Let us move on to the second album of The Birthday Party called, appropriately enough, The Birthday Party. And the song is “Happy Birthday.” It was a group composition when Nick Cave was starting to become the dominant songwriter (he never really did succeed in that regard). I love the song. Now you could listen carefully to the lyrics and come to the conclusion that it is a happy song. Many people think it is. But it’s not. When I was 17 years old, I wrote a song for a friend of mine’s high school graduation called, “Goodbye Graduate.” It was much more clear, with lines like, “You’ll get a wife and work for Dodge.” But “Happy Birthday” is about the same thing: aging and the fact that life just gets worse. Happy birthday!
One thing I find interesting is that Wikipedia refers to The Birthday Party as a “post-punk” band. How exactly is The Bithday Party post-punk? They sound very punk to me. But then Wikipedia insists upon calling every impressionist painter you’ve ever heard of as post-impressionist. Anyway, this song sounds like a lot of California punk from the late 1970s to me. But just remember, the boy in this song was eleven years old. That means he’s 47 years old now and his life sucks! Or he died of liver failure like one of the writers.
Tomorrow I might get to an actual Nick Cave song. In the mean time, enjoy this one: