Happy Birthday Joni Mitchell

Joni Michell 1970
Joni Mitchell has to be one of my top ten favourite musicians of all time - maybe even THE top.  Her songs are unusual and inventive; poetry set to music.  She turned 70 years old yesterday, so I thought I would post one of my favourites of her songs - I love pretty much everything about this one.  Her guitar playing is incredible, the lyrics are thoughtful and evocative, and her voice just ripples over the melody like sparkling clear water.

Rolling Stone called her "one of the greatest songwriters ever" and I completely agree.  She is also a painter, and in fact she has said that she considers herself a "painter derailed by circumstance."  I have always felt that Joni is a true artist - a kind of human conduit for creativity of the style Elizabeth Gilbert describes in her TED talk.

I have a this theory that there is magic and mystery and music all around, available to us if we sort of shift our "frequency" to let it resonate through us.  I am sure you have felt it every now and then, no? Since I am a visual person, I see it in my head in terms of density - I imagine that some people are more opaque than others - there is just no space in them for the magic to get in or through.  Each of us are varying degrees of opacity, at different times, and artists of any vocation simply have less mass in them... they're "thinner."  Joni is a rare being that is practically transparent, or like a crystal - the magic/art not only comes through clearly, but is amplified as it shines through her.

Did that make any sense?  Did I just write all that?  Jeez, put the joint down Lisa... (although I will leave it in because, heck, were talking about Joni).

Anyway, I also want to include the lyrics to another favourite song of hers, Chelsea morning.  I always play it when I'm feeling blue, and it never fails to make me smile.  For the longest time I always had yellow curtains in the bedroom so I could wake up to a Chelsea morning. :)

Woke up, it was a Chelsea morning, and the first thing that I heard
Was a song outside my window, and the traffic wrote the words
It came a-reeling up like Christmas bells, and rapping up like pipes and drums

Oh, won't you stay
We'll put on the day
And we'll wear it 'till the night comes

Woke up, it was a Chelsea morning, and the first thing that I saw
Was the sun through yellow curtains, and a rainbow on the wall
Blue, red, green and gold to welcome you, crimson crystal beads to beckon

Oh, won't you stay
We'll put on the day
There's a sun show every second

Now the curtain opens on a portrait of today
And the streets are paved with passersby
And pigeons fly
And papers lie
Waiting to blow away

Woke up, it was a Chelsea morning, and the first thing that I knew
There was milk and toast and honey and a bowl of oranges, too
And the sun poured in like butterscotch and stuck to all my senses
Oh, won't you stay
We'll put on the day
And we'll talk in present tenses

When the curtain closes and the rainbow runs away
I will bring you incense owls by night
By candlelight
By jewel-light
If only you will stay
Pretty baby, won't you
Wake up, it's a Chelsea morning

Finally, I heard part of her interview on CBC with Jian Gomeshi yesterday and it was so interesting - she's such a weirdi-cat. Man, I love her, can you tell?  http://www.cbc.ca/q/blog/2013/06/11/joni-mitchell-portrait-of-an-artist/.

Happy Birthday Joni!


  1. Any special paint for these? Yours look so glossy!! I'm going to do this one with Finn.

  2. No, I think we just used craft paint (lots of sparkly paint, as you can see), although perhaps acrylic would be better! The shininess is because I sprayed them with an acrylic sealer in the hopes that they wouldn't get moldy. I'll take a look this year to see how they are doing!

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