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Joni Mitchell — Woodstock
Album: Ladies of the Canyon
Avg rating:
6.2

Your rating:
Total ratings: 561









Released: 1970
Length: 5:22
Plays (last 30 days): 0
I came upon a child of God
He was walking along the road
And I asked him, where are you going
And this he told me...
I'm going on down to Yasgur's farm
I'm going to join in a rock 'n' roll band
I'm going to camp out on the land
I'm gonna try and get my soul free

We are stardust
We are golden
And we've got to get ourselves
Back to the garden

Then can I walk beside you
I have come here to lose the smog
And I feel to be a cog in something turning
Well maybe it is just the time of year
Or maybe it's the time of man
I don't know who l am
But ya know life is for learning

We are stardust
We are golden
And we've got to get ourselves
Back to the garden

We are stardust
We are golden
And we've got to get ourselves
Back to the garden

By the time we got to Woodstock
We were half a million strong
And everywhere there was song and celebration
And I dreamed I saw the bombers
Riding shotgun in the sky
And they were turning into butterflies
Above our nation

We are stardust
We are golden
And we've got to get ourselves
Back to the garden

We are stardust
Billion-year-old carbon
We are golden
Caught in the devil's bargain
And we've got to get ourselves
Back to the garden
Comments (98)add comment
50 years ago this past weekend.....where does the time go?
I thank Joni for the idea of this song, and for inspiring others to improve upon it. My favorite version is by Matthews Southern Comfort (Ian Matthews), then of course CSNY do a pretty good job of it as well ;)
Remember 8-tracks? This album, and about a dozen more, went with me to live & study and travel in Greece for a year; January, 1972. I spent the first few months a bit homesick for Southern California and the 'Canyon'...This got a LOT of airtime that year; a year, which nearly five decades on, remains a standout for me. So yes, this transports me......Thanks, Joni, Bill & Rebecca!      
Ah, such a beautiful version of this song. The original. I've also always loved the artwork on the album cover. It was part of all of my friend's collections over the years. I believe the lyrics are on the inside, too. That used to be such a help to those of us who wished to learn the songs we were hearing. Thank you, Joni! 
Woeful Wailing indeed, followed by the shrieking Melanie                                                                        Boreal wrote:
Good Lord I can't stand that Joni Mitchell caterwauling.
 

 Boreal wrote:
Good Lord I can't stand that Joni Mitchell caterwauling.

 
Awful singing, now the ears are bleeding again...
 bh1 wrote:
I really like Joni Mitchell. Mostly that is. It is a great song, but I'm not really thrilled by her performance. Richard Thompson has done a great job with this song, my favorite of those I have heard. CSN took hippie folk and made it driving rock. To each their own. Sometimes it's all good.

 
I think you drive slow.
 Boreal wrote:
Good Lord I can't stand that Joni Mitchell caterwauling.

 
Me and my furry friend agree...

Caterwauling 
I really like Joni Mitchell. Mostly that is. It is a great song, but I'm not really thrilled by her performance. Richard Thompson has done a great job with this song, my favorite of those I have heard. CSN took hippie folk and made it driving rock. To each their own. Sometimes it's all good.
Good Lord I can't stand that Joni Mitchell caterwauling.
 wilcogirl11 wrote:
Okay, I admit it: I just don't "get" Joni Mitchell. CSN turned these lyrics into a fabulous song, so Joni did provide the makings of a great song. But her screeechy, high-pitched, formless "singing" just doesn't do anything for me at all. 

 
My thoughts, exactly. 
What a great album. Like many of the posts here, it transports me back to another time and place. Several of them, actually. Thanks Bill and Rebecca.
Takes me back to a cabin with a great fireplace on one of Minnesota's many Rice Lakes.  What a great summer with good friends!
This is really the original version of this song? I had no idea. I love the harmony of the CSN version, but this is amazing too.
I know of two songs that came out of Woodstock. We all know this warbling one. How many of us remember the other? 
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gixuWS0bb3Q
God bless Melanie for that. 
 glassbrain wrote:
Context is everything for this song. I spent the year 68/69 in New England on an exchange teaching deal from the UK - no I did NOT go to Woodstock. I had to leave the US since I would have become A1 if I stayed. I met some returned vets and wanted no part of that war.
My nostalgia for and memories of that time are still among the most powerful in my life. Thank you Vermont for that long-gone time. This song is a "10" for me in any Joni Mitchell version, and always will be. Peace.

