Song of the Day: Abattoir Blues by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

The sun is high up in the sky and I’m in my car
Drifting down into the abattoir
Do you see what I see, dear?

The air grows heavy. I listen to your breath
Entwined together in this culture of death
Do you see what I see, dear?

Slide on over here, let me give you a squeeze
To avert this unholy evolutionary trajectory
Can you hear what I hear, babe?
Does it make you feel afraid?

Everything’s dissolving, babe, according to plan
The sky is on fire, the dead are heaped across the land
I went to bed last night and my
moral code got jammed
I woke up this morning with a Frappucino in my hand

I kissed you once. I kissed you again
My heart it tumbled like the stock exchange
Do you feel what I feel, dear?

Mass extinction, darling, hypocrisy
These things are not good for me
Do you see what I see, dear?

The line the God throws down to you and me
Makes a pleasing geometry
Shall we leave this place now, dear?
Is there someway out of here?

I wake with the sparrows and I hurry off to work
The need for validation, babe, gone completely
I wanted to be your Superman but I turned out
such a jerk
I got the abattoir blues
I got the abattoir blues
I got the abattoir blues
Right down to my shoes

Third track into my new “song of the day” posts is NC&TBS, that didn’t take long at all! OK, I wasn’t going to do this track because I had given it it’s own blog post a couple of years ago already but what the hell, let’s do it again because I do love it so much! It’s one of my  most loved of his or fave track. Was from the double album Abattoir Blues / The Lyre of Orpheus which was their thirteenth studio album of 2004. It was off course one of the title tracks and song number seven on the first half.

So called me a very silly or something? But I’ve only notice today in lyrics, he’s driving his car which he does the same in Higgs Boson Blues which is fave song on 2013’s album Push The Sky Away. Then also very quickly the closing track Hollywood on his brand new one Ghosteen has became my fave song on that, guess what? He’s driving again, go figure?

I promise, I will not just post every single Cave song known to mankind, just some of my all-time faves or less well known tracks! I know, I’m already back going on about Cave again which I do a lot! This song has or is most likely been on some of my list like posts over the years I’ve been doing this blog too. It was only last time posted in that A-Z thingy not long ago at all. Not really sorry for repeating myself again and again! Bitch and moan at me, if you wanna?

The full band line-up on this album was: Nick Cave on vocals & piano, Mick Harvey on guitar, Warren Ellis on violin, mandolin, bouzouki & flute, Martyn P. Casey on bass, Conway Savage on piano, James Johnston on organ, Jim Sclavunos on drums on Abattoir Blues half and Thomas Wydler on drums on The Lyre of Orpheus part. I did find a nice photo below of all of them together. Face off between the two multi-instrumentalists Mick and Warren who are looking straight at each other. James who’s only credit playing organ, has a guitar in his lap plus you only see the back of his head. He’s normally in his own band Gallon Drunk which I never totally got into, he played a bit on their next album and that was his Bad Seeds time. In 90’s he popped up on some b-sides and soundtrack songs they did together, was roped into being touring member as early as the 1994 Lollapalooza tour. Or is that Conway? But why would he have a guitar? He’s never ever played that instrument! Actually Johnston could be in between Mick and Warren with Nick just in front, Tommy behind him but I do remember JJ played guitar and keyboards on that tour. I should say, the backing vocals on this album were by gospel singers from The London Community Gospel Choir who are not in that photo below but some did tour with them and can be seen on The Abattoir Blues Tour DVD, the song itself even if the tour was named after it wasn’t included on that release, you know?

Unlike some NC songs Abattoir Blues hasn’t been used in movies or as far as I know? But I might be wrong? I do know the track was used in wicked TV Series The Peaky Blinders in 2013 season 1 episode 3 to great effect. Someone edited and uploaded a montage to YouTube:

All formats are easy available of this album which I’ll link here to NC own website, if you want/need a copy?


The Bad Seeds in 2004 in the recording studio which was in France. So they’re NOT in an abattoir!

Cheers 🙂


  1. Great track by the greatest living musical artist. Who else can combine the visceral, hallucinatory poetry of the here and now with such wonder and fear at what may lie beyond the grave, alongside such beautiful tunes and near-faultless musicianship?
    And yes matey, the driving in a car theme also hit me on first listen to ‘Hollywood’.
    I’d be happy for you to flag up Cave’s genius every day!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Abattoir Blues and all the other NC songs fit so well in Peaky Blinders, it is like it was made specifically for the show. Yeah you are right it is a wicked cool show. Hope you having a good weekend William take care 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. oh yeah, they do! as a side note i remember reading about Cave’s talking/playing piano tour at one of the Irish gigs Cillian Murphy was there but i don’t think he ask Nick any questions? in Birmingham, Nick asked the crowd was the city really like that back then and how much is artistic licence? someone said nothing changed and it’s still like that today!
      oh well, it’s Monday morning so i guess i did pretty good weekend, how about you and hope have a good week!


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