Joni Woodstock – Mitchell Misses the Boat but Captures a Generation in Song!

Every once in a blue moon I like to talk about music. As much as writing has a place in my life, so does music. I will admit here and now, however, that I do not have a single ounce of talent when it comes to music. The States and provinces that have not passed laws prohibiting me from singing are merely the ones that did not yet hear me singing. I took guitar lessons for several years, and quickly forgot everything I ever learned. I do attempt to write lyrics the odd time, but other than that I steer clear. I would trade most things, though, for the ability to sing. When I was a kid, my goal was to be the next Mick Jagger. The closest I ever got to my goal? In upper-grade school, I was called Mick. That was only because I had the fattest lips in the school, though. Kids attempting to be cruel sometimes unintentionally compliment. I did NOT mind being called Mick.

Now that I’ve gone completely away from what I was going to talk about, I’ll need to swing back and pick Joni up.

mitchell, joni

Joni Mitchell. I consider her a Canadian treasure. I heard a sliver of her interview on Q. Poor thing had to miss Woodstock because her agent at the time, David Geffen, thought she wouldn’t be able to fly into the farm and fly out in time to attend the sucky Dick Cavett show she was scheduled to guest on the next day. How mad would you be? I mean, seriously…how mad!? So Joni missed Woodstock. She saw it on TV.

Still, she wrote THE best song about the experience ever recorded…the definitive Woodstock generation song. AND…her version is sooooo much better than CSN&Y’s version. And yet, so many people accidentally give them credit for penning the song. It’s the song of a generation, and too many people don’t realize that Canada’s own Joni Mitchell wrote it.

I love all kinds of music. But something about Joni Mitchell speaks to me on a crazy deep level. When I was 6-8 years-old, I lived next door to a record store (Target Tape & Records). I worked there…but I was too young to be on record as an employee. So my brother and I got paid in records (they’re the black vinyl discs that are slowly coming back into style). I had several Joni Mitchell albums. I think Ladies of the Canyon is my favourite, but I would probably give a different answer on a different day. Hejira is also a hot album! (-:

Today, I wanted to share Woodstock with you…how it was intended. (-: CSN&Y do do a wonderful job…but it’s not Joni. I’ve actually seen CSN&Y do it live. I still have to catch Ms. Mitchell singing it. She has such a soulful and powerful voice. Enjoy!

A Collection of Poems based on Joni Mitchell’s Hejira Songs

This is a post I took from my old blog. It was originally posted March 4/08:

These poems were inspired by song titles from Joni Mitchell’s Hejira album. The poems are also based on the songs themselves.

 

Coyote

 

While the sun rises,
Coyote beauty,
Our paths,
They will not cross or touch.
You will lick the body dry
But never touch the throbbing heart,
Coyote beauty.
When they are kicking divine
To the music of night,
You, coyote beauty,
Will be my love,
Rape my anger,
Tear me free of will,
Trap me to the highway leaving.
And you, coyote beauty,
Jumping for the moon
While taking flight in field,
Chasing prey, you pray
For solace in the fray.
You, coyote beauty,
Burning in your seat,
Watch as I take flight,
Running to the highway leaving,
Your prey, your wish divine,
Your prisoner in the night.

 

Amelia

 

The lust of flight,
Of heavens reaching
The desert dance,
Like music stretched
From strings divine.
The machine of flight, surreal,
Amelia, images through time,
To trap you there, in romance,
Make of you my wings.
Oh, Amelia, my Nirvana,
You shake with wisdom,
Draw from your hair, my wings.
You, with your Icarus wings,
promising to lift you higher,
With arms to keep you
Floating, lingering in the clouds, Amelia.
Motels, dust and wanderlust,
They’ll never keep me down,
But false alarms and ringing dreams
Of Amelia taking flight,
They’ll stop me of my wings,
And make me sing, instead,
Of Amelia taking flight.

 

Strange Boy

 

The awkward dance
of boy to man,
the need, the want,
crazy shake of weaving
backwards in time
playing, the child man song.
I begged him, with a scold,
To take a deeper hold
To life less wild and crazy.
But he slowly took me under,
Swayed me with his love,
And clatter,
Sucked me to his shores
With his special lunar laughter.
I gave him of my body,
Forgave his boyish ways, strange boy,
And in the cellar, I sang his charms,
Strange boy, he made me wonder,
Piano love, we made,
Slender limbs entwined,
He took me in his dance.

 

Furry Sings the Blues

 

With his leg beside him,
Dancing in the corner quiet,
Furry, intoxicated, wanders,
sings gummy blues in wonder,
and Ginny can’t dance,
can’t sing or sigh,
she’s there beside him,
cosmic Ginny, with her laughter,
mercy washing over
a bed bound Furry.
The scratch of words,
from Furry’s wounded lungs,
alert the sparkling wonder
in the dancing Ginny,
as words rebound,
and blues are sung
and soaked in morning light.
And a leg in the corner,
made to prop the Furry beast,
it taps a tortured tune
of Tennessee,
a Memphis night of long ago,
when Furry danced
a throbbing beat
to Ginny’s mercy
new and meek.

 

Black Crow

 

Sky emissary shivers,
shakes, black wings whisper,
attracted to all things shiny,
he swoops the neon sky,
I am one with the black,
traveling always,
searching homeward,
mingling in the black.
Illuminated,
I am the sleek silk
of wings made to glisten,
collecting shiny things
for my everything journey.
And I am up all night,
like the black bird shining,
my soul burdened downward,
but lifting in the wind,
I can see the black thing singing
in the spirit of its flight,
oh, blue sky dreamer,
I’m connecting with your light.

 

Refuge of the Road

 

He took me by the body,
shook the new sky free,
his spirit, echo of my echo,
illuminated me.
Yet I left him
and his echo
for a journey to divine,
awoke in stranger places
than a dreamer cares to dream.
I took a refuge in my leaving,
winding down the ancient roads,
sucked the wind
in lungs made real
by the burn of afterglow.
And in the forest,
meek and frazzled,
I ran against my will,
fought to find an echo
of the echo of my self.
With the moon in clouds
and an archipelago
of gods seen canting,
I whispered to my sorrow,
my friend in spirit lost,
I’m lost
and heading westward,
seeking refuge in the road.

 

Blue Hotel Room

 

Like a ghost inside the blue,
I’m lost inside of me,
tumbling in turmoil,
fractured by the sea.
And the rain,
it’s been drowning me,
one swallow at a time.
Will you let me call you,
and suck from you your joy,
when madness like this blueness
eats inside of me?
I need you on Ganesha,
prancing through the sky,
think of me when I’m leaving,
and when I’m bleeding blue.
Will you love me when I leave
this stinking blue hotel?
Tell me now, my lover,
what’s left inside of me
inside this blue hotel room
remembering your plea.

 

 

 

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