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Women Music March #24 (final) — Joni Mitchell

Here we are, on the last day of my special feature, Women Music March. It has been a lot of fun doing these every day. Next year, I’ll start on March 1.

Today is featured my favorite female musical artist, Canadian singer-songwriter-musician, Joni Mitchell. There is a wealth of information out there on Joni, so I didn’t pull any in for the post. Joni has her own website as well; new material is being added all of the time.

Song to a Seagull (also known as Joni Mitchell) is her debut album.  Produced by David Crosby, the album was recorded in 1967 at Sunset Sound and released in March 1968 by record label Reprise.

I heard the song I chose today first on Joni’s live album, Miles of Aisles. Miles of Aisles is her first live album, recorded at Pine Knob and released in 1974 on Asylum Records. It is a double album documenting her concerts in support of the Court and Spark album with her backing band for the tour, the L.A. Express. It reached #2 on the Billboard 200 and became one of her biggest-selling records, certified a gold record by the RIAA.

Personnel on Miles of Aisles:
Joni Mitchell — vocals, guitar, piano, dulcimer, cover photograph and graphics
The L.A. Express

  • Tom Scott — woodwind instruments, harmonica
  • Robben Ford — electric guitar
  • Larry Nash — piano
  • Max Bennett — bass
  • John Guerin — drums, percussion

Cactus Tree is the song I chose today. The lyrics are fairly self-explanatory, about a woman whose heart is “full and hollow like a cactus tree.”



There’s a man who’s 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

There’s a man who’s climbed a mountain
And he’s calling out her name
And he hopes her heart can hear three thousand miles
He calls again
He can think her there beside him
He can miss her just the same
He has missed her in the forest
While he showed her all the flowers
And the branches sang the chorus
As he climbed the scaley towers
Of a forest tree
While she was somewhere being free

There’s a man who’s sent a letter
And he’s waiting for his reply
He has asked her of her travels
Since the day they said goodbye
He writes “I wish you were beside me.
We can make it if we try”
He has seen her at the office
With her name on all his papers
Through the sharing of the profits
He will find it hard to shake her
From his memory
And she’s off somewhere being free

There’s a lady in the city
And she thinks she loves them all
There’s the one who’s thinking of her
And there’s the one who sometimes calls
There’s the one who writes her letters
With his facts and figures scrawled
She has brought them to her senses
They have laughed inside her laughter
Now she rallies her defenses
For she fears that one will ask her
For eternity
While she’s much too busy being free

There’s a man who sends her medals
He is bleeding from the war
There’s a jouster and a jester and a man who owns a store
There’s a drummer and a dreamer
And you know there may be more
She will love them when she sees them
They will lose her if they follow
And she only means to please them
And her heart is full and hollow
Like a cactus tree
While she’s so busy being free
Songwriters: Joni Mitchell

15 thoughts on “Women Music March #24 (final) — Joni Mitchell

          1. I’ll dig up another…I have no qualms with more George songs. Not many talk about it but him and John co-wrote “Cry For A Shadow”…its an instrumental but it’s cool.

            Liked by 1 person

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