Thursday, June 5, 2008

Boats: Cactus Tree

Joni Mitchell: Cactus Tree


This blog has been very active recently, and at the same time the picks have become a lot more obscure. This is a good thing for me because I get to hear stuff that I'm unfamiliar with and potentially discover new artists. However, sometimes it's nice to go back to the basics and enjoy the familiar. In that spirit, I bring you the god mother of the blog once again, Joni Mitchell.

This is actually one of my favorite Mitchell songs. It's from her debut LP, Song to a Seagull, a concept album that is treated with grudging respect by the critics. I disagree with the reviews that I've read though. I think it's a brilliant and beautiful album. It is our first introduction to this amazing talent, who would go on to write such incredible stories and music.

If my calculations are correct, Joni was about 24 years old when she wrote this album. I'm struck by her sincerity and depth of emotion at that age. She sounds like a much older soul with experience beyond her years. I think if I would have written an album when I was 24 it probably would have been about Mario Brothers or how much I liked vanilla Zingers.

The opening line of Cactus Tree is about a man on a boat:

Theres a man whos been out sailing
In a decade full of dreams
And he takes her to a schooner
And he treats her like a queen
Bearing beads from california
With their amber stones and green
He has called her from the harbor
He has kissed her with his freedom
He has heard her off to starboard
In the breaking and the breathing
Of the water weeds
While she was busy being free


Divinyl said...

Again a fine choice...and another one that would not have occurred to me. Good call BWR :o)

bwrice said...

Thanks Divinyl -- It has been fun to read your stuff.

Hey everyone: I'm going to make a request! Does anyone have a copy of Come Sail Away by STYX? It's a classic from my pre-teen years. I don't have it (I don't have any Styx anymore - except on vinyl in the basement), but I'd love to hear it again. If anyone has it, post it in the comments, or on the main page if you're up to writing about it (I don't care either way, I'd just like to get a copy of the tune).


Ramone666 said...

Another puzzle for the non US contingent I see. After string cheese we now have vanilla zingers... Please enlighten me somebody.
PS Sorry BWR, no Styx in my household (shudders).

bwrice said...

Zingers: A horrible american snack treat:

I liked them when I was younger, but in my post I was mostly just trying to think of the most mindless and empty cultural references imaginable.

I understand the Styx shudder - but there's something to be said for nostalgia.

Ramone666 said...

Thanks BWR! Could be a theme here sometime: songs about yukky American snacks.