Solid Air

Written by: 
J. Martyn
1 Feb 1973

You've been taking your time
And you've been living on solid air.
You've been walking the line,
You've been living on solid air.
Don't know what's going wrong inside,
And I can tell you that it's hard to hide when you're living on
Solid air.

You've been painting it blue,
You've been looking through solid air.
You've been seeing it through
And you've been looking through solid air.
Don't know what's going wrong in your mind,
And I can tell you don't like what you find,
When you're moving through
Solid air.

I know you, I love you;
And I can be your friend,
I could follow you - anywhere.
Even through solid air.

You've been stoning it cold,
You've been living on solid air;
You've been finding it cold,
You've been living on solid air.
I don't know what's going wrong inside,
I can tell you that it's hard to hide
When your living on
Solid air - solid air.

You've been cutting too deep,
You've been living on solid air.
You've been missing your sleep
And you've been moving through solid air.
I don't know what's going on in your mind;
But I know you don't like what you find
When you're moving through
Solid air.

I know you, I love you;
I'll be your friend,
I could follow you - anywhere.
Even through solid air.

You've been walking your line,
You've been walking on solid air;
You've been taking your time
'Cause you've been walking on solid air.
Don't know what's going wrong inside;
But I can tell you that it's hard to hide
When your living on
Solid air - solid air.

You've been painting it blue,
You've been living on solid air.
You've been seeing it through
And you've been living on solid air.
I don't know what's going on in your mind;
But I can tell you don't like what you find
When your living on
Solid air - solid air.

I know you, I love you;
And I'll be your friend,
I could follow you - anywhere.
Even through solid air.

I see solid air.

muffnotes:
This signature song was written for John's friend Nick Drake, who suffered heavily from depressions.

The Wire-editor Rob Young claimed as late as 1998 that the song Solid Air were based on the spectral chord shifts and tremolo-Fender Rhodes licks in Pharoah Sanders' Astral Traveling, from Thembi (1971).

Martyn denies knowing the Sanders tune, and seems genuinely amazed at the comparison: 'I never thought of that. You could be right. That's interesting - I'd like to know which came first, the chicken or the egg? I probably just beat him to it [in fact, Thembi predates Solid Air by at least two years]. Is it in C minor? I'll kill him!'

First release: