Sometimes synchronicity can be a bit of an overwhelming force. I’d somehow never heard of John Martyn before news broke sometime in the last year that Robert Smith (of The Cure) was doing a cover of one of his songs for a tribute compilation. Even then, I didn’t bother to investigate Martyn’s music.
But yesterday the BBC played Smith’s cover of Martyn’s “Small Hours,” and I was a bit blown away by the song. It’s so lovely and comforting and fitting for me right now.
Admittedly, I’m still on the fence about Martyn. I’ve yet to warm up to his version of “Small Hours” and the couple of other songs I’ve listened to from him. The man did write some beautiful music — that’s not in question — I’m just not sure his version of it is my cup of tea.
Ultimately, it’s Robert that gets it right for me. He’s been a constant presence in my life since I was a teen. It’s at intersections like this — where his music seems to get me in the gut — that I remember precisely why I love him as an artist so much.
Enough baloney, here’s the tune:
And here is Martyn’s original version: