Saturday, May 7, 2016


A few days ago when I sat down to reply to my BOTB comments, I read this one from Sheboyganboy Six;

BOTB: I love this song, and I love Joni Mitchell. (I never cared for Joan Collins, or her version.) I suspect this will be a massive blowout in favor of the one everyone knows… though I see it has started to turn around, at least a little bit.

Joni Mitchell was always one of my very favorites. She is a tremendous songwriter - one of the best. I was always amazed at her insight into the introspective side of humanity. (She missed, I think, on the brutal side of our personalities - The Who filled that musical role for me.) There was a period when I listened to her all the time. I think my favorite songs she wrote are “For Free” and “Conversation”… back-to-back numbers on her Ladies of the Canyon album. And the entire Court and Spark album is a top five favorite LP of all time.

I love both versions of this song. The writing shows incredible depth of soul for someone so young. The early version feels like a young person who has learned a lesson about love; it is a bit bouncy and upbeat, emoting the feeling of someone who has felt the pangs and swings of a lost romance… but who still has a life ahead of her to figure it out and find more romance.

The second, as an old woman in 2000: the same words, but it has a VERY different feeling and interpretation.  It is slow and ponderous on the surface, but one needs to give the version a chance.  It is very moving. It has a depth that I feel a connection with - as someone with some extra candles on the cake. She sings as an old person who is looking back with tremendous introspection nearer then end of her life, and has realized the import of things taken for granted in youth. Things we often never figure out. Things we realize later we missed and will never find again.

In the Youtube comment section “Ray C” says:
“This rendition is beyond music, Joni sang with her life and the joys, and fears, and tears, and hopes, and despairs, and dreams, and all the bittersweets. I first heard the original song when I was a young lad who tries to find the meaning of life. So many years later, I hear this song and I recalled all the illusions in the past, I realized that I still don't know life at all.”

I love them both, but I REALLY love the second version.

To which I replied;

I saved my reply to your comment for last, because there was a lot I wanted to say, but now the big thunderstorms that are rumbling through Tahoe today are closing back in, so I need to shut down my computer. I promise to be back shortly with a reply to your comment with some secrets to disclose.

Unfortunately, in typical FAE fashion, I never got back. The thunderstorms just kept coming and I saw a chicken running around somewhere among the boxes still stacked in my house. So, today as my RESULTS post, I would like to reply to Mr. Sheboyganboy Six.

I love this song and I love this BATTLE.

I admit that I am not an ‘over the top’ fan of Joni Mitchell. Every single one of her albums reside in my house, but my general apathy about her may stem from some immature jealousy of her as one of my husbands was so enamored with Joni, that I got sick at the mention of her name or music. With some time and maturity I will concede that the woman was a terrific songwriter, if more than a bit odd, personally. I also must say that I never cared for that almost sickeningly sweet soprano that she and other ‘folk type’ singers were so popular for. Give me the deep rich tones of Mary Travis.

Now that we have that out of the way, let me explain why I love this BATTLE. The mere idea of having the same artist pitted against themselves separated by a few decades in intriguing to me. Someone else (I think it was Cherdo) did this as a BOTB tribute when David Bowie died. It was also a good BATTLE and really got my interest. The changes in a person’s voice as they age, the emphasis they put on different words as they sing, and the overall texture of the song make it a worthy opponent for itself. In the case of ‘Both Sides Now’, you also have to consider the meaning of the lyrics.

Many of you commented that you did not like the fact that the second (older Joni) version was soooo slow. Well, I have to give you that. It was slowed down to the timing more of a funeral dirge than the light happy sound of the earlier (younger Joni) version, but it gave us more time to really consider the lyrics and let their meaning sink in. It was, at least in my mind, symbolic of the slowing every creature endures with age.

I cast my vote for the older 2000 version of Joni singing/talking her way through ‘Both Sides Now’. As someone who has an equally larger number of candles on her birthday cakes, not to mention is the mother of two grown daughters and has five grandchildren in that mix (yeah, I’m hoping that at least up until now, I still had some of your fooled into thinking I was a much younger FAE), I can relate. I too, have looked at life from both sides now, from win and lose and still somehow I manage to have faith in all the tomorrows to come, even though they be much less than those that have past.

Although I may not be a stellar fan of Ms. Mitchell’s performance art, or her personal choices, I give the woman credit as a tremendous songwriter and lyricist, she truly is a poet in her heart. Also, she was the only woman performer singled out in one of my very favorite concert performances of all time; The Last Waltz'. I have come to enjoy many of her songs. I believe my two favorite albums are ‘Court and Spark’ and ‘Hejira’ (Journey). Some really good stuffs on those. My favorite song is 'Coyote'. Yeah, a strange choice, but then 'you know me'.

So, before I close with the final tally, I want to give a great big THANK YOU to YOU Mr. Sheboyganboy Six for this suggestions. This BATTLE was truly one of my favorites, and I probably would not have come up with it on my own.

The final tally:
                         Joni 1969          15 votes
                        Joni 2000           10 votes (including mine)

Thank you all for coming by and casing a vote. Again, I really enjoyed this BATTLE and loved your comments. I wasn’t on the winning side again, but no matter, it’s all good fun. I was encouraged to see that there were some of you who got the same feelings as I listening to an older more mature Joni.

CONGRATULATIONS to all of you who slugged it out through the A to Z and made it to the end. Give yourself a pat on the back and permission to take a break until the 15th of May, when I’ll be back with another BATTLE for you.

Next I need to reply to those of you gracious enough to visit my IWSG post and leave a comment.

Until next time…Happy Trails!

Here's that favorite of mine; 'Coyote'!



