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Critical Dharma for Thinking Minds

Nick Cave’s Ghosteen

Nick Cave’s latest album, Ghosteen, is a eulogy for his 15-year-old son Arthur who died after falling from the Ovingdean Gap near Brighton, England. The last song on the double album, the 14-minute “Hollywood”, ends with the story of Kisa Gotami, the mother who asks Buddha for help with her dying baby. Buddha tells her to collect a mustard seed from every house in the village where no one has died. Kisa never gathers a single seed. Cave’s final eulogy, sung in falcetto, becomes a mournful cry that deeply enriches the meaning of the Buddhist story. Though Cave is probably not a Buddhist—indeed, he makes references to other religions on the album—his rendition of the Buddhist story is among the finest examples of the way that art powerfully conveys its depth of meaning.

One comment on “Nick Cave’s Ghosteen

  1. Willow
    2020/01/16

    This is a wonderful album – have listened to it many times now. Also recommend Nick Cave’s question/answer posts at The Red Hand Files. Cave writes eloquently answering questions on the process of grief and other topics.

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This entry was posted on 2020/01/16 by .

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