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Song of Joy

This song is by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and appears on the album Murder Ballads (1996).

Have mercy on me, sir,
Allow me to impose on you;
I have no place to stay and my bones are cold right through
I will tell you a story of a man and his family,
And I swear that it is true

Ten years ago I met a girl named Joy:
She was a sweet and happy thing;
Her eyes were bright blue jewels
And we were married in the spring
I had no idea what happiness a little love could bring,
Or what life had in store...
But all things move toward their end,
All things move toward their end —
On that you can be sure

Hit it! Mmm...

Then one morning I woke to find her weeping and for many days to follow
She grew so sad and lonely;
Became Joy in name only
Within her breast there launched an unnamed sorrow and a dark and grim force set sail
"Farewell happy fields,
Where joy forever dwells,
Hail, horrors, hail!"

Was it an act of contrition, or some awful premonition?
As if she saw into the heart of her final blood-soaked night;
Those lunatic eyes,
That hungry kitchen knife
Ah, I see, sir, that I have your attention!
Well, could it be?
How often have I asked that question?
Well, then in quick succession we had babies, one, two, three

We called them Hilda, Hattie and Holly;
They were their mother's children:
Their eyes were bright blue jewels and they were quiet as a mouse,
There was no laughter in the house,
No, not from Hilda, Hattie or Holly
"No wonder", people said, "poor mother Joy's so melancholy"
Well, one night, there came a visitor to our little home
I was visiting a sick friend;
I was a doctor then;
Joy and the girls were on their own

Yeah... Oh yeah...

Joy had been bound with electrical tape,
In her mouth a gag;
She'd been stabbed repeatedly and stuffed into a sleeping bag
In their very cots my girls were robbed of their lives
Method of murder much the same way as my wife's
Method of murder much the same way as my wife's
It was midnight when I arrived home
Said to the police on the telephone
"Someone's taken four innocent lives!"

They never caught the man;
He's still on the loose.
It seems he's done many, many more
Quotes John Milton on the walls in the victim's blood
The police are investigating at tremendous cost
In my house he wrote, "his red right hand"
That, I'm told, is from Paradise Lost
The wind round here gets wicked cold
But my story is nearly told;
I fear the morning will bring quite a frost

So I've left my home
I drift from land to land
I am upon your step and you are a family man —
Outside, the vultures wheel,
The wolves howl,
The serpents hiss,
And to extend this small favor, friend, would be the sum of earthly bliss
Do you reckon me a friend?
The sun to me is dark and silent as the moon —
Do you, sir, have a room?
Are you beckoning me in?

Hit it!


Written by:

Nick Cave, Johnny Milton

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