Saturday, 15 October 2016

The Genius Of Nick Cave

#20: The Mercy Seat

Very probably Nick Cave's finest - and most darkly sinister - moment. The Mercy Seat was the first Cave song I heard and it sent chills through me - a convicted killer about to meet his maker in the electric chair, still denying his evil deeds as the vast current surges through him... until his confessional last breath. It's a song that has undergone many reworkings for live performances over its 28 years, each one as disturbing and horrific as the next. When taken on by Johnny Cash in 2000, it seemed even darker, though when Johnny sang it, you kind of felt sympathy for the protagonist. Nick's character is just pure evil.

This series was planned to take us up to Christmas, but I think it has run its course for the time being. Certainly most of you lost interest weeks ago. Therefore, I'm going to rest it for a while (for good?) and try something different from next week.


  1. Well, the series brought me quite a lot of songs I hadn't heard before, or, at least I didn't listen to them all that closely, so thanks for that! I'm not the biggest NC fan in the world, so I appreciated some songs very much, thanks, mate!

  2. Dirk captured my thoughts exactly. Thanks for the Nick Cave survey.

  3. I've loved the've picked a lot of my favourites along the way. Great piece of writing about a great song to end things.

    Just looked up my collection stored on the laptop. I have the following versions of The Mercy Seat:-

    Live from KRCW
    From the 'Tender Prey' LP
    Live from the 'I Had A Dream Joe' single
    From the 'Live Seeds' LP
    7" version
    Acoustic Version from the B-Sides and Rarities Collection Box
    Video Mix from 'Tender Prey'

    Didn't realise I was such an anorak.