Nick Cave Monday #26: “Brother, My Cup is Empty”


When the the relationship is over, when your heart is cracked open and leaking blood on your pinstripe suit, when you’re out of cash and you need something to numb the pain of a break up, tell that wretched dude at the bar to buy you a drink.

“Brother, My Cup is Empty” is the fourth track from the album “Henry’s Dream” released in 1992.

It takes two to make a breakup happen so Nick admits:

“I cannot blame it all on her,
To blame her all would be a lie…”

But, he’s stilled pretty pissed at the lady:

“For many a nights I lay awake,
I wish that I could watch her die,
To see her accusing finger spurt,
To see flies swarm her hateful eye,
To watch her groaning in the dirt,
To see her clicking tongue crack dry.”

Nick has said he kills people in his songs so he doesn’t have to kill them in real life.

“Brother, My Cup is Empty” performed in 1996:

Nick is one of the greatest lyricists and sometimes his songs aren’t so easily defined. Could his cup be his soul? We can get deep here.

Relationships don’t start out bad, they just sometimes take a wrong turn. Before Nick was the captain of his pain he was “sliding down on rainbows” and “swinging from the stars.”

I wonder if he wrote it for one lady and she knows it’s about her and can’t stand the song. Or if a few different ladies think it’s about them.

In other news, Thomas Wydler isn’t on The Bad Seeds world tour because he is sick. I haven’t heard anything specific, but Nick has said that it’s not life threatening, just enough to keep him from touring right now.


Thomas we hope you get well soon.

“My friend, my only brother, do not let the party grieve,
throw a dollar on the bar, now kiss my ass and leave.”

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 →