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Joni Mitchell — Carey
Album: Blue
Avg rating:
7.4

Your rating:
Total ratings: 884









Released: 1971
Length: 3:02
Plays (last 30 days): 0
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've got beach tar on my feet
And I miss my clean white linen and my fancy French cologne

Oh, Carey get out your cane and I'll put on some silver
Oh, you're a mean old daddy but I like you

Come on down to the Mermaid Cafe and I will buy you a bottle of wine
And we'll laugh and toast to nothing and smash our empty glasses down
Let's have a round for these freaks and these soldiers, a round for these friends of mine
Let's have another round for the bright red devil who keeps me in this tourist town

Come on Carey, get out your cane, and I'll put on some silver
Oh, you're a mean old daddy but I like you, I like you, I like you, I like you

Maybe I'll go to Amsterdam, or maybe I'll go to Rome
And rent me a grand piano and put some flowers 'round my room
But let's not talk about fare-thee-wells now, the night is a starry dome
And they're playing that scratchy rock 'n' roll beneath the Matalla moon

Come on Carey, get out your cane and I'll put on some silver
Oh, you're a mean old daddy but I like you

The wind is in from Africa, last night I couldn't sleep
Oh, you know it sure is hard to leave here but it's really not my home
Maybe it's been too long a time since I was scrambling down in the streets
Now they got me used to that clean white linen and that fancy French cologne

Oh Carey get out your cane and I'll put on my finest silver
We'll go to the Mermaid Cafe, have fun tonight
I said, oh, you're a mean old daddy but you're outta sight
Comments (196)add comment
Joni Mitchell is so gay, as in merry
 Alpine wrote:
MORE JONI! MORE JONI! MORE JONI! MORE JONI! MORE JONI! MORE JONI! MORE JONI!
MORE JONI! MORE JONI! MORE JONI! MORE JONI! MORE JONI! MORE JONI! MORE JONI!
MORE JONI! MORE JONI! MORE JONI! MORE JONI! MORE JONI! MORE JONI! MORE JONI!

 
yep
 andomax wrote:


Thus the winds blowing over from Africa

 

Yes, she refers to the Matala moon. Matala is a small beach village in the south of Crete which has Troglodyte caves said to be inhabited by hippies in days gone by. I don't imagine Joni stayed in a cave though. I visited there in 1984/5 time when I remarked to a cafe owner about the album he was playing, it was Blue. He told me of the connection with Matala. This website seems to back this up: https://www.visitmatala.com/aboutmatala.php?lang=en

I've just done a bit of surfing and found this: https://www.matala.nl/ so maybe Joni did sat in the caves :)
 osbyec wrote:
I fell in love with Joni and this album this year.  I've been listening to this song a lot lately, too.  8—>9
 
I fell in love with Joni 40 years ago.  Not much changed about that.
 Second only to For the Roses!!

Rick_V wrote:
Blue is certainly one of the greatest albums of the last 40 years. Every true music lover should own it.
 


" I Like You " 
 avidfan wrote:
Joni at her very best!  Sadly, I can't stand Joni, so this earned a 2 from me.  There must be something there since everyone loves her so much, I just don't get it.  She constantly reminds me of Phoebe on Friends singing the "Smelly Cat" song in the cafe.

 
Very well said.
Reminds me of Catey :^)
 jools wrote:

More likely Crete where she spent a lot of time in 1970s
 

Thus the winds blowing over from Africa
 Alexandra wrote:
Between the "I've got beach tar on my feet" and "this resort town" it sounds like she's talking about Santa Barbara. {#Sunny}
 
More likely Crete where she spent a lot of time in 1970s
 Alexandra wrote:
Between the "I've got beach tar on my feet" and "this resort town" it sounds like she's talking about Santa Barbara. {#Sunny}
 
Cool
Amazing singer... amazing guitarist as well
Between the "I've got beach tar on my feet" and "this resort town" it sounds like she's talking about Santa Barbara. {#Sunny}
 myersei wrote:
i've always hated joni mitchell.....but i think i'm finally coming out of the closet.  i dig this one.

i've had a theory for a while that one cannot simultaneously like joni mitchell and leonard cohen.  the more i think about my new found liking of ms. mitchell, mr. cohen seems to grab me less.  whats happening to me???
 
You might be too young to know the Joni Mitchell thing.  Joni and Leonard are apparently friends - fellow Canadians and all that.

beautiful. one of my favs of hers.
And yet is rated 7+. Good stuff that stands the test of time. Not for everyone, but that doesn't make it bad music. Try the Mingus tribute album for something completely different.
i've always hated joni mitchell.....but i think i'm finally coming out of the closet.  i dig this one.

i've had a theory for a while that one cannot simultaneously like joni mitchell and leonard cohen.  the more i think about my new found liking of ms. mitchell, mr. cohen seems to grab me less.  whats happening to me???
i love this song
 GuiltyFeat wrote:
This defines "ho-hum" for me. I don't know what I'm doing wrong.
 

Everything is fine, you just have good taste!{#Lol}
 Dillinquent wrote:

Everyone is entitled to express their opinion even if you don't agree with them. It's called diversity.

 

Thank you! I despise Joni Mitchell, always have and that is my opinion in this country of free speech.{#Yes}
This defines "ho-hum" for me. I don't know what I'm doing wrong.
Stone cold genius, hard to find peers for Joni such is her plethora of talents. And this one of her finest songs and albums, what a time to turn on RP for the day!
Check out her early stuff from the Oscar Brandt days on the 'tube........
MORE JONI! MORE JONI! MORE JONI! MORE JONI! MORE JONI! MORE JONI! MORE JONI!
MORE JONI! MORE JONI! MORE JONI! MORE JONI! MORE JONI! MORE JONI! MORE JONI!
MORE JONI! MORE JONI! MORE JONI! MORE JONI! MORE JONI! MORE JONI! MORE JONI!
 jools wrote:
As I think I have said before - this is poetry set to music - that first couple of lines sends shivers down my spine.  It beautiful and sad, yet optimistic...love it.
 
thank you...that's it...

 GeoCat wrote:
To all you HATERS: why bother posting your negative comments?  You all are pathetic.
 
Everyone is entitled to express their opinion even if you don't agree with them. It's called diversity.

As I think I have said before - this is poetry set to music - that first couple of lines sends shivers down my spine.  It beautiful and sad, yet optimistic...love it.
BLUE was the first album I ever bought... wore the vinyl through.... an early fling of mine sent me a postcard from Matella.. and unceremoniously dumped me when he got back!  the BASTARD!
Nice!!!

Just by listening to some parts of the vocals I could swear this is a Kate Bush tune...

This song makes me so happy!{#Bananajumprope}


I fell in love with Joni and this album this year.  I've been listening to this song a lot lately, too.  8—>9
Blue is certainly one of the greatest albums of the last 40 years. Every true music lover should own it.
Thanks for playing this one. I have fond memories of a holiday in Matala. Love to go back...


love it...


I beg you to avoid this song in the company of alternative like Death Cab or the like.  I'm in my early 40's so that could be the reason but its awful to hear in general but more so against a different era such as the 90"s Alternative/Indie's its painful—I turn the station off and listen to something else.

sorry. 
I was eight years old when this came out - powerful nostalgia for another era.  Her voice evokes so much more than others' . . . whatever you think of her.  
Joni is capable of writing some really crappy songs.  This isn't one of them, but one damned fine song.
 Proclivities wrote:

This song is quite melodic and harmonious, unlike some of hers.  She has always tended to deviate from "standard" chord structures as well as "straight" 4/4 time, which seems to trouble a lot of listeners - well that, and of course, her voice.  I like this song however.
 
This comment just goes to show how much depth there is in music appreciation. I don't even understand the conversation about "straight" 4/4, but all I know is I have always enjoyed her. Needless to say, so more than others. But hey, this IS the artist sharing her soul with us, and like Joni, we all have so many different sides to ourselves and she shows us all hers. Someone may appreciate the musicality, others, like me, appreciate her lyrics and relevance to time and space when she creates her music—and the quirkiness of it. Which brings us back to why we are all here at Radio Paradise—I have discovered so much music I would have never found otherwise. And so, many of my friends. Baby Jepus approves, I'm sure!


What an amazing album...such a shame it was introduced to me by a friend with whom things never worked out.  Tends to make me a bit sad but i still listen to it and remember arguing about the song i could drink a case of you and whether it was a compliment or a sledge.
 tompoll wrote:

I'll use a different term — vehemently dislike — but I'm in the same boat. I never understood why I didn't like her stuff until I read the book by Daniel Levitin called "This Is Your Brain on Music." She defies standard chord and harmony conventions in her music. Respect, admiration, but still vehement dislike. I guess I like more conventional structure.
 
This song is quite melodic and harmonious, unlike some of hers.  She has always tended to deviate from "standard" chord structures as well as "straight" 4/4 time, which seems to trouble a lot of listeners - well that, and of course, her voice.  I like this song however.

To all you HATERS: why bother posting your negative comments?  You all are pathetic.
 avidfan wrote:
Joni at her very best!  Sadly, I can't stand Joni, so this earned a 2 from me.  There must be something there since everyone loves her so much, I just don't get it.  She constantly reminds me of Phoebe on Friends singing the "Smelly Cat" song in the cafe.

 
Spot on! Thank you.  I too can appreciate an artist's talent and place in pop/folk music history without "liking" their work.  Such is my position on Joni's work. 

Even I get annoyed by the high-pitched parts in some of Joni's songs sometimes - but this song, this album, are absolute classic, poetic, and you really learn to appreciate with each revisit. Stands test of time.
 avidfan wrote:
Joni at her very best!  Sadly, I can't stand Joni, so this earned a 2 from me.  There must be something there since everyone loves her so much, I just don't get it.  She constantly reminds me of Phoebe on Friends singing the "Smelly Cat" song in the cafe.

 

So very very true!
 avidfan wrote:
Joni at her very best!  Sadly, I can't stand Joni, so this earned a 2 from me.  There must be something there since everyone loves her so much, I just don't get it.  She constantly reminds me of Phoebe on Friends singing the "Smelly Cat" song in the cafe.

 
Well, I can't say that I share the low rating opinion of Joni, but I have to give the "Smelly Cat" comment props!  I'll never hear Joni again without thinking of Phoebe.  {#High-five}
{#Sunny}Love this song - good morning, everybody! 
Joni at her very best!  Sadly, I can't stand Joni, so this earned a 2 from me.  There must be something there since everyone loves her so much, I just don't get it.  She constantly reminds me of Phoebe on Friends singing the "Smelly Cat" song in the cafe.

Give it up for the master pleease!!  


Just beautiful dear Joni !!


This song automatically brings back a lot of memories of my first year living away from my parents.

74% for hideous, hmm..?   {#Lol}   not bad joni! 

 
mirland wrote:

Absolutely hideous.
 

Absolutely hideous.
 Jungle_Jim wrote:
It doesn't get any better.
 
Sod the song - where exactly are you in Brighton?  Just curious as there seems to be just the 2 of us.....
I love this track - the lyrics are so poetical and very sad.  How much more evocative can you get than that forst line? Magic.  
I love the segue from Ditty Bops to Joni!! Very happy and spirited! ;o)
It doesn't get any better.
 holborne wrote:
Hate Joni Mitchell SO SO SO SO much. Hate. I'm always surprised when pack of dogs don't come running whenever they hear her sing.  BOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.
 
I'll use a different term — vehemently dislike — but I'm in the same boat. I never understood why I didn't like her stuff until I read the book by Daniel Levitin called "This Is Your Brain on Music." She defies standard chord and harmony conventions in her music. Respect, admiration, but still vehement dislike. I guess I like more conventional structure.
My resolution was for a Joni-Free 2009.
Beware associating a popular artist, say, Joni, with a girlfriend one is no longer associated with. Especially when there are multiple similarities and connections, and this CD was a gift to said gf a year or two ago because, even though she knew every song on it by heart, she didn't actually HAVE the album. 

So, cool song and all, but... 

(Stephen Stills on both guitar and bass, per Wikipedia)
 holborne wrote:
Hate Joni Mitchell SO SO SO SO much. Hate. I'm always surprised when pack of dogs don't come running whenever they hear her sing.  BOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.
 

Cover your hate and raise you infinite smiles!
BTW Steven Stills on guit?
One of the great albums of a sublime musical era.

I love Joni's voice. 
 holborne wrote:
Hate Joni Mitchell SO SO SO SO much. Hate. I'm always surprised when pack of dogs don't come running whenever they hear her sing.  BOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.
 
hehehe :D

i'm no fan of Joni either.

Hate Joni Mitchell SO SO SO SO much. Hate. I'm always surprised when pack of dogs don't come running whenever they hear her sing.  BOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.


oh i love this one. one of my top 5 favs, i'd say. for joni, anyway.
Love Joni ! More, please.
 themotion wrote:
Joni, the master of changing notes by 9 octaves in one word.
 

well, maybe 2 1/2... but who's counting! This is great ;o)
bleh...

more from this cd please. great song.
Great song!  Glad to hear Joni on RP!!!!!  More please!!!!! :)
Such a pure voice; I'd love to hear Joni and Laurie Anderson get together.
Poor cow, must have been a rough day on the range.  

 siandbeth wrote:
"It was inspired by her time with a cave-dwelling hippie community in the village of Matala, on the Greek island of Crete." Holey Cow I was just thinking how this reminded me of being in some funky joints in Greece myself. Retsina and coke, yum! Sadly living in Santa Cruz I don't feel like writing a song about our own "cave dwelling hippies".
 


yes
Wow..how could this have slipped from my memory....simple Perfection!
"Blue" is one of my all time favourite albums. Reminds me of long sunny afternoons at the Saltby gliding club in Leicestershire, rainy evenings spent on-call in Melton Mowbray and glasses of cool white wine surrounded by ink sketches and aviation textbooks...
Hey Joni, got a song you can sing for me....?
Sitting here on a sunny Sunday afternoon doing computer work, sipping a refreshment and listening to Bill's Sunday programming ........... heaven. I've noticed that every once in a while Bill has some truly outstanding Sunday programming runs. I really have to go on line and buy his new black pullover and some cd's from Amazon. Thanks Bill for a great Sunday!! :cheers: :music:
Thanks so much!
Another "story song" that I adore. It's the soundtrack for a movie in my head. :clap:
Joni Mitchell at her best!! :clap: :dance:
Pyro wrote:
Her new CD is excellent.
shine :sunny: right :high-five: on!
i dont get it :doh: :ask:
Sing it Joni! Read about the background of this wonderful storysong: (click here) :sunny: (click here) :good-vibes: (click here)
Bleh.....yeah, I said it.....BLEH!!! :lol:
Joni, the master of changing notes by 9 octaves in one word.
...joni mitchell scares me a little bit...
Her new CD is excellent.
IMHO Joni's talent and body of work is unrivaled by any solo artist since the 60's with the possible exception of Paul Simon.
You may need to update your music collection. There's about 37 years of solo artist recordings since the 60's. So put down the Mitchell and expand your mind. You remember what that's like don't you? :daisy:
Alert to anniebear: Joni is NOT referring to her biological father in this song. Phew, dodged that one! :wall: Most excellent tune from the most incredible Joni Mitchell.
"Oh, you're a mean old daddy but you're out of sight" ... yep, all of my wives have told me that oncet or twicet.
MtnGoat wrote:
What? Ten's as high as I can go?
Exactly. The only reason I had to give this one a 9 is because the rest of 'Blue' is 10s... c.
I think I heard this stuff when I was a kid back in the 70s. The song took me to a happy place.
Stellar talent line-up results in musical epiphany!
YourNameHere wrote:
Joni has had some amazing guitarists play on her albums over the years, but to me none was better then Larry Carlton. His playing compliments her voice so well it's sounds like a back-up vocal.
My favorite Jomi Mitchel calaborator is bass virtuoso jaco pastorius - as on the album "hajira" and another album too, I think.
"It was inspired by her time with a cave-dwelling hippie community in the village of Matala, on the Greek island of Crete." Holey Cow I was just thinking how this reminded me of being in some funky joints in Greece myself. Retsina and coke, yum! Sadly living in Santa Cruz I don't feel like writing a song about our own "cave dwelling hippies".
YourNameHere wrote:
According to the liner notes Stephen Stills plays bass and guitar on this song. Joni has had some amazing guitarists play on her albums over the years, but to me none was better then Larry Carlton. His playing compliments her voice so well it's sounds like a back-up vocal. IMHO Joni's talent and body of work is unrivaled by any solo artist since the 60's with the possible exception of Paul Simon.
Yes to all of that. :yes: I also liked her work with Pat Metheny, who's no slouch himself. ; )
joeguido wrote:
Lover her .. but my wife hates her .. had to sell all my Joni CDs during college to pay bills ...
..or to stay together? :cheesygrin: :ask:
What? Ten's as high as I can go?
Got for 13th birthday, Top 3 LP for me :dancingbanana_2:
Lover her .. but my wife hates her .. had to sell all my Joni CDs during college to pay bills ...
Welly wrote:
Love, love, love Joni!
Oh yeah!!!
Love, love, love Joni!
:jump: :jump: :jump:
Joni is bomb! :high-five:
I love Joni! :daisy:
hey, joni! :hug:
stevo_b wrote:
It Burns!
Get your butt off the BBQ!
It Burns!
YESSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Joni!!
