Complete Lyrics

ISBN: 0141005157
ISBN 13: 9780141005157
By: Nick Cave

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About this book

Spanning Nick Cave's entire career, from his writing for The Birthday Party, through highly acclaimed albums like Murder Ballads, Henry's Dream and Abattoir Blues, up to his latest release, The Proposition, The Complete Lyrics 1978-2007 is a must for all fans of the dark, the beautiful and the defiant - for all the fans of the songs of Nick Cave.

Reader's Thoughts


I started this in July 2009...and I read a lot. I feel bad giving this a two as some of the lyrics within this book are the most beautiful I've ever read, but as a whole I found it hard to read and couldn't grasp what the hell Nick was going on about at times. I think this would have been a lot easier if I was more familiar with his work, rather than knowing the basics. My favourites, which I would gladly read over and over are: Far From Me, Faraway So Close!, Where the Wild Roses Grow and Into My Arms."And the world will turn without youAnd history will soon forget youBut the heavens they will reward youSo faraway, so faraway and yet so close"


What could be better? - It's got all the lyrics from 'Prayers on Fire' to the first Grinderman album, plus Cave's lecture on 'The Secret Life of the Love Song', and has an introduction by Will Self. Buy this now.

Ian Paganus

RELEVANCE WARNINGThis is not a review of the book.My comments specifically relate to the use of a Nick Cave song in a scene in and on the soundtrack to the first Deathly Hallows film.SEXUALITY CONTENT WARNINGI originally posted a version of my comments in a GR discussion about sexuality and Harry Potter.If you are the sort of reader who thinks these two issues should never be associated with each other, please do not read on. I don't want to spoil your world view.Sexuality, Adolescence and Harry PotterOne of the funny things about the original discussion and the response to it is the lack of recognition of how important sexuality actually (and overtly) is to HP, especially later in the series.It defies me how people expect someone to write about or think about or progress through adolescence without considering sex or sexuality.Heartstring Wands and Love TrianglesFor me, HP is a love triangle in which there is enormous sexual tension around who will end up with Hermione by the time they escape the chains of adolescence.Obviously, JKR for her own reasons avoids the obvious temptation to let Harry end up with Hermione.However, right up until the last moment, there is some doubt as to whether Ron will get the girl.It's totally misguided to think that HP's adolescent audience isn't right on top of this issue.In fact, they're probably way ahead of most adults in the audience (including me).Let's DanceIn the first Deathly Hallows film, Harry and Hermione dance together, while Ron remains banished in the wild.This was a tipping point in the story, when Hermione might possibly have reversed her sexual selection.When I saw the film, a whole group of kids burst out laughing in this scene.I still don't know whether I missed something (was it Harry's seriousness or clumsiness?), but I was too busy concentrating on the soundtrack and trying to work out its significance.The Ship SongThe song was Nick Cave's "The Ship Song", which was the last thing I expected to hear in a HP film.It's a great melody, but if you have a look at the lyrics, you have to wonder what was intended by the director, at least. Harry create a "little mystery" with Hermione?Did Hermione loose her dogs on Harry? Or let her hair hang down?Did Harry have to remove her wings, so that she could try to fly in her own right?Did Hermione have to escape Harry's legendary pull, so she could find happiness?I wish I could have asked those kids.Post Script:I just asked my 12 year old daughter why people laughed at that scene, and she said (in this order) "because they weren't together" (i.e., a recognised couple) and "because they were goofy".


This book is a treasure for any Nick Cave fan. Allthough with some flaws ( so far I found them in two lyrics, guess there are more) it really is a must have for anyone who appriciate Cave and his work. A good thing when you get this book is, that it makes you listen to the albums that were on a side track for a while.

Carmilla Voiez

An amazing book for any Nick Cave fan. I had the updated copy with over 500 pages but couldn't see it on Goodreads. The rhythm of musical lyrics and the intricate beauty of poetry. A love song as a message to God. I'll dip back into this for years to come.

Victoria Rose

Nick Cave is a fantastic lyricist, and this book is a great one for reading as you listen to his songs. For me at least, reading the words as he croons them take his lyrics to a whole new level, and made me appreciate them a lot more. The only reason this is missing a star is because the Bad Seeds' latest album, Dig Lazarus Dig, isn't included. Look out for a new edition sometime in the future though!

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