Both Sides Now

Judy Collins

I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned (on this blog) that I come from a fairly large family (3 boys, 3 girls).  And, out of all of those siblings, I’ve always been very close with my oldest sister.  When I was a teen, we used to do everything together.  I especially enjoyed spending the night, at her house, on the weekends.  We’d listen to tapes and records of music from the 60′s and 70′s.  She’s older (almost old enough to be my mother, given that nowadays teens have kids while still being teens), and her musical tastes introduced me to the likes of:  Three Dog Night, Roy Orbison, The Guess Who, and The Spiral Staircase.  Then, one day, she had me listen to a song which has become one of my all-time favorites:  Both Sides Now (sung by Judy Collins).  It’s a folk ballad, which chronicles the journey we all take, in life, when it comes to searching for (and finding love).  The lyrics, written by the ever-so-talented Joni Mitchell, are sappy.  But, if one were to read them, rather than just sing along, they’d find a modern-day poetic masterpiece:

Bows and flows of angel hair and ice cream castles in the air…. And feather canyons everywhere, I’ve looked at clouds that way…. But now they only block the sun they rain and snow on everyone…. So many things I would have done, but clouds got in my way….I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now…. From up and down and still somehow…. It’s cloud’s illusions I recall…. I really don’t know clouds at all….Moons and Junes and ferris wheels the dizzy dancing way you feel…. As every fairy tale comes real, I’ve looked at love that way…. But now it’s just another show, you leave ‘em laughin when you go…. And if you care don’t let them know, don’t give yourself away….I’ve looked at love from both sides now…. From give and take and still somehow…. It’s love’s illusions I recall…. I really don’t know love at all….Tears and fears and feeling proud, to say, “I love you” right out loud…. Dreams and schemes and circus crowds, I’ve looked at life that way…. But now old friends are acting….strange they shake their heads, they say I’ve changed…. But something’s lost but something’s gained in living every day….I’ve looked at life from both sides now….From win and lose and still somehow…. It’s life’s illusions I recall…. I really don’t know

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