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Joni Mitchell — Both Sides Now
Album: Clouds
Avg rating:
7.7

Your rating:
Total ratings: 1251









Released: 1969
Length: 4:31
Plays (last 30 days): 1
Bows and flows of angel hair and ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons everywhere, I've looked at clouds that way.
But now they only block the sun, they rain and snow on everyone.
So many things I would have done but clouds got in my way.

I've looked at clouds from both sides now,
From up and down, and still somehow
It's cloud illusions I recall.
I really don't know clouds at all.

Moons and Junes and ferris wheels, the dizzy dancing way that you feel
As every fairy tale comes real; I've looked at love that way.
But now it's just another show. You leave 'em laughing when you go
And if you care, don't let them know, don't give yourself away.

I've looked at love from both sides now,
From give and take, and still somehow
It's love's illusions that I recall.
I really don't know love at all.

Tears and fears and feeling proud, to say "I love you" right out loud,
Dreams and schemes and circus crowds, I've looked at life that way.
But now old friends are acting strange, they shake their heads, they say
I've changed.
Something's lost but something's gained in living every day.

I've looked at life from both sides now,
From win and lose, and still somehow
It's life's illusions I recall.
I really don't know life at all.
Comments (105)add comment


Tired, without feeling. Soulless.
 

{#Crown}
I'm not a big fan of Joni Mitchell, but she hits the spot with this song!
chilllls

What a dynamic alto range she has...
Ne Plus Ultra
have to give this a 10 even though there are dozens of joni songs i like better
I like Joni, this song is a little bit sleepy for me.
First heard this tune driving around with my dad. Good memories.
 keysay wrote:
Ok, admittedly, I half agree with... that feeling of certainty restrained by the inability to place a finger upon it.
 
I regret having read all of that.
           
Pfff, it' dragging on and on. Boring. 
 pvg44 wrote:
This song made me cry when I first heard it at age 4 or so.  I loved it but it made me sad.  I still love it, and though it doesn't make me as sad, I feel every word and every note to my soul.

 
For what it's worth, it can still make me cry… poignant reminder of life and perspective.
This song made me cry when I first heard it at age 4 or so.  I loved it but it made me sad.  I still love it, and though it doesn't make me as sad, I feel every word and every note to my soul.
My first Joni Mitchell song, and possibly still my favorite though several from Court & Spark give it a challenge.
 S-curvy wrote:

Yep, she is a really talented musician.  This is from a very different time, written in 1967 to be exact.  In a bit of a wicked twist, it's fair to say that like Chris Issak, Joni is one of those musicians who sound every bit as good in a live performance, and quite possibly better, than the album versions of their work.  They are "real-deal" musicians.
 
Ok, admittedly, I half agree with you within so much as the perpetual range of outcomes resulting from the shoving of teens-tossing-shade-supreme meant to... become... our collective view of the world;  it shouldn't go without reiterating how this industry spectacle as a limited sub for talent is likely causing a seriously dangerous situation... potentially.   Somehow, I imagine that I am an adversary so far as the U. S. wears concern like an intel chip on... my own sleeve.   With that hypothetical being the case, how would it be sweet to relentlessly nudge subliminal stupidity upon an entire generation or two!?!   Now, how a music industry conspiracy that is so incredibly unbelievable seeks a move toward embracing, essentially, garbage excuse for talent after garbage excuse etc. 

Meanwhile, this clever propaganda in support of the Brown Plague remains entirely too cleverly hidden.  More than that, the complimentary solicitations here and there can be incoming from a full 360 degrees in order to develop individuals toward demonstrating a conviction for overcoming at'tude of failure to convey an unwavering certainty that it's profoundly epic art which is causing a sort of bottleneck.  By the way, the Plague "cover" MO...?   Well, that would be striving to serve the very average population at large by causing a phenomena which, in turn, each individual is meant to confuse with a consensus of "buying" into the MO... truly... that any individual could be the one performing upon the stage of the concert one just paid $$$$... OU Duh Wazzoo... with the right social media connection.  Maybe... maybe... a bit of luck, too.