 
My nostalgia for and memories of that time are still among the most powerful in my life. Thank you Vermont for that long-gone time. 

Indeed context is everything. I was a 10 year old boy living in Pensacola Florida, to young to understand the chaos around me in my country and the mess in Vietnam. I especially appreciate your text above. Very moving. Hoping your life turned out well despite those chaotic times. My guess is, it did.{#Smile}
Not a Joni Mitchell fan, but wow, what a completely refreshing take on a familiar classic.
Wow...I never knew...
Thanks for the intro Bill! 
Well said, scarletdancer. This is the original, and the way it was meant to be heard. Play it again anytime you like, Bill and Rebecca.

scarletdancer wrote:


Yeah, I'm shocked at the hate this recording is getting.  I'm not generally a huge Joni Mitchell fan, but this version is very haunting, and very different from the CSNY cover.  I actually like this recording a lot better than a lot of her other stuff.  It's very different, and definitely got my attention.

Some have criticized it because you can't sing along with it like you can CSNY's cover, and I like to sing along with songs I know, too, but really, it's not necessary to be able to sing along with everything all the time.  Sometimes it's very rewarding to just be quiet and listen.  Hearing "Woodstock" this way is very thought-provoking, and that's not a bad thing.

Thanks, Bill!
 

 


 kurtster wrote:
Good god ... by the comments you'd have to think she was Dylan's female twin.  Great writer, but can't sing.

This has its rightful place along with the many wonderful covers of this song. 

Where would we be musically without Joni or Bob, eh ?

8 at least. 

 

Yeah, I'm shocked at the hate this recording is getting.  I'm not generally a huge Joni Mitchell fan, but this version is very haunting, and very different from the CSNY cover.  I actually like this recording a lot better than a lot of her other stuff.  It's very different, and definitely got my attention.

Some have criticized it because you can't sing along with it like you can CSNY's cover, and I like to sing along with songs I know, too, but really, it's not necessary to be able to sing along with everything all the time.  Sometimes it's very rewarding to just be quiet and listen.  Hearing "Woodstock" this way is very thought-provoking, and that's not a bad thing.

Thanks, Bill!
 
Good god ... by the comments you'd have to think she was Dylan's female twin.  Great writer, but can't sing.

This has its rightful place along with the many wonderful covers of this song. 

Where would we be musically without Joni or Bob, eh ?

8 at least. 
Okay, I admit it: I just don't "get" Joni Mitchell. CSN turned these lyrics into a fabulous song, so Joni did provide the makings of a great song. But her screeechy, high-pitched, formless "singing" just doesn't do anything for me at all. 
It's hard to believe what CSN&Y made out of this.
 daveinnj wrote:
Holy Crap  - what an awful song.

 
Couldn't have said it better myself
 NWNative wrote:
The undisputed theme song for the most self-absorbed generation the earth has ever seen. But it is a catchy tune.

 
I'd say your generation is right up there, whatever one it is.
Woodstock ≠ good!

{#No}
Marvellous song, but I prefer it by Matthews Southern Comfort.
 NWNative wrote:
The undisputed theme song for the most self-absorbed generation the earth has ever seen. But it is a catchy tune.

 
LOL!

There is definitely a large grain of truth in what you say..... 
Self-absorbed and ineffective.   US sponsored ethnic-cleansing of the Holy Lands continues to blow back and the me, myself and culturally-superior I generation continues to scratch its head and wonder why. 
My mom always said "If you don't have anything nice to say, say nothing at all".
Joni Mitchell is a wonderful songwriter. 
Holy Crap  - what an awful song.
One of my all time faorite singers, and then she writes and plays too
Context is everything for this song. I spent the year 68/69 in New England on an exchange teaching deal from the UK - no I did NOT go to Woodstock. I had to leave the US since I would have become A1 if I stayed. I met some returned vets and wanted no part of that war.
My nostalgia for and memories of that time are still among the most powerful in my life. Thank you Vermont for that long-gone time. This song is a "10" for me in any Joni Mitchell version, and always will be. Peace.
Good lyrics and nice sentiment, and sometimes I love Joni. But the timbre of her voice here is very offputting.
Some people really like Joni and some really don't. She has a unique voice which tends to elicit strongly polarized response; more so on albums like Mingus. I have loved her singing since the first time I heard it decades ago. Effortless range, unusual phrasing, clear but distinctive enunciation, non-standard tunings, complex harmonic structure and rhythm. The antithesis of 3-chord pop. She is also an accomplished visual artist. She fought gender bias in the music industry long before it was cool to do so. She's a world treasure. Not everyone's cup of tea, I get that. But as she said:
Oh I could drink a case of you darling
I would still be on my feet

The undisputed theme song for the most self-absorbed generation the earth has ever seen. But it is a catchy tune.
 MrsTom wrote:
Random HIGH NOTE, blah blah plinky plonky HIGH NOTE Squeeeeeeee plinky plonky backing singers lah lah squeeee. Plonky plink Gargle gargle screEEeEeEm plink
 
I love this era of Joni Mitchell — even though I will here MrsTom's comments in my head forevermore... {#Cheesygrin}
 jeremyg2k wrote:
This is what I'm calling senators to protect? If RP is trying to go out with a bang, doing a crap job. Sorry Joni fans.
 
Yes, this is precisely what you were calling senators to protect. 
Because it's not YOUR Internet - It's ours.
 
 MrsTom wrote:
Random HIGH NOTE, blah blah plinky plonky HIGH NOTE Squeeeeeeee plinky plonky backing singers lah lah squeeee. Plonky plink Gargle gargle screEEeEeEm plink
 
{#Clap}
Did Joni realize that Woodstock was the beginning of the end?
 
Get well Joni!{#Music}
Love
Not her favorite. Prefer other versions!
Du du du du hate it.  Sorry.
Marginal at best
 MrsTom wrote:
Random HIGH NOTE, blah blah plinky plonky HIGH NOTE Squeeeeeeee plinky plonky backing singers lah lah squeeee. Plonky plink Gargle gargle screEEeEeEm plink
 
BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Absolutely!
I will double my monthly contribution to RP if you never play this assault on the ears again.

OMG Joni, stick to the lower registers, please.  The cats in my neighborhood are now nervous wrecks. 
 easmann wrote:
 k-man wrote:
I'd known the CSNY version of this tune for years before I heard the original. The first couple of times through it, I kept comparing it to what I already knew and loved. This adage comes to mind:

You know what you like, and you like what you know.

But then this haunting version began to overtake me. It is, without a doubt, genius at work. Such subtleties.

You can't hear it? Not my loss...

I concur. Nothing wrong with liking both versions, or neither for that matter.
 
Yeah! That's what I'm trying to say!
This is cool. I didn't know she'd written this and it is cool to hear another take on it.
 k-man wrote:
I'd known the CSNY version of this tune for years before I heard the original. The first couple of times through it, I kept comparing it to what I already knew and loved. This adage comes to mind:

You know what you like, and you like what you know.

But then this haunting version began to overtake me. It is, without a doubt, genius at work. Such subtleties.

You can't hear it? Not my loss...

I concur. Nothing wrong with liking both versions, or neither for that matter.
 MrsTom wrote:
Random HIGH NOTE, blah blah plinky plonky HIGH NOTE Squeeeeeeee plinky plonky backing singers lah lah squeeee. Plonky plink Gargle gargle screEEeEeEm plink

 

 

{#High-five}


2 - because it doesn't actually make me physically barf, just mentally.
Props to her for writing such great words, but CSN own this song now. They took it, and they made it famous.
 MrsTom wrote:
Random HIGH NOTE, blah blah plinky plonky HIGH NOTE Squeeeeeeee plinky plonky backing singers lah lah squeeee. Plonky plink Gargle gargle screEEeEeEm plink
 
Spot on!
{#Daisy} We are stardust....

