One of These Things First

One of my favorite songs is by the great Nick Drake, called One of These Things First.

It’s a wonderful tune about ‘could haves’ – Nick’s fragile, angelic voice tells us that he could have been many things. The full lyrics are posted below. Hear the song on YouTube

Nick could well have been many of these things. Tall, bright, and good-looking, he got into Cambridge and had huge potential.

Sadly, he became more and more a recluse and finally died of an overdose – whether deliberate, nobody knows. He leaves a magical legacy,  in the form of the three albums released, and the sound of his voice lingers, like a wisp of smoke from a past fire – daily he is still able to add value to peoples’ lives through his melodies, extraordinary finger picking guitar, and haunting lyrics. However, be never saw his success, nor will be the things he could’ve.

As the New Year begins, we turn to resolutions. I have mixed views – part of me believes that resolutions lead to unhappiness and are rarely fulfilled. The other is that they help sharpen the mind and retune.

I’ve also noticed some regret creeping into my thoughts recently. I’m fortunate enough that I could do many things I’ve dreamed of. Yet much of my reminiscing is tinged with regret – that I didn’t continue with the piano, or that I never worked at languages – of the times when I’ve  let fear get in the way of approaching people I’ve fancied.

I could have done so many things better and I have wasted so many situations – when I failed to carpe diem as I wish I had. There have been times when I’ve taken the easy route and let laziness take hold.

Yet regret is a waste, unless we use it. We learn from our experiences and our regrets and try to make small increasing changes. That’s why we make resolutions – to accomplish little changes in our lives to try to regret less, and live more.

The smaller they are and the more we enjoy them, the more likely we will keep them.

For me one of my resolutions is to try not to regret, but to move forward. To try to achieve the readily achievable, and ignore the rest.

Happy 2012

One of These Things First Lyrics   

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.

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3 thoughts on “One of These Things First

  1. Pingback: Just You | Simpletom

  2. Pingback: Time and Time Again | Simpletom

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