithful and the fear that swirls around parts of the Christian scene at the moment (often, but not exclusively talked about by white male spokesmen in large churches) than many a preacher.
It also reminds me of the wildness and unpredictability of the wilderness experience that I shared in and which has been the theme all posts this week. If anything, that experience wakes me up to have ‘safe’ I am.
Oh, and it is a good song as well….
I have ‘rediscovered’ this album (‘The Boatman’s Call’)in the last few days.
It was partly through conversations with people I work with and trying to find openings in unlikely places. Also, the lyrics from this album came flooding back as I spoke with someone else.
It is only in the last few years that I have come to appreciate the music of Nick Cave.The album is rich and detailed. Lyrically it goes from moments of acute sensitivity and finely crafted observations, to expletive laden descriptions. In short, it is like life.
I could have featured ‘Into your arms’ or even ‘Brompton Oratory’ (which manages to blur the experience of taking communion with the post coital glow of his affair with PJ Harvey). Instead I went for this song, which is the only rock song I know that references Immanuel Kant.
A great album for long drives.
I have many long drives….
I have just discovered the chords for this:-
I love this song. It really makes me think: in my not too humble opinion, this song is prophetic. It lifts and questions me when my prayers become too little and too middle class and safe.