Thursday, July 29, 2010

Eyes Wide Shut

Joni Mitchell circa 1976, Northrup Auditorium, Minneapolis. Photo by John V. Peterson

Somewhere between the late sixties and early seventies, music, for the boomer generation, became a closed-eyes experience. The availability of quality headphones (and quality cannabis sativa) made these listening sessions an experience quite different from a tinny transistor radio or dad’s Mantovani on the Magnavox console. Hours were spent in rapt devotion to the music of the day, it was a way to escape from the banal existence we endured.

Today I picked up a vintage audio gizmo from the thrift store today so I thought I would try it out in an "eyes wide shut" 70's music listening session.

Sooner or later this kind of thing always seems to wind up with a big dose of Joni Mitchell. Tonight it was a mix CD of some Joni originals, some covers, resulting in lots of personal oblivion on my part, only this time no psychedelics were required. The last song was Joni singing Circle Game, but the song preceding it, a song she sang about her daughter who was given up for adoption, touched me more tonight:

Born with the moon in Cancer
Choose her a name she will answer to
Call her green and the winters cannot fade her
Call her green for the children who've made her
Little green, be a gypsy dancer

He went to California
Hearing that everything's warmer there
So you write him a letter and say, "Her eyes are blue."
He sends you a poem and she's lost to you
Little green, he's a non-conformer

Child with a child pretending
Weary of lies you are sending home
So you sign all the papers in the family name
You're sad and you're sorry, but you're not ashamed
Little green, have a happy ending

Just a little green
Like the color when the spring is born
There will be crocuses to bring to school tomorrow
Just a little green
Like the nights when the Northern lights perform
There will be icicles and birthday clothes
And sometimes there will be sorrow

Little Green, words and music by Joni Mitchell

By Professor Batty


Blogger Mary said...

I never realized that giving up a child for adoption was the meaning of that song...always liked the tune.

Blogger oroboros said...

I think you meant *cannabis sativa*?

Blogger Professor Batty said...

Mary ~ they were reunited a while ago:,,20130760,00.html

oroboros ~ must have been a flashback, noted and corrected.

Anonymous Jon said...

What Mary said. Joni is the only "star" I ever sent a fan letter to. I was 19. She never wrote back and I never wrote another.

Blogger Rose said...

This is interesting. Surprised me.

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