- 22 Mar 21
Cave recently collaborated with Warren Ellis to make the follow-up to 2019’s critically-acclaimed Ghosteen, titled CARNAGE.
The 63-year-old musician was asked the slightly morbid question by a fan, whose father had an Elvis-themed funeral. Cave responded that he hopes to have the gospel track performed "with heaven and all its angels listening" when he passes on.
The fan described his father's funeral service on Nick's Red Hand Files website, writing:
“No, we didn’t dress up in white jumpsuits, but his coffin had Elvis pictures and lyrics, and Elvis songs were played for him. I don’t know if anyone has asked you this before in The Red Hand Files, but what songs would you like played at your own funeral?"
The Carnage singer-songwriter replied:
"I was very moved by your letter. I’m sure your dad would have been very happy with his Elvis-themed funeral. Thinking about it, I would be very happy with one too — to be ushered into the next world by the voice of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll singer of them all.
“'Kentucky Rain', that’s what I’d like, 'Kentucky Rain' and 'How Great Thou Art' — Elvis singing gospel, with heaven and all its angels listening. It was a lovely thing to do for your dad. Sounds like you did a great job.”
The Bad Seeds frontman also admitted he was "deeply possessive" over his son's death on the website.
Cave's son Arthur, who was just 15, fell off a cliff near the family's home in Brighton in 2015 and died from his injuries.
Nick and his wife Susie Bick struggled with the tragic accident's impact on everyone who lived in the area.
In 2019, he was asked for advice on coping with grief by a fan named Hannah, whose mother had been killed.
"The tragedy of my son's death is inscribed into the collective consciousness of the town where we live and where he died," Nick wrote in reply.
"I have had to learn to share the reality of his passing with the town itself because it affected us all.
"I doubt there was a mother in Brighton who did not feel a chill of horror and cling to her own children a little tighter upon hearing the news of Arthur's senseless accident. But Arthur was our child, our own flesh and blood; Susie and I didn't want to share him with anyone, and we were deeply possessive over his absence."
The couple grew to "understand" in time that Arthur was mourned by the wider community.
"It took us some time to understand that, while he belonged to us, he belonged to the world too. In time, we understood that, although we were the ultimate custodians of Arthur's memory, he was in fact mourned by many and many people felt outraged at the cruelty and randomness of the event, just as we did.
"Susie and I individually and together had to find a way to be with Arthur, but also to share him with a multitude."
Read Pat Carty's Hot Press review of Cave's recent album with Warren Ellis, Carnage, here.