Song of the Week: “Lay Me Low” by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

Dare yourself not to sway, ever so slowly, to the bluesy, funereal cadence of this tune. This is a death march with swagger, a black and chrome hearse hauling through mud. This is a baby grand piano roped to the trunk and snare hits so late, they nearly yank the entire procession to a halt. Cave’s self-deprecating, self-aggrandizing hero does double-duty as both the captain and cargo of this ill-fated motorcade. “They’ll interview my teachers,” he croons, “who’ll say I was one of God’s sorrier creatures. They’ll print informative, six-page features when I go.” The ghostly refrain of “lay me low” becomes a mantra snaked with impudence and bravado. At its heart, this is Man picking a fight with his Maker, egging him on. Death may prove victorious, Cave concedes, but we might as well land a few good shots.

-Jared Harel

Jared Harel’s poems have appeared in Tin House, The American Poetry Review, The Southern Review, The Threepenny Review, Ecotone and elsewhere. His poetry chapbook, The Body Double, was recently published by Brooklyn Arts Press. He lives in Astoria, and plays drums for the NYC-based rock band, The Dust Engineers.

Questions, compliments, (hopefully not) complaints?

Contact Jackie Clark: jackie [at] coldfrontmag [dot] com.

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