Joni Mitchell by Roni Himmel -
This free e-book was created with

Create your own amazing e-book!
It's simple and free.

Start now

Joni Mitchell

  • Joined Jan 2020
  • Published Books 1

Roberta Joan “Joni” Mitchell (born November 7, 1943) , known as Joni Mitchell, is a Canadian singer and songwriter (and also a  painter!).

Active from the Sixties until recent years, Mitchell is most known for her songwriting skills.The magazine Rolling Stone called her “one of the greatest songwriters ever”. Her songs are poetry-like and beautifully written, with raw emotion, honesty and depth. Mostly reflect her feelings about romance, disillusionment, joy and also social and environmental ideals.

Joni Mitchell is one of the most prominent female artists of the Sixties and Seventies with her style being folk-rock that later developed into jazzier sounds.


Joni Mitchell by Roni Himmel -

One of her first successful songs is “Both Sides Now” from her second album Clouds. Which was inspired by a passage about clouds from the novel “Henderson The Rain King” by Saul Bellow.

Its lyrics are definitely worth reading in my opinion(here is the beginning of the song):

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 illusions I recall
I really don’t know clouds at all


Joni Mitchell preforming Both Sides Now on Mama Cass Show:


Her third album Ladies of the Canyon featured one her greats hits “Big Yellow Taxi”.

This song is an environmental protests, Mitchell said: “I wrote ‘Big Yellow Taxi’ on my first trip to Hawaii. I took a taxi to the hotel and when I woke up the next morning, I threw back the curtains and saw these beautiful green mountains in the distance. Then, I looked down and there was a parking lot as far as the eye could see, and it broke my heart… this blight on paradise.”

One of the most familiar lines from this song – “They paved paradise to put up a parking lot”



Also from Ladies of the Canyon is the song “Woodstock”.

Although Mitchell didn’t preform in Woodstock (since her manager told her it would be better for her to appear on The Dick Cavett Show instead), her then-boyfriend Graham Nash (from Crosby, Stills & Nash) told her about the experience, which led her to write her hit “Woodstock”.



Her forth album Blue is my personal favorite, which many would say is her most important. This album is filled with emotion, storytelling, almost confession-like. It features many beautiful songs, here are some examples:


River, probably the most famous song of hers:


Case of you, a beautifully written and intimate song (pay attention to how she plays the instrument!):


My Old Man:


Joni Mitchell has influenced many artist from different decades and different genres – from Pink Floyd to Madonna.
Many of her songs were also covered by a wide variety of artists, for example Judy Collins’s successful covers of “Both Sides Now”, “Chelsea Morning” and more.

An interesting fact I’ve discovered – the Led Zeppelin (one of my favorite bands) song “Going to California” was written about Joni Mitchell!

Joni Mitchell and Judy Collins

Judy Collins singing Both Sides Now


Going to California by Led Zeppelin


Joni Mitchell is also known for her unique way of playing the guitar. Here you can learn how to play like her:


Mitchell may be known for her music, but she says about herself: “I’m a painter first, and a musician second”

Her writing style is painting like, and in my opinion her songs are as much of a painting as her actual paintings. For example her song “Chelsea Morning” which in my opinion shows her ability to freeze time and paint with sound.


Joni Mitchell by Roni Himmel -

To conclude, Joni Mitchell was and is a phenomenal creator, both of performance and of songwriting, and is considered one of the most artistic souls of the 20th century.


This free e-book was created with

Create your own amazing e-book!
It's simple and free.

Start now

Ad Remove Ads [X]
Skip to content