Tuesday, January 29, 2008

All Good Dreamers Pass This Way Someday

There's a serious storm gathering. It'll snow in Jerusalem and the West Bank tonight. Currently the wind is tossing Jaffa's trees and occasinally a torrent of rain beats down on the balcony. I'm safely indoors, drinking sahlep and listening to Joni Mitchell

A recent post by Jerusalemite Blogger Rebecca consists of nothing but a statement that "A Case of you" by Mitchell is one of the most beautiful songs ever written. Rebecca's right, and the entire album "Blue", on which that song appears (as does this utter gem, don't miss it) makes for a wonderful rainy day companion. My friend Jake told me once that he's hooked on "Blue". I asked what song is his favorite. He said: at each point in life, there's another that fits.

At what point down the Blue track am I? I spent my childhood wishing "I had a river to skate away on" from mostly unsnowy Israel, spent my early twenties "On the lonely road" as in first track, being a "a singer in the park," as in the second. I kept away someone's "lonesome blues", until a warm land called me to return to it, as California called Mitchell. I left a loving but flawed relationship, as did the father in "Little Green", I even ended up following that by falling for more than one Canadian. "On the back of a cartoon coaster \ in the blue TV screen light \ I drew a map of Canada \ O Canada \ with your face sketched on it twice". I've actually done that.

So what happens at the end of Blue, once you've been through the rest of it? The final track begins with a bitter prophecy: "The last time I saw Richard was Detroit in 68 \ and he told me all romantics meet the same fate someday \ cynical and drunk and boring someone in a dark cafe." It ends with a rebellion: "I'm gonna blow this damn candle out \ don't want nobody coming to my table \ I got nothing to talk to nobody about \ All good dreamers pass this way someday \ Hiding behind bottles in dark cafes \ only a dark cocoon before I spread my wings and fly away \ only a cocoon, these dark cafe days."


3asl said...


It just got too long to be a comment, albeit the hiatus.

Rebecca said...

thanks for the reference, kind sir.

blue is the winding roads and stark and dreary landscape of poland. I bought it in the airport before a trip and it was the only thing I listened to.

(the once and future) jerusalemite

EllaDan said...

Oh, Joni...

I want to knit you a sweater, I want to write you a love letter. So great.