Cruel to be Kind

Today, a musical tangent from Hamlet.

I must be cruel only to be kind.
  • Hamlet, III.iv.178


Cruel to be kind.
  • Nick Lowe, 1979

I’ve always loved this song.

Nick Lowe is a genius. Love him solo. Loved him with Rockpile, which also included Dave Edmunds, who (in my personal opinion) still has the greatest cover of a Bruce Springsteen song (save for Rage Against the Machine’s version of “The Ghost of Tom Joad”) in “From Small Things (Big Things One Day Come)” [Bruce version (irony: in that live clip, Bruce is supported by Tom Morello, the guitarist from Rage… just sayin’)].

Trivia: the video contains footage of Lowe’s wedding to Carlene Carter (her third of four marriages, his first of two), who was the daughter of June Carter by her first marriage, before June married Johnny Cash. Also, Lowe wrote one of the best songs Elvis Costello ever recorded, “(What’s so Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding.”

And thus today’s diversion into late-twentieth century pop music education comes to an end.

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