Nick Cave Monday #17: “The Curse of Millhaven”


We have embraced the love songs and feelings of the heart…this week it’s time to get our hands dirty. No more snuggles, let’s shed some blood.

“The Curse Of Millhaven” was originally written for P J Harvey to sing. She opted for a duet with Nick called “Henry Lee.”

I can’t fathom anyone but Mr. Cave narrating the story of the menacing killing machine called Loretta.

Nick, tell us about some murders:

“I’ve got a pretty little mouth underneath all the foaming.”

My favorite line of the song and was actually my personal quote on Facebook for a while. Once I took it down more people sent friend requests.

“All twenty cops burst through my door without even phonin’.”

It’s a small town, you need to call a lady before just popping in. Even if she has murdered innocent people. Rude cops. Now it’s “Rorschah and Prozac and everything is groovy.”

Here’s Kinga Preis with the Polish version of The Curse Of Millhaven aka Przekleństwo Millhaven:

So THAT’S what the crazy lady on the bus is doing. She’s translating Nick Cave songs.

Kinga Preis turns me on a bit. I would feel very vulnerable to be naked around her, much less within 50 feet of her, so I’m kind of scared and turned on.

Kinga Preis is a very successful Polish actress. Check out her filmography.

“The Curse of Millhaven” is quite a long song, so Nick warns the audience in the clip below and gives them the option to leave if they’ve had enough:

The real Mill Haven, Illinois is a city between Chicago and the border of Wisconsin. It has come up as a location in Peter Straub’s work, an author that Nick Cave enjoys. Nick says it wasn’t deliberate while writing the song and probably in his subconscious. Mill Haven residents can relax, Loretta ain’t out to kill you. Then again, lots of weird serial killers tend to come from the lovely state of Wisconsin.

Another older quote from Nick was that he likes to kill people in his songs so he doesn’t have to kill them in real life.

“La la la la, La la la lie, All God’s children, they have to die.”

Thanks for reading and stay tuned next week for another edition of Nick Cave Monday.

Tony DuShane is the author of Confessions of a Teenage Jesus Jerk. His writing has appeared in The Los Angeles Times, Mother Jones, Penthouse, The San Francisco Chronicle, and The Believer. And, if you’re a Nick Cave fan, check out Nick Cave Monday. More from this author →