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Unheard Nick Drake song released 40 years after singer's death

Listen to the track 'Reckless Jane' exclusively below

Daisy Wyatt
Wednesday 02 April 2014 09:58 BST
Singer-songwriter Nick Drake
Singer-songwriter Nick Drake (Keith Morris)

An unheard Nick Drake song is to be released 40 years after the singer's death.

Scroll to hear the track

“Reckless Jane”, written with musician and friend Beverley Martyn, was started just months before Drake died.

The two wrote the lyrics to the folk song together and first began working on the music during a jam session in Martyn’s home in Hastings.

It lay half-finished until Martyn, ex-wife of guitarist John Martyn, decided to complete the song last year for her new album.

She said: “I couldn’t even think about the song for so long because it brought up so much pain. It took a while to finish after that point.”

The pair worked on the song during the spring of 1974, when Martyn was 27 and Drake around the age of 25, shortly before he died from an overdose of anti-depressants.

“The song came out of a bit of fun,” Martyn told The Independent. “We tried to think of all the things we could rhyme with Jane, but ‘hear her laughing like a drain’ didn’t make the cut!”

Beverley Martyn first wrote the song with Nick Drake in 1974

The song’s character Jane is partly based on Martyn and other female ‘muses’, two of which were called Jane.

“One even had six kids by different dads and lived in a bus,” she said.

Drake was good friends with Martyn and her husband John, and would often babysit for their children when they all lived in north London.

Speaking about the difficulty of finishing the song, she said: “Nick is in my life at all times. Never a day goes by that I don’t think of him, of something funny he said. I wish more people could have seen that side of him, his dry humour.”

Martyn’s new album, The Phoenix and the Turtle, is released on 22 April.

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