Joni Mitchell's "River": White Frost and Beautiful | Beaufort County Now | Joni Mitchell's poignant "River" represents more than a collection of Christmas moments; it is the cloudy recollection of a clarion warmth that we always hold dear - both joyful and blue.

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Joni Mitchell preparing to "just skate away": Above.
    Publisher's note: Yes, it is a bit late here, but it is mighty cold, and this tune is perfect for the season.

    Joni Mitchell's poignant River represents more than a collection of Christmas moments; it is the cloudy recollection of a clarion warmth that we always hold dear - both joyful and blue. It is about Christmas, and change, and leaving for the happier times of a distant memory. River touches us all in some reminiscent collection of lost thoughts, as if its melodic beauty, its lyrical perfection is the Siren that calls us to that guarded place within us, forever touching and true.

    Joni Mitchell wrote River for her Blue album, published in 1971, when she was just 28 years old, and it has gradually become the classic that is hauntingly beautiful and forever current, enthralling a generation then, and someday generations yet unborn.

Joni employing the ivories to bang out a ballad, maybe River: Above.
    Joni Mitchell, who well exemplified the cool, summery "California Dreaming" minstrel, creating scores of outstanding songs, actually hails from Fort Macleod, Alberta, Canada, where it gets very cold come Christmas time. In creating River, one of my very favorite ballads from my early days of music appreciation, one would have to believe that Joni knows well her subject matter of this lyrical classic.

    As you might surmise, I don't hide that I am a big fan of Joni Mitchell. Click here to enjoy this Sarah McLachlan cover of this Christmas classic.

    Here below is a video of the only version that I could find of this remarkable song in Joni's voice. Herbie Hancock helps on the piano, so, one can imagine well that this version is clearly a jazz rendition of the original ballad: Below.


The original version of River, with a limited video, but perfect audio can be found here.

    Publisher's note: If you are really in the Christmas spirit, or just in the need for more, please click here to access all of the holiday spirit in melody and narrative that BCN can harness and offer for this Yuletide Season.
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