On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenging of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.
My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.
I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.
So long as I post everyday (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be…
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Red Right Hand (1994)
” Red Right Hand” is a song by Australian rock band Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. It was released as a single from their eighth studio album, (1994), on 24 October 1994. A condensed version was included in the single, while the longer version was included with the album.
We’re leaving the US today, dear reader, and making our way down to Australia. It is a second appearance on our list from Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, having first appeared in 1988 with The Mercy Seat. It’s now 1994 and the group have released their eighth album, Let Love In, and from there 1001 Songs have gone with the track – Red Right Hand.
Red Right Hand is a phrase lifted from John Milton’s Paradise Lost and is said to refer to divine vengeance. In the song made up of four verses, Nick Cave sings about a handsome stranger who heads into a town and both the music and the lyrics give the sense of foreboding about this man. Each verse ends with mention of the “red right hand”. The opening two verses describes this handsome stranger, while verses three and four switch the focus to the allure of material wealth and how it seemingly fulfils our greed and various needs.
Red Right Hand has an eerie feel to it with Cave’s vocals and the music leaving one feeling unnerved. It has since become one of Cave’s best known tracks and its significance shows no sign of abating with the track being used in the Scream movies and, more recently, as the theme to the popular BBC drama, Peaky Blinders, that was first released in 2013.
Favourite songs so far: