"Jesus Alone" as written by and Nicholas Cave....
You fell from the sky
Crash landed in a field
Near the river Adur
Flowers spring from the ground
Lambs burst from the wombs of their mothers
In a hole beneath the bridge
She convalesce, she fashioned masks of twigs and clay
You cried beneath the dripping trees
Ghost song lodged in the throat of a mermaid

With my voice
I am calling you

You're a young man waking
Covered in blood that is not yours
You're a woman in a yellow dress
Surrounded by a charm of hummingbirds
You're a young girl full of forbidden energy
Flickering in the gloom
You're a drug addict lying on your back
In a Tijuana hotel room

With my voice
I am calling you
With my voice
I am calling you

You're an African doctor harvesting tear ducts
You believe in God, but you get no special dispensation for this belief now
You're an old man sitting by a fire, hear the mist rolling off the sea
You're a distant memory in the mind of your creator, don't you see?

With my voice
I am calling you
With my voice
I am calling you

Let us sit together until the moment comes

With my voice
I am calling you

With my voice, I am calling you


Lyrics submitted by Mellow_Harsher

"Jesus Alone" as written by Nicholas Cave

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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Jesus Alone song meanings
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  • +1
    My InterpretationCave's son died during the recording of this album. This song definitely feels like Cave is calling to his lost child, or perhaps wishing that he had a chance to say goodbye. "Let us sit together in the dark until the moment comes". No father should outlive his son, Cave wishes he had the chance to sit longer in the dark with his son, instead of having his son pulled away from him.

    Also, it sounds like Cave is coming to bitter conclusions himself. "You believe in God, but you get no special dispensation for this belief now
    You're an old man sitting by the fire, you're the mist rolling off the sea
    You're a distant memory in the mind of your creator, don't you see?" God is there, but he doesn't care for the suffering of his creations.
    Portishead93on September 16, 2016   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI'd never listened to Nick Cave before this album, but my husband played this song for me after we suddenly lost our closest friend this year. While I listened, I felt like my heart was being ripped out of my chest, but it was incredibly cathartic. For that reason, this song and the whole Skeleton Tree album has become part of my repertoire. After learning about Nick's son’s death and seeing "One More Time With Feeling" - even though most lyrics were written before his death - Nick obviously recorded the album while grieving, and that raw emotion comes through on each song of the album.

    So here's my interpretation -

    [Verse 1]
    You fell from the sky
    Crash landed in a field
    Near the river Adur
    Flowers spring from the ground
    Lambs burst from the wombs of their mothers
    In a hole beneath the bridge
    You convalesced, you fashioned masks of twigs and clay
    You cried beneath the dripping trees
    Ghost song lodged in the throat of a mermaid

    When I first heard this song, I thought he was talking about life beginning on Earth, microbes on a meteor crash landing, flora and fauna appearing, building shelter and developing superstitions.

    But after listening to it many times, I think that while he won't openly admit it's about his son, it is. Adur is a river near Brighton where his son fell. The crying beneath dripping trees conjures imagery of a funeral in the rain, and the voice of the person you lost is now a ghost song.

    [Verse 2]

    I think this verse is the personifications of the emotions one goes through after a terrible loss.

    You're a young man waking
    Covered in blood that is not yours

    - Rage and anger

    You're a woman in a yellow dress
    Surrounded by a charm of hummingbirds

    -When you remember a funny story or a happy time with your lost one, the bittersweet memories.

    You're a young girl full of forbidden energy
    Flickering in the gloom

    -Wanting to move on with your life but not knowing if you should, especially if those around you aren't ready.

    You're a drug addict lying on your back
    In a Tijuana hotel room

    -Total despair and depression.

    [Verse 3]
    You're an African doctor harvesting tear ducts
    You believe in God, but you get no special dispensation for this belief now
    You're an old man sitting by the fire, you're the mist rolling off the sea
    You're a distant memory in the mind of your creator, don't you see?

    Shit happens to everybody, regardless of religion or belief. We all live and we all will die, and inevitably 99% of us will lose somebody we love before it's our time to go. Belief in God will not spare you that pain because it's part of being human.

    The African doctor lyric is probably my least favourite, but again think he's using shocking imagery trying to point out that the extremes people will go to for their dogma thinking it will insulate them from life.

    [Chorus]
    With my voice
    I am calling you
    With my voice
    I am calling you
    Let us sit together until the moment comes
    With my voice
    I am calling you

    To me, this has a double meaning. He’s calling to his son, wherever he is, to not leave him. To sit together until perhaps it's Nick’s time to depart so they can be together.

    This morning, I listened to it again and I hear it as Nick is calling to us, his listeners that are also going through our own grief. He gets it, he understands, and we are not alone. Let’s sit together without saying a word because we don’t need to. Words aren’t necessary. You're not alone.
    synnøve11on December 04, 2016   Link

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