Sunday, April 30, 2006

This month I am mostly listening to...

The Boatman’s Call by Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds

‘I don’t believe in an interventionist God,’ the opening line of the first track on this classic Nick Cave album. An album that is very dark but makes for great background music. How come pop music can sound great even when the lyrics speak of doom, gloom, and God-less despair? There is hardly one cheerful song, although ‘There is a kingdom’ does try to inject some hope for the future. It feels as if Cave is mourning some deep loss. Inevitably the loss of a lover if I’m hearing the songs right. His juxtaposition of faith in God with faith in the hope of recovered love is a common enough theme. It grates for me to write this, but even though some of the lyrics are just wrong (theologically wrong), you can feel the power of them… you know what Cave is getting at. Can our theodicy learn anything from lyrics like the one below?

Best lyric, in its context of course, is from brompton oratory:

No God up in the sky
No devil beneath the sea
Could do the job that you did
Of bringing me to my knees

Outside I sit on the stone steps
With nothing much to do
Forlorn and exhausted, baby
By the absence of you

Favourite tracks:

lime-tree arbour
brompton oratory
there is a kingdom
(are you) the one that I’ve been waiting for?
idiot prayer

6 comments:

Dorothy said...

It’s been my day for theodicy – for some reason known only to myself its one of my chosen revision topics for Doctrine of God. (Perhaps it would be a good opening line for the essay I am hoping to write - “I don’t believe in an interventionist God” - but not sure Nick Cave counts as a theologian in the classical sense.) Stupidly thought theodicy would be reasonably straight forward, but have come to the conclusion that nothing to do with God (Doctrine thereof)is ever straight forward! Possibly the Brompton Oratory lyrics fit with Augustine’s Freewill Defence…answers on a postcard…preferably before Tuesday! (Like the song anyway…Nick Cave is just about right for revising to – fits my mood…will keep happy songs for post-exam time).

C G said...

Cave is the dark knight of (the) soul!

Dorothy said...

Can I quote you on that - particulary as have now moved on from theodicy to death of God (not sure if it is Cave's dark influence or not!) Great picture by the way - you are wearing well. Think the sticky out ruff thing very last year though - you may want to rethink that.

C G said...

sure - I even things it's original!

Dorothy said...

Mmm think you may have taken liberties with either F. Scott Fitzgerald or St John of the Cross...either way it well expresses how I have felt about this round of honours exams!! (off to find a happy song...and a life)

Ian said...

Nick Cave is amazing. A few years ago my car was broken into. The thieves stole about 200 CDs but for some reason left all my Nick Cave stuff. I wondered if it was providence? ;)
His latest album is outstanding, especially the song Nature Boy. Anyways...