It’s a song that has fairly humble beginnings. Much of it came from a jam we were working on when we writing songs for our album Let Love In. I still find it all mysterious. I don’t want to know the details, and I’d never ask Nick. Sometimes it’s better to think “what the hell’s that all about?” It’s better that it’s unknowable and spooky. The song has its own life, now. https://www.youtube.com/watch?vScC-teZyK-Y Take a little walk to the edge of townGo across the tracksWhere the viaduct loomsLike a bird of doomAs it shifts and cracksWhere secrets lie in the border firesIn the humming wiresHey man, you knowYou're never coming backPast the square, past the bridgePast the mills, past the stacksOn a gathering storm comesA tall handsome manIn a dusty black coatWith a red right hand He'll wrap you in his armsTell you that you've been a good boyHe'll rekindle all the dreamsIt took you a lifetime to destroyHe'll reach deep into the holeHeal your shrinking soulBut there won't be a single thing that you can doHe's a god, he's a manHe's a ghost, he's a guruThey're whispering his nameThrough this disappearing landBut hidden in his coatIs a red right hand You don't have no money?He'll get you someYou don't have no car?He'll get you oneYou don't have no self-respectYou feel like an insectWell don't you worry buddyCause here he comesThrough the ghettos and the barrioAnd the Bowery and the slumsA shadow is cast wherever he standsStacks of green paperIn his red right hand You'll see him in your nightmaresYou'll see him in your dreamsHe'll appear out of nowhere butHe ain't what he seemsYou'll see him in your headOn the TV screenAnd hey buddy, I'm warningYou to turn it offHe's a ghost, he's a godHe's a man, he's a guruYou're one microscopic cogIn his catastrophic planDesigned and directedBy his red right hand https://www.youtube.com/watch?v5MHywV8eoEs Track #5 from Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds' eighth studio album Let Love In. The notion of a Red Right Hand goes back to John Milton’s Paradise Lost where it also plays the role of an undefined threat. There are discussions among scholars whether it concerns the hand of Satan or the punishing hand of God himself. To back up the lyrics, the whole song has a threatening allure with the organ theme and Cave’s deep ominous voice. In verses one and two, a tall handsome stranger ‘with a red right hand’ is used to personify an omnipresent danger. In verses three and four it is revealed what this danger actually is. It is the allure (remember that the man is tall and handsome) of material wealth which draws away your focus from more important things like self-respect. The tall handsome man sustains this danger as a ‘catastrophic plan’ in which you (that is the average person) are a ‘microscopic cog’. In this way, the man represents consumer society: something which is very everyday, but in its essence utterly scary and life-crushing. The song was used as a theme song for the the horror movies Scream 1 & 2 and the soundtrack of 3 still contains tunes that are a reminiscence of this song. It’s also the theme song for the BBC show Peaky Blinders.