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Don’t Forget the Songs-365: Mach Dos: Day 286
Thursday, Oct 25, 2012

“I’ll Love You Till the End of the World”
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

1991

“♫ some things
we plan, we sit
and we invent
and we plot
and cook up/
others are works
of inspiration/ of
poetry […] to say
my last goodbye
♫”

Some of my all time most memorable love songs were penned by Nick Cave. When Cave writes about love, he sings about the stinging, the longing, the ecstasy and everything in between. When talking about his love songs, Nick Cave once admitted, “I’m not an authority on relationships. I’m not an authority on much at all. I’m simply trying to write songs in the best way I can, and each song is very much tainted by the way I feel at the time of writing. So there are no ultimate points about love. I have felt distrustful and bitter about relationships, and that’s there on the new record occasionally.”

With all of the love songs Cave would go on to write, “I’ll Love You Till The End of the World” is not his most famous but is one of my favorites. Why because it’s honorably fatalistic. Instead of just leaving in silence, “End of the World” is an ode to a once thriving love. In lecture “The Art of the Love Song” Nick Cave said, “Though the love song comes in many guises – songs of exultation and praise, songs of rage and of despair, erotic songs, songs of abandonment and loss – they all address God, for it is the haunted premises of longing that the true love song inhabits. It is a howl in the void, for Love and for comfort and it lives on the lips of the child crying for his mother. It is the song of the lover in need of her loved one, the raving of the lunatic supplicant petitioning his God. It is the cry of one chained to the earth, to the ordinary and to the mundane, craving flight; a flight into inspiration and imagination and divinity. The love song is the sound of our endeavors to become God-like, to rise up and above the earthbound and the mediocre.”

When Nick sings, “♫This town full of men with big mouths and no guts/ I mean, if you can just picture it […] ♫” it’s as if he’s referring to the City of Angels and all of those bachelor cowards who are afraid to take the plunge and to lose themselves in a life changing love affair. Cave sounds like he was narrating his own legend. Mirroring past loves, Cave’s vocal reflects the honest aches of devotion before the eventual shattering of a flickering love affair. Like the emotion in Cave’s song, although we were in it for, forever, we could never get past the honeymoon phase. I love the fact that no matter the result, while other singers would be berating his former love and even those their love didn’t last, Cave is still thanking the girl for all they shared. Songs of failed love are something Cave is an expert on as he explained, “I guess creative woman around me suffered through the drive I had—were consumed by it in a way. I guess the pattern of my past relationships has been that I’ve met very strong women and, through the course of the relationship, have exhausted them in some way. And it’s something I’ve had to face up to: why is this happening?”

Was Nick Cave a love junkie or just a very devoted songwriting in love with his muse first before his women? “I’ll Love You Till the End of the World” is an ode to past love, to former paramours that have lit the sparks of inspiration with their love affair being sacrificed for the art of the song. “I don’t particularly believe all love is doomed. But I guess, one is usually kinda suffering from some aborted love affair or association, rather than being at the peak of one. I think it’s fairly obvious that a lot more suffering goes on in the name of love than the little happiness you can squeeze out of it. But I wouldn’t like to dwell on it. Perhaps you could lighten up a bit.” Nick Cave said in a interview with Simon Reynolds in 1988.

We love our Nick Cave biting, honest and honoring the aches of lost love. From the Wim Wenders film, Until The End of The World, “I’ll Love You Till” is more than just soundtrack song; “the End of the World” is one of the finest cuts of devotion that Cave has ever penned. So good, in fact, that Nick should have included “I’ll Love You Till the End of the World” on 1992’s Henry’s Dream. More than another apocalyptic song, the legend of love knows no better narrator than Nick Cave; “I’ll Love You Till the End of the World” is for the lovers who took a chance with us— the romantics, the loners and the dreamers… this one for you.

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