Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Beasts Were Silent At Last

Image borrowed from Yahoo

Nick was down and out, but not yet finished. He took off for France in October 1974 and lived on a barge for a while. He contacted a French folksinger named Francoise Hardy who had once expressed interest in recording an entire album of Nick's songs. He arrived back at Far Leys confident that he had finally found some sort of direction.

But life plays cruel jokes. On November 24, 1974 he was up and about as usual at night, planning and writing songs. Nick still had trouble falling asleep and his parents were quite used to him pacing the floor. He was apparently in a good mood as he had a Brandenburg Concerto on the turntable. His mother recalls him going into the kitchen for a midnight snack of cornflakes. "I usually would wake up and join him at the table. For some silly reason, that night, I rolled over and went back to sleep." Nick's insomnia was bothering him. He picked up a bottle of Tryptizol, his antidepressant pills, and thinking they were sleeping tablets, took a few. He overdosed. Apparently one Tryptizol over the limit was lethal. The doctors had never told Nick or the Drakes. His mother found him dead in his bed the next day. The beasts were silent at last.

Nick lies buried in a Tanworth-in-Arden churchyard, his crumbling gravestone overlooking a wide expanse of closely-cropped hills and carefully tended meadows. It is a good view.

Inside the church next to the cemetery is a magnificent pipe organ. The organ is used to accompany the church choir as it practices hymns and devotionals. Above one of the organ stops is a brass plaque with Nick's name on it. His father and mother donated the necessary money to keep the church organ going strong. Once a year the church organist plans a special recital of Nick Drake's songs. The church is packed and the townspeople lift up their voices to pay tribute to a native son. They say you can hear the singing for miles around, and I know Nick would have liked that.

This excerpt was from a Bio done over on Nick Drake Lyrics

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