Saturday, November 7, 2015

Singalong! Both Sides Now by Joni Mitchell

When I think of this song there are two things that pop into my head: one is Love Actually and the other is the Vancouver Olympics.  Random, right?  Well I think everyone with eyeballs has watched and loved Love Actually every single Christmas (it's not just me, right?) and knows that this song (and album) are key to the heartbreaking Emma Thompson/Alan Rickman storyline (who cares about their character names, really?)  So that makes sense.  But why the heck do I think of the Vancouver Olympics?  Because for some reason in the opening ceremonies, when they were showcasing Canadian talent, they used the most depressing stuff that has come out of our country, including a beautiful but sad aerial dance to this song.  Seriously, guys?  We've got Shania Twain, Celine Dion, and even Joni Mitchell's Big Yellow Taxi, and you opt for Both Sides Now and then KD Lang singing Hallelujah (one of the other saddest songs in the world)?!?  I mean, great artistically, but really odd choices for the Olympics.

I think most people hear this song and think of something to do with the actual, beautiful, content of the song.  Something about how we really don't know anyone or anything else at all.  The beautiful tragedy in how "something's lost and something's gained in living every day."  I feel kind of bad that the awesome poetry of this song has been overwhelmed in my mind by two pop culture references, but it's okay.  I think Joni Mitchell is stronger, in the end.  She will prevail.

PS: OH MY GOODNESS, GO TO JONIMITCHELL.COM RIGHT NOW!  Most celebrity websites are lame and useless, but Joni's is incredible!  She has all the paintings of her life, organized by decade, including childhood drawings on there!  She has all her albums and you can just listen to them on there!  She has the guitar and piano transcriptions for her songs on there!



BOTH SIDES NOW
by Joni Mitchell

Rows and flows 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

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