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Nick Cave reflects on being “extremely moved” by Bob Dylan’s new song

Nick Cave has once again taken to his Red Hand Files to share his thoughts on a new subject, this time it’s Bob Dylan’s expansive new song ‘Murder Most Foul’. A song so densely packed with lyrics we’ve all needed lockdown just to sink our teeth into it.

That’s exactly what Cave does through his fan-led forum as he answers some fan questions through an always beautifully written message.

For those of you who haven’t been paying attention to Nick Cave’s recent transformation from goth rock God to rock and roll Agony Uncle, you should all make a pilgrimage to Cave’s Red Hand Files.

Here, the Aussie singer uses his caring nature and dry wit to connect with an entertain his fans as they send letters to their hero looking for a response. Some letters have been sad others jubilant, of late they’ve had a more morbid tone. But today’s instalment sees Cave discussing Bob Dylan’s new song ‘Murder Most Foul’ after several of his fans asked whether Cave was a fan.

As ever, the reply is a beautifully honest one, “Many other people have also written in about Bob Dylan’s new song, ‘Murder Most Foul’ — and the interest is justifiable. It is a perplexing but beautiful song and, like many people, I have been extremely moved by it.”

The singer further reflects on the songs’ heart, “the assassination of JFK — a dark vortex that threatens to pull everything into it, just as it did in the USA back in 1963. Whirling around the incident Dylan weaves a litany of loved things — music mostly — that reach into the darkness, in deliverance.”

Cave continues, “As the song unfolds he throws down lifeline after lifeline, insistent and mantra-like, and we are lifted, at least momentarily, free of the event. Dylan’s relentless cascade of song references points to our potential as human beings to create beautiful things, even in the face of our own capacity for malevolence.”

The Aussie rocker suggests that “‘Murder Most Foul’ reminds us that all is not lost, as the song itself becomes a lifeline thrown into our current predicament.”

Thoughts soon turn to whether this may be Dylan’s final farewell to original material, Cave muses, “As for whether this is the last time we will hear a new Bob Dylan song. I certainly hope not. But perhaps there is some wisdom in treating all songs, or for that matter, all experiences, with a certain care and reverence, as if encountering these things for the last time.”

“I say this not just in the light of the novel coronavirus, rather that it is an eloquent way to lead one’s life and to appreciate the here and now, by savouring it as if it were for the last time.”

We couldn’t agree more. Read the full response and many more here at the Red Hand Files.

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