I missed Mark Radcliffe’s folk show on Radio 2 last night so have been catching up on it this afternoon via the iplayer. The show was dedicated to the musician and singer-songwriter, Nick Drake, who sadly died in 1974. He would have been 65 yesterday, hence the show’s celebration of his life.
Mark did a great interview with Nick’s producer and mentor, Joe Boyd, and they talked about Nick’s mum, Molly. Home recordings of some of her songs were released earlier this year and she is considered a key influence on Nick’s music. These songs were recorded by her husband and never meant for broadcast, so there’s something especially open and beguiling about them. One of her songs, Poor Mum, was written in response to Nick’s song Poor Boy. It’s a gentle reminder to him that he isn’t the only one with the sort of emotions he’s expressing. In fact, her poem The Shell, suggests that she well knows the terrible duality of so many creative souls: far-seeing eyes but paper-thin skin. Molly seems a very special lady, and of course, she was mum to a very special man.