4 juillet 2012

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - The Mercy Seat (1988)

Après une courte pause bienvenue d'une semaine, la musique à papa est de retour et pour une fois depuis un bail pas avec une nouveauté. Il faut dire qu'en cette période estivale, le nombre de sorties se réduit comme peau de chagrin et les trucs vraiment marquants ne se comptent pas à foison. Donc, en attendant d'excitantes découvertes, il est toujours bon de revenir à ses classiques. Et "The Mercy Seat" du sieur Cave et ses mauvaises graines en est évidemment un, puisque même Johnnny Cash en a fait une reprise. A l'heure où l'intégralité de sa discographie est progressivement rééditée, force est de constater que la musique du crooner australien n'a jamais été aussi habitée qu'au tournant des années 80/90. L'épisode post-punk du Birthday Party laissé définivement derrière lui, le chanteur trouvait un style, moins sauvage et brouillon mais pas encore apaisé. "Your Funeral...My Trial" puis "Tender Prey" constituent ainsi pour moi l'apogée de sa carrière. Wim Wenders qui ne s'y est pas trompé a convoqué cette musique sur "Les Ailes du Désir". De même, le cinéma et la télévision feront souvent appel au formidable "Red Right Hand", sorti pourtant un peu plus tard, pour illustrer la peur et la mort. "The Mercy Seat", comme une litanie (en réalité celle d'un condamné à mort), une rengaine entonnée en rémission des péchés de jeunesse, un rite sacrificiel marquant le difficile passage à l'âge adulte. Une des périodes les plus inspirantes et fécondes qui soient. Un titre qui est presque à chaque fois joué sur scène par le groupe. Forcément.

It began when they come took me from my home
And put me in Dead Row,
Of which I am nearly wholly innocent, you know.
And I'll say it again
I..am..not..afraid..to..die.

I began to warm and chill
To objects and their fields,
A ragged cup, a twisted mop
The face of Jesus in my soup
Those sinister dinner meals
The meal trolley's wicked wheels
A hooked bone rising from my food
All things either good or ungood.

And the mercy seat is waiting
And I think my head is burning
And in a way I'm yearning
To be done with all this measuring of truth.
An eye for an eye
A tooth for a tooth
And anyway I told the truth
And I'm not afraid to die.

Interpret signs and catalogue
A blackened tooth, a scarlet fog.
The walls are bad. Black. Bottom kind.
They are sick breath at my hind
They are sick breath at my hind
They are sick breath at my hind
They are sick breath gathering at my hind

I hear stories from the chamber
How Christ was born into a manger
And like some ragged stranger
Died upon the cross
And might I say it seems so fitting in its way
He was a carpenter by trade
Or at least that's what I'm told

Like my good hand I
tatooed E.V.I.L. across it's brother's fist
That filthy five! They did nothing to challenge or resist.

In Heaven His throne is made of gold
The ark of his Testament is stowed
A throne from which I'm told
All history does unfold.
Down here it's made of wood and wire
And my body is on fire
And God is never far away.

Into the mercy seat I climb
My head is shaved, my head is wired
And like a moth that tries
To enter the bright eye
I go shuffling out of life
Just to hide in death awhile
And anyway I never lied.

My kill-hand is called E.V.I.L.
Wears a wedding band that's G.O.O.D.
`Tis a long-suffering shackle
Collaring all that rebel blood.

And the mercy seat is waiting
And I think my head is burning
And in a way I'm yearning
To be done with all this measuring of truth.
An eye for an eye
And a tooth for a tooth
And anyway I told the truth
And I'm not afraid to die.

And the mercy seat is burning
And I think my head is glowing
And in a way I'm hoping
To be done with all this weighing up of truth.
An eye for an eye
And a tooth for a tooth
And I've got nothing left to lose
And I'm not afraid to die.

And the mercy seat is glowing
And I think my head is smoking
And in a way I'm hoping
To be done with all this looks of disbelief.
An eye for an eye
And a tooth for a tooth
And anyway there was no proof
Nor a motive why.

And the mercy seat is smoking
And I think my head is melting
And in a way I'm helping
To be done with all this twisted of the truth.
A lie for a lie
And a truth for a truth
And I've got nothing left to lose
And I'm not afraid to die.

And the mercy seat is melting
And I think my blood is boiling
And in a way I'm spoiling
All the fun with all this truth and consequence.
An eye for an eye
And a truth for a truth
And anyway I told the truth
And I'm not afraid to die.

And the mercy seat is waiting
And I think my head is burning
And in a way I'm yearning
To be done with all this measuring of proof.
A life for a life
And a truth for a truth
And anyway there was no proof
But I'm not afraid to tell a lie.

And the mercy seat is waiting
And I think my head is burning
And in a way I'm yearning
To be done with all this measuring of truth.
An eye for an eye
And a truth for a truth
And anyway I told the truth
But I'm afraid I told a lie. 

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