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Joni Mitchell — Hejira
Album: Hejira
Avg rating:
6

Your rating:
Total ratings: 1427









Released: 1976
Length: 6:30
Plays (last 30 days): 1
I'm traveling in some vehicle
I'm sitting in some cafe
A defector from the petty wars
That shell shock love away
There's comfort in melancholy
When there's no need to explain
It's just as natural as the weather
In this moody sky today
In our possessive coupling
So much could not be expressed
So now I'm returning to myself
These things that you and I suppressed
I see something of myself in everyone
Just at this moment of the world
As snow gathers like bolts of lace
Waltzing on a ballroom girl

You know it never has been easy
Whether you do or you do not resign
Whether you travel the breadth of extremities
Or stick to some straighter line
Now here's a man and a woman sitting on a rock
They're either going to thaw out or freeze
Listen...
Strains of Benny Goodman
Coming through the snow and the pinewood trees
I'm porous with travel fever
But you know I'm so glad to be on my own
Still somehow the slightest touch of a stranger
Can set up trembling in my bones
I know - no one's going to show me everything
We all come and go unknown
Each so deep and superficial
Between the forceps and the stone

Well I looked at the granite markers
Those tribute to finality - to eternity
And then I looked at myself here
Chicken scratching for my immortality
In the church they light the candles
And the wax rolls down like tears
There's the hope and the hopelessness
I've witnessed thirty years
We're only particles of change I know, I know
Orbiting around the sun
But how can I have that point of view
When I'm always bound and tied to someone
White flags of winter chimneys
Waving truce against the moon
In the mirrors of a modern bank
From the window of a hotel room

I'm traveling in some vehicle
I'm sitting in some cafe
A defector from the petty wars
Until love sucks me back that way
Comments (314)add comment
People rating this below 6 don't know music .
 
People are mentioning Jaco Pastorius here. For one of the finest lineups of any band anywhere  please watch 'Shadows and Light' on youtube with Jaco playing his awesome bass. With Pat Matheney, Lyle Mays, Don Elias et al..
I imagine when Joni recorded this song, she just told the other musicians to play whatever they want to play while she rambles through her lyrics.
And yet more tuneless drivel from Mitchell.   
Heartwrenching.
I am pretty sure Jaco and Joni were lovers during this period (according to Jaco biography). Jaco's work on Coyote from this album is simply sublime IMO.
Thursday, first day of November,somewhere in Beijing, listening to Radioparadise again after a long time away. Joni Mitchell, and Pastorius, bliss...
Join Mitchell!!! I guess you had to be there. I wasn't and I don't get it. please for the love God please stop playing this horrific music!!!
I am so glad that my life has overlapped with this incredible artist's time on this planet.  It's been 50 years since I first heard her, and I love her music even more than I did then.
 johnturner20 wrote:
Love this .. and Pastorius .. heaven
 
That's a nice piece of trivia. I wouldn't have known Jaco was on bass. 
I don't care what the naysayers think. We're each entitled to our own opinions. So I say this is one of beloved Joni's best tracks. And I thank Bill and RP for giving it airtime.
Love this .. and Pastorius .. heaven
Most interesting thing I learned about Joni from reading recent bio Reckless Daughter was that around the time of Hissing, Hejira, she spent time with Chogyam Trungpa and spent a few days in an enlightened state. It makes total sense... there's a certain kind of ego awareness that seeped into her lyrics at this time. "chicken scratching for my immortality"
 jbuhl wrote:

Pretty sure that is Pastorius.  She has a piece on her web page dedicated to him and working with him.
 
It absolutely is Pastorius. I knew it the first time I heard this track and confirmed via wikipedia.

Covered here in the link for her album:


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hejira_(album)

Arguably the most sublime bassist I've ever heard.
Many didn't understand Beethoven when he was alive.
 kingart wrote:
A fabulous song writer, guitarist, singer, performer. I seldom fail to respect, and praise, great and lovely talent. She's really reaching for something.  Great gifts must be recognized.  ... But for what it's worth, most of her tunes are just not in my wheelhouse. 
But if that's Jaco Pastorius playing the bass, I'll take it. 

 
Pretty sure that is Pastorius.  She has a piece on her web page dedicated to him and working with him.
 gjeeg wrote:
....We all come and go unknown
Each so deep and superficial
Between the forceps and the stone...

Unparalleled brilliance.

Perhaps her absolute peak.

Her creative force defines the contradictory, fiery discomfort of the Artist.
The impossible genius.
Have always loved her. But can't get too near. She'll melt you.
 
Well said.
Joni's music is not for the simple-minded.
 


amb599 wrote:
If I ran a prison I would use this to torture the prisoners.  Super super annoying and awful.  I can't tune it out.   I respect the talent and artistry here but this is just pure torture for me.

 
   



   
Jeezeuzz GAWWWD man. So cruel and unusual. May I never end up incarcerated anywhere, but ESPECIALLY in a joint that YOU run!

    {#Crown}






9 -> 10
Such a unique song, vocal and production
Spread love
He always seemed so bad he never seemed too bright, he was glowing like the meddle on election night.
Image result for trump
He was long ago he is far away he was so much better than covfefe.Image result for obama
Even after everything else so good, I think this was her best.  The combination of lyrics and music (whatever version of jazz you call this) is just Joni at the top of her game.
If I ran a prison I would use this to torture the prisoners.  Super super annoying and awful.  I can't tune it out.   I respect the talent and artistry here but this is just pure torture for me.
Joni is completely unique, at least in the world of generally known music.  If you don't accept, much less appreciate her free-form vocals, she won't go down well with you.  For me, she is mood dependent.  There are times when I will not have the patience for much of what she does, but when I'm open to chill a bit, there are many options, but none do quite what she does.  Of course, at anytime the high quality of her recordings is obvious.
 kingart wrote:
A fabulous song writer, guitarist, singer, performer. I seldom fail to respect, and praise, great and lovely talent. She's really reaching for something.  Great gifts must be recognized.  ... But for what it's worth, most of her tunes are just not in my wheelhouse. 
But if that's Jaco Pastorius playing the bass, I'll take it. 

 
Some argue he wasn't just the best, but the best EVER. Completely bat-$hit, but dang he could play.

I think that's Pat Metheny on guitar, very distinctive as well.
Wiki: "... the polio had affected her fingers, and she had to devise dozens of alternative tunings of her own."

That must be why her music sounds like no other.

I wonder how many artists try to cover her and say 'what the heck did she DO?'
c.
 sfyi2001 wrote:


E X C R U C I A T I N G



 
Give us a break. Bruno Mars is paging you. 
A fabulous song writer, guitarist, singer, performer. I seldom fail to respect, and praise, great and lovely talent. She's really reaching for something.  Great gifts must be recognized.  ... But for what it's worth, most of her tunes are just not in my wheelhouse. 
But if that's Jaco Pastorius playing the bass, I'll take it. 
Ears have healed so nicely... now they're bleeding again...{#Neutral}
....We all come and go unknown
Each so deep and superficial
Between the forceps and the stone...

Unparalleled brilliance.

Perhaps her absolute peak.

Her creative force defines the contradictory, fiery discomfort of the Artist.
The impossible genius.
Have always loved her. But can't get too near. She'll melt you.
...have another fag Joni...
Read her book, an interview from an old friend, she had a tough life early on and wouldn't let men control her.  She didn't want to sound like anyone else a few songs went top 100 but that wasn't her focus she had to experiment always.
My favorite album. Jaco and Wayne are terrific on it and the lyrics are hammered out until they're perfect. Please play "Coyote"
Bought this when it first came out. Thinking she was just a folk strummer I always wondered who played guitar on this for her. Dummy me. Being into Return to Forever and many similar jazz fusion bands at that time I knew Jaco Pastorius was there on bass but thought Joni had hired guns do the guitar for her.  What a story teller in word and music. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hejira_(album)

Feh to the naysayers previous to my post.

And when is Bill gonna play some Return to Forever, Stanley Clarke, Jaco, Carla Bley, Larry Coryell and such?
Thanks Jaco
 randyblew wrote:
I'm amazed by all periods of her self-expression as an artIst. The move into jazz was her own choice and expressed a strong persoanl reflection, and didn't kowtow to what she could have done as a very popular folk artistC she's always been completely authentic to her own vision as an artist, and that's beautiful and rare. And her voice and the musicians are lovely. What's to suck about that?
 
bump
Soon the sucko barfo votes will be in the majority.

I wonder how many of them would rate it even lower if they could. {#Ask}
 kennewicksheri wrote:
Exquisite
Visuals.. images.... universal feelings....

"...I see something of myself in everyone
Just at this moment of the world...." 

Thank you Radio Paradise, and Joni Mitchell 

 
I feel the same. But I do recall that it took me a few years to actually enjoy Joni's voice! So I can sympathize with some folks' distaste. It is the incredible power of her lyrics that won me over. ALSO, I know there are two kinds of pop-music-listeners: those who appreciate the words, and those who just don't actually listen to (or don't understand) lyrics! (This has caused me no end of grief over the years, but I accept it now).

I was wondering about some of the more vitriolic negative comments, however; and I have a tentative theory.
Over the years that I have enjoyed and treasured Joni's music, it seems to me that certain of my male acquaintances who put Ms. Mitchell down, happen to also be somewhat (unconsciously) misogynistic. It's as though they despise Joni, at least partly, simply because their significant female other(s), love Joni's music, and would sometimes retreat from their (intolerant?) partner to take comfort in Joni's songs.
In general: it seems to me that some resent Joni Mitchell's very powerful and evocative lyrics for coming from a woman, and for empowering women.
I think that I'll stop there, to avoid my own vitriolic side!   {#Roflol}

To test my theory, I ask that any female Joni-haters identify themselves as such.
(I am myself, male).

Thank you Radio Paradise, for becoming the soundtrack of my life!


An AVERAGE rating of SIX??
 greiffenstein wrote:
The soothing pleasant instrumental background is horribly marred by Joni Mitchell's whiny, annoying song stylings.  The music is better suited for a soft, silky voice like Sade's or Sting's.  Joni's bizarre and erratic pseudo-operatic voice on this track is all wrong. Anybody have her number?  I can give her a call

 
+1
I adore Joni, and this song. Poignant lyrics, unexpected instrumentals, incomparable voice. The haters can just hate. I'm a lover not a fighter.
 On_The_Beach wrote:

So true. I'm always mystified by all the whiny comments re Joni's music.
I get that it's not easy-listening Top 40 pop pablum, but isn't that what makes her music great?
Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but the level of vitriol is completely disproportionate and unjustified, IMHO.

 
+1
 greiffenstein wrote:
The soothing pleasant instrumental background is horribly marred by Joni Mitchell's whiny, annoying song stylings.  The music is better suited for a soft, silky voice like Sade's or Sting's.  Joni's bizarre and erratic pseudo-operatic voice on this track is all wrong. Anybody have her number?  I can give her a call
 
The soothing pleasant song was horribly marred by your whiny annoying comment.
Current average rating = 6.  How about anything less than a seven never gets played again.  And while were at it, let's skip anything by Joni Mitchell as well.
 greiffenstein wrote:
The soothing pleasant instrumental background is horribly marred by Joni Mitchell's whiny, annoying song stylings.  The music is better suited for a soft, silky voice like Sade's or Sting's.  Joni's bizarre and erratic pseudo-operatic voice on this track is all wrong. Anybody have her number?  I can give her a call

 
What he said. It's like when you're sitting on the beach listening to the pleasant sound of waves breaking gently on the shore and a seagull suddenly squawks in your ear.
This song will always be new music.
 greiffenstein wrote:
The soothing pleasant instrumental background is horribly marred by Joni Mitchell's whiny, annoying song stylings.  The music is better suited for a soft, silky voice like Sade's or Sting's.  Joni's bizarre and erratic pseudo-operatic voice on this track is all wrong. Anybody have her number?  I can give her a call

 

Well said! 



The soothing pleasant instrumental background is horribly marred by Joni Mitchell's whiny, annoying song stylings.  The music is better suited for a soft, silky voice like Sade's or Sting's.  Joni's bizarre and erratic pseudo-operatic voice on this track is all wrong. Anybody have her number?  I can give her a call
 skindy wrote:

"I know - no one's going to show me everything
We all come and go unknown
Each so deep and superficial
Between the forceps and the stone"

Man, I love Joni Mitchell. {#Clap}

And RP. {#Hearteyes}

 
Agreed. That's more like it. {#Cool}
I will always think of her as Bob Dylan's "sister". 

Her desire to push it and experiment and create songs that always...always demonstrate a high level of musicianship.

Not afraid to be off-center. An odd duck. Weird. Different.    

And of course the attitude.

Keep pushing on, baby.    
 
 rwhardy wrote:
love when it fades out, then you know its almost over
 
Amen to that brother.

The other bit that I like is the one when I'm not listening to RP when this comes on.
 rarefind50 wrote:
Joni at her most sublime

 
joni
 randyblew wrote:
I'm amazed by all periods of her self-expression as an artIst. The move into jazz was her own choice and expressed a strong personal reflection, and didn't kowtow to what she could have done as a very popular folk artist she's always been completely authentic to her own vision as an artist, and that's beautiful and rare. And her voice and the musicians are lovely. What's to suck about that?
 
So true. I'm always mystified by all the whiny comments re Joni's music.
I get that it's not easy-listening Top 40 pop pablum, but isn't that what makes her music great?
Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but the level of vitriol is completely disproportionate and unjustified, IMHO.
love when it fades out, then you know its almost over
 sfyi2001 wrote:


E X C R U C I A T I N G



 
true, horrible singing, almost physically painful!


E X C R U C I A T I N G


How anyone can rate this song below 7 is beyond me!
 chinaski wrote:
Joni on guitar, Jaco on bass...wonderful! What a soundscape. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hejira_%28album%29

 

....but she insists on "singing" and that spoils it.
 
Joni at her most sublime
 Foot wrote:
With apologizes I'll officially join the of legion Joni haters, however I date my dislike from the early 1970's.  Didn't like it then, just awful now.  All of it...

 
I can sympathise with view, as I always PSD her earlier stuff.  But, with this, I find I am really enjoying it.  Perhaps because of her lack of reach into the higher, shaky, registers I can more appreciate the content without being scared away.  I am one of those poor unfortunates who cannot tolerate dicey vocals, so I understand that it is my loss, not anyone else's.  Her genius and appeal is still undoubted.
Outstanding and atmospheric. Loved this album when it came out and still do. It would be nice to hear "Furry sings the blues" from this too. Amazed to see this only averages a 6 though. To each their own, I suppose.
"from the forceps to the stone..."

kennewicksheri wrote:
Exquisite
Visuals.. images.... universal feelings....

"...I see something of myself in everyone
Just at this moment of the world...." 

Thank you Radio Paradise, and Joni Mitchell 

 


True. Perfect.

LYS wrote:
PERFECT

 


Image result for patrick confused

Uhhhhhhhhhh...............what?


PERFECT
 maolibluewinch wrote:
Very boring. 

 
Wait. Are you listening to this song? Boring? Boring? I find it gorgeous.
It's profound lyrically & the musicality is unparalleled.
I'm biased by my strong love for Joni, this album, and this song in particular. But 'boring?'  Not to me.
I'm amazed by all periods of her self-expression as an artIst. The move into jazz was her own choice and expressed a strong persoanl reflection, and didn't kowtow to what she could have done as a very popular folk artistC she's always been completely authentic to her own vision as an artist, and that's beautiful and rare. And her voice and the musicians are lovely. What's to suck about that? 
 chinaski wrote:
Joni on guitar, Jaco on bass...wonderful! What a soundscape. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hejira_%28album%29

 
love the guitar, she sounds good 
Very boring. 
Saw her perform in late 1979 at the Portlandia Coliseum. Backed up by Jaco Pastorius and Pat Metheny. Great show.
..in a league of her own...and with Jaco   so brilliant!!!
Joni on guitar, Jaco on bass...wonderful! What a soundscape. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hejira_%28album%29


This LP and Don Juan's Reckless Daughter are so personal, sophisticated and original: Delightful. A fine artist at her best, imho. Love it!
Joni on a Saturday morning
nice beginning


I like the background music. 7 for that.
It reminds me of Lilium. I tried to add one track from their debut album. It's in the maybe selection now so lets see... 
With apologizes I'll officially join the of legion Joni haters, however I date my dislike from the early 1970's.  Didn't like it then, just awful now.  All of it...
Terrific lyrics, but a hard melody to follow.  

'Tis Interesting how this song polarizes listeners.

I am a bit of a fan of modern music pluralism—having sharpened my hearing on CHOM-FM from Montreal back in the day.  In that respect, RP would be a mediocre listening experience if it eliminated songs like this.  
 MrsTom wrote:
Some of Joni's stuff reaches me but maybe I'm not in the mood for this. Perhaps on a sunny day in the garden with a tall glass of something strong. But even then her random high notes grate on me. Like people whose accents make every sentence sound like a question. 
 
That's called "upspeak", something I can't stand hearing from the younger folks either. It's sounds like the Valley Girl in the Zappa song.

But I don't feel Joni does that here.
The song is about a woman who's relationship has broken up and she gets in the car and takes herself on a road trip alone. She is courageous, she is thoughtful and she returns to herself by taking this journey. She knows she will not always be alone but for now, she is
on her own.
This touches me..

"I know - no one's going to show me everything
We all come and go unknown
Each so deep and superficial
Between the forceps and the stone"

Man, I love Joni Mitchell. {#Clap}

And RP. {#Hearteyes}
Was this released in '76? I recall it being '77 because that was the year my world fell apart and I took my own hejira, with this cassette practically welded to the sound system of my old VW as we chugged across the country.

Sure, it's a difficult album and I guess I have my personal reasons for liking it as much as I do. But it's long been one of my favorite of hers.

Sorry to hear about her hospitalization and I hope she is soon restored to full health.  
Exquisite
Visuals.. images.... universal feelings....

"...I see something of myself in everyone
Just at this moment of the world...." 

Thank you Radio Paradise, and Joni Mitchell 
 LowPhreak wrote:

non sequitur

noun
non se·qui·tur ˈnän-ˈse-kwə-tər also -ˌtu̇r

a statement (as a response) that does not follow logically from or is not clearly related to anything previously said

—-

Obviously you've misapplied the phrase re: On_The_Beach's post.
 
Spock: "I am unclear as to the subject matter of which you speak, Willis."

Spock always dug Joni as long she stroked his ears...

Couldn't we have a non sequitur about non sequiturs?


I like a bit of Joni but struggling to get into this one...
Some of Joni's stuff reaches me but maybe I'm not in the mood for this. Perhaps on a sunny day in the garden with a tall glass of something strong. But even then her random high notes grate on me. Like people whose accents make every sentence sound like a question. 
Oh sheez! Not this drivel again. Sucko Barfo! Time to switch to Pandora for a while.
 steeler wrote:


Non sequitur . . .
.
I was in a business retreat a few years ago, fighting to stay awake late in the day,  when a guy across from me on the big table said: "My point is a simplistic one."  My head snapped up and I caught the gaze of another guy directly across from me who started laughing. I had to stifle a laugh.   

.   Not sure I ever "got" Joni. 

 
non sequitur

noun
non se·qui·tur ˈnän-ˈse-kwə-tər also -ˌtu̇r

a statement (as a response) that does not follow logically from or is not clearly related to anything previously said

—-

Obviously you've misapplied the phrase re: On_The_Beach's post.

About three-quarters of these comments leave me completely nonplussed. Especially "discordant", which makes me wonder if we were even listening to the same song, and if we were, what proportion of humanity's musical heritage would escape the same epithet.

I am not saying this in order to rush to the defence of Joni Mitchell. I never paid any attention to any of her music before hearing this particular song on RP.

Anyway, even if the explanation is simply that I'm from another planet from most of humanity (something I've long suspected), I found the aimless, demi-teinte nostalgia of this song quite charming, and perfect for a dull, grey Sunday afternoon. 
 On_The_Beach wrote:
Joni's music is not for the simple-minded.

 

Non sequitur . . .
.
I was in a business retreat a few years ago, fighting to stay awake late in the day,  when a guy across from me on the big table said: "My point is a simplistic one."  My head snapped up and I caught the gaze of another guy directly across from me who started laughing. I had to stifle a laugh.   

