#listeneveryday 16 Feb 2021
Just before our love got lost, you said
"I am as constant as the Northern Star"
And I said "Constantly in the darkness, where's that at?
If you want me I'll be in the bar."
Canadian singer-songwriter (and painter) Joni Mitchell took time out of her busy performing schedule to travel around Europe in 1970. It was on this trip that she wrote much of the album Blue which she recorded and produced herself in 1971.
Blue is regarded by many (including myself) as one of the greatest albums ever made. Every song lays bare Mitchell's soul, her feelings and emotions and tells the complex story of her relationships with various people including fellow musicians James Taylor and Graham Nash, with intimate details of their times together found throughout the profound and often heart-wrenching lyrics.
A listen-through of Blue is an emotional experience, especially once you start to unearth a little about the back-story of each song. It leaves very little out - Mitchell herself said, "I felt like I had absolutely no secrets from the world". She tells of her relationships in A Case Of You, Carey, My Old Man and River and of her heartbreak in having to give her child up for adoption in Little Green.
For me, A Case Of You sums up the feelings many people have when they are in a relationship that appears to be stalling, and Mitchell seems to be able to convey them so succinctly and neatly:
You're in my blood like holy wine
You taste so bitter and so sweet
Oh I could drink a case of you darling
And still be on my feet.
More to listen to
My best advice would be to open a bottle of something, sit down and listen to the whole of Blue.
But if you don't have time for that, here's a couple of selections....
first: My Old Man
And next - a 2000 performance of Both Sides Now - not a song from Blue but one of Joni's best known. Have you seen that scene from Love Actually?
A new #listeneveryday post is published every weekday! Comment below or tweet @SimonRushby with your suggestions for future music.