Nick Cave

Nick Cave has shared his thoughts on music being ‘cancelled’, saying that he “like[s] the fact that some songs are controversial enough to be outlawed”.

In the latest entry to his Red Hand Files Q&A site, the Bad Seeds frontman was asked about his opinion on Tom Jones’ classic track ‘Delilah’ being banned at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff recently.

The lyrics of Jones’ ballad are the reason why it has been removed. In the song, “Delilah” is stabbed after her jealous husband discovers her flirting with another man, and the husband later pleads for forgiveness of her dead corpse.

A fan called Tom asked Cave: “As an artist who released a whole album of murder ballads, actually called ‘Murder Ballads’ [1996], just how worried are you about your future cancellation, and what is your view on such censorship?”

The singer-songwriter responded by first explaining that he’s not a fan of ‘Delilah’. However, he said he does like Jones as an artist: “I sang a duet with him (‘Green, Green Grass Of Home’ – a far superior murder balled) at a charity event a few years ago, and I like his version of ‘Weeping Annaleah’ which The Bad Seeds recorded on our ‘Kicking Against The Pricks album.”

Nick Cave performs live
Nick Cave performs live in 2022. CREDIT: Pablo Gallardo/Redferns

Cave continued: “As someone who knows a thing or two about murder ballads, for my taste, [‘Delilah’ is] all too waltzy and strident and hammy and mariachi and triumphant. And the words are ugly – ‘I felt the knife in my hand and she laughed no more‘. Really? […]

“So, I don’t know, Tom, I can’t get too animated by the fact that ‘Delilah’ has been banned. I understand there is a principle here, but on some level I like the fact that some songs are controversial enough to be outlawed. It fills me with a kind of professional pride to be a part of the sometimes contentious business of songwriting.”

He went on: “It’s cool. I like it. I just wish it was a more worthy song to be awarded that greatest of honours, indeed that supreme privilege, of being banned. Love, Nick.”

‘Delilah’ will no longer be sung at Wales national ground by choirs employed for entertainment at matches and has been struck off the Welsh Rugby Union’s (WRU) official playlists.

In a statement, a Principality Stadium spokesperson said: “The WRU condemns domestic violence of any kind. We have previously sought advice from subject matter experts on the issue of censoring the song and we are respectfully aware that it is problematic and upsetting to some supporters because of its subject matter.”

Meanwhile, Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds have shared a 2013 concert and launched a new website to mark the 10th anniversary of the band’s 15th studio album, ‘Push The Sky Away’.

Cave last month confirmed that he had started work on a new Bad Seeds record, sharing some early lyric ideas in the process.

The post Nick Cave shares his thoughts on tracks that get ‘cancelled’ appeared first on NME.


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