Song of the Day #3,979: ‘Darker With the Day’ – Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

After counting down my own favorite albums of 2001, I now turn my attention to ten albums from that year that I don’t know well. This is the part of the Decades series that is usually both reassuring and disappointing for me.

The fact is, I almost never unearth any albums in this process that break into my regular rotation. So that tells me I must be doing a pretty good job rooting out the things I like in the first place. But on the flip side, I’d really like to find some new gem that has a real chance of cracking my own list of favorites.

I don’t think my first selection — No More Shall We Part by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds — is that album, but I am glad I found it. This is the 11th studio album by the Australian rock band, which is led by singer, songwriter, playwright, screenwriter and actor Nick Cave.

No More Shall We Part was written after Cave battled with heroin and alcohol addictions and it is appropriately a very heavy, dense album. Lots of long, slow, dramatic songs with lyrics about redemption, death, God, and love lost and refound. Musically, it’s quite lovely, but it’s not something you put on repeat.

[Verse 1]
So with that, I thought I’d take a final walk
The tide of public opinion had started to abate
The neighbors, bless them, had turned out to be all talk
I could see their frightened faces peering at me through the gate
I was looking for an end to this, for some kind of closure
Time moved so rapidly, I had no hope of keeping track of it
And I thought of my friends who had died of exposure
And I remembered other ones who had died from the lack of it

[Verse 2]
And in my best shoes, I started falling forward down the street
Stopped at a church and jostled through the crowd
Love followed just behind me, panting at my feet
As the steeple tore the stomach from a lonely little cloud
Inside I sat, seeking the presence of a God
Searched through the pictures in a leather-bound book
And I found a woolly lamb dozing in an issue of blood
And a gilled Jesus shivering on a fisherman’s hook

[Chorus]
And babe, it seems so long
Since you’ve been gone away
And I just got to say
That it grows darker with the day

[Verse 3]
Back on the street I saw a great big smiling sun
It was a good day and an evil day and all was bright and new
Seemed to me that most destruction was being done
By those who could not choose between the two
Amateurs, dilettantes, hacks, cowboys, clones
The streets groan with the little Caesars, Napoleons, and cunts
With their building blocks and their tiny plastic phones
Counting on their fingers, with their crumbs down their fronts

[Verse 4]
I passed by your garden, saw you with your flowers
The Camellias, Magnolias, and Azaleas so sweet
You stood there invisible in the panicking crowds
You looked so beautiful in the rising heat
I smell smoke, see little fires bursting on the lawns
People carry on regardless, listening to their hands
Great cracks appear in the pavement, the earth yawns
Bored and disgusted, to do us down

[Chorus]
And babe, it seems so long
Since you’ve been gone
You went away
And I just got to say
That it grows darker with the day

[Verse 5]
All these streets are frozen now. I come and go
Full of a longing for something I do not know
My father sits slumped in the deepening snow
As I search, in and out, above, about, and below

[Chorus]
Babe, it seems so long
Since you’ve been gone
And you went away
And I hope and I pray
That it grows darker with the day

One thought on “Song of the Day #3,979: ‘Darker With the Day’ – Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    I like his sound. Kinda a cross between Randy Newman and Counting Crows.

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