What Religion, According to Nick Cave, is the “Unhappiest in the World”?

By: Stephen McAlpine

No one does unhappy like Nick Cave. Nick Cave was born to do unhappy.

The Australian musician has built a career exploring the dark and deadly things of life, and has had his fair share of misery, not least of all the tragic death of one of his twin teenage sons a few years ago after a cliff fall in the UK town of Brighton. The tragedy forced Cave, his wife and remaining son to leave the town and relocate to the US because they could not bear to be near the site.

Yet I remember a time when strait-laced types didn’t want him coming back into this country – his country of birth – because of his terrible dark and unhappy musical reputation; his lyrics that smelt of death and sex and religious incense. No place for that here. No place for nuance.

But no one does deep emotion, and deep religious emotion like Nick Cave does. Have a listen to his latest beautiful album Ghosteen, and hear and feel the sound of lament that oozes from it. Its title is a play on the word “ghost” and “teen” and it’s not hard to see where it’s coming from.  It’s a stunning and honest piece of art.

Article supplied with thanks to Stephen McAlpine

About the Author: Stephen has been reading, writing and reflecting ever since he can remember. He is the lead pastor of Providence Church Midland, and in his writing dabbles in a number of fields, notably theology and culture. Stephen and his family live in Perth’s eastern suburbs, where his wife Jill runs a clinical psychology practice.

Feature image: “Nick Cave, Norwegian Wood 2009” by NRK P3 licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0