Orpheus sat gloomy in his garden shed
Wondering what to do
With a lump of wood, and a piece of wire
And a little pot of glue.

He sawed at the wood with half a heart
And glued it top to bottom
He strung a wire in between
He was feeling something rotten.

Orpheus looked at his instrument
And he gave the wire a pluck
He heard a sound so beautiful
He gasped and said O my God.

He rushed inside to tell his wife
He went racing down the halls
Eurydice was still asleep in bed
Like a sack of cannonballs.

Look what I’ve made, cried Orpheus
And he plucked a gentle note
Eurydice’s eyes popped from their sockets
And her tongue burst through her throat.

O God, what have I done, he said
As her blood pooled in the sheets
But in his heart he felt a bliss
With which nothing could compete.

Orpheus went leaping through the fields
Strumming as hard as he did please
Birdies detonated in the sky
Bunnies dashed their brains out on the trees.

Orpheus strummed till his fingers bled
He hit a G minor 7
He woke up God from a deep, deep sleep
God was a major player in heaven.

God picked up a giant hammer
And He threw it with an thunderous yell
It smashed down hard on Orpheus’ head
And knocked him down a well.

The well went down very deep
Very deep went down the well
Well, the well went down so very deep
Well, the well went down to hell.

Poor Orpheus woke up with a start
All amongst the rotting dead
His lyre tucked safe under his arm
His brains all down his head.

Eurydice appeared brindled in blood
She said to Orpheus
If you play that fucking thing down here
I’ll stick it up your orifice!

This lyre lark is for the birds, said Orpheus
It’s enough to send you bats
Let’s stay down here, Eurydice, dear
We’ll have a bunch of screaming brats.

Orpheus picked up his lyre for the last time
He was on a real low down bummer
And stared deep into the abyss and said
This one is for Mamma.

[ Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, The Lyre of Orpheus ]


‘When?’ said the moon to the stars in the sky.
‘Soon’ said the wind that followed them all.

‘Who?’ said the cloud that started to cry.
‘Me’ said the rider as dry as a bone.

‘Who?’ said the sun that melted the ground.
‘Why?’ said the river that refused to run.

‘Where?’ said the thunder without a sound.
‘Here’ said the rider and took up his gun.


‘No’ said the stars to the moon in the sky.
‘No’ said the trees that started to moan.

‘No’ said the dust that blinded his eyes.
‘Yes’ said the rider as white as a bone.

‘No’ said the moon that rose from his sleep.
‘No’ said the cry of the dying sun.

‘No’ said the planets that started to weep.
‘Yes’ said the rider and laid down his gun.

Nick Cave, Warren Ellis, The rider song