Friday, 12 June 2020
Sail To The Sky
Nick Drake's 1969 song 'Cello Song has been one of lockdown's songs for me. It was on my daily radar back in late March and I'm still coming back to it again now. There's a real melancholy about the song, one of those songs to wallow in for the few minutes it lasts. The lyrics are littered with poetic imagery that also give some insight into Nick Drake's state of mind- 'the cold of the night/when the armies of emotion/go out to fight' and 'forget this cruel world/where I belong... and if one day you should see me in the crowd/lend a hand and lift me/to your place in the cloud' both stand out. One of the things with listening to Nick Drake is, like Ian Curtis, it's difficult to separate the person from the ending.
The music and the sound has a similarly sad feel. The album Five Leaves Left was produced by Joe Boyd and he tried various arrangements on the songs. This one is really close and intimate and has a real weight to it, Nick's voice and fast finger picking folk guitar, accompanied by Claire Lowther's cello and the congas and shaker played by Rocky Dzidzornu. Back in March 'Cello Song sounded like life and society shutting down, the dusk falling early and the fear of going out. Now it sounds like night falling later and some warmer nights but coupled with the fears of lockdown loosening and coming out.