Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A Case of You, Joni Mitchell (1971)

"At that period of my life, I had no personal defenses. ... I felt like I had absolutely no secrets from the world and I couldn't pretend in my life to be strong. Or to be happy. But the advantage of it in the music was that there were no defenses there either."

- Cameron Crowe's 1979 Rolling Stone interview with Joni Mitchell, speaking of the period in which she produced the Blue album

If ever there was an artist who embodies for me the Feminine, it is Joni Mitchell. Her musical poetry and her unearthly voice had the singular ability to wash away any pretensions I might ever have made in my college years to being invulnerable to men.

Firmly in touch with her muse and uncompromising in her honesty, Joni described as well as anyone ever could - though we were in the throes of the women's liberation movement - that it didn't matter how strong we thought we were, when it came to the men we loved, we were anything but. But of course in those days, it was easier to regain one's equilibrium ...

A Case of You is thought by many to be about Leonard Cohen, one of the many high-profile musicians with whom she had relationships (Rolling Stone once called her the Old Lady of the Year and actually diagrammed all of her romances). But its universal appeal is that it's a shimmering ode to all of those someones who caused us excruciating pain, and yet ... the bloodletting was so worth it. Oh I could drink a case of you darling / Still I'd be on my feet / I would still be on my feet

1 comment:

karmasartre said...

Great pick, a standout song on a wonderful album. Not sure about the lyrics you quote. They are key to the song, I know, but normally when people feel that strongly about someone, they wouldn't sill be on their feet after drinking a case of said person...they'd be on their back or whatever, right?