Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Nick Cave&Kylie>Death is not the end

I must admit the inclusion of this song in my Lent playlist is a slightly underhand way of sneaking a Bob Dylan song in through the back door. However, from the perspective of standing on the brink of Holy Week, I can think of few songs that lyrically hit the mark like this one.

'Death is not the end' (Murder Ballads, 1996) also brings together a kind of supergroup - Bob Dylan song, reworked by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds with guest performances by Kylie Minogue, P J Harvey and Shane MacGowan (of The Pogues). Not a bad line up, then. But really it's all about the words - my favourite section being the middle eight:
'For the tree of life is growing
Where the spirit never dies
And the bright light of salvation
Up in dark and empty skies'

And how this song resonates with all the events leading up to the crucifixtion of Jesus is remarkable. Everything looks so bleak and yet, 'Death is not the End' - a timely reminder for those of us who this week may have been forced to consider death a little more than usual.


Cosmo said...

I think I could have done without MacGowan and Harvey!

An interesting song of hope (form Dylan's "Christian period"??)

Where's thy victory boasting grave?

Looking forward to what you have in store for the next few days.

Nick Coke said...

You can never do without Shane Macgowan - he's a legend. And he needs to know the message of this song, his drinking has brought him close to death for as long as I can remember!

This song was written at the end of Dylan's Christian period. For Dylan it's remarkably simple lyrically.