TUESDAY TUNES | JONI MITCHELL | WOODSTOCK
Posted on November 19, 2013 by Trace
— J u k e b o x —
W O O D S T O C K
“We are stardust, Billion year old carbon.
We are golden.
Caught in the devil’s bargain”
Singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell was born Roberta Joan Anderson on November 7, 1943, in Fort Macleod, Canada. At the age of 9, Mitchell contracted polio, and it was during her recovery in the hospital that she began performing and singing to patients. After teaching herself how to play the guitar, she went off to art college and quickly emerged as one of the leading folk performers of the late 1960s and ’70s.
She moved to the United States in the mid-1960s, and in 1968, she recorded her first album, Joni Mitchell, produced by David Crosby.
Portrait of Canadian musician Joni Mitchell November 1968.
From a photo shoot for Vogue. Photo by Jack Robinson/Getty Images
Joni Mitchell wrote the song from what she had heard from then-boyfriend, Graham Nash, about the Woodstock Music and Art Festival.
She had not been there herself, since she was told by a manager that it would be more advantageous for her to appear on ‘The Dick Cavett Show’. She wrote it in a hotel room in New York City, watching televised reports of the festival.
“The deprivation of not being able to go provided me with an intense angle on Woodstock,” she told an interviewer shortly after the event.
David Crosby, interviewed for the documentary ‘Joni Mitchell: Woman of Heart and Mind,’ stated that Mitchell had captured the feeling and importance of the Woodstock festival better than anyone who had been there.
I came upon a child of God
He was walking along the road
And I asked him, where are you going
And this he told me…
I’m going on down to Yasgur’s farm
I’m going to join in a rock ‘n’ roll band
I’m going to camp out on the land
I’m gonna try and get my soul free
We are stardust
We are golden
And we’ve got to get ourselves
Back to the garden
Then can I walk beside you
I have come here to lose the smog
And I feel to be a cog in something turning
Well maybe it is just the time of year
Or maybe it’s the time of man
I don’t know who l am
But ya know life is for learning
By the time we got to Woodstock,
We were half a million strong
And Everywhere there was song and celebration.