Okkervil River – “It’ll Never Happen Again” (Tim Hardin Cover)

I was introduced to Nick Drake in like 1994, when Rhino released the Way To Blue compilation, and for me, it was a total, world-changing revelation. It inspired me to explore a shadowy basement of largely forgotten depressive singer-songwriters, at the forefront of which were John Martyn, Tim Buckley, and Tim Hardin. Of that group, Hardin was the darkest and most profoundly sad (no small accomplishment, considering the field). He’s probably best known for writing “If I Were A Carpenter” — covered by Johnny Cash and Joan Baez, among a host of others — but his catalog is loaded with beautifully wrought songs of heartbreak and hope. Okkervil River have an entire album basically dedicated to Hardin: 2005’s Black Sheep Boy, the title track of which is a Hardin song, and some of the album’s lyrics focus on Hardin’s debilitating heroin addiction, which eventually killed him in 1980. Now, Full Time Hobby is releasing a tribute to Hardin, which features Okkervil River covering another, equally bleak Hardin song, “It’ll Never Happen Again.” Check out the Okkervil River version below, as well as the compilation’s full tracklist.


01. The Phoenix Foundation – “Don’t Make Promises You Can’t Keep”
02. The Sand Band – “Reason To Believe”
03. Mark Lanegan – “Red Balloon”
04. Diagrams – “Part Of The Wind”
05. The Magnetic North – “It’s Hard To Believe In Love For Long”
06. Alela Diane – “How Can We Hang On To A Dream”
07. Snorri Helgason – “Misty Roses”
08. Sarabeth Tucek – “If I Knew”
09. Okkervil River – “It’ll Never Happen Again”
10. Smoke Fairies – “If I Were A Carpenter”
11. Gavin Clark – “Shiloh Town”
12. Hannah Peel – “Lenny’s Tune”
13. Pinkunoizu – “I Can’t Slow Down”

Reason To Believe: The Songs Of Tim Hardin is out 2/26 via Full Time Hobby.