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Nick Drake — One Of These Things First
Album: Bryter Layter
Avg rating:
7.9

Your rating:
Total ratings: 2712









Released: 1970
Length: 4:46
Plays (last 30 days): 1
I could have been a sailor, could have been a cook
A real live lover, could have been a book.
I could have been a signpost, could have been a clock
As simple as a kettle, steady as a rock.
I could be
Here and now
I would be, I should be
But how?
I could have been
One of these things first
I could have been
One of these things first.

I could have been your pillar, could have been your door
I could have stayed beside you, could have stayed for more.
Could have been your statue, could have been your friend,
A whole long lifetime could have been the end.
I could be yours so true
I would be, I should be through and through
I could have been
One of these things first
I could have been
One of these things first.

I could have been a whistle, could have been a flute
A real live giver, could have been a boot.
I could have been a signpost, could have been a clock
As simple as a kettle, steady as a rock.
I could be even here
I would be, I should be so near
I could have been
One of these things first
I could have been
One of these things first.
Comments (263)add comment
 On_The_Beach wrote:
Nice piano.
 
Paul Harris.  Shades of Nicky Hopkins.
 ScottishWillie wrote:

As my mum would say "Dinnare fash yersell Lerxst, ye like whit ye like".

Plus I like him enough for both of us. 
 

 themusicroob wrote:
Gorgeous song. I always overthought things as a kid, made what I considered to be mature decisions and later realized that it's natural to make mistakes, and you can actually miss out on a lot of valuable experiences by trying to jump straight to philosophies you've learnt by wrote rather than by trial and error. This song really resonates with me on that level, dunno if that's what he's getting at.
 



"I've always done things on a very instinctive basis, I think brains have gotten in the way of a lot of good things."
- Keith Richards


I think RP overplayed Nick Drake, but he surely had a tranquil passive easy-listening tone. 7/10
 dancindan wrote:
When I was 17 years old, I went into a record store in Copley Square, Boston, and heard Northern Sky on an Antilles sampler. I stopped dead in my tracks and said, What is THAT?  I took the record home and was amazed to see John Cale and Richard Thompson supporting him. Soon after, I bought the Fruit Tree boxed set and have been listening ever since. Gorgeous.
 
Wish I could afford that box set today. I've seen it for as much as $1000.
I couldn't tell you the number of times I've heard this tune, and I've rated it a 9, but today, I got it. I really got it. 
 Pjesnik wrote:
A B&W photo in front of the brick wall. Another Nick repeated it some 25 yrs later.  
 

this one? 
I recently posted on another Nick Drake song that it was my favorite Nick Drake song. I've changed my mind. This is my favorite Nick Drake song.

For now.
A B&W photo in front of the brick wall. Another Nick repeated it some 25 yrs later.  
When I was 17 years old, I went into a record store in Copley Square, Boston, and heard Northern Sky on an Antilles sampler. I stopped dead in my tracks and said, What is THAT?  I took the record home and was amazed to see John Cale and Richard Thompson supporting him. Soon after, I bought the Fruit Tree boxed set and have been listening ever since. Gorgeous.
Similarity to John Martin sound is understandable.
Call it morbid curiosity, but I would like to meet anyone who rated this a '1'.  It would have to be in a public place and I would wear sunglasses.
So good. Thanks Garden State Soundtrack!
 camarkim wrote:
Awesome Nick Drake. Sounds like the Vince Guaraldi trio in teh background. (Charlie Brown music)
 

I was noticing that too, then I saw your comment.
I remember my wife pregnant with our first child in Kauai and listening to this beautiful song. 9 year later and 2 beautiful kids, I am happy who I have become .
Nick Drake songs, appreciated year round but best played in the autumn, with the leaves falling.
I gave this a 9, what was I thinking? Now corrected to the 10 it deserves.
Perfect
 WonderLizard wrote:
I can do a whole day with nothing but Nick Drake and Eliott Smith playing round and round.
 
That may not be a good idea, given their unfortunate ends.

But yeah, I agree with you, and I'd add Jeff Buckley to the list.  Beautiful and tragic.
c.
Absolutely wonderful - would love to rate it 15+++
This is so, so nice.
The way the music keeps rambling and rambling, into possibilities that never came to be. Kind of like about being nostalgic about a future that never was.
Thanks RP for this :-) This is the kind of song you hope is going to make you somewhat less stupid and more open minded.
Ultimate 10.  Amen.
Nick and Tim (Buckley), an enduring duo that could not endure.
 wgsu_1978 wrote:
Would love to hear Tir Na Nog's upbeat version of Drake's "Free Ride," if that can be arranged.
 Amazingly, I saw Tir Na Nog in the early seventies - they played at our school, of all places.  They did "Free Ride", which was undoubtedly more full on than Nick Drake's version, but it  alerted me to his music which I have loved ever since.  Tir Na Nog also did a lively version of  Dylan's"It takes a lot to laugh, it takes a train to cry", played faster, they said, "Because of the increased speed of trains".  Great band, and I believe they (Leo O'Kelly and Sonny Condell) are still going strong.

Thank you Bill.
Maybe it's the melancholy mood brought on by my head cold, but I moved this song from 9 to 10 today.  Just superb.
I didn't believe, this is a 70ty but present music, lyrics are the story of most of us, excellent song
Nice piano.
Nick?  You  depressed anti rock star - you live on!
I can do a whole day with nothing but Nick Drake and Eliott Smith playing round and round.
that was just so good .....
I could have been a hopeless ache / if I never heard Nick Drake
I could be here and now
I would be
I should be
 haresfur wrote:
A suitably high 9:2 rating ratio (to discount the extremist 1's and 10's). The ratio would be higher but I gave it a 10.

 
Sorry haresfur....I'm gonna mess with that ratio of yours as I just bumped my 9 to a 10.  :-)

I'm amazed how seemingly simple this song is and yet it conjures up a lot of complicated emotions.  And much cheaper to listen to this song for 4:46 than spend time on a shrink's couch, eh?  PEACE


I wish I was a hacker so I could give this a 20 rating.
A suitably high 9:2 rating ratio (to discount the extremist 1's and 10's). The ratio would be higher but I gave it a 10.
 lizardking wrote:

Nick Drake - how did I never know about you until RP?  Your music is sublime, yet disturbed, somewhere between happy and sad without being either. I think your early death adds a weight to your music that wouldn't be there otherwise, and I'm sorry to say, this sadness does make your music better.  Because who really wants 100% happy and only happy music all the time? I'm sorry your death ended your physical days on earth - and I for one and I'm sure many more of us RPsters can hear your music when we see the simple things in life.  Birds chirping, flying in the clouds, floating, then breaking apart, like trees losing their leaves, beautiful decay, harmony in nature not needing anything we (as in humankind) can give it, just taking moments from here and there and enjoying the little bits of amazement all about us. Here's to your music surviving time.

Long Live RP!



 
I too was late to Nick Drake. Years ago I found a boxed set of ND on eBay and it was a good decision. I often put the whole set on shuffle play.
A wonderful waltz song, still fresh, inspired, poetic and tender over the years.
 lizardking wrote:

Nick Drake - how did I never know about you until RP?  Your music is sublime, yet disturbed, somewhere between happy and sad without being either. I think your early death adds a weight to your music that wouldn't be there otherwise, and I'm sorry to say, this sadness does make your music better.  Because who really wants 100% happy and only happy music all the time? I'm sorry your death ended your physical days on earth - and I for one and I'm sure many more of us RPsters can hear your music when we see the simple things in life.  Birds chirping, flying in the clouds, floating, then breaking apart, like trees losing their leaves, beautiful decay, harmony in nature not needing anything we (as in humankind) can give it, just taking moments from here and there and enjoying the little bits of amazement all about us. Here's to your music surviving time.

Long Live RP!



 
Wow :o) thank you and 2nd Long Live RP!
 lizardking wrote:

Nick Drake - how did I never know about you until RP?  Your music is sublime, yet disturbed, somewhere between happy and sad without being either. I think your early death adds a weight to your music that wouldn't be there otherwise, and I'm sorry to say, this sadness does make your music better.  Because who really wants 100% happy and only happy music all the time? I'm sorry your death ended your physical days on earth - and I for one and I'm sure many more of us RPsters can hear your music when we see the simple things in life.  Birds chirping, flying in the clouds, floating, then breaking apart, like trees losing their leaves, beautiful decay, harmony in nature not needing anything we (as in humankind) can give it, just taking moments from here and there and enjoying the little bits of amazement all about us. Here's to your music surviving time.

Long Live RP!



 
Very Nicely Said!

Nick Drake - how did I never know about you until RP?  Your music is sublime, yet disturbed, somewhere between happy and sad without being either. I think your early death adds a weight to your music that wouldn't be there otherwise, and I'm sorry to say, this sadness does make your music better.  Because who really wants 100% happy and only happy music all the time? I'm sorry your death ended your physical days on earth - and I for one and I'm sure many more of us RPsters can hear your music when we see the simple things in life.  Birds chirping, flying in the clouds, floating, then breaking apart, like trees losing their leaves, beautiful decay, harmony in nature not needing anything we (as in humankind) can give it, just taking moments from here and there and enjoying the little bits of amazement all about us. Here's to your music surviving time.

Long Live RP!


Gorgeous song. I always overthought things as a kid, made what I considered to be mature decisions and later realized that it's natural to make mistakes, and you can actually miss out on a lot of valuable experiences by trying to jump straight to philosophies you've learnt by wrote rather than by trial and error. This song really resonates with me on that level, dunno if that's what he's getting at.
 lerxst wrote:
Please don't tell anyone I don't like Nick Drake. I'll lose all credibility in my musical taste. {#Embarassed}
 
As my mum would say "Dinnare fash yersell Lerxst, ye like whit ye like".

Plus I like him enough for both of us. 
could have been inspiration for ELP's "Still you turn me on"?
Sweet to the ear, awesome to hear.

           Strangely he's like any contemporary. artist.
          How on earth he'd escape for good the ol times.
If hearing this for the first time, I'd really like it. Like what DID happen when I first heard it. After 12,000 times...not so much. I do still appreciate this in the context of the time in which music is currently stale and stifling. This is still refreshing compared to what is popular today.
 {#Clap}wabx_air_ace wrote:
this was the favourite song for oliver north and jesse helms to sing around the campfire!

 
Interesting post.  From left field, but interesting, nonetheless.
Just the thing to cheer me up after listening to any of the finns
this was the favourite song for oliver north and jesse helms to sing around the campfire!
Would love to hear Tir Na Nog's upbeat version of Drake's "Free Ride," if that can be arranged.
He produced 4 nearly perfect albums.
Please don't tell anyone I don't like Nick Drake. I'll lose all credibility in my musical taste. {#Embarassed}
Seems like all of his songs are good (or great).
Nick, you could have been....
Easy 10. Question is, can it go to 11? 
Beautiful stuff, with the best piano work ever.  Thanks for introducing me to Mr Drake, RP. xx
 midigitguy wrote:
I keep expecting to hear one of his songs followed by "Life In A Northern Town" by Dream Academy (written for and dedicated to Nick Drake).
 

 
Interesting fact.
A solid 9 - ND was a late discovery for me.
 hamer12string wrote:
I hate that my first ND exposure was the VW commercial.

Then again... at least I finally got exposed to ND. So, maybe ... thanks VW?

 
Don't feel too bad about that; the first exposure for the majority of his present-day fans (in the U.S. at least) was that ad.  He didn't get a lot of airplay when he was alive - and he died about forty years ago.
Classic RP. 
 rdo wrote:
I have a litmus test when discussing music:  If you don't like Nick, then talk to the hand.
 
Amen to that!
What a tragedy and joy his life was...is.


The true definition of melancholy.. 
I have a litmus test when discussing music:  If you don't like Nick, then talk to the hand.
Excellent song for crappy Monday morning!

While Nick was obviously a genius I don’t think we should under estimate the contribution made to Joe Boyd who seemed to have taken the role as the house producer for Island Records folk stable in the late 60s. Two genius working together don’t always create a work of genius but in this case they most certainly did. What a legacy this pair have left us!


I keep expecting to hear one of his songs followed by "Life In A Northern Town" by Dream Academy (written for and dedicated to Nick Drake).
 
Thank you RP for introducing me to Nick Drake. I hate to think that I might have gone the whole way without him.{#Cheers}
 mona_hoysa wrote:
This is absolutely my favorite song forever!

 
Have u ever heard Belle and Sebastian's song called The State I Am In?They are both spectacular songs that have lot in common...

Nick Drake's songs are greatness.


Was listening to this last night on vinyl - sublime. 
 Blastcat900 wrote:

I missed him too. But then, where COULD you hear him play? Certainly never ever on any radio station in my shit for brains town.

 
In my friend Randal's basement, on his crappy record player, proving that love of music can transcend technological limitations.
 Lazarus wrote:


I be here...  love this song...  hope you are having a marvelous time right this minute...

Romeo and Juliet
Act 2, Scene 2:

JULIET:
'Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
What's Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,
And for that name which is no part of thee
Take all myself.


Whisper that in my ear please...........
 


Really getting into this guy....and I don't care for folk music particularly.
Love this tune. Smooth as silk.
 hamer12string wrote:
I hate that my first ND exposure was the VW commercial.

Then again... at least I finally got exposed to ND. So, maybe ... thanks VW?

 
You could have been exposed to Nick Drake before VW, or you could have been exposed after, one of these things first -


Here is a documentary that you might enjoy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrmR_F5XgwQ





I hate that my first ND exposure was the VW commercial.

Then again... at least I finally got exposed to ND. So, maybe ... thanks VW?
 oldsaxon wrote:

Wherefore art thou?
 

I be here...  love this song...  hope you are having a marvelous time right this minute...

Romeo and Juliet
Act 2, Scene 2:

JULIET:
'Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
What's Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,
And for that name which is no part of thee
Take all myself.


This is absolutely my favorite song forever!

If RP has done nothing else for me, it has deepened my appreciation of Nick Drake.  I liked him a lot before I started listening to RP.  Now?  He's moved up to nearly the top in my estimation of performers.   {#Cheers}  here's to Nick and RP!


no dude it meant tori amos is hot and she wants to sleep with nick drake



Back to back complimentary gems...Bill, ya know what you're doin'...an aural artiste {#High-five}  {#Notworthy}
  

Please don't post these 2 together, it implies that Tori Amos has even an ounce of Nick Drake's talent and we do not want to give that implication.{#No} 
 mcullers wrote:

I just googled "What happened to romeotuna" before this song came on. No dice.
 
Oh, he's still here, don't worry. His new name is Lazarus from Bethamy. And he still lives in a hotel. Just not sure where.  
 Blastcat900 wrote:

I missed him too. But then, where COULD you hear him play? Certainly never ever on any radio station in my shit for brains town.
 

I listen to a goodly amount of radio, all my life.  Never heard him anywhere but here.   You can hear anything on the Pandora type stations, but that's not the same.
 Keef wrote:
RIP, Cynaera.  Dammit.
 
Dammit, indeed.
 oldsaxon wrote:

Wherefore art thou?
 
I just googled "What happened to romeotuna" before this song came on. No dice.
Love Nick Drake!
Such a sweet voice and gentle soul, apparently tortured with genetic limitations that ultimately ruled. Another reason for better living through applied chemistry. Still, we have this legacy...
 Moak wrote:


Back to back complimentary gems...Bill, ya know what you're doin'...an aural artiste {#High-five}  {#Notworthy}

 

Please don't post these 2 together, it implies that Tori Amos has even an ounce of Nick Drake's talent and we do not want to give that implication.{#No}
 (former member) wrote:


soooo cool...  love it...

 
 
Wherefore art thou?
——————- 
jberko wrote:
He and Syd Barrett are composing songs in heaven right now, for our next life.
 
—————-
Yes, I like that notion...
They have left this Dark Globe, are now basking under the glow of a Pink Moon, it's an Idearsome Day, there are way more than Five Leaves Left, and they are shining like the diamonds they always were and ever shall be, Amen... 
Goddamn, it's going to be very hard to beat that. {#Eh}
 Cynaera wrote:
I have this on my MP3 player, and before it finally breathed its last, I loved listening to the song while I watered plants in the greenhouse at work. It's just understatedly beautiful, simple, and altogether perfect.  RIP, Nick Drake.  Dammit.
 
RIP, Cynaera.  Dammit.
Simply a transcendent artist. Thank you, Nick Drake.
Love the Drake!
 Misterfixit wrote:
R.I.P. Nick
A Tortured Soul now at Rest

How about that, Sophia Ryde.
 

HuH? OH yeah, blame it on a "girl" friend when he had years of mental health issues. Let's be simplistic and find one source to try and guilt.....
 jberko wrote:
He and Syd Barrett are composing songs in heaven right now, for our next life.
 
i love this comment.
works for me.
He and Syd Barrett are composing songs in heaven right now, for our next life.
R.I.P. Nick
A Tortured Soul now at Rest

How about that, Sophia Ryde.
love this.
 The trouble with categories or labels is that they generally hit the mark fairly well, but too many things in this world do not fit cleanly or completely into the relatively tight, constraining boxes.

I am also amazed that this music has been around for so long and stayed under the radar. Thanks RP.

rdo wrote:
In Wikipedia his genres are listed as Folk, and Folk Rock.   I read in another place recently that he was Jazz.   That was the first I learned that I liked Jazz.   They all seem way off the mark to me.
 


Second Garden State song this 1/2 hour....seen it lately?

One of my favorites in fact.
I discovered Nick Drake here on RP and bought his cd's. Absolutely love his music..
 I completely concur.

daveshel4 wrote:
OK, I know this makes me sound superdumb, but I had no idea that this song was 40 years old.  Until now I only knew it from the Garden State soundtrack.
 


This song always gets my attention. Great melody - and great sentiment
 dave3ld wrote:
An artist I totally missed in his time - but I love his stuff. Everything on Bryter Layter is excellent. This is not my favourite, but worthy of an 8.
 
I missed him too. But then, where COULD you hear him play? Certainly never ever on any radio station in my shit for brains town.
An artist I totally missed in his time - but I love his stuff. Everything on Bryter Layter is excellent. This is not my favourite, but worthy of an 8.
I like the way he holds his notes...
" I could have beeeeeeeennnnnnnnnnnn...........a one of these things first"
If anyone in KC can play guitar like Nick I can handle the vocals......we'll cash in on his fame!(hee hee)

Timeless and Moving. Great Artist



 kcar wrote:
Nick, while you have your feet freed from those shitkickers: run far away before they glom onto you again. 
 
tell me again what 'glom' means.......
Nick, while you have your feet freed from those shitkickers: run far away before they glom onto you again. 


soooo cool...  love it...

 
I remembering back then thinking this was Donovan or Cat Stephens.  I missed this guy completely amidst all the music of the time - a shame.
This song feels good.
Great for my tween's brain confusticated with ideation troubles
OK, I know this makes me sound superdumb, but I had no idea that this song was 40 years old.  Until now I only knew it from the Garden State soundtrack.
+ 10
In Wikipedia his genres are listed as Folk, and Folk Rock.   I read in another place recently that he was Jazz.   That was the first I learned that I liked Jazz.   They all seem way off the mark to me.
This would have made an interesting duet with John Martyn.