I woke up this morning humming “Woodstock,” the old Joni Mitchell song from back in the late ’60s. I wasn’t actually humming her version — I was humming the CSNY version which is harder and more conventionally rhythmic. Joni’s Woodstock is sadder and more desperate — “I have come here to lose the SMOG,” she cries. Slow, elegiac, ethereal, Woodstock is not a celebratory song but an angry one.
“I dreamed I saw the bomber jet planes
riding shotgun in the sky
turning into butterflies
above our nation”
Hers is a clash of vision and reality that was widely shared that year, but was to be resolved so decisively in favor of The Man in years to come that people came to doubt the vision. We should never doubt that vision. We do have to get back to the garden.
Sorry about the ads. YouTube does that. And who knows, maybe Joni needs the money.