One Human Family
I actually prefer the version of the Shadows and Light live album.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6WPMgJqOFQ
I love the song, but the length she drags the notes out to stops me singing along.  Shame; or is it a blessing for my family?

Still worthy of an 8.  Especially if you remember she wrote it in a few hours or so on her way to do a TV show instead of the festival.
Random HIGH NOTE, blah blah plinky plonky HIGH NOTE Squeeeeeeee plinky plonky backing singers lah lah squeeee. Plonky plink Gargle gargle screEEeEeEm plink
I'd known the CSNY version of this tune for years before I heard the original. The first couple of times through it, I kept comparing it to what I already knew and loved. This adage comes to mind:

You know what you like, and you like what you know.

But then this haunting version began to overtake me. It is, without a doubt, genius at work. Such subtleties.

You can't hear it? Not my loss...
Genius
The magic of this version it's all in the Fender Rhodes piano (or it's a Wurlitzer?), that's perfetc with the Joni Mitchell's voice
Awful singing. Don\'t care if it was \"soooo important\" 40 years ago. I\'ll give it a 4 only because the songwriting is good. If it wasn\'t RP, I would have changed the station.
I don\'t give out alot of \"1\" ratings. Joni really deserves this on this song. It is very irritating. And not something you play at the end of the day on Friday!
Daveinbawlmer wrote:
The CSNY is timeless, this is annoying.
The CSNY is annoying. THIS is timeless!!! :meditate:
Wow. I will be glad when this one is over. -2- Bobby
Pyro wrote:
I don't share your sentiments, except that I do like the CSNY cover best....and you have to admit, the writing is good....or at least CSNY thought so....
Notice, too, how much the csny vocals mimic her phrasing.
Her voice grates too much for me. I love Kate Bush, Poe, Tori, and plenty others with high voices (and in some of Tori's and most of Kate's, quite squeeky at times as well)but her's misses it for me. But it is her song to do this to.
Daveinbawlmer wrote:
The CSNY is timeless, this is annoying.
CSNY? The opening to Joni Mitchell's song is so atmospheric, evoking the gathering multitude, the momentous events, the zeitgeist of the late 60s. Her voice is so appropriate for the sentiment, so poignant, so melancholy, especially as she missed the festival. CSNY? Get a life! Superficial gloop
Daveinbawlmer wrote:
The CSNY is timeless, this is annoying.
Couldn't agree more. I know she's an amazing songwriter, yadayadayada, but her voice drives me nuts!
The CSNY is timeless, this is annoying.
OK Back to the garden I love you
iTuner wrote:
Hate Joni. I'd definitely take the CSNY version. This song blows. She is so freaking annoying to me.
I don't share your sentiments, except that I do like the CSNY cover best....and you have to admit, the writing is good....or at least CSNY thought so....
I cant help but luv this whatever:hearteyes:
Sorry, just not feelin this. Must not be old enough ;)
The gold standard.
God, she was a CHILD here...her voice is so young. (And so were WE...sigh.) I didn't develop an appreciation for Joni until Hejira (and I'm old enough to remember when "Blue", "For the Roses" and "Court and Spark" came out).... What a comparison to listen to her recent stuff as compared to the early vocals....all those cigarettes took the "high end" off her voice and gave it a "mature smokiness" that I really love.
On_The_Beach wrote:
Love Joni, but I'll take the CSNY version on this one.
Hate Joni. I'd definitely take the CSNY version. This song blows. She is so freaking annoying to me.
If you were around when Joni came onto the scene, you'll remember how completely original and striking she was, and is.
... recognize this amazin' song from the very first note :music: nobody sounds like joni, she is one in a zillion, got all her albums an' know ém backwards!