Someone is all it takes to turn expectations a couple of rotations upward or downward toward the gain and skillfully or not so much as shrewdly crank enough spinnovation into / out of the typical line-up of suspects, the usual among the "otherwise," by winding who is minding par for the course to a self-absorbed fault up to snuff in order for referring to the turning of profit, honestly.  To profit in truth, that is to say, in terms of one's own time.  Be that Maverick! 

How.... oh... how perception is the change we shall not want for discernment among beings.     I am Joni... Chris...

IBE.  But, then what of the other half which does not agree I am with you?  Perhaps, it is not so much halfway an agreement as it is to do with an apparent strategy which the music industry individuals in control of the lion's share of it right down to the corner Karaoke bar in Kobe Japan... colluding for so long as it takes to align the planet to it without anyone successfully moving beyond feeling a sixth sense about something not quite right... you know... that feeling of certainty restrained by the inability to place a finger upon it. 
I got this outta left field thought that she might be my birth mother.  That's my grand delusion, and I'm sticking to it... for now Ÿ{#Bananapiano} Sie ist mir totales banana... gar nicht!
I'm there, still.
I have such warm memories associated with this song...hearing big sisters singing and playing this on their guitars in shared rooms...they were all such Joni fans.
 Far wrote:
Again back in Le Hibou Ottawa...

 
I missed Joni at Le Hibou but had the privilege of catching other artists.   Must have been a terrific, and so intimate concert.
Reminds me of outdoor nature school sitting around campfire with teacher's boyfriend whose name was "Sky" or "Sun" or something singing this and Kum-by-ya
Never gets old.
hit the spot Bill

Again back in Le Hibou Ottawa...
Its funny, we really don't know clowns at all. Especially after all of these scary ones out there.....
This lyric really jumped out at me this time (although all the lyrics on this song are, as expected, amazing):

..the dizzy dancing way that you feel

 Good art is specific.

 
 jimmunn wrote:
So much better than the syrupy Judy Collins version ....

 
True, that
I really want to hate this song but actually it is quite good, I have looked at it from both sides now.
She's smiling, that brings me to the conclusion, that she can do different things.
 MrsTom wrote:
The single Joni song I like. It serves to illustrate how beautiful her voice can be without the warbling and weird tones

 
Precisely.
Interesting synchronicity; I just had this out yesterday, after not for years and years. Reminds me of simpler times of innocence and joy
The single Joni song I like. It serves to illustrate how beautiful her voice can be without the warbling and weird tones
I could never be with someone who likes Joni Mitchell. "It's clouds illusions I recall/I really don't know clouds at all." What does that mean? Is she a pilot? Is she taking flying lessons? It's probably a metaphor for something, but I don't know what.

— Joe Fox

 ncollingridge wrote:
Just love her voice, her phrasing, her expression. Elegantly simple and beautiful.

 
Sweet Joni let's wish her well
Just love her voice, her phrasing, her expression. Elegantly simple and beautiful.
I feel sorry for those of you who can listen this and not hear the beauty in it.
.... just sublime.
The version of this from Both Sides Now is staggering. Comparing the two performances of the same song is like looking at someone's high school yearbook photo and then looking at a picture of them as a grandparent---it's amazing.
This takes me back to 4th grade chorus with Mrs. Ramsey. Dang. I don't think she played this for us. I'd have remembered it. She taught us the song, though. 
{#Kiss}....... wonderful song, luv Joni a lot
Dylan once said "I wish I could write songs like Joni". Not a bad compliment.  {#Kiss}
 jimmunn wrote:
So much better than the syrupy Judy Collins version ....

 

Agree...
Joni's original is great. Never liked any of the covers of this song that I've heard.
The song is mesmerizing, but I think the album cover is fantastic!! {#Daisy} 
a great song to be the first song I hear today. thanks RP!!
She hasn't been prolific for decades, but her more recent work has some gems too. This is classic young Joni.

 Maybe she should go pro, make some recordings or smth bcs this is quite good
Poetry, beautiful.
Wife just broke out in song. Something she rarely does. 
I am always so comforted by Joni Mitchell. My soul responds to her voice as a Universal Mother.
 jimmunn wrote:
So much better than the syrupy Judy Collins version ....
 
indeed
So much better than the syrupy Judy Collins version ....
Truly awesome artist.  My guests are singing along! {#Bananajumprope}
Wow, wow, wow.

