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Joni Mitchell — River
Album: Blue
Avg rating:
8.1

Your rating:
Total ratings: 751









Released: 1971
Length: 3:56
Plays (last 30 days): 0
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 gonna make a lot of money, then I'm gonna quit this crazy scene
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
Oh, 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

But 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
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
Oh, 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, singing songs of joy and peace
I wish I had a river I could skate away on
Comments (159)add comment
Pretty Much the only Christmas song I hear on RP.

Bill you should play more Christmas Songs.

THANKS
 
{#Arrowd} sweet
Related image
expatlar: I'm a 61 year old man. It's Christmas Eve and I sure wish I had a wife and daughter though I do I have the choked up every time I hear it part...year after year.

I'm a fifty-seven-year-old man, I've heard this song dozens if not hundreds of times by now, and still, standing in my kitchen spreading cream cheese on my bagel on a cheery morning with my wife and daughter in the other room, I get choked up by this song. The power of music...
 I'm sorryLPCity wrote:

The first one was the toughest...

 


I've always liked this song, even if some folks I know find it too sad or depressing.  I think all of us have sometimes wished we had one of those "rivers" she's singing about.
 Rooney wrote:

She really nails the Christmas blues on this one.  To this day, it brings back my Christmases alone, sometimes not by choice.  {#Cry}



 
The first one was the toughest...

Love this song...one of the best Christmas songs.

I especially like Robert Downey's version that he did on Ally McBeal so many years ago.

 

 

 

and to quote from another one of my fave Christmas songs....

"Hey...Santa...pass us that bottle, will ya"


 kgilbert wrote:
Many songs, like this one, take on new meaning for me, after these overwhelming elections. Perfect reminder. Thank you Radio Paradise.

 
What elections?


Many songs, like this one, take on new meaning for me, after these overwhelming elections. Perfect reminder. Thank you Radio Paradise.
Was waiting for this tune Bill.
 
 scraig wrote:
Well stated Bill. For many this is a blue Christmas. Celebrating the holiday for the first time following the loss of a loved one can be difficult. Blessings on all during the holidays.

 
I am learning this very clearly this year.  Sorry I missed Joni a few minutes ago.  I'll look forward to hearing her sing this next time.  Merry Christmas to everyone celebrating this year.
 dwlangham wrote:
Imagine a kid reluctantly eating broccoli. That's me, listening to this. I'm choking it down and trying to believe its good for me.

 

As a child, I found broccoli went down better with ketchup — when my parents were not watching.

Music is a little like hard-to-like food; repeated exposure helps.   
Imagine a kid reluctantly eating broccoli. That's me, listening to this. I'm choking it down and trying to believe its good for me.
{#Notworthy}{#Meditate}
Way to go Bill.  Nice to here this in December or any time of the year !
 
Can you just play a side of this album? It's best to hear the songs connected on this one.  

 
Best Christmas song EVER!!!!!
 
Ran here to change a 9 to a perfect 10!  One of my favorites songs of one of my favorite albums!  {#Cry} {#Notworthy}
I know most people associate Joni with Southern California or her native Canada, but Joni lived here in Detroit for two years. She came to Detroit in 1965 to marry Chuck Mitchell, a local folk singer. They lived together in the Cass Corridor, the formerly notorious neighborhood south of Wayne State University. That's the same bohemian community that nurtured the talents of Gilda Radner and Janis Joplin at various times in their lives. (It's also where I went to high school, just two short blocks from the Gold Dollar Show Bar, the home of Detroit's best female impersonators!)

Although Joni lived in Detroit for just a short time, she learned something while here that changed her life and made her into a widely respected musician: alternative tuning. 
Well stated Bill. For many this is a blue Christmas. Celebrating the holiday for the first time following the loss of a loved one can be difficult. Blessings on all during the holidays.
 robbeek wrote:
I have such a love/hate relationship with this song...absolutely beautiful, but it brings me to tears.  Thank you, Joni....
 

 
Ya eh
Gorgeous song from a truly classic album.
 4merdj wrote:
Appropriate title for the album and well interpreted too ... {#Whisper}
 

Fantastic album!
There's a long-winded appreciation of Joni in the Dec. 17 issue of The New Yorker. Take my word for it, it's not worth your time. 
I have such a love/hate relationship with this song...absolutely beautiful, but it brings me to tears.  Thank you, Joni....
 
 1jerry wrote:

Ditto.
 
double ditto {#Angel}
Such a sweet song......especially with snow outside and the wood crackling in the wood stove beside me.
Appropriate title for the album and well interpreted too ... {#Whisper}
... and she still lives in LA, right? {#Devil_pimp}
oh no here come the tears...

Perfect!  Thanks Bill and Happy Holidays to the both of you. {#Sunny}{#Good-vibes}
 rebeccagrad wrote:
One of my favorite songs, from one of my favorite artists of all time, from my favorite album of hers. Thanks RP!
 
