Molly Drake

I first read about Molly Drake a couple of years ago when the CD was issued of home recordings made by her husband in the 1950s. She sang with the English vowels of Celia Johnson in “Brief Encounter” and accompanied herself simply on the piano. Her songs are slight and short (and en masse somewhat samey) but their evocative, plaintive quality knocks me flat.

The first song of hers that I heard was “I remember”. She captured me immediately with “rainy April weather” and “harebells”, and the melody is perfect for the sentiments. I  particularly like the ghostly comment of her husband as the tape fades (“I think that was very good” . . . which rather rubbishes my idea of Molly Drake as W Somerset Maugham’s “The Colonel’s Lady”).

Of course, one imagines oneself as the lover who remembers firelight . . . but can you be sure that you’re not the one who remembers smoke?

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