.   Not sure I ever "got" Joni. 
 On_The_Beach wrote:
Joni's music is not for the simple-minded.
 
Amen.  I adore her poetry and music and voice and the counterpoint of Jaco's bass and the melancholy mood with rhythmic movement ... and ... and ... and ... and everything.
I usually dig Joni, but not this particular song.
 
Joni's music is not for the simple-minded.
 ziakut wrote:
I like JM...but this is a bit too "directionless" for me.

 
That's kind of the point of the song.
I don't have anywhere near enough drugs on hand to make this enjoyable. 
Discordant crap! MUTE NOW!
 sa1157 wrote:
As a song, I want to shout "MEH." from the highest mountaintop.  But as a poem with a melody... I love it.

 
 
Yeah...just meandering along aimlessly. As background music it's kind of annoying, but...it's Joni.
Mildly nauseating.
I think she's a keeper.
 FRP wrote:
Love her voice, love the lyrics, love her guitar, love Jaco's bass.

10+ 

 
Walked in mid-song, and knew it was Jaco within moments. So sad to think he's on the other side of this existence, whatever that may be.

Heavily to the '+' side of 10. 
As a song, I want to shout "MEH." from the highest mountaintop.  But as a poem with a melody... I love it.
 oliverraindrop wrote:
Apparently most listeners are not musicians and don't appreciate the complexity of compositions beyond 3 chord rock.  That's OK,
room for everyone in this world of ours

 
No there isn't! Time for fascism to make a come-back! (not my opinion, just take a look at the rise in votes for extreme-right-wing groups in the EU)
There was a new Drug announced today by Phizer, called MitchellOvia. 
Medicine is excited because of it's efficiency in putting patients to sleep quickly and painlessly.
Don't ask about the side effects...
 
With the previous song played being "The Wolf At the Door" I recognized Joni Mitchell immediately and thought it might be "The Wolf That Lives In Lindsey".

Just as well, I find that song hard to listen to - yes, I know a lot of people find any Joni Mitchell song hard to listen to - but not me. 
This album as a WHOLE was my anthem when I was in college. I still know every word, every note, every rolling bass note. {#Good-vibes}
Love her voice, love the lyrics, love her guitar, love Jaco's bass.

10+ 
 stargazer1 wrote:
This is such a polarizing song. Look at the distribution. Almost nobody's in the middle. People either love it or hate it.  

I used to be in the "hate it" group. I moved in the much smaller "meh" group due to another song by the same author: Coyote.
In fact, I believe they are in fact the same song, just reinterpreted with different lyrics. And so I'll mark it not stand alone, but rather as a cover. Decent, not great :)
Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
 stargazer1 wrote:
This is such a polarizing song. Look at the distribution. Almost nobody's in the middle. People either love it or hate it.

I was a traveling consultant for 10 years. It's like being a touring musician without adoring fans or good vibes. She feels my pain. For that alone, I give it a 10.
 
Exactly my thoughts - except I can't decide if I hate it or love it - and I kind of do both at the same time. So an undecided 5 it is :)
 
Brilliant.  Enjoy the jazz influenced Joni, very much.
 
Joni Mitchell's voice is my kryptonite.  That's bad.

Is it over yet?

{#Frustrated}


 ChicoCyclist wrote:
PSD.
 
You're right: Phenomenal, Sensational, Divine.
Glad you get it.
 ChicoCyclist wrote:
PSD.

 
...... suppose it takes all sorts!!
 stargazer1 wrote:
I was a traveling consultant for 10 years. It's like being a touring musician without adoring fans or good vibes. She feels my pain. For that alone, I give it a 10.

 
Well said.
I love the interaction between Jaco Pastorius's bass and Mitchell's reverb arpeggio guitar---with her introspective chautauqua-like lyrics. Pictures painted with words.
 PFM wrote:
Always nice to hear Jaco.

 
Someone actually gets it. I can take or leave Joni Mitchell but hearing Jaco in his element, beautiful. 
I wish I could vote a 1 on this song more than once. For me it's an instant station changer.
Apparently most listeners are not musicians and don't appreciate the complexity of compositions beyond 3 chord rock.  That's OK,
room for everyone in this world of ours
10 next