Sunday, January 4, 2009

Place To Be

I was sitting in my warm house today, working on some photographs, when an advertisement came on the TV and I suddenly found myself riveted to the music. It turned out to be an ad for Michigan State University, but I managed to grasp a couple of lines from the song and entered them into a google search.

What I came up with really surprised me.

The music, which is accoustic, is soft, melodious, and has a faint sadness to it. And I knew I'd heard this artist before.

Nick Drake died in 1974, at the age of 26. He suffered from both depression and imsomnia. Fortunately for us, his manager had a clause put into his own contract stating that Nick Drake's recordings would never go out of print. And it wasn't until the year 2000, when Volkswagen featured a selection from his Pink Moon album that Nick ended up selling more records in one month's time, than he had in the nearly thirty years since his death.

Nicholas Rodney Drake (6-19-48 ~ 11-25-74) was an English singer-songwriterr and musiciann best known for his acoustic, autumnal songs. His primary instrument was the guitar, though he was also proficient at pianoo, clarinett, and saxophone. Although he failed to find a wide audience during his lifetime, Drake's work has grown steadily in stature, to the extent that he now ranks among the most influential English singer-songwriters of the last 50 years.

Drake signed to Island Records when he was twenty years old, and released his debut album "Five Leaves Left" in 1969. By 1972, he had recorded a further two albums, although none sold more than 5,000 copies in their initial releases, while his reluctance to perform live or be interviewed further contributed to his lack of commercial success. Despite this, he was able to gather a loyal group of people who would champion his music. One such person was his manager, Joe Boyd, who had a clause put into his own contract with Island Records that ensured Nick's records would never go out of print. Drake suffered from depression and insomnia throughout his life, and the topics were often reflected in his lyrics.

Upon completion of his third album, 1972's "
Pink Moon", he withdrew from both live performance and recording, retreating to his parents' home in rural Warwickshire. On 25 November 1974, Drake died from an overdose of amitriptyline, a prescribed antidepressant; he was 26 years old.

~ Wikepedia

When I was younger, younger than before
I never saw the truth hanging from the door
And now I'm older see it face to face
And now I'm older gotta get up clean the place.
And I was green, greener than the hill
Where the flowers grew and the sun shone still
Now I'm darker than the deepest sea
Just hand me down, give me a place to be.
~Nick Drake, Place To Be

He once told his mother, "If only my music could do something to help one single person."

Well, I'd like to thank Nick. Because it's aure making me feel better right now.

Until tomorrow, my friends . . .


Debra (a/k/a Doris, Mimi) said...

His voice reminds me of Dylan. Very lovely, Kate. I never heard of this artist before but will look for more of his music. I like Pink Moon. How tragic to have left this world at such an early age. I hope your day is warm and relaxing. I'm sad that our vacation is coming to an end and that we must both return to work. {sigh} I long for retirement but that isn't likely to happen any time soon. "I owe, I owe, it's off to work we go..."

shara said...

Love this music. I am going to try to get a Pandora station w/him. Thanks for being so observant.

Deb said...

I love the music. It seems very calming for my thrashing head. Perhaps I must download his songs for my IPOD.

Anonymous said...

I don't remember hearin' of him or hearin' him sing but someone else recorded that song, I know the words. I'll have to look it up. that is a sad story. What a waste to such a talent.

Tim Atkinson said...

Never heard of him before - but I'm a convert. Thanks for the post!

Amber said...

I too have never heard of him, but I enjoyed that song. Ill have to check out more of his music. Thanks for sharing!

Country Girl said...

I know, Debra, doesn't he?
Deb, I am so sorry your head hurts and am still jealous that you have an ipod and know how to use it.
Hello, Shara and Rebel. Seen you here before!
Welcome to The Dotterel and Amber. And you are both quite welcome!

~ CG

Debra (a/k/a Doris, Mimi) said... "wow gold" spam? i've never experienced spam on my blog.

Woman in a Window said...

wow and wow
and sad
and soothing somehow, too.
It makes me wonder about art and life and what makes either.
thanks for this,

dlyn said...

I remember listening to his music way back then and I even remember hearing he had died. Sad - he was very talented. His music is avaiable for download on Amazon and quite a lot of it is available to listne to for free on - I added him to my playlist. If you haven't ever tried, you should check it out - an awesome way to listen to music.

Country Girl said...

Dlyn, thanks for the info. And yes Debra, it was spam. He's been here several times and on the blogs of friends. I do not want to resort to using those damn letters and I appreciate the heads up whenever you see him.
Readers, please don't ever click on anything you see in the comments if it looks suspicious, k?
Have a beautiful Sunday, all!

~ CG

Anonymous said...

Very haunting lyrics. Thank you for sharing these.

CJ xx

Daryl said...

Nice .. and I am sure he knows, I am not religious or a praying person but I do think that souls linger and those who have passed are with us sort of....

Mental P Mama said...

Never heard of him either. But now I need more.

Ngaio said...

Wow, that song was a blast from the past !! I used to listen to Nick Drake for hours when I was 18/19 - a life time away now. He had a haunting voice and somehow always said what i was thinking ..My English son-in-law plays aucostic guitar, not unlike Nick. Thanks for that trip down memory lane.

Elizabeth said...

Was fascinated a listened to Nick Drake - something I rarely do as I think of blogging as more visual that aural.
I had heard of him -almost a contemporary of mine in England.
Depression is such a horrible affliction and carries off so many talented people.
Love the bird and squirrel pictures below.

Tess Kincaid said...

So glad you were riveted to that TV ad. What a wonderful post it inspired.

Magnolia Street Style said...

I must say that I don't recall ever hearing him and I was a teen ager in the 70s. His voice reminds me of another singer, unfortunately I can't think of his name and my daughter isn't here to ask. I'll listen a little more and it might come to me.

Tim Atkinson said...

I know precisely what you mean, Magnolia. I've been wracking my brains, too. Let me know when the penny drops!

Jeannelle said...

Your tribute to him is moving. Artistic talent and depression often go hand in hand, sad to say. If only he could have seen that his music was a help to others.