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O Children

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"O Children"
Song information
Performed by

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

Tune

Slow

"O Children" is a song by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. In 1997, while Hermione Granger and Harry Potter were camping out together after Ron Weasley decided to abandon their hunt for Lord Voldemort's Horcruxes, this song came on the radio. The two friends proceeded to share a slow dance to lift their spirits.

Lyrics

Pass me that lovely little gun
My dear, my darling one
The cleaners are coming, one by one
You don't even want to let them start

They are knocking now upon your door
They measure the room, they know the score
They're mopping up the butcher's floor
Of your broken little hearts

O children

Forgive us now for what we've done
It started out as a bit of fun
Here, take these before we run away
The keys to the gulag

O children
Lift up your voice, lift up your voice
Children
Rejoice, rejoice

Here comes Frank and poor old Jim
They're gathering round with all my friends
We're older now, the light is dim
And you are only just beginning

O children

We have the answer to all your fears
It's short, it's simple, it's crystal dear
It's round about, it's somewhere here
Lost amongst our winnings

O children
Lift up your voice, lift up your voice
Children
Rejoice, rejoice

The cleaners have done their job on you
They're hip to it, man, they're in the groove
They've hosed you down, you're good as new
They're lining up to inspect you

O children

Poor old Jim's white as a ghost
He's found the answer that was lost
We're all weeping now, weeping because
There ain't nothing we can do to protect you

O children
Lift up your voice, lift up your voice
Children
Rejoice, rejoice

Hey little train! We are all jumping on
The train that goes to the Kingdom
We're happy, Ma, we're having fun
And the train ain't even left the station

Hey, little train! Wait for me!
I once was blind but now
I see Have you left a seat for me?
Is that such a stretch of the imagination?

Hey little train! Wait for me!
I was held in chains but now I'm free
I'm hanging in there, don't you see
In this process of elimination

Hey little train! We are all jumping on
The train that goes to the Kingdom
We're happy, Ma, we're having fun
It's beyond my wildest expectation

Hey little train! We are all jumping on
The train that goes to the Kingdom
We're happy, Ma, we're having fun
And the train ain't even left the station

Behind the scenes

  • Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

    Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

    This song was featured on the Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds album Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus, released in 2004, making its appearance in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 an anachronism, since the dancing scene is set in 1997 according to the canonical timeline.
  • In an interview, Matt Biffa, the music supervisor for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, explained that he chose the song because he identified with its lyrics on a personal level, as he was separating from his wife at the time and worried how it would effect their two young sons: "There was something really uplifting about that 'O Children,' with lyrics like 'rejoice / lift up your voice,’ and all that stuff. I was thinking of my kids. The lyrics are saying, ‘Forgive us for what we’ve done.’ It started out as a bit of fun, but then there’s weeping. It was horribly on the nose for me. At the same time, it was giving me hope. It’s not the same as writing a song for my children, but this is the closest I can get."[1]
  • According to Biffa, obtaining permission to use the song in the film was not difficult, and Nick Cave was happy that it was a lesser-known Bad Seeds song that had been selected.[1]

Appearances

Notes and reference

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