Joni is one of my favorite artists - truly an amazing talent. I can see how the early recordings can be "annoying". I suggest listening to "Travelogue" or"Both Sides Now". Her voice as aged and mellowed so beautifully - a similar process that Sinatra's voice made - from thin and reedy - as yes, "grating" - to a wonderous, warm instrument capable of wonderful phrasing and expression. The orchestration on these records provide a fantastic canvas for Ms Mitchell to paint upon.
gekkosan wrote:
I have never before criticized another user for expressing his or her opinion - heck, it's everyone's right... although I'll admit that I don't quite understand the eternal gripers. If I don't like what a station is playing, I just switch, and that's that. Anyway, I mean - really: In view of the crisis that the WHOLE of the internet radio industry is facing, isn't this a rather idiotic (and unhelpful)remark to make? Sheesh...
I guess we are witnessing a generation disconnect here. As we, the nation of Woodstock liked to say "Don't trust anyone over 30" Now we are well over 30 and the 60s music is slowly sinking as are we and as will the writer of the original comment. So everyone lighten up and enjoy the wonderful history of rock or whatever you want to call it. Rock (or Folk, or jazz, or paint) on Joni. we love you.
I've no doubt that Joni means a lot to people from her time. I can totally understand that. However, I have yet to hear a song where her particular vocal style did not just grate on my nerves. Can't really explain it. Not griping at all about this being played as I really love the variety on RP. When it comes on, I try to listen to it and develop an appreciation for it. With many artists I will eventually come around. But... there is just something about her voice... :think: :confused:
Interesting the number of 10 ratings for this song. The voice, the message, the times I suspect.
SomeOldGuy wrote:
If you weren't there during the 60's, you just wouldn't understand... this little melodic piece is almost an anthem for those that were around...
Yessssss....... :sunny:
If you weren't there during the 60's, you just wouldn't understand... this little melodic piece is almost an anthem for those that were around...
Love Joni, but I'll take the CSNY version on this one.
jeremyg2k wrote:
This is what I'm calling senators to protect? If RP is trying to go out with a bang, doing a crap job. Sorry Joni fans.
I have never before criticized another user for expressing his or her opinion - heck, it's everyone's right... although I'll admit that I don't quite understand the eternal gripers. If I don't like what a station is playing, I just switch, and that's that. Anyway, I mean - really: In view of the crisis that the WHOLE of the internet radio industry is facing, isn't this a rather idiotic (and unhelpful)remark to make? Sheesh...
jeremyg2k wrote:
This is what I'm calling senators to protect? If RP is trying to go out with a bang, doing a crap job. Sorry Joni fans.
What a shame about you.
jeremyg2k wrote:
This is what I'm calling senators to protect? If RP is trying to go out with a bang, doing a crap job. Sorry Joni fans.
Heh. :rolleyes: Just to show you, I just clicked through RP to buy this song.
jeremyg2k wrote:
This is what I'm calling senators to protect? If RP is trying to go out with a bang, doing a crap job. Sorry Joni fans.
Yes! :roflol:
For those not aware, Joni wrote this. From Wikipedia: "Mitchell wrote the song after missing and then hearing about Woodstock. She had cancelled her appearance at the festival on the advice of her manager for fear that she would miss a scheduled appearance on The Dick Cavett Show, and has since said the decision to miss the concert was one of the biggest regrets of her life."
This is what I'm calling senators to protect? If RP is trying to go out with a bang, doing a crap job. Sorry Joni fans.
guitar_man_101 wrote:
I absolutly love this version of the song!
I hope so - she wrote it ! :biggrin:
Especially poignant as Joni Mitchell didn't get to play Woodstock.
shayborg wrote:
Lot of first plays in this set... Keep 'em coming! :yes:
:yes: :yes: :yes:
guitar_man_101 wrote:
I absolutly love this version of the song!
I'm with you.....and I'm in for 10!
Lot of first plays in this set... Keep 'em coming! :yes:
love the voice :music:
I absolutly love this version of the song!