I heard Johnny Cash’s version of this for the first time last night, and it took a moment of two to place it. That’s such a funny sense, that nagging unresolved familiarity. Sort of an “I know that face” feeling. This fits into some general theory of music, how musicality is a notion that can transcend centuries, never mind the not particularly deep chasm between Nick Cave and Johnny Cash, who, when you think of it, should really have shared some sort of father son bond. It’s the staggering thing about music, that a melody that appealed to Spanish troubadours of the 1400s can be as liltingly beautiful to modern ears. That’s something that sets human aesthetic sensibility somewhere outside of time and place. Somewhere lofty. Which takes us back to Johnny Cash singing Mercy Seat the late eighties Cave classic of elated execution. Here are both: contrast and compare.

Like father:


Like son (a good son at that!):


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