Nick Cave Monday #37: “The Singer”


What does it all mean? Does it even matter that we are all Bad Seeders in this existence? Is the journey worth it? When we suck our last breath and the only good we end up doing for planet Earth is decaying in the soil, will anyone care?

Sure, some will care, some will guffaw, and some will giggle when we die…but what about a hundred years from now?

Let’s look to Nick Cave to answer these questions in a song.

Even Nick Cave understands: one day a crowd of fans could be singing along to his music, and the next day he’s just a blip on the map of maybe. Maybe someone will care. Fame is fleeting, and what if Nick were transported to the 1800s or the 2200s? Would the world embrace him? Would they care as we do?

It’s really cool to be ahead of our time, but what if we’re way too ahead of our time?

Examples: Melville, Van Gogh.

Check out Nick Cave performing “The Singer” on TV:

“The Singer” is actually a cover of a Johnny Cash song called “The Folk Singer.”

Leave it to Nick to find gems of brilliant music and put them through the filter of The Bad Seeds.

As we float through the existence of today, 2013, are we leaving our mark?

We all have our victories and our losses. Here’s a major victory for Nick: Johnny Cash decided to cover one of the greatest Bad Seeds songs ever.

“The Mercy Seat”:

If Johnny Cash sang your lyrics, covered one of your songs…that’s a major thumbs up that you’re doing all right as a contemporary artist.

Nick Cave is an artist who makes brilliant music.

But in a hundred years when the game is evened out for all of us and we’re fertilizer for the kids of the 2100s, will they know The Bad Seeds? Will they read Nick Cave Monday?

“Did you forget this fucking singer so soon, and did you forget my song?”

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 →