Where to start. I’ve written about Joni before after she was spotted venturing out to a concert for her dear friend James Taylor. She was still recovering from her stroke. Since then, she has been the subject of accolades by another favorite singer, Brandi Carlisle, who is joining forces for a summer 2023 concert tour. A year ago, she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, bringing back the tradition that had been suspended. And although she now considers herself an “alto” her words and music carry her genius to her fans wherever she is.
It has been such a treat seeing her turn up at all sorts of events, now that they are back. New collaborations and artists covering her extensive songbook and she herself remastering many of the classics. The included quote is why her genius pours through. It’s why she is venerated as a very special talent.
Finding my joy during the holidays takes effort. Shouldn’t be this way but has been for the past 25 years. Thanksgiving puts it in perspective as I truly am grateful for all my many blessings. Now to “put myself out there” and participate in the tress lightings and decorating….and baking. What does give me joy and always has, is Music! I just watched a most lovely documentary on “Silent Night” origins, which has become a became a classic for the entire world. They featured many musicians from different cultures and what the song means for them. It is my favorite holiday carol whether the original German version or the more familiar English one.
This year I plan on doing a deep dive into Joni’s “remastered masterpieces”. I can take her music anywhere I am. She gives me joy. May your joy be in the faces of your loved ones walking through the door, or via Facetime.
Joni Mitchell and the Melancholy of Christmas; played in minor keys Joni’s River is a favorite from her Blue Album.
It begins with a melancholic piano arrangement of ‘Jingle Bells’ which continues to be woven into the melody of the song throughout. The opening line sets the imagery with, “It’s coming on Christmas, they’re cutting down trees. They’re putting up reindeer, singing songs of joy and peace”. The song reminds us importantly that Christmas is not filled with festive joy for everyone; the sentiment of the song reassures us that the true meaning of the festive period is perhaps more than the skin-deep feelings of joy and ecstasy. The true meaning of Christmas is love and compassion, which for some, can be absent at this time of year; this can be a lonely feeling.