Joni Mitchell

HOW MANY YEARS…?

*Scroll down for YouTube videos

How many more years do I have
To dance around to Soul Sacrifice
Santana’s masterpiece at Woodstock
Michael Shrieve drumming his way
Into percussive history
How many more years can I play
My tambourine
Along with the recorded band
Will the body hold up?

Will I ever get over
Not being there
Married a few months
He laughing at my longing to go
Of all the things we argued about
It’s the one NO! I’ll never forgive
(Advice: Never marry someone
Who doesn’t like the
Same music as you
Who doesn’t like to
Sit by a sizzling campfire
Huddled under a shared bedroll
In the endless rain)

So year after year
Every hot and rainy August
I celebrate Woodstock
Alone
In my air conditioned room
Dancing, singing, pounding the tambourine
And here it is
Fifty years later
I’ve slowed down
Bones make strange tones
When hauling myself off the floor
So I ask rhetorically
How many years
Will I have left
To listen to Jimi, Janis,
Dead, Who, Airplane, CSNY
And to Joni, who also missed Woodstock,
Yet she conjured up the eponymous song by
Sheer imagination and talent
But I am left alone, wondering
How many years are left…

*YouTube video, Joni Mitchell, Woodstock https://youtu.be/cRjQCvfcXn0
*YouTube video, Soul Sacrifice, Santana https://youtu.be/xBG6IaSQCpU

bandit&rockstar woodstock2 sm px

(C) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGES: Woodstock poster/My dogs with tambourine

rockstar woodstock1 sm px

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UNPAVED PARADISE

*Scroll down for a Joni Mitchell YouTube video*

They unpaved paradise
And took out the parking lot
Old Sims Park
With Canna Lilies and ducks
Some so blasphemously beautiful
With red, white and black faces
Circular sidewalk for dog and walker
Huge wood fort for kids
With imagination
Then a short walk to the
Pithlachascotee River
Leading into the Gulf of Mexico
Paradise for all social classes
People like me
Parking for free
Now no place to park a car
Playground carpeted
CARPETED???
And 80 apartments
Soon to be filled
In a tiny idyll
Spilling into a lake clogged
With so-called “boardwalks”
While the ibis and ducks
Dodge cars and trucks
In a town once open and free…

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGES: Orange Lake Canna Lillies, Pithlachacotee River

https://youtu.be/94bdMSCdw20 Joni Mitchell, Big Yellow Taxi

pithlachascotee river channel to gulf of mexico

 

JONI AND ROBERT OF THE CANYON (Bit of Blogetry)

*scroll down for YouTube videos*

I don’t know

Call it poetic license

Intuition

Just received my vintage copy

The Music of Joni Mitchell

For guitar (and baritone ukulele)

Forgot the words to

Ladies of the Canyon

And, well, am I making this up

Or is it the same canyon

Robert Plant sings about

In Going to California?

If so, I see clashing perspectives

Joni wrote a lovely, accepting song

About three “ladies”

Living the hippie ideal

Robert wrote a song and

In the Zeppelin IV album

He sings, with dread,

“Canyons started to tremble and shake

As the children of the sun begin to awake.

Watch out…”

She embracing the scene

He totally overwhelmed

By the experience

By the vastness

By the teenage liberation

Of the American West

Of the guitars and sun

Of the eagles and sky

Let freedom fly

(Just thought I’d mention it)

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: My newest song book

 

YouTube videos:

https://youtu.be/jft55QBkE6o?list=RDjft55QBkE6o Joni Mitchell 12:25 begins Ladies of the Canyon

https://youtu.be/PDIz4talyQk Led Zeppelin (Robert Plant singing)

LYRICAL ARCHAEOLOGY

 

*scroll down for YouTube video of S&G*

i.

Wish I’d studied archaeology

But could never see myself

In desert, jungle or ice

So stayed content

Wandering through silent museums

Or looking through picture books

From free libraries

Food crumbs and oily fingerprints

Pressed between the pages of mystery

Left by others interested

In ancient lives

But archaeology exists in music

Sure, we have bios about a few

Composers from centuries ago

But think of lyrics

From songs of the last century

ii.

Paul Simon’s America

If we weren’t alive yet we now know

In the early sixties

Men traveled by bus wearing suits

Belted raincoats worthy of the finest 30s detectives

And bowties!

Smoking cigarettes and eating Mrs. Wagner’s pies

We also know, though,

That like today

People were empty and aching

Yet moved by the moon rising over open fields

All that information in a three-minute song

We learned that Bobby Vinton’s women wore

Blue velvet

Before blue denim

And black leather reigned

And Joni Mitchell fell in love

Dancing in a torn stocking

We know Joe Hill and his men

Drove around the country, writing union songs

Being profiled by small town law

Torn out of their Depression-era cars

Beaten, hung

Bob Dylan sang to us about pellets of poison

Flooding our waters

As Phil Ochs refused to march again

To another war

And Richie Havens

Asking for freedom

In the Garden of Music

At Woodstock

Best of all

We have that visual

Of a head with hair

Shining, gleaming, streaming, flaxen, waxen

Hair down to there, shoulder length or longer
iii.

So each and every one of us

We who memorized or heard a lyric

Has dug through the sands of time

Discovering treasures

Greater than dead gold artifacts

Or mummified bones

We are the culture archaeologists

Owners of rhythm and melody

Alive music in harmony

Part of our historical quest

Forever in our hearts possessed…

 

© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
YouTube video Simon & Garfunkel “America”  https://youtu.be/W773ZPJhcVw