The Real-Life Stories Behind 10 Famous Love Songs

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds — “Into My Arms”

Cave’s excursion into morose piano balladry with The Boatman’s Call was catalyzed at least partly by his well-publicized affair with Polly Jean Harvey, although his love life was complicated enough at the time that there was plenty of material for lovelorn angst. Still, it’s hard to escape the conclusion that songs like “West Country Girl,” “Black Hair,” and “Into My Arms” are directly inspired by his relationship with Harvey, with whom he famously duetted on Murder Ballads‘ “Henry Lee.” (Years later, he traced the start of the affair to the song’s video, telling the Guardian‘s Simon Hattenstone, “We didn’t know each other well, and this thing happens while we’re making the video. There’s a certain awkwardness, and afterwards it’s like, oh…”)