Nick Cave Monday #21: “Nature Boy”


We’re stuck in a world where bad shit happens all the time. Nick Cave, our Nature Boy, watches the news with his dad and sees “ordinary slaughter” and “routine atrocity.” Dad tells Nature Boy not to look away, be strong and bold because beauty will save the world.

Beauty turns out to be a woman hanging out at a flower show. What happens when Nature Boy sees her?

Here is Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds with “Nature Boy” on Jools Holland:

I love that Nature Boy walks like a “leper coming down with some kind of nervous hysteria.”

Again, Nick is our brilliant lyricist.

His hottie approaches him and his knees go weak, he can’t speak and he’s having thoughts “that were not in my best interests to mention.”

There’s a little Nature Boy in all of us, wondering how it would feel to roll around naked with you.

Here is the original video:

If you’re playing the Bad Seed board game, you’ll notice that in the video the players have changed and the guitarist is Warren Ellis and the bassist is James Johnston of the band Gallon Drunk. Johnston was a Bad Seed from 2003 – 2008. If you check out the Jools Holland clip again, you’ll see him on keyboards. I also crack up at Jim on drums, the way he smirks during the video makes him look like an uncle you might not want to have babysit your kids.

The effect the woman has on Nature Boy is amazing. And when he falls, she lifts him up.

Thanks babe, I’ll be your Nature Boy.

Some have compared elements of the song to “Make Me Smile” by Steve Harley:

Let’s give “Nature Boy” another go with a live version:

Smiles, beauty, and getting dorked out on falling in love. La dolci vita!

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. 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 →