Joni Mitchell – Star of Crete

I have to say here and now that I am a great fan of Joni Mitchell. The posts that I have written here regarding her time in Crete and the video of the song Carey that I placed a week or two ago have generated so much response that I think that perhaps readers of this blog like her too.

Her songs are so unique. They are musically and poetically so different from other songs or artists that perhaps you either love her or loathe her. She has made many albums, some more successful than others but to see her ‘live’ when she sang these songs was the most amazing thing.

She did a concert for the BBC Television in 1970 and she sang beautifully:

Hard to believe that in fact she is older than me. She was born Roberta Joan Anderson on 7th November 1943 and she grew up busking on the west coast of Canada. Her life details are available to all on Wikipedia. The song Carey is available on her album ‘Blue’, an excellent album.

As far as I can make out she was in Crete, mainly in Matala, in 1968 to 1969. She must have written the song Carey about this time I guess.

Today she is approaching her 65th birthday in November this year. She is still singing. One of her earliest songs was called ‘Both Sides Now’. A lovely song of novelty and a freshness about about life. Here it is performed in 1970.

Here is the lyric:

Rows and floes of angel hair
And ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons everywhere
I’ve looked at clouds that way

But now they only block the sun
They rain and snow on everyone
So many things I would have done
But clouds got in my way
I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down, and still somehow
It’s cloud illusions I recall
I really don’t know clouds at all

Moons and junes and ferris wheels
The dizzy dancing way you feel
As every fairy tale comes real
I’ve looked at love that way

But now it’s just another show
You leave ’em laughing when you go
And if you care, don’t let them know
Don’t give yourself away

I’ve looked at love from both sides now
From give and take, and still somehow
It’s love’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know love at all

Tears and fears and feeling proud
To say “I love you” right out loud
Dreams and schemes and circus crowds
I’ve looked at life that way

But now old friends are acting strange
They shake their heads, they say I’ve changed
Well something’s lost, but something’s gained
In living every day

I’ve looked at life from both sides now
From win and lose and still somehow
It’s life’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know life at all
I’ve looked at life from both sides now
From up and down, and still somehow
It’s life’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know life at all.

It was a song from a young girl trying to understand life and also accepting her lack of understanding. Fast forward forty years and Joni Mitchell on her latest album has decided to sing this same song very differently. The words are the same but the song now seems to contain forty or more years experience. By choosing the same song that made her so popular long ago and singing it today almost in a new light shows her great ability and her dignity.

So here it is: ‘Both Sides Now’ made in the year 2000 – 57 years after she was born.

I hope you enjoyed her.

One thought on “Joni Mitchell – Star of Crete

  1. Hi,
    I just stumbled on this site. I am sitting at work and got nostalgic for “The Caves” and decided to see what I could find. I was there in the fall of 1968 stayed for two months “my” cave was on the upper level with the upside down V fracture. I don’t remember Joni being there at that time and if she was I would of been “all over” her because I’m a huge fan.
    I have a bunch of pictures (4X4) not terrific from those days maybe I need to look more closely. Any way I would be happy to try and post them here if anyone is interested. I have run into two people from MY caves days under the most unuseual circumstances. “Louie” played a mandolin type guitar–met him at the Immigrant pass ranger station lead into Death Valley we were the only two people there as it was August and about a gazillion degrees very strange and “Bruce Richardson” on a nude beach playing volly ball at the end of Topanga Canyon before the State of California took it over. Please feel free to post my email addy–

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