If only Joni and Neil Young would have had a love child.



Hey... how about playing something from the Blue album.    
     
{#Good-vibes}
 Cynaera wrote:
I am in total bliss right now. Joni is my talisman against evil and sorrow. {#Meditate}
 

Miss you so much, Cynaera...

love this song...
 
https://youtu.be/2y-8vxObugM
Love to hear Joni. 
It is clowns,,,,,,what,,,,wait a minute........now I get it......this song takes on a whole new meaning on a friday afernoon.....
Ms Collins version is good . . . but this is outstanding.  To my ear, much more thoughtful and emotive.
Sorry, I prefer the Judy Collins version.
 jocelynsart wrote:
when I was a little kid, I always thought she was singing "clowns"

 
Me too!!!!!  I actually just figured it out a few years ago!
{#Clap}  {#Clap}  {#Clap}
Another 1969 gem. The wealth and variety of music was priceless and timeless. 
when I was a little kid, I always thought she was singing "clowns"
 soulcollision wrote:


Her name is Carly Rae Jepsen. She was just signed by Justin Bieber's management. The Both Sides Now tune is available on itunes. Hope she sticks true to her folky/jazzy roots... she's really good when she does.
 

This is a great, date stamped, conversation... "Her name is Carly Rae Jespen."... 

in 2012 i might have thought "I wonder if I'll ever hear of her"

The 2013 answer is, "yes, if you have pre-teen kids who you let choose the radio station in the car."

PS - i listened to her version of Both Sides Now on YouTube and... not so sure it's going to catch on. 
 iTuner wrote:
Wish there was a Joni Mitchell auto-mute.
 
I wish there was an auto-delete for iTuner comments.
 toterola wrote:
4 people gave this song a "1". Poor soulless bastards that they are... {#Razz}
 
Now 5.

I sold my soul to rock'n'roll!
 iTuner wrote:
Wish there was a Joni Mitchell auto-mute.
 
Agreed!  And I have GREAT taste in music! {#Crown}
Big Fat 10!  {#Clap}
Not many songs one can say this about, but I find Bold Sides Now - timeless.
 iTuner wrote:
Wish there was a Joni Mitchell auto-mute.
 
Life's rough all over, junior.
Funny how a really good song can evoke such conflicting emotions. I feel lifted when I hear it, but the words should make me fell despondent. Great stuff.
turned my nose up at her for a long time, until the last 10 yrs or so. 
this is beautiful. 
 iTuner wrote:
Wish there was a Joni Mitchell auto-mute.
 

Nyahh.
Voice goes on my nerves!
 msymmes wrote:

Well...   Where can we find it?
 
 

Her name is Carly Rae Jepsen. She was just signed by Justin Bieber's management. The Both Sides Now tune is available on itunes. Hope she sticks true to her folky/jazzy roots... she's really good when she does.
 Randomax wrote:
I am a dyed in the wool Joni fan but this is not my favorite version of this song....waaaay too drawn out, like it's in slo mo or something.
 
You might like the one Jason Falkner did.  I actually like both Jason and Joni's version.
 soulcollision wrote:
I girl I used to go to school with just re-made this song and released it on her new EP. We'll have to wait and see what the world thinks about her "pop" version...
 
Well...   Where can we find it?
 
 iTuner wrote:
Wish there was a Joni Mitchell auto-mute.
 

Hey Toterola, I think I just found one of your soulless bastards.
A good friend of mine died today.  this song is tonic for my soul.  thank you Bill.
I girl I used to go to school with just re-made this song and released it on her new EP. We'll have to wait and see what the world thinks about her "pop" version...
4 people gave this song a "1". Poor soulless bastards that they are... {#Razz}

Lovely! Simply lovely!! I honestly didn't know this is from 1969 already!! {#Eek}  Wouldn't have guessed it...

9


 mread wrote:
Whatever.  Judy Collins' version was definitely great pop music, but Joni's is art.  For example, Joni's chords on her oddly-tuned guitar give the piece depth that is lost in other versions (not just Judy's) that stick to chords with straight tuning.
 
