Jesus Alone

Album: Skeleton Tree (2016)

Songfacts®:

  • In early September 2015 there was a horrifying airshow disaster ten miles from Nick Cave's home city of Brighton. A vintage aircraft that had taken off at Shoreham airport crashed into a field near the River Adur and killed 11 people.

    You fell from the sky
    Crash landed in a field
    Near the river Adur


    A month and a half previously, Nick Cave experienced his own horrific tragedy when his 15-year-old son Arthur fell from a cliff and died from his injuries.

    You cried beneath the dripping trees
    Ghost song lodged in the throat of a mermaid


    Cave's pain is etched in this haunting, sparse work, which splices eerie imagery of grieving loved ones.
  • The song was actually one of the first from Skeleton Tree to be written, around late 2014. In Andrew Dominik's documentary One More Time with Feeling, Cave mentions ad-libbing and improvising the anguished prayer to a dead child from a grieving father. Presumably he picked up the idea of the air crash and added the first verse, linking it to the rest of this panorama of grief.
  • The music video contains footage taken from the 3D black and white movie, One More Time with Feeling, which documents the recording of Skeleton Tree.

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