Credit: n/aTroubled Brit folk soul Nick Drake would have been 66-years-young today, had he not passed from an apparent overdose of antidepressants at 26. A classic case of an immense talent never hitting the commercial definition of success during his lifetime, the fact that a VW ad would end up breaking his career 30 years later casts an even darker shade on the man’s spirit in a way.

Before that, Drake’s mere three-album oeuvre did make it into the hands of plenty of contemporaries, though, from The Cure‘s Robert Smith to Elliott Smith, inspiring the same passion for alternate tunings and minor key roundabouts to pop structures that would become his legacy. Holing up for hours in his parents’ countryside home, Drake careened across his acoustic guitar like a river in a William Butler Yeats poem, confiding lyrically in nature, his hazy croon a part of the weather. There are only three verses in Pink Moon‘s “Place to Be,” his third and final record, which is about all the bitter-sweet genius needed to write something true beautiful blue:

When I was young, younger than before
I never saw the truth hanging from the door
And now I’m older, see it face to face
And now I’m older, gotta get up clean the place

And I was green, greener than the hill
Where the flowers grew and the sun shone still
Now I’m darker than the deepest sea
Just hand me down, give me a place to be

And I was strong, strong in the sun
I thought I’d see when day was done
Now I’m weaker than the palest blue
Oh, so weak in this need for you

Nick Drake, Place to be… from bagnowka on Vimeo.