Thursday, May 21, 2009

Liner Notes Junkie

Song lyrics and their sometimes playful, sometimes sultry dance with melody have long been the form of artistic expression that I cherish above all others.

I have many treasured cd’s, recorded by my most beloved artists and they are all well worn. Thankfully, everything is now digitalized. Unfortunately, downloaded music does not come with liner notes. I mean, you can down load lyrics, but it’s not the same thing.

I am a Liner-Notes Junkie. I love nothing better than to learn a great song inside out. Pouring over the small square booklet or long folded panels of glossy lyrics, dedications, and lists of people the artist has thanked.

I read and listen again and again, until I can sing along; each note, syllable and breath imbedded in my heart.

Beautifully crafted, clever and distinct lines of song are often scribbled down in my journals, notebooks and day timers. And, will undoubtedly find their way here, eventually.

My favourite artists are those whose songs strike me and resonate within, like Tibetan bells, creating that feeling of connection, of Oneness. Isn’t that essentially the heart of what draws us to all forms of art, afterall?

I have always considered Joni Mitchell to be one of the most respected and inspirational singer/songwriters. She is a goddess of the lyric, not to mention her crafting of “warm Joni chords” and she is an awesome visual artist to boot. As part of documenting “Artists Whom I Love”, one will be certain to find many of her lyrics quoted in future posts.

In fact, one of her most joyful songs, one that never fails to lift me up and set me right, is Chelsea Morning. This little gem first appeared on Joni’s “Clouds” album recorded in April, 1969 (I was one year old) and has since been recorded by over 80 artists. The imagery is dazzling, bright and cheerful. This imagery has become a touchstone for joy and contentment for me, not only due to it's vibrancy but because of the upbeat reminder of the importance of the present moment.

Chelsea Morning

Woke up, it was a Chelsea Morning, and the first thing that I heard
Was a song outside my window, and the traffic wrote the words
It came ringing up like Christmas bells, and rapping up like pipes and drums

Oh, won’t you stay
We’ll put on the day
And we’ll wear it till the night comes

Woke up, it was a Chelsea morning, and the first thing that I saw
Was the sun through yellow curtains, and a rainbow on the wall
Blue, red, green and gold to welcome you, crimson crystal beads to beckon

Oh, won’t you stay
We’ll put on the day
There’s a sun show every second

Now the curtain opens on a portrait of today
And the streets are paved with passersby
And pigeons fly
And papers lie
Waiting to blow away

Woke up, it was a Chelsea morning, and the first thing that I knew
There was milk and toast and honey and a Bowl of Oranges, Too
And the sun poured in like butterscotch and stuck to all my senses

Oh, won’t you stay
We’ll put on the day
And we’ll talk in present tenses

When the curtain closes and the rainbow runs away
I will bring you incense owls by night
By candle light
By jewel light
If only you will stay
Pretty baby, won’t you…
Wake up, it is a Chelsea morning

~joni Mitchell

So. Now you know. In case you were wondering.


Anna said...

love these lyrics have yet to hear this song at least I don't think I've ever heard it before but it sounds very uplifting. :-)

karmacoy said...

Thank you for dropping by and following !! I found a link for this song on Youtube that is quite nice. Joni is so young and fresh looking