Nick Cave has asserted that all his songs are love songs. Rather than follow his own guidelines for interpreting his work in terms of biblical influences from the Song of Solomon and the Psalms, I suggest a fourfold schema. It operates in terms of the presence and absence of both God and pain. There are very few of the secular soppy songs (no pain, no God) that are standard fare for much pop music and the ones Cave does offer are not very good. A few more appear in the painlessly divine songs (no pain, with God), which are the songs that opened Cave’s work out to wider audiences. However, the vast majority are either painfully secular songs (with pain, no God) or the brutally divine ones (both pain and God are present). I explore these in more detail, since here we find complex overlaps between God, pain and women.
Journal of Religion and Popular Culture Vol. 22, Issue 3