Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Song of The Day #26 - Nick Cave and Warren Ellis - 'The Rider Song'

"You wanna pearce of me? Huh?"

Another slow one I'm afraid. I was going to pick that new song by The Wombats about anti-depressants but then I heard it and realised how it is almost indescribably terrible. It came on the radio when I was driving home from work and sick of my CDs (Seriously, I've had 'My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy in there since it's release on 04/12/10) and it was so bad that I was looking around my car and out of the window making sure everyone else was on the same wavelength as me and wearing a similar WTF facial expression. Turns out the public couldn't hear the song through my windows and so just thought I was sat in my car, in silence, doing a weird face but hey, so it goes. Allow me to be your anti-depressant Joe Public.

This song is the polar opposite of that one. It's beautifully simple and lyrically, well, it's just a great poem set to music, just like all the best songs are. Taken from the western film 'The Proposition', it's hard not to draw a load of predictable metaphors and call this song dusty, weary and perfectly set but it's all of those things and due to the fact that I've listened to it so many times since I first heard it when that film came out, it's must be much more than that too.

Nick Cave & Warren Ellis - 'The Rider Song'

Offline. I can write shit this good, you guys just ain't read it yet.

There's been so many twists and turns in Nick Cave's prolonged and astounding career that it's perfectly reasonable to say that you both love and loathe the mans work without looking completely batshit. Miserable bastard (The Boatman's Call), Spiky punk (The Birthday Party/early Bad Seeds) or full band bombast (Abbatoir Blues/Lyres of Orpheus) - the man has about ten completely different artists over his career. As he's got older, though, I think his voice lends itself just fantastically well to songs like 'The Rider Song' where he sounds as full of cracks and as old as time as the desert landscape.

I don't pretend to know what this song is about. It's intrigue lies in its ambiguity and I think its replayability is born in its brevity. Nick Cave is quite simply a fantastic writer who can turn his hand to all forms of prose and when combined with long term collaborator like Warren Ellis as he is here, his abilities to produce great music are honed to a degree of undeniable quality.

'When?' said the moon to the stars in the sky
'Soon' said the wind that followed them all
'Who?' said the cloud that started to cry
'Me' said the rider as dry as a bone
'Who?' said the sun that melted the ground
'Why?' said the river that refused to run
'Where?' said the thunder without a sound
'Here' said the rider and took up his gun
'No' said the stars to the moon in the sky
'No' said the trees that started to moan
'No' said the dust that blinded his eyes
'Yes' said the rider as white as a bone
'No' said the moon that rose from his sleep
'No' said the cry of the dying sun
'No' said the planets that started to weep
'Yes' said the rider and laid down his gun

No comments:

Post a Comment