  1. You said it well, FAE. I like the older Joni, too. She lived here on one of the Gulf Islands between Vancouver and Vancouver Island, for a while in the 70s or 80s, I think. This is a nice change-up having a younger version pitted against an older version. Some singers keep their voices, some do not, yet we still love their lyrics. She had a lovely way with words.

    1. Thanks D.G. Joni is certainly an incredible poetess. Her lyrics are timeless and I believe her songs will be covered for a long time to come. I read recently that she is having some serious health issues. Too bad. There may no be many more of those more mature performances in our future.

  2. I apologize some how I missed your battle. Then with your song selection you made me truely sorry. That is one of my favorite songs from a very talented songwriter.

    1. Hey Mike, no worries. It happens to the best of us. too bad you missed out on one of your faves.

  3. That was a fabulous battle Fae, very different. I think it is interesting how the voice changes with age. And it's very apparent here how the emphasis changed over the years. Some great insights from both you and Sheboyganboy. Much to think about and to discover as we listen to our own favorite artists changing over the years...

    Great battle.

    Michele at Angels Bark

    1. Even without the change in the artists voice or interpretation, I find it interesting to listen to music from my youth with more mature ears.

  4. The old one sure stood out better for the cat. So you want Pat to pat Pat on the back? Kinda repeat there lol

    1. Try not to hurt yourself with at that patting around. Ha, ha, ha!

  5. My choice didn't win but I'm fine with the outcome.

    1. Thanks Dixie, I'm glad you are one of those who 'felt' the difference in Joni's performances.

  6. I was wondering when you were going to respond, but I did not think you'd respond by way of a full-on blog bit!

    This was YOUR battle. I'm sure that with all that Joni in your background you'd have come up with it sooner rather than later. I'm also glad it went well and was not a blowout. 15-10 is not that bad. And I was interested in the secrets revealed here, such as the past husband enamored with Joni. I was enamored with her when I was younger.

    I'm glad you liked the older Joni enough to vote for her, too!

    1. Well, you know me and that chicken thing. Some days all the best intentions just can't keep me on track.

      This was a GREAT Battle no matter the outcome. And it was closer than expected. There are some folks who also listen with their hearts. I had a real good time doing this one and truly appreciate the suggestion.

      While that older version may no be something one would listen to over and over (an hum along with), it is filled with emotion and give a deeper sense to the lyrics. I couldn't NOT vote for it. AND, I have to admit, I had not heard it until your directed me to the video.

  7. My time management skills completely suck right now (either that, and/or I am overwhelmed by a tremendous amount of stuff to do in my downtime, which I did not anticipate at the time of composing my own post). I will swing by here on my first go-round next time!

    I'm not a big fan of Joni's, either - folksy music really isn't my thing, but you always, ALWAYS hear of her when the great songwriters and female artists are spoken of, so I know there is some truth there (even if it doesn't speak to me personally because of the sound/type of music). Looks like it was a great battle!

    Kim (ReInVintaged)

    1. No worries Kim, this is a busy time for us all. I have had the same problem and then there is my 'oh, look a chicken' condition. I am so easily distracted that some days I don't feel as though I get anything productive done.

      It was a great BATTLE, but if not your kind of music, maybe you don't miss much, eh?

  8. It's interesting to compare younger and older versions of an artist. And I get the point of the value gained from the slowed down more mature version, but still that lighter earlier style is the one I prefer. And actually I like the Judy Collins version even better. Hejira is my favorite Joni album (the jazziness was so good), though I really haven't listened to any of her albums in depth and some I've never heard so that could change if I really started listening to her music--something probably unlikely.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

    1. Certainly Judy Collins had a bigger hit with this one than Joni, but all the same Joni penned it.

      I thought this BATTLE was most interesting because there were a lot of changes involved, not just the timbre of the singers voice, but the perspective.

      Funny, how often we collect the music of a particular artist to only let it fall by the wayside.

    2. I have a lot of recordings of the same artist that I haven't listened to in years or infrequently. But that's mostly because I don't listen to music by itself very often. And when I'm listening to music it's usually something online.

      It is kind of sad though when I think about it.


  9. Well, that was certainly an extensive comment reply and BOTB results post.

    I went back and listened to the second version a second time. I have to agree with your insights about it. However, at the same time, I still cannot imagine listening to that recording for pleasure. She's conveying that understanding which comes with age better in the older version, but I still don't find it particularly enjoyable to hear. Not that it's bad, but I prefer to hear the more pronounced melody.

    Interestingly, this time I heard it, I had the thought that Joni was doing a kind of Barbra Streisand number on the number. You know how Streisand sometimes likes to slow a song down to a crawl so she can focus on certain syllables and draw out certain words?

    At any rate, for a Battle that started out looking like a potential shutout, it sure shaped up. Good one, FAE.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

    1. I'm glad you took the time to give that older version and second listen and could see what I was talking about. I will agree that it's not the one you really want to hum along to while tootling down the road, but I still like the perspective and insight gained in it.

      It did turn into a fairly decent BATTLE though and I still have to give credit where credit is due. This one was not an original idea of mine.

  10. It's always interesting to see which rendition will win. Sometimes I can't vote because I can't decide, so I just come back and find out what the majority has decided.

  11. There are only a few songs from Joni I'm really familiar with. But even still, it was an interesting battle and unique in its execution. Congratulations on pulling off a great battle.

    1. Thanks Jeffrey. I really enjoyed myself this time out.

  12. Now you have me listening back and forth to Joni & Judy.

    "Rainy Night House" by Joni Mitchell ...

    "Four Strong Winds" by Judy Collins ...

    Thanks, and have a great weekend... Myke