I would teach my feet to fly

Referring to the record years later she said, “there’s hardly a dishonest note in the vocals. At that period of my life, I had no personal defenses. I felt like a cellophane wrapper on a pack of cigarettes. I felt like I had absolutely no secrets from the world and I couldn’t pretend in my life to be strong. Or to be happy. But the advantage of it in the music was that there were no defenses there either.”

Despite the success of her first three albums the onset of 1971 was apparently a rough time for Joni Mitchell, who had just gone through a bumpy breakup with her longtime companion, Graham Nash. So she stopped performing, left California and decided to travel around Europe.  Somewhere along the way she began to write about her feelings and much of it ended up on album number four.

Released later that year, “Blue” was hugely successful, hitting Number 20 of the Billboard Album Charts and Number 3 in the UK, all of which inspired her to return to live performing.  As David Crosby later said, “By the time she did “Blue” she was past me (as a songwriter and musician) and rushing toward the horizon”

Although never released as a single, this, the album’s eighth track, is the third-most widely covered of any Joni Mitchell song after “Both Sides Now” and “Big Yellow Taxi”.

 LISTEN TO TODAY’S SELECTION – Monday 17 December 

River

 It’s coming on Christmas

They’re cutting down trees

They’re putting up reindeer

And singing songs of joy and peace

Oh I wish I had a river I could skate away on

 But it don’t snow here

It stays pretty green

I’m going to make a lot of money

Then I’m going to quit this crazy scene

Oh I wish I had a river I could skate away on

 I wish I had a river so long

I would teach my feet to fly

I wish I had a river I could skate away on

I made my baby cry

 He tried hard to help me

You know, he put me at ease

And he loved me so naughty

Made me weak in the knees

Oh, I wish I had a river I could skate away on

I’m so hard to handle

I’m selfish and I’m sad

Now I’ve gone and lost the best baby

That I ever had

I wish I had a river I could skate away on

 Oh, I wish I had a river so long

I would teach my feet to fly

I wish I had a river

I could skate away on

I made my baby say goodbye

 It’s coming on Christmas

They’re cutting down trees

They’re putting up reindeer

And singing songs of joy and peace

I wish I had a river I could skate away on

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