Black Hair, by Nick Cave

From the 1997 album The Boatman’s Call comes this great song that Nick Cave likely wrote for PJ Harvey. The words include several phrases, usually Black Hair, repeating in different variations throughout the song. There is minimal accompaniment, with an accordion played by Warren Ellis, with whom Cave wrote several film soundtracks. Nick Cave has a great voice, and here he delivers a subdued but very effective performance. I saw a live clip of this song where he introduces it by saying he wrote it as a mantra hoping that saying something over and over makes it happen, but it didn’t. But – he got a song out of it. Indeed.

Last night my kisses

Were banked in black hair

And in my bed, my lover,

Her hair was midnight black

And all her mystery dwelled

Within her black hair

And her black hair framed

A happy heart-shaped face

And heavy-hooded eyes

Inside her black hair

Shined at me from the depths

Of her hair of deepest black

While my fingers pushed into

Her straight black hair

Pulling her black hair back

From her happy heart-shaped face

To kiss her milk-white throat,

A dark curtain of black hair

Smothered me, my lover

With her beautiful black hair

The smell of it is heavy

It is charged with life

On my fingers the smell

Of her deep black hair

Full of all my whispered words,

Her black hair

And wet with tears and goodbyes,

Her hair of deepest black

All my tears cried against

Her milk-white throat

Hidden behind the curtain

Of her beautiful black hair

As deep as ink and black,

Black as the deepest sea

The smell of her black hair

Upon my pillow

Where her head and all its

Black hair did rest

Today she took a train to the West

Today she took a train to the West

Today she took a train to the West

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