FANDOM


Where the Wild Roses Grow
Where the Wild Roses Grow
Single by Kylie Minogue and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
From the album Murder Ballads
B-side
  • "The Murder of Robert Moor & Betty Coltrane"
  • "The Willow Garden"
Released 2 October 1995 (1995-10-02)
Recorded 1993 - 1995
Format
  • CD single
  • cassette single
  • 7"
Genre Alternative rock
Length 3:57
Label Mute
Writer(s) Nick Cave
Producer(s)
  • Tony Cohen
  • Victor Van Vugt
Kylie Minogue singles chronology
Where Is the Feeling Where the Wild Roses Grow Some Kind of Bliss
Music Video
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds & Kylie Minogue - Where the Wild Roses Grow

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds & Kylie Minogue - Where the Wild Roses Grow

"Where the Wild Roses Grow" is a duet by Australian rock band Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and Kylie Minogue. It is the fifth song and lead single from the band's ninth studio album, Murder Ballads (1996), released on Mute Records. It was written by the band's frontman Nick Cave and produced by Tony Cohen and Victor Van Vugt.

The song received a positive reception from music critics and became the band's most successful single worldwide reaching No. 3 in Norway, the top five in Australia, and the top twenty in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany and New Zealand. It also received a limited promotional release in the United States. The song was certified Gold in Germany in 1996 for 250,000 copies sold, despite never reaching the top ten in that country. It charted again at the bottom of the German Top 100 in 2008 because of digital downloads after it was used in a soap opera. "Where the Wild Roses Grow" was also certified Gold in Australia for selling 50,000 copies.

Cave was inspired to write "Where the Wild Roses Grow" after listening to the traditional song, "Down in the Willow Garden", a tale of a man courting a woman and killing her while they are out together. Cave arranged this tale as second of two B-sides, "The Ballad of Robert Moore & Betty Coltrane" / "The Willow Garden", released on the CD-Maxi single version.

Although the song does not feature on one of Kylie's studio album, it can be found on her compilations Hits+, Greatest Hits: 87-99, Ultimate Kylie and The Abbey Road Sessions.

It reached number 8 in Triple J's Hottest 100 1995. In 2012, NME listed the song in the "100 Best Songs of the 1990s" at number 35.

Background

In Molly Meldrum presents 50 Years of Rock in Australia, Cave described writing the song:

"Where the Wild Roses Grow" was written very much with Kylie in mind. I'd wanted to write a song for Kylie for many years. I had a quiet obsession with her for about six years. I wrote several songs for her, none of which I felt was appropriate to give her. It was only when I wrote this song, which is a dialogue between a killer and his victim, that I thought finally I'd written the right song for Kylie to sing. I sent the song to her and she replied the next day.

A CD of the track—which had Blixa Bargeld singing Kylie's lines—when sent to Kylie's parents' house (as she was staying there at the time) prior to her recording the song.

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and Kylie first performed the song publicly on 4 August 1995 in Cork, Republic of Ireland.

Composition

According to the sheet music edition published by OnlineSheetMusic.com, "Where the Wild Roses Grow" is written in the compound time signature of 6/8 and is set in the key signature of G minor, at a tempo of 56 beats per minute.

Music video

The video for this song, commissioned by Emma Davies for Mute Records, shot by director Rocky Schenck and produced by Nick Verden for Atlas Films, shows Kylie in character, Eliza Day, apparently having been murdered by Nick Cave's character. We see her in ghost-like form and also in a river in a pose reminiscent of Millais' painting Ophelia. The video ends with Cave's character putting a rose in Kylie's mouth and closing her eyelids.

Live performances

Nick and Kylie performed the song together live on stage in London on 3 June 2018, when Kylie made a surprise appearance during the Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds set at All Points East festival. Kylie appeared as a surprise guest at Coldplay's Enmore Theatre show in Sydney, Australia on 19 June 2014, where they performed the song as a duet

The song has been performed only a handful of times on tour by Kylie; the song was included on the Showgirl, Homecoming and For You, For Me tours, as an excerpt during a performance of "Red Blooded Woman". The chorus of the song was also performed throughout the Golden Tour, where Kylie presents a member of the audience with a single red rose. This was also a feature of the 2019 Summer shows. The song was performed in full with Nick Cave during Kylie's 'legend slot' performance at the 2019 Glastonbury Festival.

Other version

A guide track with The Bad Seeds guitarist, Blixa Bargeld, singing Kylie's vocal part was released on the compilation B-Sides & Rarities.

Awards

  • 1996 ARIA Awards: 'Single of the Year', 'Song of the Year' & 'Best Pop Release'.

Formats and track listings

These are the formats and track listings of major single releases of "Where the Wild Roses Grow".

UK 7" single (MUTE 185)

  • "Where the Wild Roses Grow" (Cave) – 3:58
  • "The Ballad of Robert Moore & Betty Coltrane" (Cave) – 3:34

UK cassette single (CMUTE 185)

  • "Where the Wild Roses Grow" (Cave) – 3:58
  • "The Ballad of Robert Moore & Betty Coltrane" (Cave) – 3:34

EU CD single (CDMUTE 185)

  • "Where the Wild Roses Grow" (Cave) – 3:58
  • "The Ballad of Robert Moore & Betty Coltrane" (Cave) – 3:34
  • "The Willow Garden" (Traditional) – 3:57

Australian CD single (D1188)

  • "Where the Wild Roses Grow" (Cave) – 3:58
  • "The Ballad of Robert Moore & Betty Coltrane" (Cave) – 3:34
  • "The Willow Garden" (Traditional) – 3:57

Lyrics

They call me The Wild Rose
But my name was Elisa Day
Why they call me it, I do not know
For my name was Elisa Day

From the first day I saw her, I knew she was the one
She stared in my eyes and smiled
For her lips were the colour of the roses
That grew down the river, all bloody and wild

When he knocked on my door and entered the room
My trembling subsided in his sure embrace
He would be my first man, and with a careful hand
He wiped at the tears that ran down my face

They call me The Wild Rose
But my name was Elisa Day
Why they call me it, I do not know
For my name was Elisa Day

On the second day, I brought her a flower
She was more beautiful than any woman I've seen
I said, "Do you know where the wild roses grow
So sweet and scarlet and free?"

On the second day, he came with a single red rose
He said, "Give me your loss and your sorrow"
I nodded my head as I lay on the bed
If I show you the roses, will you follow?

They call me The Wild Rose
But my name was Elisa Day
Why they call me it, I do not know
For my name was Elisa Day

On the third day, he took me to the river
He showed me the roses and we kissed
And the last thing I heard was a muttered word
As he knelt above me with a rock in his fist

On the last day I took her where the wild roses grow
She lay on the bank, the wind light as a thief
And I kissed her goodbye, said, "All beauty must die"
And lent down and planted a rose between her teeth

They call me The Wild Rose
But my name was Elisa Day
Why they call me it, I do not know
For my name was Elisa Day
My name was Elisa Day
For my name was Elisa Day

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.