Things Behind The Sun

Album: Pink Moon (1972)
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Songfacts®:

  • This is a song about deception and how things are not always as they appear. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Kyle - Eglewood, CO
  • Drake wrote this at a time when he was indulging in a dangerous amount of drugs. The lyrics are a narrative of his thoughts at this time. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    John - Santa Cruz, CA
  • Joe Boyd had produced Nick Drake's first two albums, but for Pink Moon the singer decided he wanted to simplify the recordings and leave out the orchestral flourishes. He chose John Wood, the engineer at Sound Techniques, to produce the record. John Wood recorded "Things Behind The Sun" in the middle of the night with just voice and guitar.

Comments: 4

  • Ian from Aberdeen'Open wide the hymns you hide'.. wonderfully profound lyrics, fuelled by chemicals or not they show insight that so many lack, some good comments here too. The man was a genuine genius who sadly could have said so much more.
  • Kyle Walker from Dallas, TxI believe this is Nick’s more nihilistic view of things. To me, his music was a form of expressing his existential thoughts about life, death, nature, loneliness, misunderstanding, and the inability to fully comprehend and express his thoughts. This may be completely wrong, but it’s how I dissected his poetry.

    “Please beware of them that stare
    They’ll only smile to see you while
    Your time away...”
    I think Nick is talking about those who can only “stare” at the strange people they fail/choose not to understand; and so they dismiss them as irrelevant and keep their distance...

    “For once you’ve seen what they have been, To win the Earth just won’t seem worth your night or your day...”
    Once one realizes how superficial the said people that “stare” are, they won’t follow along and waste their life chasing the binding conformities and fruitless riches of this Earth...

    “Who’ll hear what I say...”
    Who will really listen to my truth

    “Look around you find the ground
    Is not so far from where you are...”
    People seem to blissfully forget the small, but important things that are right in front of them. If only they would stop and look.

    “If only you see
    Just what you are beneath a star
    That came to stay one rainy day
    In autumn for free...”
    If only people would see just what they are which are fragile and temporary beings living under the sun.

    “Yes, be what you’ll be...”
    I cannot change who you are or how you think, so be what you’ll be and live about your life.

    Nick is such an influencial artist. No one will know for sure what his writings really say or what he intended them to say, but the more important thing is to take what you want from the music and enjoy it as a representation of pure expression from an artistic genius gone to soon.



  • Luca from Milano, ItalyPeople "frown" at "things that you say" because Nick feels his art is misunderstood - but it is really art and he feels it is so. That is why he suggests the artist to "say what you say" even if these are things so concealed to be hidden behind the sun, they are literally "things behind the sun". And Nick does not give the proverbial flying f... about people "who say everything's been said" because it is not true. But clearly once you accept to be the outcast, and "the movement in your brain" your sharpness makes of you an outcast, you have to accept to feel the hardships - and this gift becomes a curse "and sends you out into the rain". The best folk song ever.
  • Andy from Lake City, Flthese lyrics are very complex. apparently nick had something specific in mind. the themes that jump out at me are ambition or success may disappoint you because you still can't touch a star or leave the ground. you're stuck in this life. also, maybe nick resented being joe boyd's slave...the pressure to sacrifice art to someone else's commercial demands.
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