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Nick Cave Monday #13: “Babe, I’m On Fire”

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Clocking in at 14 minutes, 43 seconds is “Babe, I’m On Fire.”

The video is so much fun. I would have worked for free as a PA on that shoot just to watch the mayhem in person.

For most of the song is Nick calling out characters who say, “Babe, I’m on fire.” Like mom and dad and grandpa. But, we’re talking about Nick, so of course the characters get twisted.

Listen for the “hymen busting Zulu”, “menstruating Jewess” and the “misunderstood Viking.”

Directed by John Hillcoat (Lawless, The Road, The Proposition), here is “Babe, I’m On Fire”, part one and two:

Did you notice Nick dressed as the sweet little goth girl holding Nick Cave records? The records were “Tender Prey” and “Let Love In.” At the end of part two of the video it displays all of the characters the band dressed up as.

Drop all of the goofy characters in the song and here’s the chorus:

“Hit me up baby and knock me down
Drop what you’re doing and come around
We can hold hands ’til the sun goes down
‘Cause I know that you and I can be together
‘Cause I love you.”

What a sweet love song on its own.

That song always brings up my spirits and is just under fifteen minutes of bliss cranked into my headphones while navigating some of these dreary days. Thank you Nick, Warren, Blixa, Thomas, Mick, Martin, Conway and Jim.

Thanks for reading and come back next week for Nick Cave Monday.


Tony DuShane is the author of Confessions of a Teenage Jesus Jerk (Soft Skull Press). He's a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle and hosts the radio show Drinks with Tony. His writing has also appeared in Mother Jones, Penthouse and The Believer. Tom Selleck is his facial hair guru. www.tonydushane.com More from this author →