Absolutely agree. Judy Collins is a fine singer, but Joni imbues this song, HER song, with a depth Judy Collins lacks.

Apparently some of Joni's oddball tunings result from her childhood bout with polio. It affected some of her dexterity, and she adjusted to it with some unique techniques. That's just what I've read, can't vouch for the veracity.

Wish there was a Joni Mitchell auto-mute.
My favorite Joni song....
Just watched Woodstock: Then And Now on History Channel. Clip at end of Joni from Big Sur Sept. 1969.

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=IBqodL2OJ1A  


 mread wrote:

Whatever.  Judy Collins' version was definitely great pop music, but Joni's is art.  For example, Joni's chords on her oddly-tuned guitar give the piece depth that is lost in other versions (not just Judy's) that stick to chords with straight tuning.
 
My mom had Judy Collins' record, so I grew up hearing her version.  Given that, I thought I would be partial to Judy, but you are right — while Judy's version is very pretty — nice background music, really — Joni's makes me sit up and take notice, and listen to the lyrics like she's telling an important story of her life.  Truly deeper.


She is amazing.  These lyrics...love to her soul.
Not a Joni huge fan, but this is impossible to deny.
I am in total bliss right now. Joni is my talisman against evil and sorrow. {#Meditate}
Just have to add that one of my favorite movies is Love Actually, which includes this song in one of the more poignant scenes.  It makes me tear up every time.

Not sure if it's the same version or not, but it doesn't matter.

I'd venture that every version of this song is a "good" one, though I'm sure it has been done poorly.  Like messing up toast: It's difficult, but can be done.


This is one of her best. It's one of those cases when you think: how could anyone *not* like this?
 
Beautiful
 kurtster wrote:
Joni may have written this, but Judy does this so much better.
 
Whatever.  Judy Collins' version was definitely great pop music, but Joni's is art.  For example, Joni's chords on her oddly-tuned guitar give the piece depth that is lost in other versions (not just Judy's) that stick to chords with straight tuning.


 sirdroseph wrote:
File Joni Mitchell as someone I just don't get.{#No}
 


Poor you but you still sound open enough to get her down the road a bit.
File Joni Mitchell as someone I just don't get.{#No}
If you care, don't let them know...
Don't give yourself away.
 kurtster wrote:
Joni may have written this, but Judy does this so much better.
 
None-the-less, this rendition is still moving and sweet. . . 
 
Joni may have written this, but Judy does this so much better.
 calypsus_1 wrote:

Joni Mitchell - "Both Sides Now" Live (1970):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcrEqIpi6sg

"the newer generation don't know good music or voices because of all this computer enhancements, which also can be used on live perfomances. thats why i really appreciate the music from the 70s and before."

"Beautiful performance! "


 
Yep, she is a really talented musician.  This is from a very different time, written in 1967 to be exact.  In a bit of a wicked twist, it's fair to say that like Chris Issak, Joni is one of those musicians who sound every bit as good in a live performance, and quite possibly better, than the album versions of their work.  They are "real-deal" musicians.

I am a dyed in the wool Joni fan but this is not my favorite version of this song....waaaay too drawn out, like it's in slo mo or something.
Fell in love with this song again watching the opening of the 2010 winter Olympics...


 
Love it.

Joni Mitchell - "Both Sides Now" Live (1970)

"the newer generation don't know good music or voices because of all this computer enhancements, which also can be used on live perfomances. thats why i really appreciate the music from the 70s and before."

"Beautiful performance! "



Joni Mitchell - "Both Sides Now" Live (2000)

Both Sides Now is an album by Joni Mitchell, released in 2000. It is a concept album that traces the progress of the modern relationship through Mitchell's orchestral renditions of classic jazz songs. Two of Mitchell's own songs are also included, "A Case of You" (1971) and "Both Sides Now" (1969). The orchestra was arranged and conducted by Vince Mendoza

"Its not important to listen to the words. The voice says it all. its the voice of someone who has lived, and loved, and lost and has bled and has survived and has courage."           farhanmujib