My choice this week is Fruit Tree by Nick Drake, an English singer and songwriter. He suffered from severe depression and died in 1974 from an overdose. He was only 26. Whether his death was an accident or suicide has never been fully resolved.
Drake achieved little recognition in his lifetime and left a legacy of only three albums, but each one is a poetic gem of aching beauty. His unusual guitar tunings add to the haunting lyricism of his compositions.
His work is wistful, melancholic, and often harrowing. And sometimes prescient, the song Fruit Tree envisages fame coming only after death.
Fame is but a fruit tree So very unsound. It can never flourish ‘Til its stock is in the ground So men of fame Can never find a way ‘Til time has flown Far from their dying day
Forgotten while you’re here Remembered for a while A much updated ruin From a much outdated style
Life is but a memory Happened long ago Theatre full of sadness For a long forgotten show Seems so easy Just to let it go on by ‘Til you stop and wonder Why you never wondered why
Safe in the womb Of an everlasting night You find the darkness can Give the brightest light Safe in your place deep in the earth That’s when they’ll know what you were really worth Forgotten while you’re here Remembered for a while A much updated ruin From a much outdated style
Fame is but a fruit tree So very unsound It can never flourish ‘til it’s stock is in the ground So men of fame Can never find a way ‘Til the time has flown Far from their dying day
Fruit tree, fruit tree No-one knows you but the rain and the air Don’t you worry They’ll stand and stare when you’re gone
Fruit tree, fruit tree Open your eyes to another year They’ll all know That you were here when you’re gone