Ditto.
Way to go Bill !

 
 Bat wrote:

Not really a Christmas song, but one of the best set around Christmas time.

Not really a Christmas movie, but one set at Christmas - "The Thin Man".  The first, best and only one based directly on the book.  William Powell and Myrna Loy as Nick and Nora Charles.  I have to see this movie every year about this time.

 
Fantastic!!!!! 
Both of them. 
thank you PSD!!
One of my favorite songs, from one of my favorite artists of all time, from my favorite album of hers. Thanks RP!
So terribly sad; so absolutely brilliant.
Great song for 'opting in' just a tad at this time of year.  Thanks Bill.
Here in Ottawa we have the Rideau River Canal that when it freezes over is maintained and creates a 20 km skating rink. However this year it has been to mild for that to happen. I wish I had a river I could skate away one. Thanks Joni
Eleven

Especially at this time of the year... 

Great book about Joni — 
Will You Take Me As I Am: Joni Mitchell's Blue Period
So right now for me.....I actually heard this in Walgreen's the other day
Robert Downey Jr. did a surprisingly excellent cover of this song.  No, really.  Give it a listen, and even the most jaded among you might say "huh....that's pretty good."

As a born Canadian, I have a soft spot for Joni Mitchell.

Not really a Christmas song, but one of the best set around Christmas time.

Not really a Christmas movie, but one set at Christmas - "The Thin Man".  The first, best and only one based directly on the book.  William Powell and Myrna Loy as Nick and Nora Charles.  I have to see this movie every year about this time.


Howcum I never rated this song before?

She really nails the Christmas blues on this one.  To this day, it brings back my Christmases alone, sometimes not by choice.  {#Cry}


 Kokoloco53 wrote:
Yes, Joni Mitchell. In my top ten all time artists. If you liked this song, you might check out Herbie Hancock's version of River off his recent tribute album to Joni that features other singers covering some of her tunes. Joni actually sings on one track. Really cool jazz laid back versions. Peace and Joy to this troubled world which will always have its troubles. Artists like Joni have helped me cope over the years.
 
Same here.

A song I have listen to over the past four decades that truly kindles fond Christmas time memories.  Many thanks, Joni.
ParkerH wrote:
Perfect way to summarize how I feel about the Holidays... :)
Yes, neighbor - especially here in the subtropics.

 ParkerH wrote:
Perfect way to summarize how I feel about the Holidays... :)
 

Me too.
 Kokoloco53 wrote:
Yes, Joni Mitchell. In my top ten all time artists. If you liked this song, you might check out Herbie Hancock's version of River off his recent tribute album to Joni that features other singers covering some of her tunes. Joni actually sings on one track. Really cool jazz laid back versions. Peace and Joy to this troubled world which will always have its troubles. Artists like Joni have helped me cope over the years.
 

Me too.
Yes, Joni Mitchell. In my top ten all time artists. If you liked this song, you might check out Herbie Hancock's version of River off his recent tribute album to Joni that features other singers covering some of her tunes. Joni actually sings on one track. Really cool jazz laid back versions. Peace and Joy to this troubled world which will always have its troubles. Artists like Joni have helped me cope over the years.
Perfect way to summarize how I feel about the Holidays... :)
 Danimal174 wrote:
Overall, I'm not a huge fan of Joni's, but I really like this song. I've heard it by other artists before, and had no idea is was originally done by Joni.

I'd agree with the person below me...I don't consider this Christmas music. It just happens to be set during the Christmas season, but it's not really a Christmas song. Same thing with Dan Fogelberg's "Another Auld Lang Syne"...it's set during the holiday season, but it's main theme is not about the holiday itself.

 
I was just thinking....my year is never complete until I hear this and then at new years Dan Fogelberg's Another Auld Lang Syne....like him or not there's no escaping the incredible poignancy (sp?) of that song!


Ditto my last post!
one year later
Thank you - my holidays are never complete until I hear this.
Thank you!  Perfect.

 jagdriver wrote:
I never need to hear this again sung by anyone.
  
Well... I just rated it a 9, so we're canceling each other out.

Brilliant seque to George Winston - Variations on the Canon afterward. 


I never need to hear this again sung by anyone.
 ThePoose wrote:
Bill seems to be tapping into the deep sadness of Christmas—the other side of the festive season.
Well done, my man! Merry melancholy.

 
Boff!  

 ttburger3 wrote:
more JONI !
 

Absolutely!! Yes, PLEASE, Bill!
Bill seems to be tapping into the deep sadness of Christmas—the other festering side of the festive season.
Well done, my man! Merry melancholy.


Aaaahhhhhhhhh.....I was having such a grumpy day.  It's all better now.

