Song of the Day #3,710: ‘Northern Sky’ – Nick Drake

Nick Drake is like one of those classical painters who died penniless before their work became widely known. The three albums he recorded before his suicide at age 26 sold fewer than 10,000 copies combined. But after his death, mostly in the last two decades, all three have reached Gold status.

1971’s Bryter Later was his second album and many critics consider it his best. I’m familiar with only his final album, the wonderful Pink Moon, but a single listen to this one had me swooning.

Drake is a master of melancholy. His music has set the perfect mood for TV commercials and Wes Anderson movies. Even his love songs, like today’s beautiful SOTD, are a little sad.

Dream Academy wrote their own great “northern” song, ‘Life in a Northern Town,’ about Drake in 1985, 11 years after his death. That was 33 years ago, and both songs hold up splendidly.

[Chorus]
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

[Verse 1]
I’ve been a long time that I’m waiting
Been a long time that I’m blown
I’ve been a long time that I’ve wandered
Through the people I have known
Oh, if you would and you could
Straighten my new mind’s eye

[Verse 2]
Would you love me for my money?
Would you love me for my head?
Would you love me through the winter?
Would you love me ’til I’m dead?
Oh, if you would and you could
Come blow your horn on high

[Chorus]
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

One thought on “Song of the Day #3,710: ‘Northern Sky’ – Nick Drake

  1. Dana says:

    Fascinating and sad story. I’ve heard his name, but am not really familiar with his music. This song is lovely though.

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