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Nick Cave Monday #18: “Lucy”

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Who is Lucy? Nick’s ex-girlfriend? A ballerina? Whoever she was, we all have our Lucy. The woman who died too young. If you don’t have a Lucy yet, be assured, Lucy will come into your life. Perhaps a few times.

When The Bad Seeds busted out with a live version of “Lucy” on their last tour, it shattered me. I stood catatonic and a few tears made their way down my cheek.

The song came out in 1990 and I don’t remember ever hearing it in their live set before 2008.

“Lucy” was the last song on “The Good Son” record. It was a perfect ending to such a brilliant album, we get the first two and a half minutes of Nick singing the heartbreaking lyrics, then a couple of minutes of instrumental which continues to gut the soul.

“It was the end of love, of misery and woe….”

Play this song at my funeral.

Here is the studio version:

Shane MacGowan, lead singer of The Pogues, sings “Lucy” with Nick on Jools Holland:

That’s a fun clip since Nick does his version of “Rainy Night in Soho” by The Pogues. Also, the feature of auto tracking which was very common with VCRs.

Then of course, Shane and Nick doing their stunning duet of “What a Wonderful Life.”

Two great songwriters coming together. Good times. Especially when Nick gives Jools a little jab after he refers to them as crooners.

“I love her forever/
I love her for all time/
I love her ’til the stars/
Fall down from the sky”

Let me grab a tissue. Bring it home Nick:

Lucy, can you hear me when I cry, and cry……….and cry?

Thanks for reading and come back next week for another edition of 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 →