Higgs Boson Blues

Album: Push The Sky Away (2013)
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  • The Higgs boson is a theoretical elementary particle, nicknamed by the popular press as the "God Particle," which supposedly holds everything together. It was named after Peter Higgs, one of six physicists who, in 1964, proposed the mechanism that suggested it. The title of this darkly comic tune references the discovery of the particle by the Large Hadron Collider, which lies in a 17 mile tunnel miles near Geneva, Switzerland. "I was interested in the popular press's take on that experiment to find the 'God particle'," Cave told The Sun. "There was this idea that if they discovered the Higgs Boson that it would negate the existence of God."
  • Robert Johnson, Martin Luther King and Miley Cyrus all make lyrical cameos on this track. The latter ends the song "floating in a pool". Asked by The Guardian why the Disney Starlet makes such a grisly end, Cave replied: "Let me just say: I've got nothing particular against Miley Cyrus. The whole thing came about because I was in Madame Tussauds with my kids and they were hugging Miley Cyrus's waxwork. Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra was in the next room. They were groping Miley Cyrus, and I'm going, well, hang on a second, you've got Elizabeth Taylor here. 'Who?' And that had some impact on me, and that's why she's floating in the pool."
  • The video for the live version of the track was shot in July 2013 at 3 Mills Studio, East London and directed by Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard. The same pair also directed Cave's fictionalized documentary 20,000 Days on Earth.
  • Miley Cyrus has become a pop culture phenomenon since being namechecked on this song. Digital Spy asked Cave if he would still have used her as a character had he known then what would happen to her? He replied: "Well, it would have been her, because Hannah Montana rhymes with savannah. That might sound flippant but actually it's tiny things like that that propel the writing process along. Little connecting of threads."

    "But it is interesting... there is a danger in using famous people in your songs, because you have no control over what they become. Yeah, for sure. But that's the same with all of songwriting really if you're writing about other people."
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Comments: 1

  • Flawedplan from Austin"Darkly comic" are you kidding me? Are you effing kidding? Yah, MLK's assassination, the Jewish caliphate, the AIDS epidemic, hilarious, and the fun just gets "darker" from there. It took me a year to understand this song and would still not presume have the chops to nicksplain it to the public. This song requires a syllabus, a commitment to self-teaching.
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