Your Weekly, Sunday Interlude: Nick Drake

Here in the Minneapolis-St. Paul MN area, 89.3 The Current, a local public radio station, had their traditional “Time Machine” over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, in which they played a different year in rock history every hour. I was trying to get away from politics for my mental and physical health. Twice over the weekend I heard a voice that stopped me in my tracks. Nick Drake’s ethereal voice with its haunting echo drew me in. I had to explore further. He died in 1974, far too soon. But his imprint lives and influences artists today. Listen to the lyrics and composition of “Pink Moon.” I didn’t hear this song during Thanksgiving weekend but it’s one you might recall from a Volkswagen commercial a few years ago. It seemed so current when the commercial played, it wouldn’t have occurred to me it was a song from more than 40 years ago:

It was “Northern Sky” I heard that made me stop in my tracks:

“I never felt magic crazy as this
I never saw moons knew the meaning of the sea
I never held emotion in the palm of my hand
Or felt sweet breezes in the top of a tree
But now you’re here
Brighten my northern sky.”

His lyrics paint a clear vision, while constructed in his unique, unpredictable way. The next day, they played “River Man.”

“For when she thought of summer rain
Calling for her mind again
She lost the pain
And stayed for more.”

Drake died young and left three albums. Worth a listen and further exploration. It calms the nerves.