“It’s a song that has fairly humble beginnings,” remembers Mick Harvey, guitarist and co-founder of the Bad Seeds, (who is also credited as co-writer of “Red Right Hand” along with Cave and drummer Thomas Wydler). “Much of it came from a jam we were working on when we writing songs for our album ‘Let Love In’ (released in 1994).”
Nick Cave didn’t think much of the song’s repeating groove at first, but was persuaded to reconsider by his band, and eventually wrote lyrics about a shadowy, alluring, and manipulative figure, stalking the land and striking a combination of fear and awe everywhere he goes. He’s seemingly part deity, part demon. Aside from alluding to the phrase “red right hand,” taken from John Milton’s epic poem “Paradise Lost,” Cave has never revealed who this figure is.
“Peaky Blinders” creator Steven Knight tells that original idea was to use “Red Right Hand” in the show’s first episode, but he installed it as the theme because it fit the characters, settings, and subplots perfectly.