Things Behind The Sun

Sorry to pee on your friday goodvibes parade, maybe save this one for downtime central.

You probably all know about Nick Drake. A folk singer of quite unbelievable talent who recorded three albums before dying of an overdose of antidepressants in 1974, at the age of only 26. Completely under-appreciated during his lifetime, the reason most of us know about him was because of a Volkswagen advert aired in 2000 that used his track Pink Moon. He sold more records in that month than in the previous 30 years.

My best mate Gee's father was his pal at Malborough College back in the dizzie, and talks of him as always a slightly distant character. That even as you were speaking to him, he didn't seem altogether there. Another friend John Matryn described Drake as 'the most withdrawn person he had ever met'. He used to borrow his mother's car and drive for hours with no purpose, until he ran out of petrol and had to ask to be collected. After suffering from serious depression for years he moved back to his parent's home, receding into himself completely, and was found dead one morning due to an apparent overdose of the pills used to treat his illness. The documentary below is called A Skin Too Few, a film made about him with the special consent of his sister Gabriella. It's really really good.

The reason i wrote all of the above was foremostly to give some context to the below. It is a poem by his mother Molly Drake, who was also a folk musician, and written undoubtedly in reference to her son. I can't even be bothered to say anything else. Just read it.

It's called The Shell.

The Shell

Living grows round us
like a skin,
to shut away
the outer desolation

For if we clearly mark
the furthest deep,
we should be dead
long years before the grave

But turning around
within the homely shell
of worry, discontent
and narrow joy,
we grow and flourish
and rarely see
the outside dark
that would
confound our eyes

Some break the shell

I think that there are those
who push their fingers
through the brittle walls
and make a hole

And through this cruel slit
they stare out across
the cinders of the world
with naked eyes

They look both out and in
Knowing themselves
and too much else besides

*     *     *


I'm off to drown myself in Heineken.

Happy weekend y'all.

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