The title of Joni Mitchell’s 1966 album ‘Clouds‘ comes from today’s song Both Sides Now. It is one of her most adored tracks and for good reason – it’s simply a classic. ‘The lyrics explore dualities ― “give and take,” “win and lose,” “up and down” ― the anthem has come to mean different things in different contexts. Universality is its appeal, and perhaps its curse: It can be melancholic or hopeful, sticky or sweet, a dreamer’s optimism or a realist’s heartache’.(1)
I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down and still somehow
It’s cloud’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know clouds at all…..
I’ve looked at love from both sides now
From give and take and still somehow
It’s love’s illusions that I recall
I really don’t know love
Really don’t know love at all
It’s also been popping up more in popular culture and been covered by a plethora of great artists including Frank Sinatra and Willy Nelson. ‘It has also soundtracked or provided fodder for umpteen films and TV classics, starting long before 2018: two episodes of “The Wonder Years,” “Sesame Street,” “You’ve Got Mail,” “Life as a House,” “Love Actually,” the 2010 Winter Olympics opening ceremony, “Mad Men,” “Steve Jobs,” the 2017 Oscars’ “In Memoriam” segment’. (1)
Joni Mitchell said this about how the song came to be: “I was reading Saul Bellow’s Henderson the Rain King on a plane, and early in the book Henderson the Rain King is also up in a plane,” Mitchell later explained. “He’s on his way to Africa and he looks down and sees these clouds. I put down the book, looked out the window and saw clouds too, and I immediately started writing the song. I had no idea that the song would become as popular as it did.”
Mitchell herself re-recorded the song, with an orchestral arrangement, on her 2000 album Both Sides Now. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked “Both Sides Now” at number 170 on its list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. (2)
1. The Agony And Ecstasy Of Joni Mitchell’s ‘Both Sides Now,’ – Huffpost
2. Both Sides, Now – wikipedia
Wow I love this, thanks for sharing.
Hey Nadine, I’m thrilled you loved it. Definitely check out the 2000 orchestral version. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LdhwwtebOw
Amazing slide show. She is really beautiful. Almost made me want to take up smoking again. I’m so suggestible. ;))
If you saw Joni’s latest interviews / photos you may think otherwise.
Ha! Good to know. I was just kidding around a little. ;)) Smoking is an outmoded crutch that finally gets the bad rap it deserves.
No problem. I understand what you mean. I’m an ex smoker too. Attractive young smokers can make smoking look sexy.
Sad but true.
Great writing…I like her voice in this one. Sometimes her voice can slide around too much for me…I like this one.
I agree, there are some songs where her voice jumps about too much and it feels overdone. Yes, I like her voice on this one too.
The phrase “vocal gymnastics” comes to mind. I will say though…she has a hell of a range with her voice. Great artist.
Yes, that’s a great expression. Some people love her for that part of her singing. I’m not one but I can see how it might be appealing. Yes she has an almighty range which has stayed pretty much the same all her career it seems. I think this is my favourite song of hers, but I don’t pretend I’m across a great deal of her discography.
On another matter I hope you and your family are all safe and well away from that horrible virus starting to rear it’s ugly head.
We have a lot of people singing the National Anthem that loves to do those kind of vocals…I turn the channel.
Thanks Matt…you also. It just popped up in our state so we will see how much it spreads.
Yes, I can’t stand when the National anthem is given a hip hop makeover.
We have also got a few cases here. Let’s cross fingers and hope it can be contained. The Joe Rogan show yesterday had an infectious disease expert on. It was really informative.
Thanks for reminding me what a beautiful piece of work this is. The singing, the playing, the lyrics. What an amazing combination. The words are very thought provoking. And, like you I guess, I also love her version on the 2000 album. I’m not normally a fan of artists covering their own work but Joni, of course, has exquisite taste. Brilliant.
It is beautiful isn’t it. I always feel very appreciative to read other people’s impression of the music presented here. I’m so glad it was such a wonderful reminder for you. I think I prefer her 2000 version over the original.
Had fun writing a song/letter to Joni Mitchell I consider her the artist of the century https://youtu.be/FIsSIEmoun4