Song for the Day

Joni Mitchell / Down to you

Happy birthday to Joni Mitchell. The polymath artist turns 71 today. Here’s a song from her album Court and Spark, released forty years ago. Down To You was never a hit, in fact it’s probably one of the lesser known tunes on the album. This track is really much more than a song, it is an important poetic work from the oeuvre of one of the most accomplished poets of our time. Enjoy.

Everything comes and goes
Marked by lovers and styles of clothes
Things that you held high
And told yourself were true
Lost or changing as the days come down to you
Down to you
Constant stranger
You’re a kind person
You’re a cold person too
It’s down to you
It all comes down to you
You go down to the pick up station
Craving warmth and beauty
You settle for less than fascination
A few drinks later you’re not so choosy
When the closing lights strip off the shadows
On this strange new flesh you’ve found
Clutching the night to you like a fig leaf
You hurry
To the blackness
And the blankets
To lay down an impression
And your loneliness
In the morning there are lovers in the street
They look so high
You brush against a stranger
And you both apologize
Old friends seem indifferent
You must have brought that on
Old bonds have broken down
Love is gone
Oooh love is gone
Written on your spirit this sad song
Love is gone
Everything comes and goes
Pleasure moves on too early
And trouble leaves too slow
Just when you’re thinking
You’ve finally got it made
Bad news comes knocking
At your garden gate
Knocking for you
Constant stranger
You’re a brute you’re an angel
You can crawl you can fly too
It’s down to you
It all comes down to you

~Joni Mitchell 1974


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A collection of twangy women artists sprinkled with some more poppy chanteuses and a few treading on the hairy edge of western swing.


Does Jealousy Belong in Criticism?


I recently read an engaging article in Vanity Fair about the criticism (some say undue) of Donna Tartt’s 2014 Pulitzer Prize winning novel The Goldfinch. Her chief detractors include James Wood and Francine Prose, both thought highly of in the upper echelon of literary academia. Critic Wood, who has written such collections of critical essays as How Fiction Works and The Broken Estate: Essays on Literature and Belief, has asserted of The Goldfinch in The New Yorker: “Its tone, language, and story belong in children’s literature,” and “…the rapture with which this novel has been received is further proof of the infantilization of our literary culture…”. The London Review of Books also dubbed it a “Children’s book”. Novelist Prose, whose very name evokes the opposite of poetry, after reading the Pulitzer winner, mused, “…Doesn’t anyone care how something is written anymore?”.

Continue reading “Does Jealousy Belong in Criticism?”

Does Jealousy Belong in Criticism?

Sharon Van Etten: Amazon Artist Lounge Session

NJ artist, Sharon Van Etten performs three new songs at St. Pancras Old Church, London.


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