The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (soundtrack)

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis is the official soundtrack album to the movie of the same name.[4] Cave and Ellis composed all the music. According to the CD liner notes, Cave played piano, celesta and other keyboards, while Ellis played violin, viola, guitar and keyboards. Furthermore, some songs featured percussion, a small string ensemble and other instruments.

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Soundtrack album by
Released2007 (2007)
Nick Cave and Warren Ellis chronology
The Proposition
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Professional ratings
Review scores
Pitchfork Media(7.2/10)[2]

The album is the second film score collaboration between Cave and Ellis, after their work for the 2005 soundtrack to the film The Proposition.[5] Cave and Ellis are bandmates in Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, with Cave a founding member from the band's 1983 formation and Ellis joining in 2004.

Track listing

1."Rather Lovely Thing"3:13
2."Moving On"2:32
3."Song for Jesse"2:35
6."The Money Train"2:38
7."What Must Be Done"1:57
8."Another Rather Lovely Thing"3:27
10."Last Ride Back to KC"5:24
11."What Happens Next"2:08
12."Destined for Great Things"2:25
13."Counting the Stars"1:19
14."Song for Bob"6:03

Unreleased songs

There are six untitled score pieces composed by Cave and Ellis which do not appear on the retail soundtrack. They include:

  • 2 pieces from the end credits of the film, played after "What Must Be Done"
  • 2 pieces available for listen on the official website (tracks 12 and 13), streaming audio.
  • 1 piece played during the DVD menu and heard throughout the movie, a slightly quirkier rendition of the track "Moving On".
  • 1 piece, notable for being the eerie, vacant sound heard during the intense moments in the film, such as: when Jesse holds up his lantern awaiting the Blue Cut train, when the screen introduces "April 3rd, 1882", and when Bob sees the headline of the newspaper on assassination day.

There is a song played by a busker in a bar, played by Nick Cave, towards the end of the film entitled "Jesse James" or "The Ballad of Jesse James". This was written by Billy Gashade in 1882 and has been modified and covered by Uncle Dave Macon in 1929, Ken Curtis and the Sons of the Pioneers in the 1930s, Woody Guthrie in 1940, Burl Ives in the 1940s, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Cisco Houston, The Kingston Trio, Eddy Arnold, Bob Seger in 1972, Ry Cooder in 1980, The Pogues in 1985 and Van Morrison in 1998.[6]

White Lunar

Cave and Ellis released a double disc album titled White Lunar in September 2009, which contains several tracks from the Jesse James score, as well as tracks they composed for other films up to 2009.[7]


  1. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford at AllMusic
  2. Klein, Joshua (1 February 2008). "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
  3. Henderson, Stuart (5 February 2007). "Nick Cave and Warren Ellis". PopMatters. Archived from the original on 12 February 2008. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
  4. Rose, Kara (6 December 2007). "Cave and Ellis For Jesse James Soundtrack". HARP. Guthrie, Inc. Archived from the original on 12 August 2007. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
  5. Davis, Lee (10 November 2007). "Nick Cave and Warren Ellis: The Assassination of Jesse James by the coward Robert Ford". Archived from the original on 4 April 2011. Retrieved 25 February 2008.
  6. "Turning Jesse James in to Jesus Christ". Matt Orel's Bruce. 2006. Archived from the original on 29 May 2009. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
  7. "White Lunar (2009)". Nick Cave & Warren Ellis. Goliath Enterprises Ltd. Archived from the original on 29 June 2018. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
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