"The Rider Song" as written by and Nicholas Edward Cave....
Once there was a song, the song yearned to be sung
It was a spinning song about the king of rock 'n' roll
The king was first a young prince, the prince was the best
With his black jelly hair he crashed onto a stage in Vegas
The king had a queen, the queen's hair was a stairway
She tended the castle garden, and in the garden planted a tree
The garden tree was a stairway, it was sixteen branches high
On the top branch was a nest, sing the high cloudy nest
In the nest there was a bird, the bird had a wing
The wing had a feather, spin the feather and sing the wind

The king in time died, the queen's heart broke like a vow
And the tree returned to the earth with the nest and the bird
But the feather spun upward, upward and upward
Spinning all the weather vanes
And you're sitting at the kitchen table, listening to the radio

And I love you, and I love you, and I love you, and I love you
And I love you, and I love you, and I love you
Peace will come, and peace will come, and peace will come in time
Time will come, and time will come, a time will come for us
Peace will come, and peace will come, and peace will come in time
Time will come, and time will come, a time will come for us


Lyrics submitted by ecorchee1

"Spinning Song" as written by Nicholas Cave

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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The Rider Song song meanings
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6 Comments

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  • +1
    My InterpretationMy take is that a man rides to the wilderness to kill himself. While he's gathering strength, the nature itself begs him not to do it (or at least he imagines so). But I'm not sure about the ending: if he decides not to do it after all (laid down his gun), why does he still say "yes"?
    infinityontrialon December 11, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI can't help seeing the connection with the film. The nature itself knows there is something to happen. Something bad. The wind, that followed them all knows it's going to be soon. Who? wonders the cloud. And the Rider responds: ,,me'' for he knows the upcoming fratricide is inevitable. The violence must end. The rider is not at all eager to do it, but he just has to. The river stops running, the thunder keeps silent. Everyone waits for the moment. And even when IT's finally done, noone can believe it. Neither the trees that started to moan nor the planet as it started to weep, because everything is just so fucked up. A man forced to kill his own brother who saved his life before. Twice. The Rider is white as a bone. Everything fucked up. He lays down his gun.
    Incorron January 04, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI don't get it. :-(
    bibopon December 04, 2010   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationAnother idea based on infinityontrialon's interpretation is, that he is not about to kill himself, but other people. Moon, wind, clouds, etc. are aliases for hostages he has taken which he kills. In the end everyone is dead but him and so he lays down his gun after that.
    bibopon September 12, 2012   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI think the song is about nature being elemental and violent, and waiting for an act of violence to erupt. The Rider is the vessel for this violence. In the end he lays down his gun and resists nature, which I think think Cave thinks is elementally hostile (certainly The Proposition, which this song is from, suggests that). So in the end, the moon, the sun, the trees, etc. all howl "No" because he is resisting. It's a very beautiful song.
    her2etrntyon December 02, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYou could play this song 50 times in a row, and I will bawl my eyes out each and every time. To my ears, this is one of those most beautiful songs ever written. Nick Cave is simply the most amazing songwriter of the 20th century. Dylan, Gilmour, Joplin... All great without a doubt but none can come close to Cave. He reaches into the depths of the human soul without compromise or "prettying" up his lyrics for the masses. You either feel it down to your marrow, or you just don't comprehend. Unabashed beauty.
    N9inchnails9on July 24, 2014   Link

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