Nick Cave idolized Johnny Cash, and it’s surprising how much he has in common with the older artist: A love of American Roots Music, obviously, but also an air of conviction that allows him to inhabit the characters he creates in his songs, and more importantly his subject matter—both artists rejected modern sensibilities in favor of Biblical themes of sin, damnation, violence, and redemption. I suspect this last affinity may have been the most important to Nick Cave, who once said in his lecture “The Secret Life of the Love Song” that every love song is really about our yearning for God—which would make Cave a devotional artist, albeit a frequently somber one, much like the Man In Black. The two men got to know one another, covering eachother’s songs and even collaborating on a few. I’d love to have had a chance to listen to Nick Cave and Johnny Cash trade thoughts on God and music.
This is a song Nick Cave wrote for Johnny Cash when he passed away.