Thursday, December 12, 2013

Coming on Christmas


Christmas trees for sale on Cambridge Heath Road, Bethnal Green, London
I first heard Joni Mitchell's song "River" when I was a lonely high school girl, listening to the radio in my bedroom at night. It was the early days of "album-oriented-rock" radio, and sets of songs were played in succession, blending into one another. I heard a mournful song sung in the high, reedy voice of a girl, about Christmas and frozen rivers and sadness and loss - and then I heard another song in a woman's voice, and yet another, and the next day I went to buy an album I thought the song was on, but that turned out to be Carole King's "Tapestry." Which was OK, but not what I wanted.

 It took me a while to find out who the singer was that had so struck my heart. By the time I found out it was Joni Mitchell, Christmas was long over.

No matter. "River" is still one of my favorite Christmas songs.  What's one of yours?



It's coming on Christmas
They're cutting down trees
They're putting up reindeer
And singing songs of joy and peace
Oh I wish I had a river I could skate away on

But it don't snow here
It stays pretty green
I'm going to make a lot of money
Then I'm going to quit this crazy scene
Oh I wish I had a river I could skate away on

I wish I had a river so long
I would teach my feet to fly
I wish I had a river I could skate away on
I made my baby cry

He tried hard to help me
You know, he put me at ease
And he loved me so naughty
Made me weak in the knees
Oh, I wish I had a river I could skate away on

I'm so hard to handle
I'm selfish and I'm sad
Now I've gone and lost the best baby
That I ever had
I wish I had a river I could skate away on

Oh, I wish I had a river so long
I would teach my feet to fly
I wish I had a river
I could skate away on
I made my baby say goodbye

It's coming on Christmas
They're cutting down trees
They're putting up reindeer
And singing songs of joy and peace
I wish I had a river I could skate away on

4 comments:

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

RAMONES!
~

une femme said...

I still love "River" too. So much of Joni's music has really held up over the years, doesn't sound dated.

Karen S. said...

I have yet to ever experience a green Christmas. but I plan to someday! These trees are just beautiful!

smalltownme said...

I love that song. Love Joni. We were in the audience when Shadows and Light was recorded at the SB Bowl.

My favorite Christmas album is Vince Guaraldi's soundtrack to A Charlie Brown Christmas.