10

It's coming on Thanksgiving and I wish I had a river so I could skate away. The family is coming to my house tomorrow.
Overall, I'm not a huge fan of Joni's, but I really like this song. I've heard it by other artists before, and had no idea is was originally done by Joni.

I'd agree with the person below me...I don't consider this Christmas music. It just happens to be set during the Christmas season, but it's not really a Christmas song. Same thing with Dan Fogelberg's "Another Auld Lang Syne"...it's set during the holiday season, but it's main theme is not about the holiday itself.

 jerseygirl wrote:
ummmm.....think so.
 

What I've always loved about this song is the simple re-arrangement of "Jingle Bells" that gives it that haunting quality.
Dam! Missed it. Love this song....
this song permeates all kinds of memories in my life.
It's cold here but not cold enough for ice...I'd love to skate away right now.  I love this song.


 SantaFeGrace wrote:
I like Xmas music....but not until at least after Thanksgiving!
 
I don't lump this in with Holiday music. It's certainly not ABOUT the holidays, just set during the time of year. Such a poignant song. Loves me some Joni.

c.

I like Xmas music....but not until at least after Thanksgiving!
more JONI !
It's good to hear this again. Thanks Bill.
Too Early!!!
Reminds me of a dead friend ... I will sit here and remember him and relish the beauty of this song.  Thanks RP for playing this. 
And almost a year later...
Sigh...
{#Good-vibes}
Sigh... :sad:
Hauntingly fabulous! :music:
Rafter101 wrote:
Wicked depressing, but a beautiful song...
My sentiments exactly. It's a good thing her river is frozen; otherwise she might drown herself rather than skate away.
dmax wrote:
You know, this would go really well with Jane Siberry's song about skating.
If you're talking about "Hockey" from Bound By The Beauty, it's on LRC now!
onerb wrote:
Had to stop everything to savor...
... standing beside you
bhudevi wrote:
As much slack as I may get for this comment, I think that other artists' covers of this song are better. Of course, Joni is the composer, so she needs to get credit for that.
I agree with this. One version I just love is, believe it or not, done by Robert Downey Jr.
Great song, even for the scrooge inside.
I cannot tolerate "Christmas Music", but this is absolutely spine tingling.
*sigh* :rolleyes:
Had to stop everything to savor...
Wicked depressing, but a beautiful song...
As much slack as I may get for this comment, I think that other artists' covers of this song are better. Of course, Joni is the composer, so she needs to get credit for that.
classic
Pretty song but please please please not Christmas songs before Thanksgiving....***goes off to post a bounty on retail advertising***
Johnny-smooth wrote:
One of her best pieces - period! Just trancends time and space. As much as I have heard this song over the years, whenever it comes on, I just find myself stopping whatever I am doing to listen and reflect.
Couldn't have put it better.
This whole album is a 10, God-like. We truly "aren't worthy."
GODDESS. timeless, absolutely timeless. what a way to live life. timeless.
UltraNurd wrote:
Is the intro supposed to sound like Jingle Bells?
"it's coming on Christmas..."
Perfect! :clap:
unenlightened me. just can't stand it
One of the best songs from probably her best album. Perfection.
ummmm.....think so. UltraNurd wrote:
Is the intro supposed to sound like Jingle Bells?
UltraNurd wrote:
Is the intro supposed to sound like Jingle Bells?
Uh...yes.
Is the intro supposed to sound like Jingle Bells?
Stunning. Joni, if you find that river, tell me where it is... :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:
One of her best pieces - period! Just trancends time and space. As much as I have heard this song over the years, whenever it comes on, I just find myself stopping whatever I am doing to listen and reflect.
The awesome beauty of this song does make tears well up in my eyes. Not to be confused with the quality of her later work.
Awesome song! Thank you Bill
This song puts me into a stupor of bliss. Joni is my favorite artist and this is one of my favorites of her songs.
Sorry, but Joni's vocal style just grates on my nerves. On second thought though, this is better than her typical fare.
10! What else is there to say?
just so that I could comment on how amazing this song, album and artist is. Thanks Joni and thanks RP!
This is my very favourite Joni song...beautifully dreamy. Thanks RP.
mmmmm...almost famous...
Mari wrote:
... Merry Xmas Joni, when do we get to hear you again, next Xmas? Boo Hoo! ...
Hm... followed by Fake Plastic Trees? Seems Bill is playing some Xmas-themed sets already! :lol:
Godlike. :meditate:
woke up one morning..way too hung over, turned on HBO and there was this Festival at Carmel or something like that, Joni, came on with her Woodstock...I ran to Ebay and won a bid on 8 of her albums for 25 bucks...I have fallen in love with this letter...my girlfriend says I'm gay......
I like her on random.....
Mari wrote:
... Merry Xmas Joni, when do we get to hear you again, next Xmas? Boo Hoo! ...
:lol: