"Darker with the Day" as written by and Nicholas Edward Cave Warren Ellis....
As so with that, I thought I'd take a final walk
The tide of public opinion had started to abate
The neighbors, bless them, had turned out to be all talk
I could see their frightened faces
Peering at me through the gate

I was looking for an end to this, for some kind of closure
Time moved so rapidly, I had no hope of keeping track of it
I thought of my friends who had died of exposure
And I remembered other ones who had died from the lack of it

And in my best shoes I started falling forward down the street
I stopped at a church and jostled through the crowd
And love followed just behind me, panting at my feet
As the steeple tore the stomach from a lonely little cloud

Inside I sat, seeking the presence of a God
I searched through the pictures in a leather-bound book
I found a woolly lamb dozing in an issue of blood
And a gilled Jesus shivering on a fisherman's hook

Babe
It seems so long
Since you've been gone away
And I
Just got to say
That it grows darker with the day

Back on the street I saw a great big smiling sun
It was a Good day and an Evil day and all was bright and new
And it seemed to me that most destruction was being done
By those who could not choose between the two

Amateurs, dilettantes, hacks, cowboys, clones
The streets groan with little Caesars, Napoleons and cunts
With their building blocks and their tiny plastic phones
Counting on their fingers, with crumbs down their fronts

I passed by your garden, saw you with your flowers
The Magnolias, Camellias and Azaleas so sweet
And I stood there invisible in the panicking crowds
You looked so beautiful in the rising heat
I smell smoke, see little fires bursting on the lawns
People carry on regardless, listening to their hands
Great cracks appear in the pavement, the earth yawns
Bored and disgusted, to do us down

Babe
It seems so long
Since you've been gone
And I
Just got to say
That it grows darker with the day

These streets are frozen now. I come and go
Full of a longing for something I do not know
My father sits slumped in the deepening snow
As I search, in and out, above, about, below

Babe
It seems so long
Since you went away
And I
Just got to say
That it grows darker with the day


Lyrics submitted by pumkinhed, edited by Mellow_Harsher, zambeza

"Darker With the Day" as written by Warren Ellis Nicholas Edward Cave

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Darker with the Day song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentThis is quickly becoming my favourite song off this album. He has obviously lost a woman close to him. I think she may be dead, despite the line "you looked so beautiful..." I think the line "I passed by your garden, saw you with your flowers" could be a reference to this, i.e. the garden is a graveyard, flowers on the top.

    The song seems to me to be about his despair at the loss of this woman. He may be considering suicide ("I thought i'd take a final walk"), but generally everything he sees is disgusting and he hates the world and in his mind the world is being destroyed.
    stanlavisbad2on October 14, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentTo me, it seems to be about his marriage and fears arising from such. There are many references on the album to his wedding day and new wife.

    The first verse seems very morbid, funereal, but I thinks it's a very tongue-in-cheek way of describing wedding day nerves. (Cave's got to be one of the most subtely humorous lyricists around).

    *The neighbours, bless them, had turned out to be all talk
    I could see their frightened faces
    peering at me through the gate*

    Maybe some invitees to his wedding, his neighbours in suburbia, still somewhat wary of this rockstar who now lives beside them?

    *I stopped at a church and jostled through the crowd
    And love followed just behind me, panting at my feet*

    to me seems like the custom of a groom arriving in church, then waiting for the bride to follow.

    The Good Day, Evil Day line might represent the contrast between his personal situation and the worldly situation (which he views as verging on apocalytpic, with everything starting to fall)

    *And it seemed to me that most destruction was being done
    By those who could not choose between the two*

    seems like he's railing about inaction and apathy here

    *Amateurs, dilettantes, hacks, cowboys, clones
    The streets groan with little Caesars, Napoleons and cunts
    With their building blocks and their tiny plastic phones
    Counting on their fingers, with crumbs down their fronts*

    ...and those who concern themselves with making money whilst disregarding the reality of the world today

    *And I stood there invisible in the panicking crowds
    You looked so beautiful in the rising heat*

    Now it seems to be further on in time and he's been separated from his wife, through death possibly, or divorce? and he looks at her from a distance.

    *People carry on regardless, listening to their hands*

    The people can't see what he sees, but does his wife? Perhaps he's the only one who can see the reality and this is about his fears that this would cause them to break up? Or his pessimism about the world would?

    The four lines at the end are tough to figure out, especially the father line. I'm guessing he's saying that no matter how far he's come he's still looking for something, and that we'll probably all be looking for that intangible 'something' even into death.

    Anyway, apologies for my crummy interpretation, but I do love the song.
    acediaon June 04, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOriginally, this song symbolized for me many things. Not only his intolerance of the modern world, but the questionable methods of a former faith. ("gilled Jesus on a fisherman's hook") It's hard for me to put my finger on who he was seeing in the garden. Perhaps a woman, or perhaps the light he was looking for. The song is a beautiful ending to a mournful album. I belive that it clearly explains how he hasn't found his answer yet. ("As I search, in and out, above, about, below"). One of my favorite tracks on "No More Shall We Part" Along with "The Sorrowful Wife".
    Killjoy192000on November 19, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI wanted to tell my interpretation of this song, because this is one of my favorite Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds songs.

    To me the first verse tells how he has lost his wife and how he is now thinking about doing a suicide.

    "I thought I'd take a final walk"
    "I was looking for an end to this, for some kind of closure"

    He is even thinking about his dead friends. Maybe cos he think that he is going to see them again soon.

    "I thought of my friends who had died of exposure
    And I remembered other ones who had died from the lack of it"

    Then he goes to church with his dog following him.

    "I stopped at a church and jostled through the crowd
    And love followed just behind me, panting at my feet"

    He is trying to find help from God, but only finds those pictures.

    "Inside I sat, seeking the presence of a God
    I searched through the pictures in a leather-bound book
    I found a woolly lamb dozing in an issue of blood
    And a gilled Jesus shivering on a fisherman's hook"

    I think he now does a suicide because he did not found the God. Next verse tells how he now walks on earth as a ghost.

    "Back on the street I saw a great big smiling sun
    It was a Good day and an Evil day and all was bright and new"
    "I stood there invisible in the panicking crowds"

    As a ghost he sees that horrible day when his wife dies. He sees his wife in her garden and how there is somekind of fire. Nobody is not noticing the fire and just talks to their phones.

    "I passed by your garden, saw you with your flowers"
    "I smell smoke, see little fires bursting on the lawns"
    "People carry on regardless, listening to their hands"

    Last verse tells how he lives as a ghost and sees how his father suffers becouse he did a suiside. His father is probably sitting in front of his grave.

    "I come and go"
    "My father sits slumped in the deepening snow"

    The reason why I think the song tells about suicide is because, about 8 years ago I read a philosophical article about suiside. In that article there was all this talk how those who does suiside have to walk as a ghosts and see all the pain they caused to their love ones.
    cionion October 13, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI really like all of the interpretations above. Cioni's insight that maybe the narrator returns as a ghost is intriguing.

    the last lines of the song remind me of the final scene of the Shining, where the boy's father sits slumped in the deepening snow, while he runs around the maze, connected by "the shining" to something he doesn't really understand. I wonder if anyone could make some sense of how that might tie to the rest of the song??
    seanbradyon February 15, 2012   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationIt seems to me that this song is about the rapture. Many of his songs deal with religious themes, so it wouldn't be out of character.
    Good Day, Evil Day=those that are saved get to go to heaven, those who are left behind suffer the end of the world (lawns on fire, earth cracking, and then freezing)
    All the people around him seem to be the ones who wouldn’t rise because they aren’t worthy.
    The person who it has been a long time since he has seen them could refer to Jesus returning to judge the souls, and/or someone who had been died and buried that he loved who has risen because of the soul returning to the body in the rapture.
    He has longing for the thing he does not know (have)=salvation, and searches for a way to get it.
    kherovaon October 25, 2013   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationTo me this seems to be about how everything in the world feels distant and meaningless after he lost his wife.

    All the neighbors don't seem to care anymore and only acted like care in the funeral. He tries to go to church to find comfort from a God, but only finds meaningless pictures. All the peoples outside annoy and disgust him now. Everybody just focus on their own self.

    He still hopes and prays for things to get better, but it just keeps growing darker with each day.
    Texuon October 15, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe interpretations are all interesting. Having heard interviews with Cave makes me think his own inspirations are usually something simple and not too heavy with direct symbolic meaning. He seems to prefer to evoke a mood through otherwise ordinary narratives.

    The father slumped in the snow really really hearkens to his own father being below ground in the grave. He has talked very specifically about the tremendous impact that the early and sudden loss of his father caused. He was 17 when his father passed. Listen to his lecture "the Secret Life of the Love Song".
    currently, it still lives, in the wild, here:
    soundcloud.com/chooboorah/…
    warmPhaseon June 18, 2015   Link

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