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Dancing Joni's songs plucked from entirety of career   Print


Calgary Herald
February 7, 2007

The Fiddle and the Drum

- From the album: Clouds (1969)

- This a cappella, anti-Vietnam song from Mitchell's Grammy-winning second album finds the singer comparing the U.S. government to a wayward friend.

"Can I help you find the peace and the star? Oh, my friend, what time is this to trade the handshake for the fist"

The Beat of Black Wings

- From the album: Dog Eat Dog (1985)

- This obscure track taken from an obscure album has never been regarded as a Mitchell classic. Still, the raw tale of "Killer Kyle" -- a soldier with a "war zone inside" -- is a chilling reminder of the personal costs of violence.

For the Roses

- From the album: For the Roses (1972)

- While this album represented Mitchell's first real stab at jazz, the title track recalled the classic folk she perfected on Blue. This poetic song takes some not-so-stuble stabs at the media and music industry.

Passion Play (When all the Slaves are Free)

- From the album: Night Ride Home (1991)

- Many fans see this 1991 "comeback" album one of Mitchell's most underrated. On Passion Play, the singer hints at corruption and corporate apathy amid the "multitudes in Exxon Blue."

Sex Kills

- From the album: Turbulent Indigo (1994)

- Other than the brand new songs, this is the most modern track involved in Dancing Joni. A general swipe at all things wrong in a troubled world, Sex Kills rails against "little kids packin' guns," "Doctor's pills" and "oil spills."

The Three Great Stimulants

- From the album: Dog Eat Dog (1985)

- A nihilistic rant that lists "artifice, brutality and innocence" as the Three Great Stimulants of the "exhausted ones." Your guess is as good as ours.

Slouching Towards Bethlehem

- From the album: Night Ride Home (1991)

- Mitchell reworks W.B. Yeats poem with tuneful, acoustic backing and her own religious imagery.

Big Yellow Taxi

- From the album: Ladies of the Canyon (1970)

Mitchell's oft-covered song showcased her early environmental concerns and contains the now-classic refrain "They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

If (2007)

- This new song reworks (or, according to Mitchell, improves upon) Rudyard Kipling's poem with backing from jazz pianist Herbie Hancock.

If I Had A Heart I'd Cry (2007)

Another new song that features a slow rhumba beat and revisits Mitchell's enviromental focus.

 

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