Joni Mitchell is famous for her haunting voice and song-writing skills, but there is more to the Canadian-born singer than her chart-topping music.
From her own heartbreaking experience of motherhood to the environment, Joni Mitchell was (and still is) passionate about a variety of issues and like most great musicians; she expressed her feelings through her art form – her songs.
Here we give a little insight into this legendary singer, as we take a look at her most thought-provoking lyrics from her most famous songs.
Joni on finding success:
‘I was a free man in Paris. I felt unfettered and alive. There was nobody calling me up for favours and no one’s future to decide. You know I’d go back there tomorrow, but for the work I’ve taken on. Stoking the star-maker machinery behind the popular song.’ Free Man in Paris
Joni Mitchell on hard love:
‘I met a woman. She had a mouth like yours. She knew your life. She knew your devils and your deeds and she said: “Go to him, stay with him if you can, but be prepared to bleed.”’ A Case Of You
Joni Mitchell on commune life:
‘The wind is in from Africa, last night I couldn’t sleep. Oh, you know it sure is hard to leave here Carey, but it’s really not my home. My fingernails are filthy, I got beach tar on my feet, and I miss my clean white linen and my fancy French cologne.’ Carey
Joni Mitchell on the passing of time:
‘Behind our eyes. Calendars of our lives. Circled with compromise. Sweet bird of time and change. You must be laughing, up on your feathers laughing. Golden in time. Cities under the sand. Power ideals and beauty fading in everyone’s hand. Give me some time, I feel like I’m losing mine out here on this horizon line with the earth spinning and the sky forever rushing. No one knows they can never get that close. Guesses at most. Sweet Bird
Joni Mitchell on motherhood:
‘Just a little green, like the colour when the spring is born. There’ll be crocuses to bring to school tomorrow, just a little green. Like the nights when the Northern lights perform. There’ll be icicles and birthday clothes, and sometimes there’ll be sorrow.’ Little Green
Joni Mitchell on religion:
‘And the Lord on death row while the millions of his lost and lonely ones call out and clamour to be found. Caught in their struggle for higher positions and their search for love that sticks around. The Same Situation
Joni Mitchell on political activism:
‘Your money mocks us, restitution what good can it do? Kennelled in metered boxes, red dogs in debt to you.’ Lakota
Joni on war:
‘And so I ask you please, can I help you find the peace and the star? Oh, my friend, what time is this, to trade the handshake for the fist? The Fiddle And The Drum