I was pleasantly surprised to hear a song from one of my all-time favorite songwriters used in a very prominent and emotionally pivotal point of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (now available on DVD and Blu-ray from redbox).
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds’ “O Children” plays over the slow-dance scene in the tent as Harry and Hermione share a poignant moment of melancholy escape from the fugitive life. (You can listen to the whole song here.)
The following is a reprint of my little Nick Cave Primer for Beginners from last fall.
Cave on Film
Australian poet-songwriter Nick Cave’s been making dark, alt-Goth music ripe with romance, religion, and mortality since the late ’70s–first with The Boys Next Door and The Birthday Party, then The Bad Seeds–as well as a solo album and lately the no frills post-punk crash of Grinderman.
Though if you like the rich, dreamy, epic feel of “O Children” (from the Orpheus half of the 2004 double album Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus) you may want to start with the more recent stuff and work your way back to the edgier, more post-punk offerings of the ’80s.
Cave is no stranger to soundtracks. His music started to reach wider audience with a couple songs in 1987′s Wings of Desire, and his Bad Seeds song “Red Right Hand,” dripping with creepy serial-killer portent, has appeared in everything from an episode of The X-Files and the Scream films to last year’s Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant. (Listen to “Red Right Hand” here.)
Along with his wild-eyed violinist muse Warren Ellis, Cave composed full instrumental scores for films like The Road, The Proposition, and my favorite, The Assassination of Jesse James (listen to the haunting “Song for Bob” here). He also wrote the screenplay to The Proposition, an unproduced Gladiator prequel, and the most recent draft of The Crow remake.
Like what you hear and want more Cave?
- “People Ain’t No Good” is pretty misanthropic, but that same album, 1997′s solo The Boatman’s Call, has plenty of sparse-but-moving love songs, including one of the most achingly beautiful ever recorded, “Into Your Arms.” Listen to it here.
- Nor are richly romantic songs a new thing for Cave and The Bad Seeds–1990′s “The Ship Song” has been a mainstay at weddings now for two decades. See why right here.
- If you want to go back further to the rawer Cave, check out his classics from 1988′s Tender Prey: “Deanna” (listen here)and probably his seminal masterpiece “The Mercy Seat” (listen here).
- As for me, while I love all Cave’s stuff, (for a while I was into 1996′s The Murder Ballads, including the gruesome “The Curse of Millhaven”–contains lots of language) in recent years my two hands-down favorites have been the brooding majesty of “Oh My Lord” (listen here–contains some language and one of Warren Ellis’s finest moments) and the get-up-and-get-going inspirational “There She Goes My Beautiful World” (listen here–contains some language).
Any Cave fans care to recommend other stuff?