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Friday, December 22, 2017

Words For The Ages, Line Six

"Something's lost or something's gained in living every day."

What aphorism disguised as song lyric has ever captured the yin and yang of life as well as those nine words from Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now"?

Over her exceptional career, Joni Mitchell has written dozens of songs with nearly flawless lyrics. But while recently listening to a fully orchestrated version of "Both Sides Now" on a 2000 recording of the same name, the line above jarred me with its precocious wisdom; Joni was barely out of her teens when she wrote it. I'm astounded someone so young could write a lyric that so succinctly nails the delicate balancing act called life.

Which terse lyric line from Joni Mitchell's massive oeuvre would you nominate? End-to-end, "Both Sides Now" is not my favorite Joni composition. "A Woman Of Heart and Mind", "Edith And The Kingpin", & "Refuge From The Road" probably lead the pack for me. And "The Circle Game" is arguably a better lyric start to finish than "Both Sides Now". But I'll stand by the line opening this post as words for the ages.

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