miahfost wrote:
Let's not talk about faretheewells now the night is a starry dome and they're playing that old scratchy rock and roll beneath the mantle of the moon.
Actually, I read somewhere a few years ago (it may have been here, in these song comments) that the lyric is "...beneath the Matala moon." From Wikipedia, on the song "Carey:" "Carey" is a song from the 1971 Joni Mitchell album Blue. It was inspired by her time with a cave-dwelling hippie community in the village of Matala, on the Greek island of Crete. The song is sometimes rumoured to be about fellow singer-songwriter James Taylor, who plays guitar on some Blue tracks (although not on "Carey" itself) and with whom Mitchell had a brief affair. However, Mitchell has stated publicly that the "Carey" in question was a memorable character named Carey Raditz (or "Carrot" Raditz), a cane-carrying chef with bright red hair that she met in Matala during her European odyssey of 1970. Other references to the village and the al fresco hippie lifestyle abound in the song lyrics, most notably to Matala's now-defunct Mermaid Café. Mitchell frequently introduced live performances of "Carey" by recounting anecdotes about Raditz and their Cretan adventures. <skindy wonders: are "Cretan adventures" anything like "cretin adventures?"> Mitchell's European travels, which also encompassed France and Spain, were intended as a "time out" from her increasing fame and fortune in the music business. Whilst on the road, she learnt to play the Appalachian dulcimer, which was to become a feature of her musical output in the following years. Her dulcimer skills were first showcased on Blue and in particular the original recording of "Carey", which also features Stephen Stills (of Crosby, Stills & Nash) on bass and acoustic guitar. "Carey" was released as a single, debuting at number 93 on the Billboard Chart on 4 September 1971 and lasting just one week; nevertheless, it remains one of Mitchell's most enduring and popular songs. "Carey" appears on two Joni Mitchell greatest hits albums - Hits (1996) and Dreamland: The Very Best Of Joni Mitchell (2004) - and has been covered by Cyndi Lauper, Goldie Hawn <skindy edit: WHAA? > , Universal Honey, and Kiki Dee. Lauper's updated interpretation was regarded by many critics as the highlight of a televised Joni Mitchell tribute concert at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York on 6 April 2000. Mitchell herself performs a different interpretation of Carey on her 1974 live album Miles of Aisles. Backed by jazz band Tom Scott & The LA Express, and recorded at the Universal Ampitheater in Los Angeles, this reggae/ska version has been criticised as "light-weight;" Rolling Stone went so far as to say that the song was "murdered." And from Wikipedia, on Matala: History Matala was... a fishing village. In the 1960s the caves were occupied by hippies which were later driven out. Now Matala is a small village living mainly from tourism. Canadian folk singer Joni Mitchell's experiences with the Matala hippies were immortalised in her 1971 song Carey. Mythology When Zeus raped the princess Europa in the form of a white bull, he crossed the sea and brought her to the beach of Matala. There he changed into an eagle and flew her to Gortys where he raped her. :eek: OK, now you know far more than you ever needed to about this song!
Let's not talk about faretheewells now the night is a starry dome and they're playing that old scratchy rock and roll beneath the mantle of the moon.
Mari wrote:
:high-five:
Yeah, considering that I am not her fan, but "Blue" caught my ear from the many I heard once by her.
Yay - Joni's Carey to start my day! I'm smiling. :biggrin:
Joni ... this voice, this guitar. This album!! Outstanding.
I love hearing this after The Ditty Bops. I love it!! I love this song!
Kerly wrote:
... all the albums Joni has ever made, in my collection also :)
:high-five:
When I heard "Carey" I knew it was Joni and then I realised that it is from that lovely album called "Blue", which is from all the albums Joni has ever made, in my collection also :)
jedzep wrote:
Don't forget to listen to her guitar playing.
According to the liner notes Stephen Stills plays bass and guitar on this song. Joni has had some amazing guitarists play on her albums over the years, but to me none was better then Larry Carlton. His playing compliments her voice so well it's sounds like a back-up vocal. IMHO Joni's talent and body of work is unrivaled by any solo artist since the 60's with the possible exception of Paul Simon.
Don't forget to listen to her guitar playing.
jerseygirl wrote:
By far the best female singer songwriter in our time. Unparalleled. Nobody can touch her music words, art, or class! I hope to grow up and be like Joni.
Amen! I've been in awe since I heard her first songs in 1968. I was 20 at the time, and her talent just knocked me out. She is a classic.
By far the best female singer songwriter in our time. Unparalleled. Nobody can touch her music words, art, or class! I hope to grow up and be like Joni.