There is no plan

I spent the morning, the morning with which I was going to do very many productive things, hunting down and obsessively listening to every cover of Nick Cave’s ‘The Ship Song’ I could find. Sydney Opera House have a lot to answer for.

But seriously, watch this. Watch it fullscreen.

I’ve been madly in love with Nick Cave’s songs since I found them, way back before I had pocket money to buy CDs. I’m slightly more careful about throwing on an album at random these days, because detailed descriptions of horrible murders aren’t really good for working to. The fact I had Murder Ballads on constantly for a significant proportion of my PhD is something that should probably not be thought about too hard. The thing about the murder songs though, is, they’re really good. Both the trad ones and the ones Cave & company put together themsleves. If you don’t listen to the words, they sound beautiful. 

The ones that are genuinely heartstoppingly gorgeous are the ones from the same stable as The Ship Song. The ones where Cave, or Cave and the band, planted themselves down and figured out exactly how to turn complicated twisty lyrics into complicated twistly love songs. Or not-love songs. Or songs about the end of the world. Or an achingly simple agnostic’s love song.

The Ship Song is still my favourite. 

This is where the big ships lived

I work in the Titanic Quarter. The other side of the river is a working quay and dockyard (when I was a little girl, our side of the river was still a shipyard). There’s usually a ship loading or unloading beyond my window. Today, the last stragglers plastered ourselves to the window to watch the Crown Princess manoeuvre elegantly out round the cargo ships berthed either end and go on her way. On the other side of the office, Harland and Wolff build wind turbines these days in the place of big ships, and when the big cranes move to load them on their transport ships, our building shakes. It’s amazing we ever get anything done.

Going home, walking or cycling, I go back up the road, past the Paint Hall where they’re shooting Game of Thrones and round the marina to the Odessey. There, you can turn in front of W5 and see the old Harland and Wolf drawing office, the SS Nomadic, being slowly fitted up to her finery again, and the Titanic Museum, standing at the head of the Titanic dock as high as she stood at her launch and the empty expanse of Olympia’s beside it.

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