Narcissus' Echo

Thoughts, tears, rants, ruminations, hopes, fears, love(s), and prayers of just another being passing through this wracked sphere...

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A round peg in a world of square holes...

Sunday, July 17, 2005

henry lee





Nick Cave and PJ Harvey

Another shot of poet and poetess as they weave their voices for this disturbing, romantic but tragic traditional folk love song, Henry Lee. The duet sings the story of a young man who meets a woman who desires him, and, unable to retain his affection, subsequently murders him and disposes of the body when he rejects her.

This song comes from Murder Ballads, an album Cave created by collecting old English murder ballads, and then transcribing them to his singing style. The level and intensity of violence in it makes any gangster rap album seem like Disney tunes in comparison. Gangster rappers talk about shooting each other because of their crack, women, cars, turf, money, honor or gang allegiances. The characters in Cave's album murder and mutilate because they can.

The magic in Cave's music is that he is--in the words of a reviewer--equally capable of exceptional love and tenderness, and yet unbelievable carnage and violence in his music. A comparison of Boatman's Call and Murder Ballads would easily attest to that.

Review of Boatman's Call

Review of Murder Ballads

More material from this incredible artist and his band will be posted from time to time. Stay tuned.

Trivia: Track 3 of Boatman's Call, "People Ain't No Good," was used in the soundtrack to the movie, Shrek 2



Henry Lee, by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, with PJ Harvey, from Murder Ballads,


Get down, get down, little Henry Lee
And stay all night with me
You won't find a girl in this damn world
That will compare with me
And the wind did howl and the wind did blow
La la la la la
La la la la lee
A little bird lit down on Henry Lee.

I can't get down and I won't get down
And stay all night with thee
For the girl I have in that merry green land
I love far better than thee
And the wind did howl and the wind did blow
La la la la la
La la la la lee
A little bird lit down on Henry Lee.

She leaned herself against a fence
Just for a kiss or two
And with a little pen-knife held in her hand
She plugged him through and through
And the wind did roar and the wind did moan
La la la la la
La la la la lee
A little bird lit down on Henry Lee.

Come take him by his lilly-white hands
Come take him by his feet
And throw him in this deep, deep well
That's more than one hundred feet
And the wind did howl and the wind did blow
La la la la la
La la la la lee
A little bird lit down on Henry Lee.

Lie there, lie there, little Henry Lee
Till the flesh drops from your bones
For the girl you have in that merry green land
Can wait forever for you to come home
And the wind did howl and the wind did moan
La la la la la
La la la la lee
A little bird lit down on Henry Lee.

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